May 7th Elections – What’s in it for the cycling vote?

The Forum has written to all the candidates in the Horsham Parliamentary election and the District Council elections asking for their views on what’s needed to make cycling in Horsham a safe, convenient and attractive option for everyone.

We’ll post their replies as we receive them.

Responses received so far:
Horsham Parliamentary election

Roger Arthur (UKIP)
Martin Davis (Labour)
Morwen Millson (Lib Dem)
Jermey Quin (Conservative)
Jim Rae (Independent)
James Smith (Something New)

District Council elections

Tony Bevis (Lib Dem, Roffey North)
Paul Brown (Green Party, Lindfield and High Weald)
Karen Burgess (Conservative, Holbrook East)
Peter Burgess (Conservative, Holbrook West)
Ray Chapman (Labour, Horsham Park)
John Chidlow (Conservative, Southwater)
Greg Collins (Lib Dem, Horsham Park)
Christine Costin (Lib Dem, Trafalgar)
Mike Croker (Green Party, Bramber)
Jonathan Dancer (Conservative, Roffey North)
Francis Haigh (Lib Dem, Horsham Park)
Lesley Hendy (Lib Dem, Nuthurst)
Ian Howard (Conservative, Southwater)
Josh Murphy (Conservative, Horsham Park)
Godfrey Newman (Lib Dem, Forest)
Laurie Price (Lib Dem, Cowfold)
David Sheldon (Independent, Denne)
Roger Smith (Independent, Southwater)
Stephen Tall (Lib Dem, Denne)
Claire Vickers (Conservative, Southwater)

We have summarised the key issues facing cycling in Horsham here.

To save you the trouble of downloading each of the party’s manifestos and searching for the word ‘cycling’, The Guardian has summarised what each has to offer.

The Horsham Society has also written to all candidates in the District Council elections and has posted their responses here. For extracts of relevant responses on cycling, see District Council candidate responses below.

Dear Candidate,

I am writing as a member of the Horsham District Cycling Forum to ask about your views on cycling. We are happy to put your responses up on our website so our supporters can use them when deciding who to vote for.

Nationally, the CTC is asking all candidates for their views on these five subjects:

• Leadership and ambition to increase cycling levels.
• Sustained funding commitment from the national transport budget
• Cycle-friendly design standards for all new highway and traffic schemes.
• Improved safety for cycling through strengthening road traffic law and revisions to the Highway Code
• Positive promotion of cycling including funding of cycle skills training

Locally, the number of cyclists killed and seriously injured on West Sussex roads is actually rising. In Horsham town and Broadbridge Heath, only about 1% of total journeys were by bike, but 21% of serious/fatal injuries were to cyclists. WSCC’s own Local Transport Plan, LTP3, says the current provision of cycling facilities within Horsham is “not sufficient to support and maintain sustainable travel”. Few children cycle to school. In town, adults are increasingly riding on the pavement and elsewhere the opportunity to cycle is seriously limited because there is no alternative to risking fast and busy roads.

Both HDC and WSCC policy is extremely weak on cycling. We lack:   cycling officers, cycle-proofing of new highway works and the ability to use planned maintenance to improve cycle infrastructure. The councils are left unable to secure the maximum cycling benefits from developers and from sustainable transport funding. Money is wasted on sub-standard cycling infrastructure. Cycle provision falls into a gap between district and county councils and is ‘tacked on’ afterwards –if at all. Highways provision is not subject to effective scrutiny and there is a lack of effective community consultation. Millions of pounds of sustainable transport and cycling money are being given a coat of ‘greenwash’ and spent on other schemes or frittered away on ineffective sub-standard provision.

Meanwhile the planned new junctions on the A264 need an urgent rethink there are still no direct and safe cycle routes between Southwater, Crawley or Warnham. Within Horsham itself, it is difficult to get into the town centre by bike and there need to be better quiet links and measures to reduce rat-running traffic on residential roads.

More cycling will increase trade for town centre shops, restaurants and businesses, attract visitors to the area, reduce congestion and pressure on parking, improve road safety , noise and air pollution, bring health benefits to individuals and the community and improve mobility for all sections of society especially those who do not have access to a car. Horsham should be an ideal place for cycling –but to get more people to choose cycling we need safer and more convenient cycling infrastructure.

Parliamentary candidate responses

Roger Arthur (UKIP)

Since around 20,000 cyclist casualties occur each year, we would expect hot spots (often at road junctions) to be studied to seek ways of reducing the accident risk. That would be based on probability/impact assessments.

We would also expect strategic routes to be planned with each new housing development, to facilitate safe walking and cycling – in and around towns and cities.

