Published in the Sussex Express, 22 May 2015
On 7 May, Lewes and the surrounding area went to the polls to elect a brand new District Council and a brand new Town Council. As these begin to take shape, we at Cycle Lewes thought it would be a good idea to share three ideas that were generated by Cycle Lewes members at our AGM in April.
1. More parking. The new cycle parking opposite the Law Courts and the forthcoming station have been an excellent start to improving cycle parking in Lewes, however more can still be done. We want to see every car park in town allocate at least one car parking space to a cycle shelter. The Needlemakers and Mountfield Road car parks are destinations for many suburban journeys, yet there are no appropriate cycle facilities present. Furthermore, these new stands must be of a ‘cycle only’ design – avoiding the current situation where the new shelter behind the magistrates’ court is constantly used as the new Waitrose trolley park.
2. New signage. The existing signage for those cycling into and around Lewes is awful. There are four off-road cycle routes out of town, allowing access to the countryside in a child-friendly environment, but nothing telling would-be users of their existence. We would like to see cycle-oriented maps covering the whole area in the town centre and at the rail station, as well as consistent signposting of the routes towards Firle, Falmer, Ringmer and Kingston. Signage also needs improving to show all road users where cyclists are allowed to cycle, including the contraflow through Cliffe High Street and adjacent to the play area in Bell Lane recreation area.
3. The Neighbourhood Plan is currently being developed by Lewes Town Council and will outline the future of Lewes – from housing developments to energy. Considering future cycling provision now will allow future infrastructure to be designed with all road users in mind.
These ideas are all achievable by our new District or Town council and we call on our elected representatives to start as they mean to go on. Making these small changes would be of enormous benefit to cyclists in the town and be a step in the right direction for active transport in Lewes.
Written by Dan Goodchild