Local riders and cycling campaigners have called for a "tight" "narrow" bike path in Worthing to be widened after a collision between two cyclists put a 74-year-old man in hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The collision saw the injured man airlifted to St George’s Hospital in London on Thursday September 11 and he and a 36-year-old man were involved in a head on collision. The other man was uninjured.
William Morris, chairman of Worthing Cycle Forum, told the Worthing Herald: “The bike path is approximately 1.45m wide, well short of the Department for Transport’s recommended minimum of 2.5m for two-way cycle tracks. There are issues with encroaching shingle and vegetation, narrowing the path still further.
“A cheap fix might be to swap the pedestrian and cycle lanes over, so that shingle is less likely to spill on to the cycling half. Another low-cost solution would be to make the path joint use for pedestrians and cyclists, as it is further along in both directions.
“If we get the path up to DfT standards we will create a better experience and help reduce A259 congestion.”
Other users of the path also criticised its width, or lack of.
Anthony Gammon said: “Those cycle paths are too narrow for both directions.
“I cycle on that route myself a lot and have almost been collided into and people walk on them, too.
“I hope that poor guy is okay as this could have been avoided. Let’s look at the issue - those lanes need revising.”
Stuart Elms said: “Regular users of this section of the seafront cycle path will know that the narrow width of the path with its tight bends as at Brooklands and elsewhere, coupled with the shingle that is blown onto it, has long made it an accident waiting to happen.
“Despite many more people of all ages wanting to be able to cycle safely off-road - whether for leisure or commuting - and the prime minister and leading medics trumpeting the benefits of cycling, sadly Worthing Borough Council or West Sussex County Council appear to show little urgency for upgrading from Shoreham through to Goring despite there being £200,000- plus of developers Section 106 contributions for community benefits mostly stipulated as sustainable transport improvements.”
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.