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Dramatic increase in speeding after pop-up cycle lane removed

The number of drivers speeding on Upper Shoreham Road has risen significantly since wands were removed by West Sussex County Council

The number of speeding drivers on Upper Shoreham Road in West Sussex has risen dramatically since plastic wands protecting a ‘pop-up’ cycle lane were removed by the council in January. 

According to West Sussex County Council’s own traffic monitors the number of drivers exceeding 35mph on the road, which has a 30mph speed limit, has increased from 1176 per week, or 3.9% of vehicles, to 1908, or 5.71% of vehicles since the week of 11 January when the plastic wands protecting cyclists were removed.

Local cycling campaign, Shoreham-by-Cycle, who identified the rise in speeding, express concerns the road was a collision hotspot and a matter of concern for some time. They point out even the Google Streetview images of the street show the aftermath of a crash.

A spokesperson for Shoreham-By-Cycle said: “Upper Shoreham Road is a key route for many people living in Shoreham - particular children on their way to school. People deserve to be able to choose cycling for their local journeys without being placed at risk from dangerous driving.” 

West Sussex County Council faces a judicial review brought by Cycling UK, after removing the lane two months into a six month trial period. Cycling UK argues the decision to remove the lane was ‘irrational and unlawful’ and failed to take into account the needs of children who cycled on the roads when the wands were installed.

Cycling levels tripled after plastic wands were installed to protect those on the cycle lane from traffic in September. They also acted to narrow the road, which can help reduce traffic speeds. 

Schools, hospitals and community groups voiced their support for the lane, after suggestions it would be removed. They said the wands made it possible for children to cycle to school unaccompanied. It was removed by the council’s cabinet member for Highways, Cllr Roger Elkins, despite a council vote in favour of keeping it, although council data found no negative impact on journey times or increases in pollution. It emerged, after an FOI request by Shoreham-by-Cycle, Cllr Elkins had never visited the cycle lane

In October to December, around 1200 drivers each week were driving at more than 35mph on Upper Shoreham Road. The pop-up cycle lane was installed at the start of September, and removed mid-January, after which speeding levels started rising again. 

A spokesperson for local community group, the Shoreham Society, said: “Too much traffic in and around the town was the greatest concern expressed by people in Shoreham who responded to our recent survey. People want fewer cars in the town centre and more pedestrian areas with safe access for cyclists. They want traffic calming schemes and better cycleways in Shoreham.” 

Update, Friday 5 March 

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson told road.cc: “Our data shows that the average speed of traffic on the Upper Shoreham Road in the last week of February was approximately 28 mph.

“Traffic patterns are unusual at the moment due to COVID-19 restrictions, although there is more traffic on the Upper Shoreham Road than there was during the height of the lockdown last summer.

“We recognise some drivers will travel in excess of the speed limit. We would encourage all road users to respect the speed limits and more importantly drive to the conditions.”

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20 comments

Avatar
alchemilla | 2 years ago
2 likes

Seems like the council wanted to keep it in place, it was only Cllr Elkins who pushed for its removal. It should be only him facing the judicial review.

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Awavey replied to alchemilla | 2 years ago
0 likes

no, the councils highways dept report recommended their removal the councillor simply approved the recommendation, thats how councils generally make these types of decisions.

at some point in this saga someone might eventually ask so why did the highways dept recommend that then ?  but I wont hold my breath waiting.

Avatar
mdavidford | 2 years ago
2 likes
Quote:

It was removed by the council’s cabinet member for Highways, Cllr Roger Elkins

Don't they have contractors for that sort of thing?

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nikkispoke | 2 years ago
5 likes

I remember reading research showed that the impression of speed is greater where vertical or horizontal lines are present hence the closer spaced painted lines on the road you sometimes see at bends. The temporary removed cycle lane had poles evenly spaced and a narrower road width both of which contributed to the driver feeling they were going faster. If you had cyclists present then some thoughtful drivers may slow down further all of which lowers the average speed.

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Awavey | 2 years ago
2 likes

Not sure we should be advocating using cyclists as traffic calming,even if some archaic councils persist with it, its generally a bad idea for the cyclists caught up in it.

