The decision to spend £30,000 on cycle shelters has been described as ‘money being put to poor use’ by the Horsham District Cycling Forum.
Horsham District Council announced last week that it is working with West Sussex County Council to provide four covered, double and single deck cycle shelters that can accommodate 20 bikes each.
The shelters will be installed at Medwin Walk backing on to the side of Boots, Park Place at the rear of Piries Place car park and Lower Tanbridge Way between the Citizen Advice Bureau and the Forum.
A need for a fourth facility has been identified near the Bishopric, but a suitable site has yet to be identified.
Reacting to the announcement a spokesperson for the HDCF said: “We are disappointed to see such a large sum of Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) money being put to poor use.
“Town-centre cycle parking needs to be convenient and easy to use and, most importantly, situated close to where people actually want to park their bikes.
“It therefore makes little sense to place cycle parking far away from the shops in the town centre and then expect people to walk long distances to the shops they actually want to visit.
“An accessible town centre requires high quality cycle routes – safe, convenient and direct, suitable for anyone to use, no matter how young or old; routes that are almost entirely absent in Horsham.
“We desperately need real help to encourage more people to cycle into the town. Cycling brings huge economic and social benefits: better health, reduced congestion and less pressure on car parking spaces.”
Helena Croft, HDC’s cabinet member for Horsham town, said the new shelters would motivate people to cycle into town and reduce traffic congestion in the centre.
She added: “I am delighted that the provision of town centre cycle parking is being improved in this way, making the centre more accessible by a more sustainable form of transport.”
Pieter Montyn, WSCC’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said that sheltered cycle parking will be more secure and convenient for visitors, shoppers and people who work in the town.
He added: “This improvement to town centre cycle parking in Horsham will promote and encourage alternatives to travelling by car.”
But readers on the County Times website have commented that the new shelters ‘won’t help motivate people to cycle into town’, and are ‘another folly in the long list of expenditure endured by Horsham’.
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