A plan for the future of cycling and walking in Adur and Worthing: Time to have your say

Adur and Worthing Councils have published the draft version of their Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP). The Shoreham-By-Cycle team contributed to the information that went into this document, working alongside other organisations like Worthing Cycle Forum and Sustrans.

This document will help Adur and Worthing Councils to secure funds that will make cycling and walking easier and safer for everyone. Now the plan is open for consultation, the councils want your help in checking it’s the right way forward.

Take a look

You can browse the draft version of the Adur and Worthing plan. It’s quite big and detailed, but really interesting if you want to learn more about making sustainable transport easier.

If you just want a quick overview of what’s currently proposed, this map of the Adur area provides a useful glance of the network of cycle routes that are likely to form part of the LCWIP.

We think this plan is generally good. It includes routes that currently have no cycle infrastructure – AND existing cycle routes that may be ripe for improvement. Key routes between many of Shoreham’s most important locations are covered.

You can learn more at a consultation event on Thursday 19 December at the Shoreham Centre, from 2pm to 5pm. We’ll be there, alongside officers from the councils.

When you’ve had a look at the proposals, fill in the consultation questionnaire, to tell the councils what you think. You need to complete the questionnaire by 6 January 2020.

Don’t worry about detail. That comes later. At the moment, this public consultation is about the overall plan: Which routes are the important ones to make Shoreham easier to get around?

Where is most important?

When you fill in the questionnaire, you’ll be asked to decide on priorities. This is your chance to express a view on which parts of the network should be addressed with most urgency.

See what you think. The Shoreham-By-Cycle team has considered this, and we think these three routes should top the list at first:

    1. A259 Brighton Road, linking Shoreham to Southwick (and beyond). A high quality separated cycleway is needed on this important direct route. This will enable easy safe commuting for many.
    2. Upper Shoreham Road. This road runs east to west across the whole town, north of the town centre. For much of its length, the road is very wide, meaning a high-quality separated cycleway is achievable.
    3. Middle Road. Running through the heart of east Shoreham, Middle Road is a popular, often crowded, route for children and parents going to Shoreham Academy and several other schools.

What could be better?

There are some aspects of the LCWIP that Shoreham-By-Cycle would like to see changed – to make this plan even better. We’ll be mentioning these proposals in the consultation. When you offer your feedback, you may want to consider whether you agree with these suggestions…

    • Shoreham Beach. This popular area needs a safe route east of Adur Ferry Bridge – along either Riverside Road/Harbour Way or Old Fort Road.
    • Manor Hall Road. This residential road, linking Southwick to Portslade, should be included in the plan.
    • Nicolson Drive. The current National Cycle Network route 2 would be improved by moving it from Rosslyn Road to the quiet Nicolson Drive – cutting out the narrow path beside Ham Field allotments.
    • Church Lane, Southwick. NCN2 could also be made better by moving it from Park Lane to Church Lane.
    • Buckingham Park. North of Upper Shoreham Road, a proposed route up The Drive would be better within the eastern side of Buckingham Park.
    • A foot/cycle bridge connecting Middle Road recreation ground to the new riverside developments would be very ambitious, but useful, connecting two parts of Shoreham currently separated by the railway line.
    • Widewater section of the seafront NCN2 . This very convenient route is increasingly busy, used not just among people on bikes, but people on foot – often with dogs. Given the importance of this route, let’s consider an additional separate ‘superhighway-style’ route beside the A259 to Lancing, reducing conflict and discomfort by the beach.

So, there you go. Exciting times. Make the most of your chance to have an input into the future of cycling around Shoreham.

    • Check out the plans
    • Meet the council team on 19 December if you want to know more
    • Talk to us if it helps
    • Fill in the questionnaire before 6 January 2020

 

 

 

 

Beach Green: a promising development that needs to look beyond its boundaries

The proposed new cafe development at Beach Green in Shoreham-by-Sea has been generating increasing amounts of interest. The prospect of an attractive destination for eating, drinking, relaxing, walking and cycling is appealing – yet some local residents are concerned about the potential impact of the Boxpark development.

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We went along to the display of plans – hosted by architects Chalk – to discover more about what’s planned.

It’s looking good…

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On the whole, we like the proposal for this new development. Shoreham Beach is one of the town’s greatest assets, and if more people are encouraged to spend time enjoying it, this is good news. A cafe, watersports facility and other features will provide a great way to enjoy our beach – perhaps in the same way that Perch has become such a hit in Lancing.

WhatsApp Image 2019-06-05 at 09.24.30A generous quantity of bike racks show an understanding that many people will arrive by bike.

