Upper Shoreham Road: so many reasons for improvement

Over eight months since the last round of consultation, we still await West Sussex County Council’s decision regarding the next steps for Upper Shoreham Road – not with a return to temporary lanes of orange wands, but with a well-designed, attractive set of improvements that will work well for all.

With so much of Shoreham’s planned cycle network still to be built, why has there been so much ongoing fuss about Upper Shoreham Road, you may ask?

It’s a fair question, with several answers:

Upper Shoreham Road is useful.

No other road in Shoreham connects so many homes to destinations like schools, shops and green spaces (while coming close to the town centre and railway station). Space for cycling on Upper Shoreham Road will help many people to make many types of everyday journey.

Upper Shoreham Road has waited long enough.

The street was first identified by WSCC as a key cycling route 30 years ago. Since then it has been highlighted in multiple studies, plans and strategies, at district, county and even national levels. Despite three decades of ambition, there has been no action to create high-quality well-designed improvements.

Upper Shoreham Road is outdated.

Its current layout harks back to before the construction of the A27 Shoreham bypass. By today’s design standards, Upper Shoreham Road resembles a trunk road, not a residential street.

Upper Shoreham Road needs to be better for walking.

Its facilities for walking are in need of improvement. People getting about on foot are not kept safe enough by the wide-splayed side road crossings and improvised crossing islands. These need updating.

Upper Shoreham Road can work for all.

For much of its length, Upper Shoreham Road is wide enough to accommodate various needs without competition. Space for cycling, for car parking, for walking, and for driving can all co-exist with some smart design. Preliminary work by WSCC’s engineers has shown residents and councillors how this may be achieved.

Upper Shoreham Road is supported.

The Department for Transport – the experts in creating safer streets – know that levels of support for such projects always grows, sometimes from an initial low level, often to a very high level as people see and feel the benefit. The last consultation showed a 48% level of support, and a 48% level of opposition, giving Upper Shoreham Road a headstart in public acceptance of positive change.

Upper Shoreham Road is the easiest place to start.

Though WSCC have assured us that different areas of Shoreham are not to be considered alternatives in decision-making around cycling, we know that some have questioned whether other roads should be first in line when it comes to creating the next link in Shoreham’s cycling network. Many of the alternatives mentioned will bring huge challenges, for both engineering and politics. Upper Shoreham Road is, frankly, the easiest place to make a start. We have consulted with independent engineers who regard Upper Shoreham Road as a golden opportunity.

We continue to communicate with county councillors, district councillors and our MP, Tim Loughton, on behalf of our growing membership. You can add your voice to this growing movement by becoming a member of Shoreham-By-Cycle.

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