Lewes Town trafficLast month, we highlighted proposals drawn up by Cycle Lewes and Living Streets Lewes to create more space for cyclists and pedestrians in Lewes town (read it here…). Now, East Sussex County Council has released details of plans it has submitted to the Department of Transport to enable more cycling and walking and provide safe space for social distancing.

ESCC reports that it has been allocated £479,000 from the first round of the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund to support cycling and walking schemes. Plans have been outlined for towns across the county. For Lewes, ESCC’s proposals are:

  • Temporary segregated cycleway along the A259 between Peacehaven and Newhaven
  • Speed reduction measures and widening of shared footpath along the A259 between Bishopstone to Marine Drive, Seaford
  • Widening of the footpath along High Street and School Hill in Lewes.

More details here…

At Lewes District Council, Councillor Matthew Bird, Cabinet Member for Sustainability, has responded: “I welcome any improvements for walkers and cyclists in Lewes district, but I would like to have seen more of the suggestions we made to East Sussex County Council included in phase one.

“The fund increases to £1.9m in phase two later this year and I hope the bigger and more significant schemes that we recommended are supported. We will continue to consult and engage with local town councils, local traders, cycling and walking groups and are setting up a Walking and Cycling Forum to carry this on into the future.”

He adds: “Safer walking and cycling routes, more electric bicycles and more sustainable transport solutions that greatly reduce levels of local pollution need to be encouraged to stop our towns becoming more congested and less attractive places to live and work.”

Cycle Lewes and Lewes Living Streets say they were also disappointed to see only part of one of their recommendations supported by ESCC. “The only change in Lewes we will see is the widening of pavements on School Hill and the High Street, and maybe some extra temporary parking for cycling. This will not help maintain the shift that happened during the Covid-19 lockdown, where we saw almost a doubling of cycling especially by children and families. We will continue to push the inclusion of more change for Lewes – we’d welcome more ideas for the second tranche of funding and any other funding that becomes available.”

What do you think of ESCC’s proposals? Let us know in the comments below.