In the longer term, we hope off-road track facilities to increase, around built up areas, reducing exposure to air pollution and contact with motor vehicles.

As you may appreciate, some parts of the policy will come more under the County (than District) Councils, which would require some liaison.

I hope that this helps.

Roger Arthur

Martyn Davis (Labour)

[Martyn Davis is currently the only Parliamentary candidate to have pledged support for the CTC’s VoteBike campaign. He has made the following additional response to the Forum.]

I would encourage the introduction of more cycle paths and that cycling is encouraged within schools more. I would like to see cycling as a part of the sports curriculum

Best wishes,

Jim Duggan (Peace Party)

[No response received yet]

Darrin Green (Green Party)

[No response received yet]

Morwen Millson (Lib Dem)

[No response received yet]

(from Lib Dem website “Why I should be MP for Horsham”) As MP for Horsham, I will fight for housing, jobs and transport for local people. We need to build many new homes, but I do not want development north of Horsham. If it happens, I want good connections for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as cars and buses, between the new development and the rest of the town. The development itself needs good community facilities, so that it can be as sustainable as possible. I am vehemently against traffic light controlled junctions on the A264, which would interrupt traffic flows and cause real problems for cyclists and pedestrians.

Jeremy Quin (Conservative)

I am a regular cyclist (as a means of getting from A to B rather than recreational!) and I start from the position that if any new build its taking place it’s utterly logical that we make it as safe as possible for cyclists from the outset – rather than making costly changes to enhance (and encourage) safe cycling at a later date.

If elected I would be delighted to meet up with you and hear more about the specifics re Horsham.

Yours sincerely
Jeremy Quin
Conservative Candidate for Horsham

I am a regular cyclist myself and see improvements to cycling safety – and encouraging increased usage of bicycles as a helpful and positive step.  In our local area that includes ensuring that as new housing and new infrastructure is put in place around the constituency that this designed to be user-friendly for cyclists.

On a national basis the Conservative Party believes that cycling means better health, less pollution, and less congestion, so we want it to be the natural choice for shorter journeys. Our aim is to double cycling by 2025.

That’s why we’ve been working through our long-term economic plan, cutting the deficit whilst also making the investment needed, with investment in cycling quadrupled in this Parliament. When we came to office in 2010, spending on cycling was £2 per person, it is now £6 per person and we have already stated in the cycling delivery plan that we want spending to be £10 per person each year.

We want more people travelling by bike to realise our ambition to make the UK truly a cycling nation – something we can only afford if we keep a strong economy.

We have a delivery plan to double cycling by 2025. The delivery plan sets out action to improve local leadership, funding, infrastructure, planning and safety so that we can promote cycling and address the concerns and problems that are stopping more people from cycling. By 2020/21 we want cycle funding worth £10 per person each year, building on the additional investment that has been made in this Parliament.

Investment in cycling has quadrupled this Parliament. From 2010/11 to 2014/15 £438 million is being invested in cycling, compared to £105 million from 2005/06 to 2009/10. This investment includes £63 million to Cycling England, £94 million for the Cycling Cities and National Parks fund and £35 million for the cycle safety fund. 

Increasing training available. Bikeability is the new name for the Cycling Proficiency Scheme. This year more children will enjoy Bikeability training than ever before, and almost three-quarters of a million more will get training over the next two years, with funding committed to in 2015/16.

Changing the rules for signs and road markings so that roads can be made safer for cyclists. We have cut red-tape to give local authorities more flexibility to make sure signs and road markings are safer for cyclists. We are trialling new dedicated cycle streets which would allow councils to put cyclists and motorists on an equal footing on popular cycle routes by banning overtaking. 

Funding cycling infrastructure at stations. We are providing £15 million for cycling facilities at train stations so that people know they can park at stations securely.

I hope this is helpful.  I will be keen, if elected, to encourage a sensible approach to cycling and cycling safety in our local area.

Yours sincerely,
Jeremy Quin
Conservative Candidate for the Horsham Constituency

Jim Rae (Independent)

As a candidate who has lived locally for the last 23 years I would if I may like to concentrate on matters that affect Horsham constituency.

Cycle-proofing what historically was built as a small market town with a constricted road lay-out is never going to be an easy task but I agree “green washing” does not make the roads safer for cyclist – that is money not well spent.

If elected to Parliament on May 7th I pledge to ensure that the HDCF is made a statutory consultee on all planning matters, HDCF are the experts; we at all levels of government should be using the expertise that is around us to improve the quality of life for all – to me that is a sensible place to start, HDCF need to be in at the start of all matters and should not be considered as an afterthought.

