Liberal Democrat councillors have expressed their dismay at the failure of the government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund to enable a number of schemes across East Sussex to be delivered.
Cllr David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council says:
“This is another example of the way in which the Conservative government has cynically manipulated the expectations of the public. Unfortunately, this has been compounded by the failure of the Conservative administration of East Sussex County Council to put forward deliverable proposals. Public expectations were very high, particularly when the County Council announced that its Tranche 1 proposals had been so well received by the Department of Transport that more money had been allocated to the County Council than had been asked for.
The fact that so many of the schemes have now been withdrawn has caused reputational damage to the County Council and has undermined the huge efforts made by volunteers in the community who have put forward well-researched schemes in good faith.”
Councillor James MacCleary, Leader of Lewes District Council comments:
“The Conservative-led County Council seems to share with central government a lack of imagination and willingness to deliver even temporary changes to enable safe cycling and walking to take place. We have all waited a long time for the County Council’s cycling and walking strategy, and the outcome of this bid which has failed to deliver so much that the public has asked for must make us question the longer-term commitment of the County Council and its willingness to listen and respond to public demand”.
Councillor Carolyn Lambert adds:
“Some parts of Lewes, including Seaford, will receive no benefit from this funding. If the money is not spent, then the government will claw it back which would be a huge missed opportunity. Cycle Seahaven, one of the biggest cycling groups in the county, has put forward some perfectly achievable proposals, including some for simple signage, which seem to have been discounted. I hope that the County Council will reconsider its approach and listen to local residents”.