AUGUST 2019

 

RAIL TICKETS FROM LEWES TO LONDON TERMINALS

Oddities about where a ticket to London terminals is valid to are emerging

Aside from places like Victoria, London Bridge and Charing Cross, which are obviously terminals, the ticket is also valid to Vauxhall and all stations up the Thameslink line up to and including including Blackfriars and City Thames link BUT NOT FARRINGDON  See this link

There are different rules for tickets to London Thameslink

LOTS MORE STOPPING TRAINS AT COOKSBRIDGE

After more than ten years of campaigning, the Cooksbridge Area Rail Action Group is delighted to report that Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), parent company of Southern, has been able to significantly increase the number of stopping trains at Cooksbridge station. From Monday 16th December there will be an hourly service Monday to Saturday in both directions, with greater frequency at peak times.

THINKING ABOUT BUYING AN ELECTRIC BICYCLE?

Electric bikes have had a lot of publicity recently and more and more of them are on the streets of Lewes and around.  If you are thinking about buying one here is  a warning

One thing that buyers may not be aware of is the battery issue.  Like all rechargeable batteries, there comes a time when the battery will hold little or no charge.  This radically restricts the use of the bike.  Some batteries run down in less than a year.  So never buy a bike that has less than a two year warranty on the battery.  In any case budget to have to replace the battery within 3 years.  Ask before you buy the bike how much replacement batteries are.  A typical price is between £350 and £500 (more if the pound falls any more)

LEWES TOWN COUNCIL FIDDLES WHILE THE PLANET BURNS

While record temperatures remind us all of the issues of global warming, Lewes Town Council can be relied upon to make the right noises but not, it seems, to do the right things

Former councilor Tony Rowell reports that the Mayor of Lewes Town, Cllr John Lamb, said in his acceptance speech on 16 May 2019 that ‘we have got to set an example in the way we go about managing our estate: use less plastic, move away from fossil fuels, reduce our carbon footprint,….’. All very sensible and important commitments. This commitment was also reflected in a motion passed by Lewes Town council in 2017 that stated;

“In future any travel by LTC staff or councillors to Lewes’s  twin  towns  will  take  into  account  the  most  carbon  efficient  method, which is unlikely to be flying”.

Mr Rowell reports that none of this has stopped the Mayor deciding, after his speech to fly to Waldshut for his first twinning engagement.  Apparently “circumstances dictate” that he must fly.

Perhaps his individual circumstances are difficult, but that would be just the sort of situation  that the council elects a deputy Mayor for, to step in when the Mayor is unable to be present.

The past two Mayors have also apparently ignored the 2017 motion, despite the Mayor before them, Susan Murray, travelling quite happily on the train to Waldshut.

It is a little thing, but perhaps symbolic of the attitude of quite a few people in Lewes town, who are happy to make the right noises about saving the planet until they become inconvenienced.

Perhaps the town council could consider twinning with one of the towns in Bangladesh which is threatened with disappearing under water.  Visits could be avoided, but awareness of climate change could well increase.

The term “fiddle” is used in the sense of “fiddle about”.  There is no suggestion of fiddling the books.

AND MORE “STUFF THE ENVIRONMENT” STUFF FROM  TOWN COUNCIL MEMBERS

In this week’s Sussex Express town councilors Lamb (see above) Catlin and Baah are pictured launching their petition against increases in street parking charges. The accompanying article reproduces the usual knee-jerk reaction to such proposals, without, apparently, any alternative strategy.  The idea that motor cars might be killing the town seems not to have occurred to them.

Readers may want to make their own responses to the proposals.

If you want to comment on the consultation you must do it by 11th August.

You can find details of the proposals and a link to the consultation here.

In summary:

  1. Resident and business permit prices will stay the same
  2. Car park charges will stay the same (these are controlled by Lewes District Council)
  3. On street car parking charges will roughly double.
  4. Visitor permit prices (including carer/health care worker permits) will increase by about 25% although hotel permits will, for some reason, more than double.

The council says that it has to increase the charges to meet the costs of running the scheme, including parking wardens, and to fund support for bus services.  The council drastically cut its support for bus services a few years ago and travelman is suspicious that, rather than increase bus service subsidy, the council will just use the money to fund its current meagre subsidies.

PRINCIPLES

It is quite clear that Lewes cannot sustain the level of traffic that it is getting.  Jams are frequent and those who have to drive into the town often find it difficult to find anywhere to park.  On the other hand it is not reasonable to ask many people to give up their cars given the current lack of alternatives.

