Lewes's MP Norman Baker, yesterday confirmed that Lewes and Kingston will shortly be connected by a new two mile traffic free cycle path.
Currently, cyclists who want to get to Kingston from Lewes, or vice-versa without having to resort to cars or other forms of transport have to navigate a network of busy roads and footpaths, but this new dedicated path will change all that, giving a traffic free route for the first time.
The Lewes to Kingston route is part of the £30 million package of developments to connect communities, reduce carbon emissions, get people active and make cycling safer and more convenient, announced by Norman on behalf of the coalition government.
This announcement will come as music to the ears of local cyclists and groups, such as Cycle Lewes, who have recognised the importance of providing a dedicate route between the town and village.
Norman says: "I am very pleased to be able to confirm today that I have, in my role as Lib Dem transport minister, given the go ahead for a two mile cycle route between Lewes and Kingston. The coalition government is committed to cycling and it is great that we are getting to see some of the benefits of that locally. Kingston and Lewes already have close community ties, but this new cycle route is going to make travel between the town and village vastly more convenient and safer, and I do not doubt will be hugely welcomed by local cyclists."
Below is the regional DfT press release.
Cyclists and walkers across the South East of England are on track to benefit from hundreds of new cycle spaces and improved routes from the middle of this year, Transport Minister Norman Baker has announced.
Over 500 bike spaces at railway stations and miles of new cycle routes have been agreed for the South East of England, as part of a £30 million package of developments to connect communities, reduce carbon emissions, get people active and make cycling safer and more convenient. The 12 schemes costing £1.8 million will also promote economic growth by providing commuters with improved sustainable travel options.
New projects in the South East of England include:
Local Transport Minister Norman Baker said:
"I know these plans will be hugely beneficial to communities and cyclists in the South East of England. They will also help to create jobs and reduce our carbon footprints while making cycling safer and more convenient - further emphasising the government's dedication to offer sustainable transport for all.
"I look forward to seeing these projects in action and hearing about the difference renewed transport links have made to peoples' daily lives, especially making that last mile from the train to home an easy ride or walk."
The Department for Transport has worked closely with the Association of Train Operating Companies, UK transport charity Sustrans, the Cycle Rail Working Group and local councils to design and approve the 68 projects to provide better access for cyclists and pedestrians. Of those, 38 will help to expand cycle routes across the UK.
The projects are spread across England and focus on areas that will enhance existing transport links. The plans include the development of paths that will allow budding cyclists to travel directly and safely to their destination - their bikes will be secure on arrival with new cycle racks, the use of CCTV and additional lighting.
Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans' Chief Executive, said:
"Sustrans is delighted to be working with the Department for Transport to help more people in communities to walk or cycle to school and work.
"Ongoing investment is needed to give many more people the chance to get active safely in their everyday journeys."
Speaking on behalf of the Cycle Rail Working Group, Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies said:
"Train companies and the rail industry as a whole recognise the important role cycling plays in our growing railway and the Cycle Rail Working Group has been working hard on how we can improve cycle-rail provision further.
"This money is a real boost to the group's work and is good news for passengers. It will allow the industry to extend and develop cycling facilities across the country, offering more people a low-cost and environmentally friendly way to get to and from the station."
The funding complements £7 million that Network Rail is investing to improve cycle facilities across the country. This is going towards updating and creating new facilities at stations up and down the network, and includes £1.5 million for cycle hubs at Liverpool Lime Street, Sheffield, London Victoria and London Waterloo.
Including match funding from local authorities, train operators and private investors, the projects will collectively deliver over £37 million worth of improvements. The Department's contribution of £15 million, announced last month, is in addition to the £560 million Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
A full list of approved projects and further details are available at http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/linking-places-fund
The £15 million fund was launched last month by Local Transport Minister Norman Baker.
The Cycle Rail Working Group (CRWG) was established following a recommendation of the July 2007 Command Paper 'Delivering a Sustainable Railway'.
Sustrans is a UK-wide charity with over 30 years experience in enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport. They are coordinators of the National Cycle Network which is now 13,500+ miles and is within one mile of just over 60% of the population.
Contact Norman at:
23 East Street,
Tel: (01273) 480281.
Fax: (01273) 480287.