West Sussex County Council (WSCC) plans to construct a permanent "high-quality" cycle lane in Shoreham on a road where its cabinet member for highways recently concluded that a popular pop-up cycle lane should be removed.
The segregated lane on Upper Shoreham Road was reported in November to have as much as tripled cycling levels without impacting car journeys.
Despite this, WSCC cabinet member for highways, Roger Elkins, argued that the lane had been an emergency response to a unique set of circumstances and should therefore be scrapped.
A scrutiny committee voted 6:2 in favour of asking him to reconsider but Elkins stuck to his decision.
At this point the trial period had not been completed and the route was unfinished. A freedom of information request revealed that Elkins had never once visited it in an official capacity.
Work to remove the lane began last week.
The closure of the Upper #Shoreham Road cycle lane begins. The wands defining the lane have been removed, I expect cones protecting workers removing the wands will go shortly. What a waste of money! Building a cycle lane, discovering it increases safe #cycling, and removing it. pic.twitter.com/JrAbXd8wXF
— Jeremy Gardner💙 (@jezzbysea) January 12, 2021
West Sussex has now secured a further £2.3m from the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund for cycling and walking improvements to be delivered in the 2021/22 financial year.
The council says that Upper Shoreham Road has been earmarked for a permanent scheme.
Elkins said: "The emphasis in Phase 2 of the Active Travel Fund (ATF) is on consulting with all stakeholders with the aim of arriving at permanent improvements for people who cycle and for pedestrians – as opposed to the temporary, emergency pop-up cycleways we saw last year.”
He added: “We recognise the support shown by some people for the Shoreham temporary cycleway in Tranche One of the Active Travel Fund.
“We pledged to look at the idea of a permanent facility for Shoreham and we are committing £250,000 to design a scheme which would be for a high-quality cycleway that meets the new national standard for cycling infrastructure.
“Progression to build the permanent cycleway would be subject to full consultation with all stakeholders and a future, successful bid to the Active Travel Fund from the Department for Transport.”