Funding for new cycle lanes in Worthing and Shoreham approved

Funding for seven temporary cycleway schemes in West Sussex has been approved by the Department for Transport.

An illustrative example of the style of improvement being considered for West Sussex.  Picture: Darren Cool Images
An illustrative example of the style of improvement being considered for West Sussex. Picture: Darren Cool Images

The decision is set to result in miles of new or improved cycle lanes to promote cycling to enable sustainable travel choices on key commuting routes to relieve the pressures on public transport and as an alternative to the car.

West Sussex County Council is proposing schemes in both Worthing and Shoreham at a total cost of £277,500.

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In Worthing a new route is proposed on the A24 between the Grove Lodge roundabout area to the town centre. Road space would be reallocated (lane one) and a 20mph speed limit introduced in retail areas.

Another cycle lane is set to be created on the A270 in Shoreham linking the town to Brighton and Hove.

Lightly segregated cycleways would be created in both directions.

There is the potential for parts of both routes to become permanent.

Roger Elkins, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “This is excellent news and a testament to the hard work put in by our highways and transport officers to produce a successful submission to a tight deadline.

“The schemes will provide improved travel choice for both residents and visitors and help to link commuting destinations in each of the county’s borough and district areas as the Government eases lockdown in the COVID-19 crisis.”

Design work on the schemes is ongoing and started as soon as the Government announced potential funding for this first phase of emergency measures to support active travel. Details could be subject to change up to and including the construction stage. Timescales for when the schemes have to be started are tight and written descriptions, maps and plans are all indicative and could change as scheme designs are more fully developed.

The seven schemes will involve a combination of temporary traffic management, such as cones and signing, light segregation using ‘traffic wands’, planters, water-filled barriers, road markings and temporary 20mph speed limits in some cases.

The £781,000 is not guaranteed and may be clawed back should schemes not be started within four weeks of the allocation and completed with a further eight weeks. The money is to fund the implementation, maintenance and monitoring of the schemes. They will be closely monitored to ensure they are having a positive impact on local travel.

Further details of a second tranche of potential funding are expected from the Department for Transport soon and would be for both temporary and permanent improvements to help the transport network.

Highway officers have been working closely with district and borough council partners to look at a whole host of ways to improve cycling provision as a direct response to the easing of lockdown.

Alongside schemes which would require central funding, the officers continue to work with these partners on other measures which could be introduced at minimal expense but add even more safe space for cyclists.

The West Sussex Cycle Forum has welcomed the DfT funding. It submitted 90 schemes to the county council and the organisation said it hopes the remainder will be considered when bidding for the next round.

Geoff Farrell, chair of the WSCF, said: “A huge well done to WSCC for securing this money – not all councils did. The Districts and Boroughs now have a major part to play because they have developed schemes under their local cycling and walking plans.

“And because detailed local knowledge is critical to the delivery of effective schemes, the county’s cycle forums, already having made a big contribution to the development of these, look forward to continuing this collaboration with all local councils.”

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