News

Upper Shoreham Road: and so it begins!

Work has begun! West Sussex County Council contractors have made a start on installing temporary bike lanes along Upper Shoreham Road.

We’ve shared lots of information about what’s happening in an earlier detailed post.

But here are some additional thoughts from us, as the new lanes become real. We know that while some of us are excited about the temporary lanes, others are concerned. Alongside the celebrations, will there also be arguments? Disagreements? Very possibly.

1. Let’s hold our judgement until the lanes are finished

It’s hard to get the measure of the new lanes until we’ve seen them in full. The design being used is very different to the shape of projects you may have seen in places like Hove and Worthing. We predict it will have very little impact on the way we drive along Upper Shoreham Road.

2. Let’s give them time

When cycling becomes safer, we don’t always see an immediate rush in numbers of people on bikes. If takes a bit of time for people to get used to the idea, overcome their doubts and try and change in their transport habits.

3. Let’s be constructive in our feedback

Whether you are a fan or otherwise, let’s make our feedback to the councils as helpful as possible. If you’re a fan of the lanes, can you explain why? Are there any bits that are better than others? If you don’t like the new lanes, can you explain why? And if you could change them, how would you do this?

4. Let’s give them a try

When the new lanes are fully open (maybe in about 10 days), it’ll be time to try them out! These cycle lanes are being created so that more people in Shoreham have a wider choice about how they get around. Even if you wouldn’t describe yourself as ‘a cyclist’ (in fact, especially if you wouldn’t), this could be an opportunity to try a bike more often for those short journeys around our town. If you need help, you know we’re here if you need us.

Temporary cycle lanes for Shoreham: an information resource

Heard rumours about new cycle lanes for Upper Shoreham Road?
Excited? Worried?


We’ve put together this overview of what’s happening and what you may need to know and consider. As things change and develop, we may make edits to this page, so do look back later.

(last edited 02/09/20)

Screenshot 2020-08-15 at 08.52.05

What’s going on?

West Sussex County Council will soon be creating some temporary cycle lanes Upper Shoreham Road. This is part of the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund.

Work is scheduled to begin on Monday 7 September.

(Originally, there were plans to build temporary lanes along Old Shoreham Road, but this part of the project was cancelled.) 

Why is this happening?

As we recover from Covid, our transport habits are changing. During lockdown, huge numbers of local people got back on their bikes, and rediscovered how easy it can be to get around on two wheels. 

Now, with public transport still being considered risky for some, there is a proven appetite for people to continue using bikes. But without good quality road design to separate bikes and cars, many people don’t feel safe enough to ride, so may feel they have no option but to get back in their cars. With temporary cycle lanes, we have more options.

In particular, a return to school in September is looming. Will we have car-based school-run chaos, with congestion and pollution worse than before? Or can we help parents and children feel safe enough to ride (or walk) to school in greater numbers? If so, we’ll need more safe routes for them.

What are the details of the temporary cycle lane designs?

The designs have been published by West Sussex County Council. Most of the route will be made up of a 1.5m lane on each side of the road, separated from the main flow of traffic by plastic wands. In some sections, these wands are absent. 

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(You may have heard other rumours. Not all will be accurate. Did you know, for example, that there’s never been a plan to route a cycle lane around the Holmbush roundabout as part of this project?)

Will the temporary cycle lane designs be high quality?

The government has a new standard for the design of cycle infrastructure, and virtually no aspect of the scheme’s design is up to these standards.

Parts, however, are not bad. Most of the route sees cycle lanes separated from traffic by plastic wands – so much safer and more effective than just a line of white paint.

There are some worrying parts of the design. For example…

  • At certain stretches of the route, the plastic wands will give way to ‘advisory’ sections. These sections can be essential for junctions and bus stops, but our fear is that some advisory sections, added late in the design phase, will attract dangerous parking, blocking the route for people on bikes.
  • In other parts of the route, painted cycle lanes are routed beside lines of parked cars. This brings a risk of drivers opening doors into the path of people cycling past.

We’ve stressed to councillors that badly designed cycle lanes can be dangerous – and we’ve encouraged them to follow the latest in government best practice. If the Department for Transport judges the designs to be poorly implemented, they may take their money back.

Why use a major road for these cycle lanes, not side streets?

Good question. Some of us may feel uneasy at the idea of routing cycle lanes along significant roads. But best practice – and the latest government guidance – points out that people on bikes need an easy, direct route to get to where they’re going, rather than being forced to wiggle through side streets full of parked cars and junctions.

Why do cyclists get special treatment?

It can be tempting to think of cyclists and drivers as an ‘us and them’ situation, can’t it? But we really don’t think this is the way it is. People who ride bikes aren’t a distinct group. They’re just regular people – including children -making short journeys on two wheels. Something we learned during lockdown is that cycling is an option for so many different types of people. Let’s make it easier for them – and for you, if you’d like.

