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£4.7million bid for cycling and walking improvements

A bid for £4.7million worth of improvements and initiatives for cyclists and pedestrians has been put forward – all to encourage active travel choices.

 

West Sussex County Council’s application in Tranche Two of the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund was submitted on Friday (August 7) and includes projects for:

 

  • New Findon Valley to Findon Village and Littlehampton to Rustington footways/cycleways
  • Enhancement and protection measures for some existing cycle lanes
  • Supporting the reopening of schools through a package of active travel measures and improvements, including “catch up” Bikeability cycle training for Year Six children who have missed out because of lockdown and the Covid-19 crisis.

 

This second tranche follows the council’s successful Tranche One bid to fund seven temporary cycleway schemes. This second wave of funding is for longer-term projects.

 

Cllr Roger Elkins, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “If our bid is successful, this second tranche would continue our aspiration to encourage and build confidence in active travel.

 

“We want to create an environment that’s safer for both cyclists and pedestrians to help nurture a culture of active travel choice: this would support health, improve air quality, address climate change issues, help manage traffic congestion and reduce reliance on the car.”

 

The seven schemes within the bid are:

 

A24 Findon Valley to Findon Village

A proposed new cycleway / footway adjacent to the A24.  A detailed design was completed but was not progressed due to lack of funding. The scheme would connect the South Downs National Park gateway of Findon Village with Findon Valley, with onward connection to Worthing via the existing cycle network. The A24 is a popular route but is currently a hostile environment for cycling, which discourages many would-be users.  The scheme would promote cycling through a shared facility, more than 2km-long.

Bid: £1million capital funding.

 

A259 Littlehampton to Rustington

A proposed new cycleway / footway adjacent to the A259.  A new pedestrian and cycle path, about 1km long, on the south of the new dual carriageway, which will be built in the A259 Littlehampton major highway improvement scheme. Much of the cycleway/footway will be segregated from the road by a grass verge.  People would be encouraged to use the new path for local trips, instead of using their car.

Bid: £600,000 capital funding.

 

A programme to enhance and protect some existing cycle lanes

A physical segregation would be installed to protect some existing on-carriageway cycle lanes that could not be afforded as part of the Tranche One funding.

Bid: £750,000 capital funding/£150,000 revenue funding.

 

A pilot project for ‘school gate’ improvements, plus county-wide Bikeability training

This is a project to support the reopening of schools through a package of active travel measures and improvements. These would include ‘Bikeability’ “catch-up” cycle training for pupils who missed out during the COVID-19 lockdown, plus training for less experienced, adult cyclists hoping to gain confidence with 1-2-1 sessions and ‘Doctor Bike’ bicycle maintenance sessions.

 

Cllr Elkins said: “This additional funding would allow us to continue Bikeability training in schools across the county and customise training sessions for individuals and groups, while observing all social distancing guidelines. There are more than 3,500 Year Six pupils who were denied the opportunity to take part in the Bikeability scheme because of the COVID-19 outbreak and restrictions.

 

“These pupils are now moving on to secondary school and making more independent journeys as pedestrians and cyclists. It’s so important to offer the necessary skills and training to this group.”

 

A targeted pilot project would also be launched around ‘school gate’ areas, with the aim of promoting active travel. A range of improvements would enable social distancing as part of the pending return to school. It would help reduce demand for car travel and help protect bus travel. Measures could include Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTROs), local signage/ markings/protected drop-off spaces/zones and improvements for pedestrians.

Bid: £350,000 capital funding/£150,000 revenue funding.

 

Enhancement of successful Tranche One temporary cycleway schemes

Seven temporary cycleways, currently at the final design stage or under construction, will be monitored over the coming weeks to assess their impact: westsussex.gov.uk/popupcyclelanes

 

Some of the temporary cycleways have scope to be made permanent, or further enhanced.

Bid: £750,000 capital funding/£250,000 revenue funding.

 

Active Travel Improvements Programme

This project would develop and construct cycling and walking improvements that have been highlighted by stakeholders but could not be addressed as part of Tranche One.  They would support a variety of active travel journeys on routes that help to improve sustainable connectivity and our cycling and walking infrastructure network.  This programme will complement the school gate improvements and Bikeability training project (above).

Bid: £500,000 capital funding.

 

Funding for promoting the above six schemes to boost the use of active travel options and to monitor and evaluate the projects’ success

Bid: £150,000 capital funding/£50,000 revenue funding

 

The deadline for the Tranche Two applications was Friday (August 7) and a decision is anticipated in the late summer/early autumn.

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