Dyke Road Cycle Route – latest

Following lengthy discussions at the Friends meetings in Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb about the plans for the new cycle route alongside the park we decided to make a deputation to the B&H City Council Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee meeting on 4 March, to explain why we felt that it would be unwise to replace the two pelican crossings on Dyke Road alongside the park with zebra crossings, and to remove the guardrails near these crossings.

On behalf of the FoDRP, I read out a statement which expressed our general support for the cycle route, but explained our misgivings. (This statement had also received 25 additional messages of support (and 2 against) when it was circulated via email.) FoDRP statement on Dyke Road Cycling and Pedestrian Improvements

I was also able to respond to a recently published report, commissioned by the Council planners, on the use of the two crossings, which makes interesting reading, but which did not, I felt, take sufficient account of the experience and concerns of the people who use these crossings daily. Read report here.

A deputation was also made by Windlesham parents, written questions were put by three other people, and a petition was presented by Cllr Ruth Buckley of Goldsmid Ward. A wide range of issues was raised, including the wisdom of having a shared pedestrian/cycle path on the park side of the road (which was not something the Friends group had objected to).

It had always been the intention of the Committee to defer a decision on the pelican/zebra issue and on the proposal to remove all guardrails until a later meeting, but the planners were hoping for the go-ahead to start other aspects of the work. In the end, the Committee agreed that the planners should look again at the shared pedestrian/cycle path and try and find a ‘third way’ – maybe a dedicated cycle lane on the grass verge.

All three Labour Councillors, led by Gill Mitchell, and two of the Conservative Councillors, led by Geoffrey Theobald, stated that, after listening to the points made in the various presentations, they were persuaded that it would not be sensible to remove all the guardrails, nor turn the pelican crossings into zebras.

There will be a vote on the matter at the next meeting of the ETS Committee on 29 April.
Jannet King

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Community Garden – Possible Expansion

As we approach the end of the second year of the Dyke Road Park Community Garden there are some thoughts around a possible expansion.  Our Monthly Munch meeting on Saturday Feb 15th will therefore focus on discussing this possibility and we would love for anyone interested to join us.  Contribute your thoughts on design, what could be grown, how you would like to be involved, how we ensure sustainability and any other good ideas you have.

We will be meeting from 1pm to 3pm.  If you would like to join us we will be in the Dyke Road Park Café initially.  If there is still time after our planning session we will go over to the garden to attend to any practical work that needs doing.  Hope we might see you there.  Any queries please contact Alison Whiteoak on 07852 224937.

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Community Garden Monthly Munch – Saturday 18th January 12-2pm

This month’s activities at the Community Garden will include:

  • Wheel-barrowing bark chippings to the garden to give it a lovely deep surface.
  • Painting up signs to attach to the compost bins giving info about the garden.

Our first lot of compost is now ready for use.  For those of you that could do with a little compost at home, you are welcome to come down and collect some.  Your are also welcome to come and help yourself to some bark chippings from our rather larger heap at the corner of the park closest to Tesco’s.

It would be lovely if you wanted to come down for any of the above or just to pop by and say hello.  So maybe see you on Saturday.


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Cycle route on Dyke Road

The planning of the Cycling/Pedestrian Improvements are progressing and you can view the detailed Traffic Regulation Orders here:
Any objections need to be lodged by 13 January.

No decision has been made yet as to whether the two pelican crossings will be turned into zebra crossings. Abby Hone, Principal Transport Planner on this project, emailed on 3 January to say:

“I have been working on the latest revision of detail design and hope to have a final version to approve early next week. We are also planning further assessment of formal crossing provision, particularly in light of recent analysis of citywide data regarding safety performance of light-controlled and zebra crossings in the city.”

Although 55% of the 280 respondents to the consultation approved the zebra crossings, it would appear, from our November and December meetings, and conversations I have had since, that many people are strongly opposed to replacing light-controlled crossings with zebras for reasons of pedestrian safety. The characteristics of that road:

30 mph
tree-lined and poorly lit
used by unaccompanied children
used by queuing traffic and heavy goods vehicles

mean that many of us would feel more comfortable using a light-controlled crossing rather than relying on the quick reactions of the drivers of lorries, vans, cars – and of cyclists.

Please feel free to post your comments on this below.