Weve all noticed speeding has increased on roads,its not to do with whether theres infra for cyclists there or not at the moment its a mix of lower volume traffic,self entitlement and good old fashioned enforcement missing, as you'll notice the police are more interested in reporting how many Covid fines theyve issued in the last three months,which shows where their focus is.

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Captain Badger replied to Awavey | 2 years ago
3 likes
Awavey wrote:

Not sure we should be advocating using cyclists as traffic calming,even if some archaic councils persist with it, its generally a bad idea for the cyclists caught up in it. Weve all noticed speeding has increased on roads,its not to do with whether theres infra for cyclists there or not at the moment its a mix of lower volume traffic,self entitlement and good old fashioned enforcement missing, as you'll notice the police are more interested in reporting how many Covid fines theyve issued in the last three months,which shows where their focus is.

Not sure anyone is talking about using cyclists as speed humps - well, some will be - but i think this falls in with some research I saw that cycling infrastructure promotes safety for peds and car occupants as well in that it generally calms things down.

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zero_trooper | 2 years ago
8 likes

The councillor for Highways, who made the decision to remove the lane against the apparent wishes of the local council and having never actually visited the site;

roger.elkins [at] westsussex.gov.uk

In his bio on the West Sussex Council website his interests include '…an enthusiasm for F1 moto-sport and classic cars'.

VROOM, VROOM…

 

 

Avatar
HoarseMann | 2 years ago
5 likes

If the council had said something must be done so it's either the cycle lane stays, or we put in a speed camera - I wonder what the concensus would have been?

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Daveyraveygravey replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
5 likes

There is a speed camera on one part of the road.  Most drivers slow down just before passing it, and then speed up again, of course.

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Captain Badger | 2 years ago
4 likes

See, the likes of Mr Ferari are correct. Cyclist DO slow down traffic.....

With the faster road now at least the ambulances will be quicker responding the RTIs

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kingleo replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
0 likes

Most of the delays to motorists are caused by motorists - because there are a lot of them, fewer motorists = fewer traffic jams.

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bj9k | 2 years ago
2 likes

There's a £20,000/wk cash cow waiting to be milked by speed cameras. That should pay for some public services.

5724 penalty points too

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David9694 replied to bj9k | 2 years ago
3 likes

War on the Motorist? By the time you've installed a camera, maintained it, administered it and collected the fines revenue, I wonder how much of that potential £20k is actually raised and how much is cancelled out by overheads.

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dave atkinson replied to David9694 | 2 years ago
4 likes

if speed cameras are a cash cow, how come they're the first thing to go when local authorities have their budgets cut?

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hawkinspeter replied to dave atkinson | 2 years ago
6 likes

Probably because they don't keep the fines.

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the little onion replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
6 likes

Exactly - the money for creating them, and the decisions on their locations, is separate from the revenue (treasury). The people who put them (LAs) in don't get the money. So the "cash cow" argument is nonsense. But it has somehow become 'true' in the car-ist agenda.

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zero_trooper replied to dave atkinson | 2 years ago
1 like

Ahem, after cycle lanes Dave  1

And you don't even need to save money to get rid of them!

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Jenova20 replied to bj9k | 2 years ago
3 likes

I'm not sure why they're so open about the amount of speeding drivers, but not mentioning fining even a single one of them.

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hawkinspeter replied to Jenova20 | 2 years ago
3 likes
Jenova20 wrote:

I'm not sure why they're so open about the amount of speeding driver, but not mentioning fining even a single one of them.

The data's coming from automated monitoring systems, so it's not being filtered through a political viewpoint.

 

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I love my bike replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
0 likes

From DoT 2017 statistics, it would be expected that in free-flow conditions 20% of cars, 23% of vans etc, would break the 30mph limit by over than 5mph.

With 'only' 3.9% of vehicles, or now 5.71%, on Upper Shoreham Lane, it is either very congested (even in lock-down!) or ?

Whatever the explanation, it wouldn't seem to be the first chioce of speed camera location.

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