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Cycling UK prepares to take WSCC to court over the decision to remove the Shoreham scheme

Cycling UK is preparing for legal challenges following decisions to remove cycle lanes in Kensington and West Sussex.

The national charity announced on Friday through its legal arm, the Cyclists' Defence Fund, that it is 'seeking urgent legal advice' over whether the decisions are 'unreasonable'.   A well-used lane on High Street Kensington in West London was removed among claims it caused congestion.  However, Justin Abbot, chair of BetterStreets4KC, said: 'Levels of congestion were unaffected by the cycle scheme.'

WSCC axes showcase scheme in Shoreham

Cllr Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways, despite a 6-2 vote for him to reconsider at the Scrutiny Committee meeting of 18 November 2020, has stuck to his decision to remove the Shoreham 'pop up' scheme that was funded by Government money.  That means that all West Sussex has to show for the award of £781K is a few white lines and a bit of cutting back on the only scheme not be removed - Chichester/Bognor. That one can't be removed because it has been there for years and the work was maintenance that should be regularly done by WSCC!

Emergency Active Travel Fund Tranche 1: The WSCF position

This has been sent to all West Sussex County Councillors​​​​​ and relevant Officers at WSCC

SUMMARY  

The WSCF deplores the decision by the Cabinet Member for Highways at WSCC to remove all but one of the 7 so called pop up cycle lanes.  While acknowledging that the process was flawed, with very challenging deadlines, we believe that many of the problems were avoidable.   Experience from Tranche 1 must not only inform delivery of Tranche 2, but also trigger a review of how all walking and cycling schemes are delivered in future.   

WSCC decides to remove all but one of the pop up lanes.

All but one of the seven pop lanes are to be removed. These are in the so called Tranche 1 - £781,000.   The one scheme that remains is the already exisiting Chichester / Bognor route.  WSCC were awarded £185,000 and they have spent that on a bit of cutting back and a few white lines.  In other words - normal maintainence.  Roger Elkins has made the decision at the six week review period.  It seems that pressure came from people who disliked seeing bicycles taking their space, and not seeing 'enough cycles'.

WSCC removes its own cycle lanes in Chichester

WSCC's Cabinet Member for Highways - Cllr Roger Elkins - has decided to remove the so called 'pop up' cycle lanes in Chichester.  This follows a review six weeks after the formal completion.  There was an increase in numbers of people cycling (albeit small), a lessening of pollution, no significant or sustained increase in vehicle congestion, and just one comment from the emergency services - all cut no ice with Mr Elkins.   And no notice taken of suggested improvements.  Instead he was swayed by some extremely noisy opposition from members of the public.

Highway Code consultation

The consultation on proposed changes to the Highway Code is open until 27 October 2020.    See https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-highway-code-to-improve-road-safety-for-cyclists-pedestrians-and-horse-riders/summary-of-the-consultation-proposals-on-a-review-of-the-highway-code and https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/K736D5/.    There's also good guidance on the proposed changes on the Cycling UK website at https://www.cyclinguk.org/safer-highway-code-cyclists

 

 

The Seven EATF schemes are now complete

The seven Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF) schems are now complete.  You can see them at https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/roadworks-and-projects/road-projects/pop-up-cycle-lanes/.  and fill in the feedback form - or you can email popupsurveys@westsussex.gov.uk

Downs Link - missing link - now open!

September saw the opening of a previously disused section of the Downs Link on the old Guildford Railway Line behind Christ’s Hospital station. The upgrade – a long-term collaborative project between Christ’s Hospital School and West Sussex County Council – will mean that anyone using the Downs Link between Mill Lane and Christ’s Hospital Station will now be able to do so safely off-road. The works to the ‘missing’ 1.4km section of the Downs Link included repairing two bridges, vegetation clearance, surfacing, drainage and platform repairs.

ChEm Route alternative proposal published by CDCF and Bournes Forum

Highways England (HE), WSCC and CDC are discussing the HE feasibiity study for ChEmRoute.  Time is of the essence and HE is progressing rapidly - Adriana Chirovici has been appointed as the Project Manager for the scheme.   To both clarify the CDCF's position as well as offer an alternative vision, CDCF and the Bournes Forum have published an alternative document.

Half the Shoreham A270 scheme scrapped before work starts

Half the scheme has been cancelled because of political pressure from the Leader of Adur District Council.  The stretch from the Holmbush roundabout to the Brighton border will not be built.   See https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/news/revised-shoreham-cycleway-scheme-work-s-set-to-start-soon/.      Most disappointing that it's political and not based on an assessment by WSCC engineers on the efficacy of the scheme..   

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