North Horsham: I do not do cheap publicity “photo-ops” I leave that to others, what I am doing is working with WSCC Highways Planners to ensure that the HDCF voice is heard; I was only on the phone to the Planners last Friday afternoon!
Yes, I am aware that the current plans are not satisfactory, but only by working with the strategic planners can we get those plans improved to ensure safety for all – that is what I am doing.

I believe the only way to promote greater use of cycling is to first prove that cycling can be made safe, which I agree is currently not the case locally. In order to achieve that goal, I pledge to work closely with HDCF a) to get you a seat at the planning decision table, b) to work with planners and HDCF to use the available funding to best effect and c) where and when needed to work with HDCF, developers and government at all levels to capture additional funds for specific projects to improve safety and quality of life for all.

I have never taken the easy way out of any issue so I will not lie to you, why start lying now when all I have ever done is to be honest with Horsham’s and West Sussex’s electorate; and for that I have paid a heavy price!

Achieving the above is not going to be simple; in fact as I am sure you are already aware it is going to be a fight. I believe of the candidates up for election I am best placed and best equipped to take up that fight, I have no party politics to hold me back, I have no interest in climbing the Westminster power ladder; I have nobody to keep happy except for the residents of Horsham constituency – that is where I will focus all my efforts after May 7th.

Now as they say it is up to you the voters!

Best Regards
Jim Rae
Independent Parliamentary Candidate, Horsham constituency

James Smith (Something New)

My answers on cycling. First of all, all five of the proposals you ask about are great ideas, and I fully support them. There’s a bit more detail for each one:

1) Leadership and ambition to increase cycling levels.

Definitely – we need to raise levels of cycling, for both more efficient and sustainable transport and for the health of the nation – it’s a win-win. The government needs to show leadership nationally on this, and change the prevailing narrative from “motorists v cyclists” to “how do we choose to get around together?”.

2) Sustained funding commitment from the national transport budget

Yes – our manifesto includes a commitment to investing in cycling infrastructure on both new and existing roads; see

3) Cycle-friendly design standards for all new highway and traffic schemes.

Again, yes, our manifesto says we want to “Put in place clear and simple standards to cover cycle lane design, signage, continuity and traffic signals. Extend existing transport planning requirements to always include these new cycling standards.” We also want to “Put in place a program to bring existing roads up to these new standards.”

4) Improved safety for cycling through strengthening road traffic law and revisions to the Highway Code

To be completely honest, this isn’t something we’d considered so far, but it’s certainly sensible. If CTC or you have policy proposals that we can integrate into our manifesto (or that you’d like to yourself), I’d be more than happy to bring them in!

5) Positive promotion of cycling including funding of cycle skills training

Yes, cycling needs to be promoted positively, and we need to change the combative culture around cycling. Government definitely has a role to play in this, but it will need innovative approaches and a real investment into the infrastructure to make that change. But, it can be done; we’ve seen it elsewhere in the world, and our manifesto explicitly states that we need to take the lessons from other countries and apply them here.

I hope that answers the questions to your satisfaction! If you want me to elaborate on anything, please let me know. Our other candidate, Paul Robinson in SW Surrey, is very involved in local cycling matters over there, and I hope that soon he will write a blog post on the Vote Bike campaign that will elaborate on my thoughts above.

One last thing. Our manifesto is open for anyone to suggest changes to, so I would welcome ideas from you guys as to exactly what needs doing to make the UK cycling friendly. The national transport policies are at, and there is a local page for Horsham constituency at, if there are specific local priorities that we should be promoting. Just hit the suggest button at the top right and add your ideas 🙂

James Smith
Something New candidate for Horsham

District Council candidate responses

Mike Croker (Green Party)

Encouraging all forms of environmentally sustainable transport is integral to the Green Party, and I’d like to think that Brighton (a unitary council) is a good example of what Green Party councillors, without an absolute majority, can achieve in the face of press, Tory and Labour opposition.

Mike Croker
Candidate for Bramber, Upper Beeding and Woodmancote ward of Horsham DC

Laurie Price (Lib Dem)

(response to our letter) As a candidate for Cowfold, if elected, or otherwise via the local Party Policy team, I would push for the following in the context of Cycling which needs to be recognised in terms of an Integrated approach to Transport Planning. Something the local Conservatives have failed  to do consistently despite running both HDC and WSCC, so is an opportunity lost under their jurisdiction.

