Published: 15 March 2012
Guide: Eddie Allen
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Southend-on-Sea in Essex was one of the second wave of towns in England to receive Cycling Town status and funding through Cycling England.
The funding was used to improve provision for cyclists in the town in terms of routes, parking, training, information and promotion. The Cycling Towns and Cities funding, which ended in 2011, resulted in the Cycle Southend project which drove considerable improvements for Southend’s cyclists.
Cycle route provision
National Cycling Network route 16 runs along Southend promenade – part of a long distance ‘work in progress’ that will eventually connect Stansted, Braintree, Chelmsford, Basildon and Southend. The seafront path stretches from the pier to Chalkwell Beach as the Western Esplanade, while the Eastern Esplanade offers traffic-free cycling from the pier to Shoeburyness.
Elsewhere traffic-free paths flank the busy A127 Southend Arterial Road with further traffic-free paths linking the town with Rochford to the north and running alongside Prittle Brook in Westborough.
Cycle Southend’s map grades the town’s roads in terms of National Standard Cycle Training levels; grading roads as suitable for Level 1, 2 or 3 riders.
Cycle parking is plentiful in Southend – the Cycle Southend map shows the extent of available parking, which includes Sheffield type stands and hoops mounted on street furniture. Southend’s railway stations have some of the most comprehensive parking provision that we’ve seen, as detailed below.
Cycling and trains
Funding from the Cycling Towns project has seen the development of extensive cycle parking around Southend’s railway stations, including brand new secure parking facility for commuters with a key entry system and CCTV coverage at Southend Victoria station. Southend East also has a new two-tier facility while Leigh station will also have a brand new two-tier system installed at the drop-off area that will be covered by CCTV. Finally there are proposals for new parking at Chalkwell and Shoebury stations.
In terms of taking bikes on trains in the area, check with individual operators’ policies here.
Cycle Southend’s website has a comprehensive list of local bike shops here. If you’re looking to renovate your old bike or buy a recycled bike, check out Cycle Southend’s info on the 'Recycle Centre' in nearby Leigh on Sea. Cycle hire is also available from a number of outlets in the town. Check out this link for more information.
Don’t leave home without...
Cycle Southend’s Map – detailing routes and other amenities in the town.
Southend Cycling Forum – If you’re interested in getting involved with local cycling issues, meetings are usually held every 3 months. For information about the next meeting please contact Sara Hadden on 01702 215715 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
MORE SUPPORT FOR YOUR COMMUTE: Ride Membership offers bike commuters legal protection, insurance and discounts on essential commuting kit.Click here for more details