Pop-up Cycle Lanes – Crawley Observer

Anger towards pop-up cycle lanes
30th September 2020 – Crawley Observer

website www.crawleyobserver.co.uk

By Staff Reporter
email crawleyobserver@jpimedia.co.uk

A petition calling for the removal of Crawley’s, pop-up cycle lanes has now been signed by more than 4,000 people.

A sign warning motorist of pop-up cycle lanes in Crawley

Last week the Crawley Observer reported the petition was launched to remove Crawley’s two routes from Three Bridges to Manor Royal and Pound Hill to the town centre The temporary cycle lanes were set up by West Sussex County Council after receiving money from central Government to help support active travel as the country emerges from lockdown.

We asked our online readers if the pop-up lanes should stay or go.

Janice Wells said: “They should definitely go. This scheme has caused nothing but major congestion, confusion and in my opinion these areas are so much more dangerous for cars and cyclists alike! I hate driving out of Maidenbower now its just ridiculous planning at best….crazy !!!”

Austen Michael Thompson said: “I have been run off the road too many times even in cycle lanes because cars think that I shouldn’t be there, clearly they have not read the highway code completely :-)) “All in all, the cycle lanes are good but the cones are there so that people know the road is changing.”

Becky Beagley said: “There are miles of cycle lanes already in place in and around Crawley especially in the industrial area and cyclists still cycle on the road, next to the cycle lane!!! Can’t wait for the potholes when the posts are finally removed!!”

Alex Clifford said: “I cycle to work every day and I think they are the most stupid thing I’ve ever seen.”

Mick Holland said: “They should never have even popped up in the first place the highway code states that you can’t drive in the chevrons so you remove the chevrons to make way for a Covid 19 pop up cycle lane which no one is using all you have done is make it more dangerous for anyone using the road.”

Andrew Keith said: “They should be removed and replaced with a proper cycle network, and police who actually enforce the law and stop people cycling on footpaths illegally, and illegally using electric scooters.”

Danielle Kail said: “I think we should have all pedestrian paths shared with bikes too…I don’t think bikes should be considered safe on a road personally (I never feel safe: on a road when on a bike, and certainly wouldn’t with my two children). Either that or have much narrower but secure lanes for them, bikes don”t need a lane as wide as a car … I want to see more bike lanes/accessible spaces for bikes (at least all cycle paths joining up around Crawley … on the shared pathways),”

Tim Taylor said: “Let’s face it, they are there to appease the minority who have been the most Vocal. There’s no requirement for them.”

Lynne Sparshott, said: “Definitely go! An accident waiting to happen and an absolute nightmare, I’ve still yet to see a cyclist using it.”

1 thought on “Pop-up Cycle Lanes – Crawley Observer

  1. WSCC – news release
    03 November 2020

    West Sussex’s Government-funded temporary cycleways are set to be removed

    The Government-funded, temporary cycleways in Crawley, East Grinstead, Horsham, Shoreham and Worthing are to be removed, it has been decided.

    Government funding for the pop-up cycleways was announced in May this year, with the aim of providing more safe space for people to cycle and help reduce pressure on public transport.

    When the Government funding was awarded and the cycleways’ construction started, the country was just emerging from the first national lockdown. However, since then, the Government has continued to provide additional funding for local public transport and traffic has significantly increased, so the pop-up cycle lanes are no longer needed for their original purpose.

    Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “The schemes fulfilled their main objectives of offering people dedicated space to cycle rather than using public transport, or to leave the car at home and use their bike instead. This was in response to the unique set of circumstances during the first national lockdown, including schools and colleges having been closed for months and vastly-reduced public transport capacity.

    “The extraordinary environment that led to their installation no longer exists even though we are about to enter into a new national lockdown: schools and colleges are open, traffic volumes have increased and, although public transport capacity is not back to pre-March levels, it is significantly improved.”

    The impact of the schemes has been monitored during their operation. Feedback showed the majority of responses were opposed to the cycleways, citing increased congestion as a key issue. Automatic traffic counters also indicated relatively low usage by cyclists in comparison with other traffic.

    Roger added: “I would like to thank everyone who took the time and effort to provide us with feedback for the Crawley, East Grinstead, Horsham, Shoreham and Worthing cycleway surveys.

    “We remain committed to our long-standing, walking and cycling strategy with all the permanent benefits this will bring for active and sustainable travel. Recognising that we have to work closely with local communities, we have a continued ambition to support investment in sustainable and active travel and the data gathered and the experience of providing these cycleways will help us when delivering future schemes.”

    The Cabinet Member decisions are subject to the usual call-in period.

    The decision to remove the Chichester cycleway was announced last month. A request to call-in the decision has been received and will be debated by the scrutiny committee at a date to be decided. The Cabinet Member will then take a final decision on the scheme.

    Why the schemes were introduced:

    • The pop-up cycleways for West Sussex were an emergency response to increase travel options as part of the Government-led recovery plan from COVID-19.
    • As an emergency response, the Government required the trial schemes to be planned and installed within three months. Given the timeframe, we consulted key partners including district and borough councils, emergency services and bus operators. Normally schemes of this nature would take years to develop and be subject to various stages of public consultation that might last two or more months and involve exhibitions, etc. This was not possible given the timescale limitations required.
    • The cycleway routes are the result of collaborative work with the district and borough councils.

    For further information please contact the news desk on 0330 222 8090 or email pressoffice@westsussex.gov.uk.

    For urgent out-of-hours enquiries please call 07767 098415.

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