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Will I have to change how I drive, or where I park?

In some cases, yes, road layouts will change and parking spaces will change.

Parking will be suspended along most of Upper Shoreham Road.

Parking bays will stay by Buckingham Park, by the shopping parade, and near Southlands Hospital.

At the western end of the road, this probably won’t be very disruptive, as most houses have ample driveway space.

In areas near schools and nurseries, it may now be more difficult to make quick drop-offs by car. We suggested a design option for retaining more parking (a solution used elsewhere), but WSCC decided not to try it.

Around the Southlands area of Upper Shoreham Road, we know the reduction of parking on Upper Shoreham Road might be annoying for some. It might mean a slightly longer walk from home to your car or van. We know no-one wants added hassle.

But changes like this can be the key to freeing up space so that people can feel safer on their bikes. We think some changes are worth it, for the benefit of our friends, neighbours and children. Let’s see how this goes. It could be a change worth making – or it could be that between us, we work out how things can be improved for the better, and ask WSCC to make changes to the scheme.

I don’t ride a bike. Why would I want these temporary cycle lanes?

Even if you don’t think you’ll use the cycle lanes, there are plenty of reasons why they might be good news for you – even if it doesn’t seem that way at first.

  • Your friends and neighbours will feel safer and more able to use bikes
  • When more people decide to cycle, instead of driving, there’s an opportunity to reduce congestion, making essential driving easier.
  • We can reduce air pollution as people increasingly choose bikes over cars for local journeys.
  • Cycling on pavements causes annoyance, but often happens because people don’t feel safe on the road. Well-designed cycle infrastructure reduces people’s tendency to ride on pavements.
  • If people cycle instead of taking the bus, then buses become safer spaces for people who need to use them.

Who’s paying for this?

Central government, via the Department for Transport, has shared funds around councils who are willing to try ambitious new ideas to help improve the way we get around post-Covid. If West Sussex County Council do a good job, more money becomes available to improve our streets.

This is all very well in the summer. But will people cycle in the winter?

Another fair question. Of course, more people use bikes in the summer than in the colder, wetter months. But the decline in numbers isn’t as great as you may think. For most people, it isn’t actually cycling in the winter that they dislike, but the idea of dealing with motor traffic in the winter months. When people feel safe, they’re more likely to ride year-round. Let’s give them that opportunity.

What about consultation for local residents?

This is an important question. And it has three answers:

  1. The routes of these new lanes are included within a long-term plan called the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, published by Adur and Worthing Councils. There was a consultation last year on this plan, that received a very large number of responses, and a good level of support.
  2. These lanes are temporary, to help people adapt to new transport habits. They won’t become permanent without some serious procedures coming into play.
  3. Paper-based consultations are important, but they are not perfect. Without seeing actual schemes in the flesh, it can be hard to form an opinion. So, as these lanes are being built on a trial basis, this is a kind of consultation in itself, to help us all try out a new idea. As a temporary scheme, it’s a chance to ‘Try before you buy’!

Haven’t similar lanes caused congestion in Brighton and Hove?

You have probably seen or heard about cycle lanes further along Old Shoreham Road in Hove. The cycle lanes on Upper Shoreham Road will NOT be of the same lane-width design as used in Hove or Worthing. 

(By the way, did you know that since the trial scheme was constructed, cycling along Hove’s Old Shoreham Road has increased by 61%.)

Will anyone actually use the temporary cycle lanes?

If you’re driving, it can feel frustrating to see a cycle lane that looks like no-one is using it. We understand that. But a couple of things to bear in mind:

  • Cycle lanes move people very efficiently. A lane that doesn’t look busy might be moving more people than it seems.
  • People’s habits don’t change overnight. Many of us feel so wary about the current state of our roads that it’ll take us a while to get used to the new ability to ride in more safety. Some things need a little time.
  • Schools have not yet returned from summer holidays. These cycle lanes will provide ways for children to get to school.

Won’t plastic bollards be ugly?

Let’s face it, the kind of orange plastic bollards used for these schemes aren’t beautiful! But that’s OK. This scheme is temporary. If a trial period leads to a decision to make them permanent facilities, we can hope for the construction of something a little easier on the eye!

I still don’t like this idea. Why should I have to put up with it?

We know that not everyone will be a fan of the temporary cycle lanes. Of course. But our suggestion? Let’s give it a try. The way we get around is definitely changing. Let’s allow new ideas to be tested. They might just work! 

And if you do find yourself feeding back to councillors that you’re not a fan, our request is to be specific about the parts you don’t like – and to consider how else we can solve the problem of improving conditions for cycling and walking. What would you do?

