'˜Vital' cycle route gets £800k budget increase

Plans for a cycle route between Bognor Regis and Littlehampton have been awarded an £800,000 budget increase.

Pictured is the proposed end of the cycle route at the Clymping roundabout.  Picture: Liz Pearce
Pictured is the proposed end of the cycle route at the Clymping roundabout. Picture: Liz Pearce

The news follows the approved recommendations by Bob Lanzer, the cabinet member for infrastructure and highways, published last Wednesday.

He also approved that the contract to construct the scheme – last estimated to be worth £1.4m – will be awarded to the service provider which has submitted the bid evaluated as being the most ‘economically advantageous’.

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A spokesman for West Sussex County Council, which is joint-funding the project, said: “This is a really important project for the county and forms a vital link in our cycle network.

“The scheme is being funded primarily from the Coast to Capital Local Economic Partnership as part of their commitment to sustainable travel – making cycling both safer and more attractive.

“An additional £800,000 of funding from ourselves again demonstrates the county council’s commitment to improving cycle facilities across the county and providing excellent routes for all cyclists between key destinations – in line with the county’s cycling strategy.”

The funding shortfall for the scheme, which is to provide a 4.5km length of direct pedestrian and cycle facility between the two seaside towns, is reported to have been identified as part of the ‘tender evaluation process’ last month.

One report, dated July 4, which forms part of the decision documents, stated: “The Coast to Capital Local Economic Partnership (LEP) is providing funding of £0.865m towards this project with the remaining £1.2m provided by WSCC.”

While another breaks down this spending, it revealed: “£345,000 has been spent to date on scheme design and enabling works leaving £920,000 of uncommitted budget which is insufficient to deliver the scheme.”

It added: “In order for the scheme to be constructed it is estimated that a further £800,000 of budget will be required to create a total scheme budget of £2,065,000.

The report also revealed that the additional budget requirement will ‘be met by re-prioritising other schemes within the portfolio.’

The decision has a ‘call-in deadline’ of (Friday) at 5pm.

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