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Comments

  1. Peter Warrell says:

    Hi, we are new to the area and pleased to have the Downs Link available. However, the section on the road to Christ’s Hospital is not so good, and we can’t find on Google search any current proposals for off road diversions or current state of play with the landowner of the original alignment. Are there any developments on this issue please?

    Kind regards

    Peter and Margaret

    • Dear Peter and Margaret. Yes, the Downs Link is a wonderful resource which is sadly let down by the lack of an all-weather surface and one or two gaps. The “Missing Link” in the Downs Link at Christ’s Hospital is a long-standing issue which is crying out to be resolved. Progress (such as it is) has been slow but we are hopeful that a fully off-road high quality route under the railway will be opened in the not too distant future.

  2. Hi,
    Just wondered whether HDCF has noticed the additional speed bumps that were installed in Kilnwood Lane on the signposted Crawley-Horsham cycle route a little while ago? There have always been two annoying small, sharp, road bumps, but now there are several more, and sections of tree trunk have been placed to attempt to prevent people (presumably in cars?) bypassing them.
    These are exceptionally and unnecessarily unfriendly to cyclists and have no place on a signed cycle route in my opinion. It would have been easy to leave a small gap in the middle of the road that would not allow cars to avoid the bumps but would allow bicycles to. I imagine that they could even cause an accident for an inexperienced, elderly or very young cyclist.
    I would imagine that the bumps were added in an attempt to limit the speed of cars not bicycles, but if speeding cyclists are the target (which would be stupid, given the relative kinetic energy), they are ineffective – when I have the energy I speed up and jump right over them, but this is an unnecessary effort and an inconvenience. When I am too tried I continue at the same speed and just bump uncomfortably over them as the effort to pick up speed after slowing down is worse than the discomfort. They probably only really slow down cyclists who aren’t going very fast to begin with.
    As I believe the legal status is a bridleway, I don’t suppose there is a whole lot that can be done, but I wondered if you knew otherwise?
    Thanks,
    David E

    • Hi David, yes those abrupt speed humps are very uncomfortable for people on bikes and it was annoying when the tree stumps were placed either side – making it impossible to avoid the humps. We are not aware of who installed these or why. When the Missing Link at the A264 crossing is completed and the Horsham-Crawley cycle route is given more prominence it may be possible to do something about this.

  3. Collette Barker says:

    Hi, I live in Colgate and enjoy cycling but find it frustrating that there are so few roads in the area that are safe to cycle on. Why can’t we have a cycle path between Horsham and Crawley? There is plenty of room along the A264 and it would be used and appreciated by cyclists, walkers and joggers alike. People would be encouraged to get out there and take more exercise, if only it was made easier to do so. A route away from the road is probably asking too much but would be healthier and more enjoyable. I cycled from Colgate to Crawley via Pease Pottage recently and really didn’t enjoy the traffic on Forrest Road, crossing at the M23 roundabout to get on to the A23 and then the path ran out on my way down to K2. I had to go through a gap in the fence (or brave the dual carriage way) into the housing estate and find my way out by Crawley Football ground. Coming home I decided to cycle via Ifield, Lambs Green and Faygate. But have you ever tried to cross the A264 at the Faygate roundabout!? It would be heaven to have purpose built cycle paths on every road but I guess that is a way off yet? We all know how annoying cyclists can be for cars on the roads, and we want to get off the busy roads, so give us what we need! Encourage people to cycle, walk or jog for their health which in turn will save money for the NHS and get more cars off the roads.

    • Hi Collette, many thanks for your comments. We certainly share your frustration at the lack of safe routes in the area! A direct, safe cycle route from Horsham to Crawley (that links in with Colgate, Faygate & Kilnwood Vale) is one of our key aspirations.

      Regarding your specific experience, Forest Road should be ideal for cycling but has become dangerous and unpleasant due to high levels of fast-moving motor traffic. Having reached the Pease Pottage toucan crossing it sounds like you eventually found the signed route through Broadfield to the football stadium roundabout. It does go round the houses but is arguably preferable to riding on the dual carriageway. There should of course be a safe route direct from Pease Pottage to K2 alongside the Brighton Road (A23).

      You are absolutely right that providing safe cycleways benefits everyone, motorists included! Our next open forum meeting is on Tuesday 7th February at 7:30pm in the Hastings Room, WSCC, County Hall North, Parkside, Horsham. You will be very welcome to join us.

