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”

A visit to Hastings Community Contact Centre highlights the problem of anti-social cycling

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Above:  Hastings Community Contact Centre.  First stop when looking for help.

Shortly after my second cycle collision, I went seeking advice at Hastings Community Contact Centre to find out who could help me.  After a short wait, I was told to go and sit at one of the counters to talk with an adviser.  I ended up having a very nice discussion and it was most interesting to find that the adviser had herself been hit by a bike.  She told me that she was aware of the problem (encountering it head on, as it were) and she gave me the name of Rob Woods at Hastings Town Centre Management.  She informed me that many people have complained about the issue but nothing is ever done and so she did not hold out much hope for me getting anywhere and yet it was worth a go.

Talking for any length of time is quite difficult for me so I came away pleased that I had managed to stay on track and wasn’t unduly tired.  I had a name, even if the address on file was wrong (which I was to discover).

The next day I made a phone call to the managing agent of my property and, as the subject matter was nuisance neighbours and antisocial actions, I ended up having a fairly lengthy discussion with the secretary.  I mentioned my two crashes with cyclists and the skateboarder in Priory Meadow.  I mentioned having lots of trouble on the fairly recently extended Hastings and Bexhill waterfront cycle lane, to the degree that using the promenade during the summer is too much effort.  And that, though I used to enjoy a stroll in the dark during the winter, the promenade wasn’t safe now due to cyclists without lights and that I’d had enough close calls to give up walking it, unless it was extra cold or blowy – in which case, no cyclists!

The secretary then told me that as part of the team who put on Beatles day, she had been coming off the Pier at night and had a close call with a cyclist.  She said that she completely understood where I was coming from, as it was exceedingly dark in places and the cyclist in question was not using lights so she had no idea he was coming.  From the close call she had, neither had he been aware of her.

 

A bike outside the Community Contact Centre highlights the nuisance cyclist problem in Hastings Town Centre

 

A day or two later, I met my dad in town.  I’d been in the Community Contact Centre (side of the Town Hall) trying to get a correct address for the town centre management.  I remember coming out, seeing my dad and as we walked towards each other, a cyclist whizzed in front of us.  Yes, in the no-cycling, no signs (at the time!), Priory Meadow.

I looked at my dad, my face ripe with disdain.  I probably extended some expletives (about the cyclist) and then proceeded to tell him about my visit to the Town Hall and my conversation on the phone.

…so that’s one skateboard in the ankle and two bikes hits and some close calls.  I’ve seen two small children in the last 2 months almost have their faces smash into bike tyres.  No word of a lie, no exaggeration – one incident, outside Jempson’s, there can’t have been more than 2 inches between the girl and the tyre.  She was only 4 or 5.  The other girl was more 4 than 5.  She was trying to hold her younger brother who was straining to pull away.  It was near Costa, on that darkened paving that cyclists seem to think is for cycling.  Younger brother pulled – she was yanked in front of an oncoming bike going what you’d think was a reasonable speed but given the distance between her wheel and the child, wasn’t.  6 inches max, between her and the front tyre.  And amazingly, no apology from the woman on her bike and the mum apologises to the woman and has a go at her daughter.  Like outside Jempson’s.  Cyclist looked ashamed but then realised they were getting of the hook because the parent had a go at the child and apologised.  What is wrong with people!

So anyway, that’s one skateboard in the ankle and two bikes hits and some close calls.  I’ve seen two small children in the last 2 months almost have their faces smash into bike tyres.  Then I go into the town hall to…and the adviser has been cycled into.  And the secretary at the property management company..works at Beatles day..close call..etc.’

‘I know someone to’, says my dad.  A friend of his.

What is going on here?  And why will no-one do anything?

Antisocial Cycling in Hastings – I’m injured by a cyclist again.

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Above:  Scene of the crime, part 3 – Antisocial cycling in Queens Road, Hastings.  I was taking a photo of the cyclist you can hopefully see on the pavement ahead.  The foreground is exactly where I was hit again.

