Shoreham’s pop-up cycle lanes ‘impacting businesses’ lockdown recovery’

Continued uncertainty over the future of Shoreham’s pop-up cycle lanes has infuriated an Upper Shoreham Road businesswoman.

Nicky Wycherley has run Shoreham Physiotherapy Acupuncture, Sports Injury and Pilates Clinic out of the same premises for 29 years – a building she moved into specifically for its parking.

But controversial pop-up cycle lanes have replaced on-street parking, meaning either her staff or her customers, many of whom have debilitating physical conditions, have to park in Buckingham Park.

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Nicky said the lanes had affected her business ‘very adversely’ when she already has the added costs of PPE and deep cleaning.

Shoreham business owner, Nicky Wycherley, says the pop-up cycle lanes on Upper Shoreham Road are having a detrimental effect on her physio business. Pic Steve Robards SR201101 SUS-200211-170638001

“Customers will always ask ‘what’s the parking like?’ Because if you have crippling back pain it’s obviously not easy to get around,” she said.

“Some will have no choice but to go somewhere else. I think it’s adversely affecting our business already and will do in the future.

“This is yet another thing we have to contend with when we’re trying to recover from lockdown.”

The lanes’ detractors received a boost earlier this month when West Sussex County Council announced plans to scrap all of its pop-up cycle lanes, claiming the ‘exceptional circumstances’ in which they were created no longer existed.

But, while the statistics from places such as Worthing and Chichester proved their lanes were an abject failure, the situation in Shoreham was not so cut and dry.

Journey figures showed the number of cycle trips had increased significantly since the lanes were put in place.

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The news may be welcomed by the lanes’ champions, but it is another disappointment for Nicky and her customers.

Sheila Thompson, 77, has been a customer of Nicky’s for around 30 years and in August began treatment following a knee replacement.

Since the cycle lanes have been in place her treatment has become much more stressful, she said.

Unable to drive, she at first had to be dropped off and collected in the middle of the road as the car could not get to the pavement. As her recovery has progressed, she now has to park and walk from Buckingham Park.

But it is motorists, particularly delivery drivers, parking in the cycle lane that has caused more anguish for Nicky.

They will often park across her drive, she said, blocking off her precious remaining spaces and making the lanes more dangerous for cyclists.

She cycles from her home in Steyning twice a week and said she felt safer cycling before the lanes were introduced as she now has to weave around parked vehicles.

West Sussex County Council has warned double yellow lines will be added if this continues.

Nicky’s business will stay open during lockdown and, with safety measures already in place, she said she was optimistic she could get through it.