However, we do have some significant reservations and concerns:

How will the cafe relate to the cycle and walking path?

The developers’ plans appear to relate purely to the boundary of the building itself.

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National Cycle Network Route 2 runs along the edge of the development, between the cafe and the sea. As a very popular ‘shared use’ path, there is already an unfortunate tension between people using bikes and people on foot. With many more people coming to visit the area, and moving between the cafe, the path and the beach, we are concerned about the safety and comfort of everyone using the path.

We’ll be asking Adur District Council, West Sussex County Council and Sustrans to consider how best this area can be designed with safety in mind. Should this path be segregated between people on foot and on bike? Could NCN2 be routed in a way that passes to the north of the new building, lessening the risk of conflict? It won’t be enough just to ‘ask people to slow down’: NCN2 is a key commuter and tourism route that needs improvement, and we shouldn’t downgrade its important functionality.

How well will the café connect with the rest of Shoreham?

Many local residents are already deeply concerned about the poor standard of driving and parking on Shoreham Beach. The new development risks attracting excessive amounts of cars to the beach. So it needs to be connected to Shoreham in a way that makes people feel able to walk or cycle to the location if they choose. A lovely spot for walking and cycling by the coast loses much of its value if people feel they must use a car to reach it.

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The current route of NCN2 between the Adur Ferry Bridge and Beach Green really isn’t great: there’s a confusing layout at the southern end of the bridge; a zebra crossing neglects the needs of people riding bikes; Ferry Road is dominated by parked cars and Beach Road isn’t up to scratch as a major bike route. This all needs to change.

So while we’re supportive of anything that will enable more people to enjoy our coastline, we’ll be seeking reassurances that the relationship between this development and Shoreham’s cycling infrastructure is seriously considered and planned for.

The future of Kingston Wharf

There was a public consultation last Thursday with Hyde Housing on their Kingston Wharf development proposals. Shoreham-By-Cycle went along to have a chat with Hyde from a cycling perspective.

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We asked about the NCN2 route which is due to be moved from its current Middle Road position to a riverside position by the A259 between the Adur Ferry Bridge to the lighthouse.

Hyde has apparently moved its development further away from the A259 to allow provision for West Sussex County Council to build the cycle path. 

We spoke to Hyde about cycle parking as there are 255 homes and they are providing car parking but only for 231 cars. They did say that there are areas in the basement which are not suitable for cars to park, but can be used for cycle storage and they said up to 500 bikes can be stored there with the use of the two tiered cycle racks, like they use at the station. Hyde did tell us that people might chose to use the space to store kayaks or other things instead of bikes though.

We’re hoping that with this many cycle parking facilities there will be suitable investment in the cycling infrastructure and transport links.

In regards to the ‘riverside walk’ they said that they see it as a shared use path for people to enjoy a ride and a walk down. However at the moment it isn’t connected to anything so isn’t part of a useful link to transport people. We’re not sure how we feel about this and would either like the NCN2 route to use that instead of being by the road with a dedicated segregated path – or possibly for it to just be for walking and not to confuse the matter.

We spoke to the head of land and planning for Hyde who said they were meeting with the council transport people to discuss all of this. So we wish them luck and of course offer any help that we can to make Shoreham a better place to get around on two / three wheels.

New Year resolutions in Shoreham: Some ideas…

Welcome to 2019! With a new year stretching out before us, we know many like to pick a resolution or two to help us get good habits off to a new start.

To help with the task of choosing a resolution, we’ve put together some ideas.

We know not everyone rides a bike as much as everyone else, so here a few suggestions to suit everyone.

Which one will you choose?

sbc new year's resolutions (3)

See this as a PDF if you prefer

I don’t ride a bike and don’t think I ever will

Choose from:

  • Have a cup of tea with someone who rides a bike. Ask them what it’s like cycling in Shoreham.
  • If you drive, commit to giving at least three feet whenever you overtake a person on a bike.
  • Walk a local journey you might otherwise have driven.
  • Are you an employer? Do what you can to enable your staff to cycle to work.

I haven’t ridden a bike for ages

 

Choose from:

  • Ask a bike shop or expert friend to take a look at your bike and check it for safety
  • Next time you need to buy a couple of small items from a nearby shop, trying making your journey by bike.
  • Take a small ride around the block, or through the park.
  • Remind yourself how it feels to ride a bike! Register for an account with BTN BikeShare or Worthing’s Donkey Bikes.

