I agree with most of Chris Edmondson’s letter regarding the danger to pedestrians and dogs caused by some thoughtless cyclists using the shared promenade at Bexhill.
We are enthusiastic tandem cyclists as well as dedicated dog owners so can see both sides.
When walking our dogs, we frequently use the promenade and have often been appalled by the speed with which some cyclists hurtle along the promenade with scant regard for anyone or anything in their path (or in danger of running or stumbling across it).
I can recognise how a dedicated cycling lane along the Bexhill promenade could be useful, especially for those training children.
When having a coffee at one of the two cafes near the De La Warr, we have often enjoyed watching considerate cyclists slowly ride by and little kids teetering along under the watchful eye of Mum and Dad whilst they get to grips with the joys of cycling.
In addition, the cycling/pedestrian marked path from Galley Hill onwards to St Leonards and Hastings generally works well.
The essential element for the successful use of THIS kind of path is consideration, both by cyclists, by keeping their speed down and sounding bells politely (a legal requirement on cycles these days) to pedestrians to warn of their approach and by pedestrians, to be bike aware on the dual paths.
That said, we seldom use the promenade in Bexhill ourselves for cycling, as we feel awkward that there is no defined cycle path and in any case, as Chris says the road nearby is generally not busy - it only becomes so near the De La Warr where it narrows and cars park on both sides of the road. If the promenade is to continue to be used by cyclists, there must be defined lanes provided and it is incumbent on cyclists to be considerate and aware of other users of the facilities.
Some cyclists are acting ignorantly and selfishly and as matters stand at the moment, a serious accident WILL happen. One minor comment I would add - Chris says that dogs are not allowed on the Bexhill beaches. This is only within a defined area.
Otherwise dogs are free to use the beaches, but owners are expected to be considerate and clean up after their dogs.
Not like one couple I saw who allowed their large dog to leave an equally massive deposit on the edge of the waves because they felt no doubt that the sea would come in and obligingly clear it away.
The fact that small children were playing and running on the beach just a short distance away from the pile (the colour of which blended nicely with the sand) did not appear to faze them at all.
Mrs Val Sprott
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