Members of Adur, Worthing and West Sussex County Councils have argued the addition of new, safer cycling lanes could make a lasting difference to the area.
Adur councillor Cat Arnold said the lockdown had seen the number of cyclists and walkers increase, making air cleaner and exercise safer.
“With bold decisions we can take these improvements into the future, offering residents a balanced transport choice,” she said.
“Car commuters should have the opportunity to switch to safe cycling and people without a car, frontline workers, those who want to maintain social distancing, should have the choice of walking in clean air or cycling in safe lanes.
“We need joined up thinking – linked up cycle lanes, easy bike hire, secure and easy access bike storage, safety for pedestrians around school entrances in particular.”
Councils across the UK have been given £250million each to make walking and cycling easier and safer.
Possible measures include new, wider cycle lanes such as the one seen in Old Shoreham Road in Portslade, wider pavements and more pedestrianised roads.
The county council is due to discuss how best to allocate the funding on Tuesday.
Labour county council leader Michael Jones accused the council of ‘dragging its heels’ over plans and urged it to follow the lead of Brighton and Hove City Council, which has already brought many pop-up lanes into operation.
“Social distancing will be a challenge on public transport for some time,” he said. “It’s about giving people choice in how they get about and get to work. There is a real danger that congestion and the air pollution that causes will be even worse than before the lockdown if more people have to take their cars to work.
“There are more people cycling in West Sussex than ever before, we need the county council to actually have some vision on this, for once, and capitalise on this increased popularity.”
Worthing Labour leader Beccy Cooper urged the county council to be ‘ambitious’ in their plans and create more opportunities for people to cycle and get fit, reduce congestion, improve air quality.
The group has earmarked roads in Adur and Worthing which they feel would most benefit from cycle network renovations, including temporary bollards to protect cyclists rather than just white lines.
In Adur, the group has suggested prioritising:
– A259 Southwick to Shoreham and Shoreham to Lancing, including the Norfolk Bridge
– A270 Old Shoreham Road - Holmbush to Portslade – matching measures taken by Brighton and Hove further along the same road, which will give a continuous cycle lane all the way to Brighton seafront
– Upper Shoreham Road – continuation from Holmbush to Old Shoreham Road
– Western Road, Sompting – a cycle lane down the whole length, with bollard protection over rail bridge
– South Street, Lancing – cycle lane
– A coned cycle lane, reduced speed limit or traffic calming for Shoreham Beach
– Traffic restrictions on Middle Road and Stoney Lane enabling a safer, less crowded walking and cycling to several schools
– Possible road closures or residents and bus only restrictions during the key hour at schools at the end of the school day.
– West Street, Shoreham – closed and access only for residents, pedestrians and cyclists several times a week
– Support for current local cycling and walking infrastructure plans
– A24 north of Findon – cycle lane
– A24 south of Findon – cone off a segregated cycle lane on the dual carriageways from Offington roundabout (next to Durrington cemetery) along the A24, continuing through to Chapel Road and South Street. This would provide a good cycle route connecting the north and south of Worthing, reducing the need to drive
– North Street – Cone off a segregated cycle lane along North Street between A24 and Waitrose
– Grand Avenue – Create a north/south cycle route
– Sea Lane – Create a north/south cycle route
– Create a park and cycle car park on the north side of the town to encourage commuters to finish their journey by bike using the A24 link