Adur local elections 2022: Who should you vote for?

This Thursday, 5 May 2022, the people of Adur district get to elect some of the councillors who will make important decisions in Shoreham, as well as in neighbouring towns like Southwick and Lancing.

Adur District Council handles matters like planning and environment – and while it’s West Sussex County Council that governs roads and infrastructure, ADC does hold some influence here, and has determined a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.

Map showing Shoreham’s planned cycle network, from Adur & Worthing Councils’ Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan

Shoreham-By-Cycle will not tell you how to vote this Thursday. But we do encourage you to choose the candidates who you think will help our town and our district to make significant progress on important matters.

We offered all parties and candidates some questions to help clarify their positions on cycling, walking and transport. We received many responses – all of which you can see here. Find the responses for your ward, and consider the alternatives. You can use WriteToThem to check which ward you live in.

To help make sense of the options you have, and to focus your mind, we suggest these four considerations:

Which candidate understands the situation?

Does every candidate show evidence that they understand the transport problems Adur faces: pollution, congestion, danger, and streets that actively discourage people from choosing cycling and walking, in a district that is growing ever more crowded? Do they consider cycling to be a niche interest of children and enthusiasts, or a growing practical transport choice used by many people for regular journeys in towns across the UK?

Which candidate understands the possible solutions?

Does every candidate have a good grasp of the available options? Have they read the Department for Transport’s ‘Gear Change’ document that sets clear expectations for local authorities? Do they understand why key streets – like Upper Shoreham Road – are prioritised as primary routes, or would they prefer to push the challenges into other roads? Do they understand the basics of ideas like network management duty, school streets, separated cycleways and low traffic neighbourhoods?

We don’t expect every councillor to be a specialist, but we feel they should have taken on the important basics.

Which candidate is able to go into detail?

Some candidates are ready to share their thoughts on particular areas and streets. Some offer detail on changes they would like to see. Others can be vague and non-specific, talking in general terms, without detail. Consider which is more credible. Who has given active travel serious consideration, and who is giving it lip-service?

Will they deliver?

Positive aspirations, endless consultations and wordy strategies are all well and good, but it’s delivery that has been sadly lacking in the three decades our councils have been discussing cycle infrastructure.

In 2020, Adur District Council produced a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan – endorsed by ADC leader Cllr Neil Parkin and unanimously accepted by a committee of councillors that includes some seeking your vote this week.

So which candidates have got what it takes to make things happen – to work with their colleagues (across parties), with council officers, and with WSCC, to ensure that numerous documents, policies and strategies give rise to more than just more words.

Want more information? See the responses candidates gave to Shoreham-By-Cycle’s questions.

And if you’d like to be part of of Shoreham-By-Cycle, you can become a member of this growing community group.

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