      I have passed your comments on to Peter Smith of the Crawley Cycle Forum since north of Pease Pottage is into Crawley Borough Council territory and he may have more information on any potential future improvements.

  4. Steve Ogborn says:

    I’m a member of Horsham Cycling Club and wondered whether I might be able to drum up some support raising concerns about the safety of Worthing Road, particularly the bit between the railway line and the top of Dene Hill? The reason for my concern is that some of the many Chesworth FC youth team players may have to cycle up it if Horsham Football Clubs’s application for a ground inside Horsham Golf and Fitness (opposite the Park and Ride, near to the Hop Oast roundabout on the A24) is successful. This is because Horsham Football Club are planning to build houses on part of the Holbrook sports field, which is currently the ‘home’ for a number of Chesworth youth teams (my U17’s included), many of whom ride or walk to games. I shudder to think of these players riding up Worthing road from Town to Horsham Golf and Fitness, particularly in the dark. I’m sure many cyclists in the Horsham area have experienced the dangers of this road, I do it each day as part of my commute and it can be treacherous with articulated lorries narrowly passing at speed on what is virtually a country lane. For this reason alone I feel HFC’s application for a ‘community’ club is inappropriately located. The support of cyclists in the matter would be much appreciated. If anyone would like to object to HFC’s application they can visit https://public-access.horsham.gov.uk/public-access/ or mail planning@horsham.gov.uk and quoting the reference: DC/16/2856 – the closing date is 31st January. Regards, Steve

    • Hi Steve, many thanks for your comments. The forum has to take a neutral view on the development per se, but we share your concerns about the lack of a safe direct route along Worthing Road. You are absolutely right that this road is extremely dangerous for people on bikes and is desperately in need of safe cycle provision. We will be submitting our response to the application shortly and will incorporate your comments. I assume the Horsham Cycling Club has already submitted a response.

      Our next open forum meeting is on Tuesday 7th February at 7:30pm in the Hastings Room, WSCC, County Hall North, Parkside, Horsham. You will be very welcome to join us.

  5. norman saxby says:

    I went to the recentNorth Horsham Housing Development meeting hidden away down near the Conservatory Cafe.No direction signs from the main footpath opposite The Capital. They obviously did not want a rush of visitors! Everyone I spoke to just could not appreciate the chaos that there will be if all the A264 crossings are controlled by traffic lights. Nobody seemed to know how busy that particlar gets during rush hours. I often cross at the Wimlands Road near the Newhouse Farm on my way home from my cycle clubruns and it can take at least 5 minutes to cross both carriages. It is not an enjoyable experiance I can assure you. They were also of the opinion that people would be walking into town from the new housing. They did not seem to realise that it is about 2 1/2 Miles to the town centre Not.Very nice while all present routes are not joined up or safe. CAN WE ALSO HAVE ALL THESE NEW CYCLE PATHS AT LEAST 1 1/2 METRES WIDE AS RECOMMENDED

    • Ni Norman, we share your concerns about the lack of cycle routes between Horsham and the proposed new development as well as the barrier caused by the A264 for cyclists and pedestrians. Please do come along to our next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 6th December in the Bodiam Room, County Hall North.

  6. Ruth Fletcher says:

    Welcome, Nick!
    We certainly share your concerns about north of Horsham.
    Have you found the golf course underpass? It is a pretty good alternative to the Warnham Rd roundabout for some journeys: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Horsham/@51.0761099,-0.3430566,16.63z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x4875930bdbd6edbf:0xd07b2d1bec20416b!8m2!3d51.062883!4d-0.325858
    Do come along and say hello at our next meeting Tue 4th Oct 7.30pm at County Hall North (the old Sun Alliance building next to the Black Jug).

  7. Nick Bailey says:

    So delighted to find this organisation. Congratulations on your focus and tone and energy. I live in the Holbrook area of town and currently cycle to work (in Cranleigh), for shopping & leisure (round town) and for sport (with Horsham Tri Club). I have lived in Germany, Holland and Scotland and continue to cry with frustration at the short sighted developments around Horsham that commit urban transport for the future to involve queuing in traffic. For the last 38 years, the bike has been my preferred mode of transport, doing 5 to 15k miles per year. Horsham is behind where Edinburgh was in 1980, with respect to progressive transport planning that minimises car congestion, despite here being flatter, more compact, less wet and less windy – conditions that all favour bikes and pedestrians and small electric options.

