Funding secured to develop more West Sussex cycling and walking schemes

The Government has awarded £274,900 so West Sussex County Council can develop its next package of cycling and walking schemes and promotional activity.

Encouraging more active travel has been a key priority especially since the start of the pandemic
Encouraging more active travel has been a key priority especially since the start of the pandemic

The successful bid to the Department for Transport’s enabling fund means that:

• Initial designs for three Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIP) schemes can be developed ready for the next round of Active Travel Fund capital funding. The LCWIPs are produced by the county council, some of our district and borough partners and the South Downs National Park Authority.

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• The County Council can continue its successful promotional work in promoting active travel, such as its ongoing Think Active Travel campaign, designed to help residents make positive choices around how they travel, wherever possible.

• Work to encourage pupils and parents to walk to school can resume - building on the ‘aalk to school’ project started by Living Streets in 2012.

Joy Dennis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Providing a wide range of safe, accessible cycleways across the county to ensure residents can travel sustainably is important to us, so this latest funding award is really positive: it will enable us to develop three or four priority cycling and walking schemes to then bid for capital funding.

“When we first put in for this funding, the Department for Transport had asked us, and several other local authorities, for additional information and assurances and it’s pleasing to know they have backed us with 100 per cent of our application.”

WSCC’s new council plan sets a target of providing at least 30km of new cycling infrastructure across the county over the next four years.

More than 27km of new cyclable infrastructure has been provided since 2018/19. A further eight schemes are currently at various stages of development.

Ambitions for the future are set out in the West Sussex Walking and Cycling Strategy 2016-2026, which contains dozens of routes that were suggested by a range of local stakeholders and forms a pipeline of improvements for further investigation.

The strategy is currently being updated to take account of 40 schemes identified in Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIP) produced by district and borough partners and the SDNPA.

West Sussex County Council has also produced a draft LCWIP that contains six long-distance routes and this document will be the subject of a public consultation in 2022. In addition, the County Council is a statutory consultee in the planning process and works with developers and the Local Planning Authorities to secure improvements associated with local development.

One recent example is the ‘missing link’ on the eastern side of the A29 Shripney Road in Bognor Regis, which was provided by the developer of the new Lidl store.