I ride a bike now and then

Choose from:

  • See how much shopping you can do by bike. Can you fit a week’s shop in a pannier?
  • Ride your bike to the pub. (Don’t have too much before the ride home!)
  • Try a longer ride than you usually do. Brighton or Worthing via NCN2? Steyning, via Downs Link?
  • Know a bike-friendly cafe or shop? Pay them a visit. Let them know you appreciate them.

I ride a bike often

Choose from:

  • Offer to take a look at a friend’s bike if it’s been in their shed for a while and needs fixing.
  • Have a cup of tea with someone who doesn’t ride a bike. Listen to their opinion of transport in Shoreham.
  • Join an organisation like Cycling UK, British Cycling or Sustrans.
  • Take a beginner friend for a ride. Show them the best routes around Shoreham.

 

 

 

Positive signals at Ham Field

For some weeks there have been extensive roadworks at the junction between Eastern Avenue and Middle Road in Shoreham. That’s the spot where a track cuts through the centre of Ham Field Allotment, connecting Nicolson Drive to Middle Road.

The work has finished and we’ve been down to take a look.

There are several positive changes, but also a bit of room for improvement.

Let’s start with the good news:

Alongside a load of great enhancements for people on foot, these new features will help you if you’re passing through the area on a bike:

✅ Cycle-specific traffic lights

WhatsApp Image 2018-10-30 at 11.39.04If you’re coming from the east or west, traffic lights now have secondary bike-specific sets at eye level. These lights change to green a few seconds before the main lights, allowing a safety-boosting headstart if you’re on two wheels.

✅ Advance stop lines

An advance stop line has been created at the eastbound end of the allotment track – and one has been repainted at the end of Middle Road. These familiar-looking road markings allow extra space for cycles in front of waiting traffic. Their use is sometimes criticised in some locations, but they do have advantages.

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✅ Better sensing for bikes leaving the allotment track

Have you ever sat by the Ham Field waiting to head into Middle Road – and waited, and waited, and waited? Before the recent work, people on bikes were often missed by the sensors controlling the lights. Not anymore. We’re not sure exactly how the new sensors work, but we didn’t have to wait long before lights changed green in our favour.

✅ Good quality surfacing

At the entrance to the allotment track, high quality tarmac has replaced a rough unsurfaced area. This is easier and safer to ride on – but only at the eastern end of the track.

All these measures combine to make the new junction much easier to negotiate by bike, as well as on foot. We’re grateful to West Sussex County Council, and we’ve spoken to them to tell them so.

However…

There are a couple of aspects of the project that seem like missed opportunities. These concerns don’t spoil the great work that’s been described above, but we’re speaking to WSCC about them…

❌ Continued reliance on a ‘shared use’ path instead of enabling space for bikes

IMG_0907The eastern end of the allotment track has a brilliant new surface. But a few metres along, the tarmac stops and the original unsurfaced track takes over. A ‘drop kerb’ allows westbound people on bikes to join the existing ‘shared use’ path. This arrangement continues to bring bikes into close proximity with people walking through the area – including young children on their way to school.

In our view, a further strip of tarmac at the level of the existing wide track could have connected Middle Road to Nicolson Drive without having to awkwardly share space with vulnerable pedestrians.

WhatsApp Image 2018-10-30 at 11.39.09Confusingly, there’s a stencilled ‘bike’ symbol on the tarmac, near the dropped kerb, but its position suggests bikes continue on the rough track – on a surface that is currently only suitable for mountain bikes, not regular cycles. This symbol seems like it should have been placed a few metres sooner if it is intended to guide westbound cyclists.

❌ No cycle provision on Eastern Avenue lights

East-west cycling (along National Cycle Network Route 2) has been improved by this recent work. But the new lights installed for traffic approaching the junction on Eastern Avenue from the north or south lack the same advance stop lines, or cycle-specific traffic lights. This means if you approach this junction on a bike from the north or south, you are less protected than if you approach from the west or east.

So, our overall verdict on this recent work is positive, but with some reservations, and perhaps some opportunity for future improvement.

What do you think?

 

Southlands by-election: Our questions to the candidates

On Thursday 11 October, there’s a by-election in the Southlands ward of Shoreham by Sea. That’s the area in the north-east Shoreham between Middle Road and Upper Shoreham Road. The successful candidate will be one of Southlands’ representatives on Adur District Council.

Three candidates are standing:

Southlands is a small area, but a busy one, with many houses and flats, and a couple of parks. People travel through Southlands on their way to multiple schools and a huge retail complex. In Southlands, many people make many journeys.