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Polly Strauss of Friends of the Field emailed recently to say:

“We have just heard that the Brighton and Hove City Council have decided to proceed to a three-day Public Inquiry to determine the Village Green Application. This is a huge step forward for the application.

The suggested dates are 1-3 April 2014 (to include an evening session on the 1st). The likely venue is the Brighthelm Centre. The independent inspector appointed is Mr Vivian Chapman QC.

We will organise a meeting in the next few weeks when we know more.”

See more about this matter on https://www.facebook.com/friendsoffield

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November Monthly Munch at the Community Garden

The Community Garden’s next Monthly Munch is on Saturday November 16th at 12-2pm. We will be turning compost, having a tidy up and admiring the autumn colours in the park as we work. Our trusty Kelly Kettle will be on hand to make hot drinks so if it is a bit nippy you will soon be warmed up. We normally share a little food at the end so if you would like to join us for that you would be most welcome. Hope to see you there.

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Cycle route alongside Park

In case you didn’t receive a card through your door about this, an exhibition of the proposed changes to pedestrian and cycling facilities in Dyke Road alongside BHASVIC and the park will be on display as follows:

Dyke Road Park (in front of Cafe)
Thursday 7/11: 2.00pm – 5.00pm

Junction of Dyke Road/Old Shoreham
Wednesday 6/11: 3.00pm – 7.00pm

ALSO – a representative from the Council Transport Planning department will be coming to the following meetings:
Friends of Dyke Road Park: Tuesday, 12 Nov, 7.30 – 8.30, 48 Stafford Road.
Prestonville Community Association: Wednesday, 13 November, 7.30 (Cycle lane discussion from 8.30), Prestonville Arms

You can see the proposals and complete a questionnaire online:

Or download proposals here:
PLAN 4-Dyke Road Concept South

PLAN 3-Dyke Road Concept North

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Litter – CNCS Response

In response to our letter of 8 October, James Kilmartin, Headteacher of Cardinal Newman Catholic School (CNCS) has replied on 15 October as follows:

“While I work with our students and staff to come up with a sustainable plan I am going to declare Dyke Road Park out of bounds to our Year 11 students. I will talk to the students at assembly this morning. This may take a few days to enforce but I hope it will enable us to make progress. We certainly do not want litter in the park.”

This is very good news, and is hopefully the start of a process that will result in all young people who use the park, both during and outside school hours, treating this public space with respect, and using the litter bins provided.

I will keep you posted on further details of the ‘sustainable plan’.

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Concerned at the amount of litter being dropped in the Park, the Friends group have sent a letter to the Headteacher of Cardinal Newman Catholic School (CNCS). FoDRP letter to CNS 13.10.08

We asked him to withdraw permission for Year 11 students to use the Park during school hours, since so many of them are abusing the privilege.

In the past we have tried more positive actions, but we no longer have the time nor inclination to do so. CNCS has plenty of space to accommodate its Year 7 to 11 students during school hours, and in our view that is the appropriate place for them. They should not be allowed to drop litter in our park, leading to our park gardener having to spend hours of his day clearing up after them.

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Community Garden Expansion?

Community Garden Expansion ProposalThere is a possibility that the community garden in Dyke Road Park could be expanded! We’re in the process of drawing up a proposal to put to the Council and Harvest and would welcome your views.

Those of you who have been to the garden, whether to use the community composting bins, to pick herbs or leaves, or to just enjoy the space, will have noticed that the growing area is relatively small. This was a deliberate design feature: In order to get approval for the scheme the Council was very clear that this was not an allotment. We set out to show how food could be grown in small spaces and to involve park users in food growing. We deliberately kept the garden unfenced so that it was accessible and open to all. We believe the garden has been a huge success, and has, along with the community composting scheme, introduced more people both to food growing and to our lovely park.

It is likely that the expansion proposal will involve doubling the size of the existing garden by creating an area containing raised beds to enable access and involvement by those with a disability or mobility issues. We are also looking at ways of collecting rainwater and providing some shelter and shade on site by creating a covered area using tarpaulin or similar fabric.

Above is a map of the proposed layout of the extension (enlarging it will hopefully enable you to see more detail) with a few comments added by people who attended the recent Big Dig open day. It would be great to have further feedback and ideas so please use this blog to add your thoughts. We look forward to hearing from you.

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