We’ve been campaign for safer space for cycling and more investment in cycling infrastructure for over 10 years. We think it’s a pleasant way to make short journeys, it’s healthy, reduces emissions, improves air quality and congestion on our roads. It can be fun and very social – it’s easier to hop off your bike and say hello to others.
Every journey that is transferred to cycling creates more space for those that need to use a car, especially those living in rural areas of our District where public transport is limited.
Measures we’re campaigning for
The lockdown has shown us that when there is less traffic, and it feels safer to cycle then people do cycle! This is despite some of the myths that the British don’t cycle because of the weather or hills (unlike our continental cousins in, for example, the Netherlands and Denmark to name a few places).
So, that’s why we want to see more investment here in our town and across the District and elsewhere. We think that East Sussex County Council – the ‘Highways Authority’ – needs to spend more of our transport budget on supporting cycling and walking (for example, by widening pavements and improving junctions) and make a fundamental shift from road building. ESCC has a poor history of investment in cycling in Lewes town despite our campaigning.
Working with Lewes Living Streets, we also want to see quieter roads. We think the default speed limit across the whole town should be 20mph and this should start at the ‘gateways’ to our town. And, it needs to be enforced either by cameras or action by the police.
Many of our members also believe we need to address our climate crisis. Cycling is one of the many ways we can reduce our carbon emissions and improve air quality.
Events and activities
We are currently planning a range of events once lockdown ends in collaboration with others.
These include: bike skills training, cycle maintenance, and registration of bikes onto a national database to combat theft. We’d also like to hear where we need more cycle racks and if there are any streets and neighbourhoods that want ‘secure’ parking.
E-bikes, cargo bikes and trailers are also becoming more popular as a means to get round and help transport household shopping and other bulky/heavy items. To help people think about these as an option, we’re planning to hold an event sometime this August or September. We know of some residents/households that have given up cars or their second car and are using a bike for many journeys instead.
Air Pollution and Health Talk
We’re looking forward to being an active member of the Lewes Climate Hub. And, to mark this and promote the important of Clean Air, we are co-hosting a Zoom Talk on Air Pollution and Health on Thursday, 10th June at 7.30 (via Zoom).
Speakers will include Frank Kelly, from Imperial College London who has led ground-breaking research on air quality and its impact on health for over 20 years, and Rachel Sadler, Air Quality Officer at Lewes District Council who helps to coordinate local action. We also hope to have participants from several schools in Lewes to tell us what practical actions they are doing.
We need more members to support and contribute to these efforts. The more members we have in Cycle Lewes, the more we can do to make Lewes a more cycle-friendly town.