We will keep listening

We know there’s lots of uncertainty about the new temporary cycle lanes. So we promise we’ll keep listening to people’s thoughts, and we’ll keep asking questions of the councillors and officers who have been tasked by central government to come up with ideas to help us get around more sustainably.

WSCC announces Adur’s first temporary Covid cycleway

West Sussex County Council has announced the first of what we hope will be a series of short-term measures to help us move around Shoreham easily and safely.

Why do we need short-term changes to our streets?

As the UK works out how best to transition from Covid-19 lockdown to a new kind of life-as-usual, the Department for Transport has issued statutory guidance for West Sussex County Council and all local authorities – effectively ordering them to take bold temporary measures to help people get around their towns and cities. And now we are starting to see these changes come to Shoreham.

In Adur, as elsewhere, we’ve all noticed a huge increase in the numbers of people riding bikes. Of course, during lockdown, some of this was due to a sudden increase in leisure time, but when we asked people for their feelings about cycling, hundreds of you told us you feel safer and more able to ride bikes when the fear of sharing space with motor vehicles is reduced.

As schools and workplaces begin the process of re-opening, and with public transport still being discouraged, there’s a possibility that the use of cars for short journeys will increase – with the pollution and congestion that goes along with this.

So the point of temporary cycling measures is to make transport options easier. If more people feel able to make short journeys without using cars, what a difference we can make to life in Shoreham.

Where will the changes be?

The first temporary measure will be a cycleway along Upper Shoreham Road and Old Shoreham Road, connecting the River Adur to our border with Brighton & Hove. We don’t yet know the details (these are being worked on by engineers), but it’s likely this will take the form of a lane to separate people on bikes from cars and lorries. Usually, we feel strongly that a simple painted line isn’t enough to provide real protection, so we’re keen to see the details when this is ready.
Screenshot 2020-06-09 at 21.05.52

Where’s next?

We are hoping that further measures will follow shortly. We hoped that Shoreham’s Middle Road – a major school route – would make the first cut, but sadly, this was not the case. This really must be a priority before many more children begin returning to school.

What about people in Shoreham who don’t ride bikes?

Of course, riding a bike isn’t for everyone, and we know some people are worried about losing road space for motor vehicle use. We understand this, but there are some things worth remembering:

  • Many people who don’t currently ride bikes feel more able to do so when danger is reduced. We saw this during lockdown, and research bears it out.
  • People who don’t ever ride bikes still stand to benefit. By encouraging others to leave their cars at home, there’s a hope of increased air quality, reduced congestion and fewer delays for people who need to drive.
  • We know there’s often discomfort and conflict when people ride bikes on pavements. With somewhere safer to ride, we know people feel less tempted to ride bikes where they shouldn’t.

Funded by central government

West Sussex County Council is being awarded £784,000 to introduce various changes around the county. And if successful in reducing pollution and congestion, more funds will follow.

Temporary facilities are a chance to experiment

Will this work perfectly? Maybe. Possibly not. But that’s the great thing about temporary measures, in that they can be tried, tested, and then decisions taken later for longer term changes.

Thanks to everyone who has worked on this so far

This recent decision is the result of much conversation between district, county and national levels of government. We know Cllr Kevin Boram has been working hard on getting things sorted out at County Hall. Support has come from across political parties, including from Cllr Catherine Arnold, who has been involved in really understanding what will most help the people of Shoreham.

This is Bike Week 2020. Be a hero.


Bike Week is the week each year when, across the UK, organisations and enthusiasts celebrate and promote cycling, cycles and cyclists.

But of course, this year feels quite different to most, doesn’t it?

Usually, as Shoreham-By-Cycle, you won’t ever hear us talk about cycling as a challenge, or anything heroic, because we think getting around by bike should be one of the most normal, ordinary, easy things in our town. No big deal.

But 2020 is different. Our lives have changed, and the way we use various modes of transport has also changed. With public transport still discouraged, there’s a real risk that a boom in car use will soon make our roads crowded, polluted places.

Of course, for some people, cars are indispensable, and many are dreading the threat of more cars on the roads.

So here’s what you can do: Ride a bike.

Each time you decide to make a short journey by bike, rather than by car, you’re helping your neighbours. You’re freeing up road space for people who have no choice but to use a car.

So usually, while we avoid talk of cycling being a heroic act, this week, and this year, it’s different.

Be a hero, Shorehamites. Ride a bike.

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.

It’s good, but what could be better?

There is lots of good stuff in the LCWIP – but the Shoreham-By-Cycle would like to see details changed or added – 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…

These points are not our only thoughts on what’s needed in Shoreham. They are the changes and additions we would suggest to improve the draft LCWIP.

    • 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.”