    The proposal for North Horsham will be criminal in my opinion unless it includes indoor, ground floor cycle/pram space for each dwelling and multiple underpasses connecting across the by-pass, with connecting cycle/pedestrian/jogger routes into town and to the schools. Is criminal too strong a word? If this aspect were not built in at the design stage, it would hamper the new community for 100s of years to come, because the cost of retrospectively changing poor options is many times more.
    Currently I am struggling to prepare for a London to Brighton tandem ride with my blind friend, and to cycle out of Horsham almost inevitably requires the crossing of a dual carriageway on foot (e.g. at the end of Pondtail Drive) with cars at 60 mph, or tackling one of the roundabouts (e.g. Warnham Road). It takes all my experience to negotiate these hazards safely. What likelihood do kids have of surviving 6 years of cycling to school?
    If Amsterdam can achieve 60% of urban journeys by bike with a population density greater than us, surely we can build in the provision with every road modification that gets made?
    We may not be able to redesign the past, but we can responsibly design the future. Come on, lets demand it of our local government employees and representatives.

  8. Hi,

    I wonder whether HDCF has had a look at the proposals for the North of Horsham development yet? While there are many good-sounding words about reducing reliance on cars, and encouraging cycling, and there are a number of pedestrian/cycle paths proposed within the development, in my opinion, the connectivity plan ( http://landnorthofhorsham.co.uk/connectivity/ ) seems to contain a host of missed opportunities that will almost totally preclude cycling between the new development and Horsham itself, and also between Crawley and Horsham:

    – Complete absence of safe cycle connections between Horsham and the new development
    – Failure to complete the Horsham – Crawley cycle route
    – Total failure to deal with existing A264 severance problems for cyclists
    – Failure to adequately deal with existing A264 severance problems for pedestrians
    – Missed opportunity to provide a cycle underpass or bridge between Langhurstwood Road and Pondtail Drive while closing the junction between Langhurstwood Road and the A264.
    – Missed opportunity to provide a cycle underpass or bridge between Old Holbrook and Northlands Road
    – Missed opportunity to provide safe pedestrian (and potentially cycling) crossing over/under the A264 where the public footpath crosses between the Rusper Road roundabout and the Moorhead Roundabout.
    – Totally reconstructing the Rusper Road roundabout but without including a cycling subway.
    – At grade crossings (I assume these are for cyclists although it doesn’t say) over the Rusper Road and Pondtail Road roundabouts. Unless these are signalised they will be equally dangerous as the existing crossings, and I cannot possibly believe that they will be signalised due to impact on A264 motorised traffic. Even if they are signalised, the delay to cycling traffic will make cycling an unattractive option.

    I wonder whether HDCF will be providing a return to Horsham District Council on planning application DC/16/1677?

    • Hi David,

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Yes, the forum is currently looking very closely at the proposals for North of Horsham and like you we are deeply concerned at the lack of provision for cycling. I will feed your comments into the discussion. Once again, many thanks for taking the time to get in contact.

      Peter

      • Ruth Fletcher says:

        David,
        Yes, I agree.
        As well as concerns about lack of provision for cycling and the quality of what is being provided, we are also worried about the timing of delivery. The cycleways need to be built in advance of the housing so that new residents can cycle from day one, not several years down the line when the connecting paths are built. Not all the cycleways are actually ‘promised’ -some are dependent on the railway station going ahead, many details are part of future planning applications and some routes are rather ambiguously marked as footpaths.
        We also want an assurance that the Wimblehurst Rd level crossing will remain open for pedestrians and cyclists. This is especially important for anyone who wants to get across the A264 from the east side of Horsham -it would have been better to have had an improved foot/cycle crossing of the railway at Amberley Rd so people from Roffey East could use the subway.
        A further point: the plan definitely *is* to signalise the A264 junctions. Each roundabout will have multiple lanes so that many cars can cross in parallel. The light phasings will be adjusted to optimise the traffic throughput. It may seem odd to add traffic lights to speed up traffic flow, but the idea is that this increases the junction capacity (the number of cars that it can cope with without getting clogged up), although the average speed of travel for each individual driver reduces.
        Clearly, it should be less dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists to cross at these traffic lights than dashing across 70mph traffic as you have to do now. It is still going to be dangerous though. Think about school kids crossing in the dark, ice or fog and how drivers will jump red lights not noticing people starting to cross because they are masked by a lorry in the next lane. It will also be noisy, dirty, polluted and very slow – crossing will mean waiting at up to 4 separate sets of toucan lights.
        You and others who are concerned should also send your comments and objections to the council https://www.horsham.gov.uk/planning/view-and-comment-on-planning-application using this reference DC/16/1677 and write to your local councillors: http://horsham.moderngov.co.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?FN=WARD&VW=LIST&PIC=0 .
        Since this is a major application, it will take some time to be dealt with, so even if the official comment deadline has passed, it is still worth doing it.