With this is mind, we’re keen to know how the by-election candidates see transport in Southlands, and in Shoreham more generally.

How do they feel about the transport choices people have, and the choices they make? What do they think of the facilities provided to enable people to make healthy, sustainable, considerate transport decisions?

Specifically, here are our questions:

  1. What do you think of the transport choices available to the people of Southlands, and of Shoreham more generally, particularly for short journeys within the town? Are there any improvements you would like to see?
  2. Shoreham Academy, with some 1,500 pupils, attracts large amounts of traffic, disruption and pollution, as many children are delivered and collected by car. How do you feel about this? Can the situation be improved around Shoreham Academy and around other local schools?
  3. The National Cycle Network’s Route 2 passes through Southlands, along Middle Road. Along with other local roads like Hammy Lane, Stoney Lane and Upper Shoreham Road, cycling facilities are poor or absent, driving standards are poor, and speeding is commonplace. Accidents involving vulnerable road users are not uncommon. How should this situation be improved?

We invite the three candidates to respond to these questions, and add any other thoughts they want to share. We’ll share those answers, so voters in Southlands can consider their vote this coming Thursday.

(Candidates: Tell us your responses via email, or via a comment beneath this post, or via our Facebook. We may copy your answers across between platforms, so more people see them.)

Response from Andrew Bradbury, Green Party

“In reply to your questions about transport in Southlands as the Green Party election candidate:
  • “1. Your third question asks about transport around Shoreham Academy, but I want to briefly mention that in first. When out canvassing (on my bicycle by the way!) I have noticed the flows of students walking from the Academy in the afternoon and it occurred to me that each of them represents an element in creating natural walking routes. It’s a small point but I think a valid one that transport infrastructure particularly in a local community like Southlands needs to respond to what people are actually doing or are prevented from doing. Moving around Southlands should be as safe for walkers, cyclists and disability scooter users as is possible. This means reducing the amount of car use for short journeys (which will partly be achieved by making the streets safer anyway) and calming the car speeds and activity. The way roads are structured and join each other is the central point here, together with what mode of transport people automatically reach for any given journey. There needs to be a small number of key routes for cars into and out of the neighbourhood, coinciding with the bus routes as well, with the rest of the network calmed by a combination of speed limits and junctions at which all vehicles must stop.
  • “2. In line with my suggestions above the NCNR2 is a natural route into and out of town for cyclists, walkers and others and should be renamed locally as the Shoreham Way. Communities along that route and organisations such as Shoreham-By-Cycle could be invited to suggest technical enhancements which would make the Shoreham Way fit and safe for multiple types of users with priority given to walking, cycling and people with disability scooters. Greening the route in places with community gardening or signage could also be a fun and healthy traffic calming element.
  • “3. Shoreham Academy is a hub within Southlands and should be seen as integral to the way the community develops. I would like to see more positive work done by the council with the senior staff, parents groups and bus operators to reconsider routes and dropping off points, multiple terminal points on the edges of the area for what motorised journeys to the Academy there are with several ‘protected’ ways about 10 minutes walking time out from hub. The Academy can lead the way as well in further promoting safe and sustainable transport solutions with its students.
“Andrew Bradbury. Green Party.”

Response from Debs Stainforth, Labour Party

“Sustainable transport has been in the hands of the Conservatives for a long time and now with a stronger presence on Adur District Council, our Councillors are in a position to push for change.
So I do need to be realistic about the fact that we are still in a minority, but nonetheless there are tangible projects that we can work on straight away.
  • “1. Lots of people in Southlands love the number 9 bus and many couldn’t manage without it. We also have the 46 which links us with Brighton, Southwick Square, Tesco and Sainsburys. It would be good to get more people out of their cars and on the buses. Bus journeys are hampered especially at school run times by inconsiderate parking, and in the town they are compromised the minute there are road works or an accident on the A259/A27. The cycle links to Tesco are good to a point, but improvements after the roundabout would be helpful and extending the cycle route to Middle Rd to join up with the NCNR along with drawing attention to the cycle route and adding signage and road markings would be beneficial. However it would be useful to point out that the road layouts are governed not by ADC but by WSCC and all of our local Tory County Cllrs appear to be uninterested in maintaining a public presence so making changes could be problematic but not necessarily unachievable.
  • “2. When Shoreham Academy was in the planning stages, local residents were told that all traffic would be on the Kingston Lane side of the site and drop-off and pick-up points would be provided on that side of the site. Concerns of the residents have proved founded as the gridlock that occurs in Stoney Lane is a major problem for public transport and causes obstruction of clear views for safe cycling. There is also the problem of people leaving cars idling whilst waiting, increasing pollution and pavement parking obstructing pedestrians, prams, bikes, pushchairs and mobility scooters. These matters need to be addressed and with the help of local policing teams and parking wardens hopefully this can be stopped, and people encouraged to use the correct waiting points within the SA site itself. There are journey-share options we can look into to reduce traffic to and from schools at drop-off and pick up times, and promote safe cycle use. I worry about the children cycling along Middle Road and negotiating parked cars along Stoney Lane, so there is certainly a need for safe routes and cycle-training.
  • “3. Residents are too confined to cars and cycling and walking could be opened up more via cycle infrastructure as part of long-term building strategy. I will work with my fellow councillors sitting on planning committee to link national and local cycle networks and that cycles, other non-motorised vehicles and their infrastructure are an integral part of any planning application that comes to the committee.  We have the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that in July 2018 states “applications for development should give priority first to pedestrians and cycle movements within the scheme and neighbouring areas “. This is currently not being considered fully by the officers and certainly surrounding road impacts/parking/bike lanes are not considered by WSCC as part of any new developments the NPPF will form part of our argument re: any planning application.
 
