Above: The police were in the town centre for over an hour sitting in their car. Numerous bikes road past but they did nothing but keep warm.
On the 16th of April 2016 I received a response to from Barry Chandler, Neighbourhood Policing Team Sergeant, to an email I had sent detailing some of the problems I have had with cyclists and the issues I think need to be dealt with.
I have read your email to the police and I am sorry to hear that you have been involved in several incidents involving cyclists. You mention that a number of signs in the town have been obscured or removed by the council and you are indeed correct in stating that this makes the job of enforcement even harder. It is the duty of the council to notify pedestrians and cyclists regarding the areas of the town which should not be cycled through.
A few thoughts.
The duty of enforcement is made harder by not having any police patrolling to enforce the law. Enforcement is made harder again by those occasional patrols not enforcing the law. I had heard a long-term Community Support Officer giving wrong advice to an elderly couple who’d had to avoid a cyclist and drawn his attention to said cyclist. He said he was entitled to cycle on the darkened town centre paving that signal the access route for vehicles. Wrong. I have never seen a police officer stop a cyclist in Hastings Town Centre. As in the featured photo at the top of the page. They just sat in the car for an over an hour and didn’t stop a single cyclist who went past. With ‘action’ like this, it’s no wonder that people are getting the wrong idea. Continue reading “Hastings Police Force are part of the cycling problem.”
I saw this guy come shooting down the pavement on the left (22/02/2017). I wasn’t quick enough with my camera and so I have the only have him cycling off. He turned sharply, without warning onto the crossing and had to slam his brakes on but it was only the quick reactions of the car approaching that meant he didn’t get hit. He cycled off without even apologising to the driver or looking in his direction. Obviously embarrassed.
This is a dangerous crossing. I consistently see cars driving straight through in the same direction of the car in the photo. It needs to be made safer as I frequently see pedestrians almost hit by cars.
This is not a one of incident. I see dreadfully stupid cycling all the time and it’s only getting worse. I can’t get anyone to listen. If you can help, please contact me.
I apologise if I get anything wrong in this article but I can barely think these days and in a lot of pain. I’m writing to express my concerns over the Alexandra Park cycle route.
If you are one of the few who have ever read this blog, you will know I have been in contact with ESCC and Hastings Council/Town Centre Management who have been slightly unhelpful.
Mike Hepworth, assistant director of Environment and Place wrote a report about the Proposed Designated Cycle Route. It is dated 4th of January 2016. We had email communication after this date where he said that he was fairly new to the job. Given that he knows about the problems with people cycling on pavements and through the pedestrian zone, I am surprised that the Alexandra Park route is dumping cyclists onto the Queens Road roundabout. This will add to the volume of antisocial cycling and the issues should be tackled first, before allowing more people to cycle in to the town centre. In our emails I raised this very issue. It seems that Hastings Council are interested in promoting cycling in the town but not willing to sort out any of the issues, going back more than 10 years, of antisocial and illegal cycling.
The problem with Alexandra Park Cycle Route in pictures
Let’s have a look at what these berks are not just proposing but which looks likely to go ahead very soon.
Additional: After I had made a start on this piece, I took a break to visit my mum. On our return journey we were driving down the road below, in about the same position as the silver car, when a cyclist came from the pavement on the left and without stopping rode straight in front of a car turn off of the roundabout and passed in of us, on the other side of the road and headed into Alexandra Park. This is something I see frequently, though this was a new order of hazardous.
Above: A quiet day on the roundabout.
Above: Bypassing the pedestrian crossing AND on a bike. All too common.
Above: Another cyclist bypassing the crossing. The Alexandra Park Cycle Route will encourage this behaviour.
Above: Returning to the pavement.
Above: This is the other side of the path running under the bridge from Alexandra Park. Commonly in use by cyclists.
Above: Another cyclist fresh from Alexandra Park?
Above: This behaviour is increasing and the Alexandra Park cycle route will make it worse.
Above: Further down the pavement and an old couple have to step aside to let these girls through.
Above: I’ve personally witnessed an older couple being verbally abused by a cyclist for telling him he shouldn’t be on the pavement.
I’m fed up with bad arguments about Alexandra Park cycle route
I could continue down the pavement in pictures as I have enough pictures to stick together and make a video! As you can see though, there is a real problem here. The route dumps people onto those very same ‘unsafe’ roads that everyone is taking to the pavements to avoid. I’m afraid that I’m not very convinced by the rhetoric of the unsafe road argument nor of the appeals to childhood obesity that campaigners are pulling out their backsides.
Let’s have some real solutions to the problems of cycling on pavements. Talk of monitoring the park route on it’s opening is just pacifying rubbish, said to calm people’s worries. We all know that it won’t last and then the problem will remain of people cycling wherever they want or speeding as they already do. I’ve never seen any monitoring of the cyclists who speed on the seafront route and that route is itself problematic, dumping volumes of bikes into the pedestrian zone and onto the pavements.
A picture is worth a thousand words. 9 pictures is even better.
I first contacted East Sussex County Council (ESCC) about the disappearance of some no-cycling signs somewhere around 2010. There was at the time a lot of pressure from pro-cycling groups for cycles to be allowed in the pedestrian zone and I remember very clearly that over the course of a night, some of the signs disappeared. Others were turned so that they were facing towards the shops and weren’t visible. I wrote to ESCC and let them know but nothing happened to the signs. I’d noticed the removal of the ground signs, stating no-cycling, from certain areas around town at the same time and I had asked where they had gone. I think the painted ground signs are very effective at alerting people to the cycling status of an area.
Above: A no right turn sign that was out of action for over three months due to its being painted over. Read below.
Then in 2015, I contacted them again to let them know that a sign had been painted out. A no-right turn sign where Pelham Street becomes Harold Place, behind the town centre toilets. I had pointed it out to Community Support Officers, Police Officers and Hastings Council workers and thought one of them would inform the correct authorities. Three months later and more and more cars turning right, I contacted ESCC and told them about the sign. I also reminded them about the cycling signs but they didn’t reply to me, though within 36 hours the sign had been cleared or replaced.
During my communications with Town Centre Management (24/04/2016), I was told:
‘Since my last email to you I haven’t been able to find any more information from colleagues here at the Council or at ESCC about the removal of signage in the town centre’ and that was as far as Town Centre Management could or would help.
I emailed the Labour Councillors for Castle Ward, Sue Beaney and Lee Clark but neither of them responded. I eventually got in touch with Dominic Sabetian of Braybrooke Ward but there appeared to be no constructive way to approach the issues raised. I was forwarded this email from his colleague Sue Beaney as she had raised a query with East Sussex County Council as ‘other residents of our ward who have also had this kind of problem. This neatly summarises the County Council’s position, although you might not find it very reassuring.’ (Email Communication with Councillor Sabetian). Continue reading “Hastings ‘no-cycling’ signage is not up to the job thanks to ESCC.”