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Speakout Link Group meeting 25/3/21 - Notes

(Subnitted on behalf of the Speakout Link Group)

What the group liked about the countryside

  • Going out for drives
  • Going there for peace
  • Seeing the animals (horses & sheep)
  • The chance to grow things and socialise (good example if Moulsecoomb Forest Garden)

Getting there

  • Most people do not have access to a car. It’s difficult to get into the countryside without a car
  • Buses are confusing and not regular enough
  • Up at Devils Dyke, bus times are not clear. The timetables are confusing
  • If you have mobility issues and don’t have a car, getting to the countryside (IE through difficult public transport) can be exhausting and by the time you’re there, you’re too tired to walk
  • Public transport on the coast is a lot better than going inland. Getting to Eastbourne is easier than getting inland in Brighton & Hove
  • Can get public transport inland, but this often just goes through the countryside. It’s not easy to get off and access these areas as I’m just being taken between towns
  • Bus drivers need to be trained to understand different people’s needs (IE helping people know when to get off)
  • A lot of parks are not nearby and/or easy to get to

Once you’re there

  • There are no seats or shelters around. This is big problem if you have mobility issues
  • There are very few public toilets and the ones that are there (at Devils Dyke) are in a bad state
  • It’s very difficult for wheelchair users to access countryside. Paths are not suitable or safe and this puts wheelchair users off going there
  • There is very little info/signs around telling me where I could walk or how long it would take to get there and back.

What would make things better

  • Improved public transport both on existing routes and to put in place more routes to areas currently unreachable unless you have a car
  • Some wheelchair accessible routes
  • Info/signs showing walking routes. This could include info showing how long the route takes, what the path is like (flat/muddy etc) and the gradient of the slope
  • Seats, shelters and public toilets
  • More support to help people get there (IE someone to take people there)
  • Someone knowledgeable to get info from when you’re there (like a park ranger)
  • Make it more fun! Eg trails to find things or historical info
  • More flowers and plants along pathways

How we would like to be kept informed

  • Through this group
  • On Facebook groups that we use
  • Through organisations we use, like Grace Eyre
  • Adverts on buses
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Kim Greaves 4 months ago
This is a fantastic contribution. Couldn't agree more with the views expressed.
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