  9. Ben Grimwood says:

    Why are none of the cyclists in the picture on your home page wearing helmets? The lady on the left is not even looking where she is going!!

    • Hi Ben, thanks for stopping by. Riding a bicycle is not an inherently dangerous activity, particularly when pootling about (as in the picture on our home page). Any physical activity (jogging, sweeping the leaves, cycling, etc.) does of course pose some risk although the obesity epidemic highlights the far greater risk of not exercising.

      The dangers that people on bikes do face come largely from close proximity to fast moving traffic. The effectiveness of helmets in these situations is, to say the least, inconclusive. Choosing to wear protective gear (such as a helmet) when taking part in any activity – whether it be walking, cycling, climbing a ladder or driving a car – should be a personal matter.

  10. Leslie Brooks says:

    I have met Councillor HelenCroft of Horsham District Council several times over the last year at her bi-monthly ‘surgeries’ expressing my concerns respecting cyclists travelling in and around the centre of the Horsham. She has mentioned that she has discussed the same or similar concerns with your organisation. Councillor Croft always emphasised that the Forum voiced the views and opinions of RESPONSIBLE cyclists. From my perspective, a non-cycling pedestrian, it is the NON-responsible that cause me some considerable anxiety.

    My reason for writing to you is to enquire whether or not the Forum has ever considered the current situation and whether you have formed any views on the obvious problems and more importantly have come to any conclusions as to what steps might be taken to alleviate these problems and have any recommendations been made to Councillor Croft or to HDC.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Leslie Brooks

    • Hi Leslie, sorry for the delayed response. I’m one of the admins on this site and I will pass your message onto HDCF for their reply

    • Peter Silburn says:

      Thank you for your interest in the issues around cycling in Horsham. The Forum exists to improve conditions for people who cycle and to encourage others to take up cycling, with the attendant benefits to all in terms of health, the environment and the economy. As you yourself have observed, however, conditions for anyone choosing to ride a bike in Horsham are far from ideal.

      These problems can be summed up as “Hobson’s choice” between dangerous roads and poor off-road routes, often on the pavement. Where cycle facilities are provided they are sadly not up to the required standard, causing problems for all.

      Shared use pavement routes are a case in point and can be confusing for both cyclists and pedestrians. Until conditions are improved there is clearly a need for consideration and tolerance from all users.

      The Forum does not obviously condone any irresponsible behaviour. The vast majority of people who cycle simply want to get about their business without causing hindrance or offence to anyone.

      The issue is at heart one of inadequate investment in infrastructure for people who cycle (segregated cycle lanes, continuous access through the town centre, cycle parking, safe routes to school etc.). As you can imagine we have discussed these issues at some length with Councillor Croft, HDC and WSCC (who as the Highways Authority bears the responsibility for providing an adequate transport network), but progress is slow. If you are concerned about these problems please do help lobby for change.

      The Forum meets on a regular basis and we would value your input. If you are interested in attending one of our meetings I can let you know when and where we are next meeting.

      Peter Silburn
      HDCF

    • Leslie brooks says:

      Peter Silburn

      Is anyone concerned with space for and safety of pedestrians?

      • Hi Leslie, there is no reason why the needs of pedestrians should conflict with the needs of cyclists. People in cars have a network of high-quality routes that get them safely to where they want to be (the roads). Similarly, people on foot have a network of pavements. People on bikes, however, do not have anywhere safe to ride.
        This is clearly not an ideal situation for anyone. The solution is to provide safe routes for people on bikes so that children, women, families and the elderly (precisely the people who don’t currently cycle because it’s too dangerous) can get about without danger to themselves or anybody else. This is all we are asking for.

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