Hastings Police Force are part of the cycling problem.

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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.”

Hastings ‘no-cycling’ signage is not up to the job thanks to ESCC.

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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.”

Dangerous Cycling – The Nightriders of Hastings

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Above:  David Hasselhoff and his KITT cycle.  David is asking cyclists in Hastings to stop their dangerous cycling, fit lights or get Hoff their cycles after dark.  Thanks Dave!

 

I feel like I’m going mad.  Am I the only person who is noticing this?  I’m talking about the sharp increase in the number of cyclists who are riding after dark without lights.  Yes, cycling without lights.  After dark.  Both on the road and on pavements.  Why is no-one doing anything?  Why are the police driving past these cyclists without stopping them?

I’m afraid my phone camera is not really up to the challenge of night-shots so please excuse the poor quality images.

Above:  Our theme.  Dangerous night time cycling.  He is about to cross the road using the pedestrian crossing without warning.

 

You won’t find the pro-cycling groups talking about this.  They’re certainly campaigning for more safe zones for cyclists but part of what makes the roads unsafe is the complete lack of awareness of what makes for safe cycling.  I’ll have to post on that.  The way people use the roads is horrific.  Talking to school age children has revealed that none of them has undergone cycle training.  It wasn’t even offered!

In the course of my enquiries, I discovered that the secretary of my property management company had a close encounter (third paragraph down) with a cyclist without lights.

Lest you read this and think I am the Anti-Cyclist, know that I am a cyclist who currently can’t cycle.  And a pedestrian.  I am also ill and have been hit hard by cyclists a number of times.  Cyclists without lights is troublesome for me as a pedestrian, more so as an ill one.  It makes cyclists so much harder to see when they are on the pavements and they are increasingly on the pavements.

Continue reading “Dangerous Cycling – The Nightriders of Hastings”