“What we are doing locally already: 
“Lobbying for any element of re-investment of parking revenue to subsidise a bus service to run along popular drop off school points and I support this.
Working to lobby for developers s106 infrastructure money (harbour developments) towards a specific cycle path investment into the surrounding Southlands area where possible (ring-fenced), ensuring any potential budget restraints by WSCC can be overcome. I understand that most of the s106 money for the Southlands development went on Buckingham Park, so it is very much our turn next.
Colleagues in Worthing are already supporting a comprehensive walking and cycling strategy via the working group – feeding into the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.
The traffic consultation orders need to work better regarding keep children safe when they cycle/walk to school. Lots of double yellows fail to work, so we need more traffic wardens to penalise poor parking (ensuring a clearer path for walkers/cyclists to the school gates).
We are raising again the cost of employing another traffic warden to enable this.
Colleagues are sat on the Joint Scrutiny Committee looking at gaps in Worthing & Adur’s transport policy. A tangible outcome from that group has already identified areas such as Safer Routes to School and we are actively seeking to ensure that schools have new relationships with organisations who will support them to fully utilise money and grants available to them for the cycle-scheme, for which there is low take-up at the moment.
“We believe an active school led programme will encourage parents to allow their kids to cycle to school.
“What we are doing nationally: The Labour Party’s cycle manifesto is week’s away from being released, and when this comes out I shall be working hard with fellow councillors to ensure this is integrated in structure, planning, road signage, markings and campaigns to get pupils/adults out of cars and walking or cycling.
“What I would do first:
“I’m completing my Masters in Community Psychology presently and my position when I work with community special interest groups is to listen and learn from people who know their subject, and people who would be affected by any changes, and build a strategy for change together. My priority is to meet with local groups who are the expert in their subject and make sure their voices and needs are represented in the Council and shape decisions.”
“Debs Stainforth. Labour Party.”

What’s the future for Southwick Square?

We’ve just had a really good chat with Councillor Stephen Chipp about Southwick Square and what might be done to improve it.

We like Southwick Square. It’s a great little hub of shops and facilities, within easy walking and cycling distance for thousands of local residents.

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But Southwick Square isn’t perfect, and Cllr Chipp recently asked, via Facebook, what could be done to bring improvements. So we met him in the Square for a conversation, as did several other local residents.

The main point we made to Cllr Chipp was that Southwick Square would be a more pleasant, less polluted, and more people-focussed place if walking and cycling to the square was an easier, more enjoyable thing to do. Many local shopping trips are only for a few items, and a car isn’t always needed.

With this in mind, we suggested:

  • An extension of the BTN BikeShare scheme into Southwick, enabling easy journeys by bike.
  • The need for more good quality bike infrastructure leading to Southwick Square, for example across Southwick Green or down Southwick Street
  • At present, Southwick Square is technically an ‘access only’ street – so not to be used as a through route. But this remains unenforced, with many people driving through. Perhaps physical measures like bollards would retain vehicular access while blocking ‘rat running’.
  • It is illegal to ‘idle’ a vehicle for no good reason, yet many people sit in vehicles with their engines running. This affects air quality in Southwick Square.

Solutions may not be quick and easy, but we’re glad Cllr Chipp discussed these ideas with us. We’ll keep in touch.

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(Photo above used under Creative Commons licence from Dauvit Alexander)