Travelman suggests that policies should be directed to encouraging people to leave their car at home wherever possible.  At the moment much of the cost of a car is incurred in just owning it- Think about initial cost and depreciation, vehicle excise duty, insurance etc.  So the cost of actually driving it anywhere is proportionately very low.  Policies should make it cheaper to leave the car where it is and more expensive to move it around.  So we need to increase the cost of fuel and parking away from home and reduce the cost of residents’ permits, vehicle excise duty etc.

Travelman is usually a bit sceptical about formal consultations such as this one, thinking that they are only done because they are a formal requirement. But in this case he thinks the proposals are mainly worth supporting and that as many people as possible should respond positively to contradict the naysayers.

WHAT MIGHT YOU SAY?

Here is what travelman will be saying.  You may wish to use the ideas as a basis for your own response.  There are some leading yes/no type questions at the start of the survey designed to engineer a positive response.  But  you probably do not have to reply to them. Question 15 lets you express your own views.

  1.  The key issue is parking places, not parking charges.When you can’t find a place to park on the street it does not matter what the charge for parking is.
  2. We have very little street parking in shopping areas in the town and it makes sense to make sure it is only used by visitors who really need it.
  3. We have had parking charges for some time and there is no evidence that people in, for example Ringmer, have changed their shopping habits to go to places like Uckfield or Newhaven.
  4. Most street parking is in residential areas.Discouraging non-resident parking in these areas makes more space for residents.A considerable amount of visitor parking in these areas results from from large employers in the town, such as East Sussex Council. They should be encouraged to minimise employee and councillor use of cars.
  5. No change is planned to parking in public or supermarket car parks. Councils have cracked down on Tesco’s attempt to limit car parking in their car park.
  6. It is no good just saying that some of the money raised will go towards bus services.There should be a clear well-publicised improvement in bus services into the town from rural areas supported by the council.
  7. The proposals should be part of a package offering people genuine alternatives to driving into Lewes.
  8. The council should investigate adopting a similar system to London where routes are franchised in blocks so that the profitable routes cross subsidise the unprofitable ones.
  9. It is wrong to increase the cost of hotel permits which is likely to encourage visitors to drive around in their cars rather than leave them near the hotel or guest house and travel around the area by public transport. It should also work to make transfers between bus and train easier than they currently are.
  10. It is cruel and unnecessary to increase charges for carers’ permits

 

THIS MONTH’S WALKS

With an emphasis on getting away from the crowds.

Lewes and Iford via Rise Farm
A short, tranquil and unknown walk through the Iford Brooks taking in Lewes, Rise Farm and Iford, with a curious history.  7.54 Km / 4.69 Miles

To Arlington with the Ramblers
The walk starts and end at Berwick railway station,An idyllic ramble through tranquil, quiet and gently undulating countryside with fine views of the downs and weald, highlighting the footpath work of the Ramblers. Lots of opportunities for refreshment, but quite a few stiles. 7.63miles / 12.28km

Chailey woods, commons and fields
A delightful circular walk featuring woods (bluebells in spring), commons and farmland based on the Chailey Link walk devised by local people. Slightly undulating. A number of stiles. 6.82miles / 10.97km

Paths less travelled- Ringmer to Berwick
A traverse of the lonely Laughton levels.  Savour the joys of solitude and a surprising variety of scenery. 13.34 Km / 8.29 miles on level ground,

Rotherfield Ramble
An exploration of the delightful High Weald south of Tunbridge Wells  featuring woodland, streams and the hill village of Rotherfield, using the 29 bus from Lewes  7.5 miles

Away from it all in Hooe
The walk starts and ends at Normans Bay station. Seaside, marshland, biodiversity, big sky and panoramic views, tranquil farmland, gentle hills, a lost village, a hidden church, a nearly forgotten prison, smugglers trails – a walk of contrasts where you are likely to have the walk to yourselves.  An opportunity for a drink or a swim at the end. 10km/ 6.5 miles

Wild Wealden Woodland Wander
Once the High Weald was heavily wooded.  A lot of woodland still remains. This walk takes you through the woodland that you can see from the train between Balcombe and Three Bridges Stations. The woodlands have been described as areas of “intimacy, seclusion and tranquillity  8.5 miles starting and finishing at Three Bridges station.

INTERESTED IN OTHER THINGS GOING ON IN LEWES?

Visit the sister web site to Travel Log Lewes, www.leweseye.co.uk  which covers other stories about the Lewes District Council area that other publications won’t cover.

GOT SOMETHING THAT OTHER PEOPLE OUGHT TO KNOW ABOUT?

Send it to me at travelman@travelloglewes.co.uk  Deadline for each issue is the 25th of the month before.

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