‘Eastbourne Residents’ Campaign for Safer pavements, Eastbourne Access Group and multiple societies concerned with safety on our local pavements have broadly welcomed announcements made in the Revised Highway Code.

‘Eastbourne Residents’ Campaign for Safer pavements’ was set up with the purpose of lobbying East Sussex Council and Eastbourne Borough Council to draw attention to the neglected decline and unsafe condition of the pavements in Eastbourne.

According to a recent Freedom of Information Request, Eastbourne has the highest number of falls and trips requiring hospitalization in the South East.

The new Highway Code 2022 sets out to develop a new relationship between vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. In this instance we wish to focus on the improved relationship we expect to see between pedestrians and cyclists on our pavements. The new code has established a priority of safety which means that those that can do the most damage to others must not act in a way that would endanger the most vulnerable. The Department for Transport’s new hierarchy of safety firmly positions pedestrians, especially children, older adults and disabled people in the highest category in terms of vulnerability.

In relation to overall safety motorists and cyclists are reminded “Always remember that the people you encounter may have impaired sight, hearing or mobility and this may not always be obvious”.

Guidelines which are designed to protect pedestrians and shape future signposting of pathways and building of new public realm walkways are;

1. Only pedestrians may use pavements. Pedestrians include wheelchair and mobility scooter users.

2. Pedestrians may use any part of the road and use cycle tracks as well as the pavement unless there are signs prohibiting pedestrians.

3. Cyclists in shared areas need total care when passing pedestrians. Cyclists need to slow down, use a bell or call politely to alert pedestrians – remembering that some pedestrians may be deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted.

4. When overtaking pedestrians cyclists should do so slowly and allow safe passing space.

We believe these positive steps will help pedestrians enjoy safer and more relaxed walking spaces. With the added commitment of investment in safe walking schemes from the East Sussex County Council Local Walking and Cycling Initiative Eastbourne is set to deliver on huge growth in walking rates over the next decade, thus helping to deliver a carbon neutral town by 2030. This sits side by side with the creation of safe segregated cycling spaces to create a first class local Active Travel programme’.

Signed: Ray Blakebrough, Deputy Chair, on behalf of Eastbourne Access Group

11 Co signatories:

1. Rom Sanglaji, Chief Executive Officer, SASBAH

(Sussex Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus)

2. David Edwards, Charity Co-ordinator, Eastbourne Dementia Action Alliance

3. Marie Hennelly, Eastbourne Safer Pavements.

4. Emma Rich-Spice, CEO, The Chaseley Trust

5. Geraldine Des Moulins, Chief Officer, Possability People

6. David Rowan, CEO – East Sussex Hearing

7. Mark Simmons, CEO, Eastbourne Blind Society

8. Loretta Lock, Managing Director, Defiant Sports

9. Yvette Cowderoy, Association Secretary, Eastbourne Hospitality Association

10. Becky Jones East Sussex Parent Carer Forum

11. Jennifer Twist, Chief Executive, Care for the Carers