Hello all,

If your reading this in any kind of order then guess what…Yep, I got hit again.

For those who are reading out of order, here’s part 1: click this writing!

So yep, I was hit again towards the end of 2015.  A cyclist on a mountain bike collided with me, opposite the bus stop by Morrison’s (on Morrison’s side).  He was too quick for me.  I could see him coming from a distance and thought I’d given him enough room but as he got closer, I realised he was going to collide with me.  He made no attempt to slow down and thus the cycle-tango ensued, my dance partner flubbing his role and leaving me to take the full weight of his body and bike.

The usual angry, articulations ensued from this dangerous, speeding pavement cycler and continued as he rode off.  The usual badly in pain, limping home, 3 weeks of recovery all over again.

But remember…the perception of the risk (#) is far greater than the risk of collision itself.

(#) of being hit by a bike.  Source: Hastings Observer

Continue reading “Antisocial Cycling in Hastings – I’m injured by a cyclist again.”

Collision with a cyclist outside Jempson’s in Hastings town centre pedestrian zone.

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Above:  Scene of the crime part two.  My first collision with a cyclist outside Jempson’s, Hastings.

 

After being hit by the skateboarder in Priory Meadow and seeking help from Sussex Coast College, I found myself further developing my ‘close involvement’ with Hastings anti-social boarders and bikers, when a cyclist rode into me outside Jempson’s bakery and coffee shop.

He came ‘flying’ around the corner of Jempson’s, having cycled down past the toilets and heading into the town centre.  This is an area that is unsigned, despite my already having called East Sussex County Council about the lack of signage.  I’ll return to their hopeless signage in another post.

As I had already discovered, verbal abuse on the part of the person crashing into me would be an integral part of our close contact.

%&*!”!…

Continue reading “Collision with a cyclist outside Jempson’s in Hastings town centre pedestrian zone.”

Pedestrian Zone? Pavement cycling? Welcome to Hastings.

Unusually for me, I decided to venture into the town centre pedestrian zone.  I walked up from the square in Priory Meadow, unsurprised by the Bmx’s whizzing past.  People have come to treat this as ‘how things are’.  No-one raised an objection or even looked surprised.

I wasn’t surprised to see cyclists speeding across the pedestrian zone.  A serial pavement cyclist that I have come to recognise, decided to cross the road, even though the light was green and cars were trying to use the road. This kind of arrogant act really winds me up.

 

Above:  This is the same area that I saw the cyclist today.  It appears that there is no more traffic wanting to cross the road, unlike today.  And yes, she has been cycling through the pedestrian zone.

 

There were plenty of other cyclists passing through at speed.  There were a number of familiar culprits.

Continue reading “Pedestrian Zone? Pavement cycling? Welcome to Hastings.”

A Postcard from Hastings

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Above: A postcard of people on bikes, merrily breaking the law, in Hastings. Not available for purchase!

A postcard scene of Hastings to show the subject matter of this blog.  Whilst I wrestle with internet problems from moving providers, the wordpress blogging (beast) platform and my illness, I was mucking around and came up with this.

Most of these cyclists are probably, blissfully unaware that they are a real hazard to many folks, or even that they are breaking the law.  Hastings Council has proved unwilling to do anything.  East Sussex County Council are equally unaware and unwilling to do anything.  The police.  Local politicians.  Is anyone paying attention?  I won’t rant anymore.  That will come later!

 

Hastings, 1066 A.D – England’s first pedestrian bike collision

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This year marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

There is still some dispute as to how Harold died.  Was he struck in the eye by an arrow?  Was he actually hacked to death by swords?  Or did he survive?

Well, I have some interesting news and am pleased to present this amazing discovery right here.  Whilst doing some repairs on the tapestry, one of the expert restoration weavers discovered something unusual.  A patch of unusual threading.  What came next astounded the experts.

I give you – England’s first bike accident…

Continue reading “Hastings, 1066 A.D – England’s first pedestrian bike collision”