Options for permanent Shoreham cycleway in Upper Shoreham Road published

Options for a permanent cycleway in Shoreham have been published so the public can have their say.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 2:08 pm

West Sussex County Council held a pre-consultation engagement period in March to gauge views on possible measures to encourage more cycling and walking, with 1,230 survey responses received.

These showed ‘strong support’ for improvements in places such as Upper Shoreham Road, Middle Road and Eastern Avenue.

Now the county council has published detailed proposals for another round of public consultation, which runs until Sunday August 1.

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Views are being sought on the creation of a permanent cycleway in Upper Shoreham Road, between the Old Shoreham Tollbridge and Holmbush Roundabout.

The options are either a single direction cycleway on both sides, or a two-way cycleway on the south side only, both separate from the adjacent pavement, with access to properties retained.

Feedback is also invited on the concept of making Middle Road and Eastern Avenue more appealing to pedestrians and cyclists by reducing the impact of traffic.

Possible measures include making Park Avenue one-way northbound with a contraflow cycle facility, bollards and planters in some areas to reduce through traffic, parking restrictions and new cycle priority measures.

You can have your say at www.westsussex.gov.uk/Shoreham

Anyone without internet access or who needs the questionnaire in an alternative format, such as large print or Braille, can call WSCC on 01243 642105.

Separately the council will be bringing forward plans for a signal controlled crossing point in Steyning Road near the Red Lion pub. Details will be subject to a separate consultation process later this year.

Although work to identify improvements is continuing at pace, the government has told the county council it cannot bid for any active travel capital funding for the 2021/22 financial year.

This would mean a delay until next summer when funding would likely become available again.

Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, has already challenged the transport minister on this directly, while he alongside county councillors Kevin Boram, Angus Dunn and Emma Evans have backed the response from WSCC leader Paul Marshall asking the government to revisit its decision.

The Conservatives said they are pleased to hear the county council still intends to carry on with the next stage of consultation and the delay ‘whilst not ideal’ would give officers more time.

Proposals for a crossing for Steyning Road and safety improvements in Middle Road were also welcomed.

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said: “The Department for Transport’s (DfT’s) letter was a surprise for us, given we had followed its requirements for the Emergency Active Travel Fund.

“We have written to the DfT to try to understand the reason for its decision and to urge its reconsideration, but our support for an Active Travel scheme for Shoreham is undiminished.”

A spokesman for the Shoreham-By-Cycle group added: “Over recent months it has been really inspiring to see the growing unity of community feeling around making genuine steps to improve cycling and walking in Shoreham-by-Sea - as indicated in the very encouraging results of WSCC’s first round of public engagement.

“To lose this vital opportunity to improve the lives of people in our town would be a tremendous blow - with a detrimental impact on safety, environment and community.

“This would be a major setback back for the residents of Shoreham and our whole area.”

Following the temporary cycle lanes last year, Upper Shoreham Road was one of the main focuses of the engagement period.

Almost two thirds of respondents (65 per cent) either strongly supported or supported improvements to Upper Shoreham Road compared to 29 per cent opposed or strongly opposed to initial proposals.

A permanent one way cycling facility on both sides of Upper Shoreham Road received the most support at 62 per cent.

When asked for more detail, the most frequently occurring theme in the surveys was the need for a separate space for pedestrians and cyclists on Upper Shoreham Road.

The survey also asked for opinions about possible changes to the way vehicles travel through Eastern Avenue and Middle Road and a permanent signallised crossing on the A283 Steyning Road near the Red Lion pub to connect the Downs Link to St Nicholas Lane.

When it came to Middle Road, 69 per cent support changes to the layout of the existing highway and 68 per cent in favour of reducing the speed limit.

It was the other way around for Eastern Avenue, with more backing a reduced speed limit (67 per cent) than changing the layout of the road (62 per cent).

In both cases existing traffic issues and opportunities to improve school commuting and connections were the most common themes raised.

Meanwhile 74 per cent of respondents either strongly supported or supported a new signallised crossing in Steyning Road.