East Sussex County Council (ESCC) have launched a new public consultation on their plans to make walking and cycling in and around Rye easier. The Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan aims to make walking and cycling more attractive, so more of us are encouraged to walk or cycle.
Their draft plan, ESCC say, focusses on areas of the county where there are the greatest opportunities to increase levels of cycling and walking, with an emphasis on delivering infrastructure improvements which will support those people who currently do not cycle or walk.
The proposed cycling and walking networks aim to connect people with the places they may often travel on everyday journeys, such as for school, work, and shopping and to promote walking and cycling for leisure and as a form of exercise. In addition, the strategy to get more of us walking and cycling will “improve our physical and mental health and wellbeing, help to reduce the number of people using vehicles, thereby reducing emissions from exhaust fumes and benefiting the environment.”
ESCC want to know if they have connected the right places and, if not, give you the opportunity to tell them and share your ideas. They would also like to know about any current cycling or walking trips that you may take, any barriers that you face in cycling and walking, and what measures you would like to see them deliver in the future.
A walking map would be useful
The proposed Walking & Cycling Plan includes detailed network maps that cover the whole of East Sussex, including a detailed map of proposed cycle friendly routes around Rye.
What the plan does not contain is a proposal to join up the long distance footpaths that converge on Rye, such as the 1066 Country Walk; High Weald Landscape Trail; Saxon Shore Way; Royal Military Canal Path and Sussex Border Path, as well as the other paths and rights of way in and around Rye. While their strategy gives a nod to encouraging more people to walk as a form of exercise the plan clarifies that “the scope of the work was limited to utility trips to work, education and shopping of up to 5km. It does
not include consideration of leisure trips outside the urban areas.”
Maps to encourage people to walk more have only been developed for Newhaven, Lewes, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Bexhill and Hastings.
Finally, the plan contains a list of infrastructure improvements that would need to happen to encourage more people to walk and cycle in and around Rye. One obvious omission is any improvements to the dangerous junction of the A259/Harbour Road that thwarted the England Coast Path coming through Rye.
New bridge remains uncertain
Instead, there is mention of a new bridge over the River Brede at Rock Channel. No further information has been given as to who will pay for the bridge, or when it will be built, but in a previous consultation ran by Natural England on the thwarted England Coast Path, they speculated that a property developer would cover the cost of the bridge.
It is Rye News’s understanding that the Hastings based property developer Martello Developments Ltd owns land either side of the River Brede.
You have until Friday, December 11 to make your comments and recommendations to ESCC. If you would like to see better signposting and paths to encourage walking and cycling in and around Rye, then submit your comments here.
Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy , ESCC Sustrans .