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 has responded to what they see as public opinion rather than doing the right thing.  That's not to say that the schemes were without issues.  That is not entirley WSCC's fault.  The Government set impossible deadlines and conditions.  The fear might have been that failing to implement T1 would prevent the award of T2 - more than £3M.  Possibly, they see the wasting of £781,00 is a price worth paying to secure £3.1M.  The date for submission of the bid was August 7.  As of now - 7 November, T2 awards have still not been announced.   The schemes must be in by March 31 2021.   The possibility of another failure cannot be discounted.


Here is the press release from the WSCF - 

The West Sussex Cycle Forum utterly condemns the decision taken by the Cabinet Member for Highways (Cllr Roger Elkins) to remove all but one of the 7 temporary cycle schemes in West Sussex - the so called pop up schemes. His statement says that they are no longer needed because public transport has capacity and traffic numbers are back to what they were before the pandemic and so the pop-up cycle lanes are no longer needed for their original purpose. But the pandemic ISN’T over! As we enter a second lockdown, and there might be more, active exercise is more important than ever for people’s mental health and safety. Current UK Government Covid 19 advice (dated 3 November 2020) on travel – Section 11 -says 'If you need to travel, we encourage you to walk or cycle where possible, and to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.' Removing protected lanes is discouraging cycle use and going against Government advice. WSCC seems to have little to no understanding as to what are the Government's intentions behind the emergency funding.  On one hand WSCC says they are no longer needed - that is debatable; and on another, WSCC says popular opinion was against them. Our view is that people will cycle if the designs are right - so that argument falls away. If it is about the design – as Cabinet Member he approved the designs just a few months ago. If he doesn’t like them now, he shouldn’t have approved them then.This arbitrary decision is based on what Cllr Elkins believes is popular opinion rather than the right thing to do. This arbitrary decision is based on inaccurate or insufficient data about use, vehicle congestion, and pollution. This arbitrary decision hasn’t allowed WSCC staff to significantly adjust the designs during the consultation period that is still running.Geoff Farrell, Chair of the WSCF said “How can WSCC justify this decision given its duty to take into account air quality, climate change, public health, and the Equalities Act 2010? A clear and rational justification should be provided so the public can judge. £781,000 of Government (tax payers) money has been spent and wasted ; tax payers’ money will be spent taking them out. We’ll go back to a time when people were afraid to ride a bike in our towns. What a shambles.”

Dated 4 November 2020