The question posed by the resident from Grand Avenue as to why she is unable to cycle along the promenade west from George V Avenue to the Sea Lane café is one that vexes many others.
Quite simply, the bylaw says that ‘No person shall without reasonable excuse ride a cycle on the promenade except where there is a right of way for cycles or a designated route for cycles’.
In October, 2013, Worthing Borough Council unanimously passed a ‘Cycling in Worthing’ motion which recognises the wide range of benefits that would follow if more people were encouraged to cycle: “This council recognises that cycling is now playing a greater role in Worthing residents’ lives and there has been a substantial increase in cycle movements over the last few years as a result of people wishing to use more forms of sustainable transport and to improve their health. Therefore, it wishes to actively encourage even more cycling by residents and visitors’.
The aim is to replace the hundreds of short local car journeys that could easily be cycled instead, resulting in (a reduction in) traffic, air pollution and pressure on parking.
The seafront cycle path to the east of Worthing has generated a large increase in the number of cycle trips, attracting people who don’t feel safe cycling on the roads. For residents to the west of George V Avenue to have the same opportunities, clearly the seafront path west needs to be widened so that it is safe for all users to share.
In 2012, West Sussex County Council drew up plans to widen the path as far as Sea Lane, Goring. However, all the funding received from the Department of Transport for sustainable transport was allocated to Chichester and Horsham. As a result, Worthing Borough Council is sitting on a ‘developer contribution’ of £166,000 from the Sea Place development, which is allocated for cycle schemes, but is insufficient for the whole project. The county council could have revived the scheme as a priority in its proposed Worthing Sustainable Transport Package, but has not done so.
The Worthing Cycle Forum is keen that the plans for the extension and widening of the seafront path west from George V Avenue through to the Sea Lane café come to fruition sooner rather than later and we hope that local residents and councillors will support that aspiration.
Secretary Worthing Cycle Forum
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