1. Introduce speed reduction and speed enforcement zones particularly around schools and hospitals and in the most congested urban areas as a start. Speeding locally to me on Comptons lane and in Smithbarn, particularly at school change times is rife and very off putting to cyclists (including me on my way to shop or collect papers etc. in Roffey).

2. Repair pot holes regularly (a WSCC issue but HDC could influence)

3. De dual Albion way and put in cycle lanes and develop some of the land released for high density low cost housing but with a clear travel plan including enhanced cycle lane provision. It’s a key part of reducing car traffic.

4. Work with WSCC on a comprehensive Cycle lane strategy for Horsham District. Existing provision is poor. Even positive initiatives like the Downs link have poor and dangerous (for Cyclists and Walkers) links between sections across very busy roads.

5. Improve cycle storage and security at local rail stations. It has improved but security is still poor and thefts continue, so is a disincentive.

6. HDC to work with WSCC on a Think Bike – Cycle campaign targeted at drivers.

7. Ensure all cyclists follow the Highway code and don’t jump traffic signals – it sends a negative message on cycling to other road users. (For instance, last Tuesday at about 1000 en-route to Slinfold, I saw a lady on a bike on Guildford road pass through the red pedestrian light on her bike, that is not acceptable if cycling is to be taken seriously. Both sides need to behave responsibly and face sanction if they disobey the Highway Code).

I hope that helps and shows that local Liberal Democrats take cycling seriously as part of broader Transport Strategy for the District.

Best wishes
Laurie Price

David Sheldon (Independent)

(response to our letter) I will continue to push for investment that provides cyclists alternative routes to locations they actually want to go and places where they can leave their bikes securely. I want to see more options for those who do not currently cycle, so that they want to use their bikes.


Stephen Tall (Lib Dem)

(response to our letter) Hi – I’ve recently been forwarded your email asking for responses from council candidates about what we would do to encourage cycling in Horsham.

As a keen cyclist – I rely on it for my commute to work – I’ll do all I can to support and encourage cycling in our town. I lived for a number of years in Oxford, where cycling is the norm even though it’s a hillier place than Horsham. My Lib Dem colleague Frances Haigh (Horsham Park) has made a number of excellent suggestions for improvements on this page already, but… My priorities would be encouraging people to consider cycling in the first place, and then ensuring they feel safe and enjoy the experience when they do. That means ensuring enough well-designed and well-located, easy-to-use cycle racks that fit with their surroundings. Most importantly it means a much better marked cycling routes which safely separate cyclists from vehicles – something which matters to me as a driver, too, incidentally – and which don’t have ‘missing links’. I hope to have the opportunity to work with local people and interest groups in doing all we can to make Horsham a place where anyone who wants to feels happy and able to enjoy cycling.

Best wishes,

Stephen Tall
Lib Dem candidate, Denne ward

Godfrey Newman (Lib Dem)

(response to our letter) Thanks very much. Here is my response.

Horsham has many cyclists but does not have the infrastructure to support them. Cycle routes lack continuity and the increase in motor vehicles does not allow cyclists to feel safe. I have a bicycle but use it rarely as there are too many motorists who do not allow enough space. We need to even consider more routes that do not rely on using the main roads in the town. However there are still incidents of cyclists riding on footpaths and breaching traffic lights. This can give them as much of bad reputation as motorists have.

There need to be many more safe cycling routes and not just ones on new estates that actually don’t connect to other parts of established parts of Horsham. The A264 and A24 need to have cycling sections. Cycling routes need to be part of the whole infrastructure of not just the town but opportunities to connect one town or village to another.

Most of this relies on the Highways Department of WSCC, but cyclists need support from their District Council especially as there is a requirement to promote healthy lifestyles. We once had three District Councillors who would cycle to meetings – Peter and Julie Stainton and Sally Horner. They were always on the ball with promoting cycling within the council. Perhaps we need a Cycling Champion.

So, in conclusion we need proper and safe infrastructure to encourage more cycling. This should be a basic requirement for major housing estates… but they must connect to the town centre as well as having more leisure routes. Other counties and towns do it….so should we. I’ll mention Woking as a good example.

Godfrey Newman

Holbrook East
Karen Burgess (Conservative)

(response to our letter) Cycling is an affordable method of transport, which promotes a view of environmentally friendly, healthy people. It should be given backing and support, and have dedicated cycle routes that are well maintained and away from vehicular traffic.

Cyclists should be road aware and reflective clothing and helmets made compulsory, the same for adequate lighting, many accidents are caused by bike users not being seen by motorists until too late. Equally cyclists travelling two or even three abreast cause even the most experienced motorist angst, and are a hazard.

Children are taught how to be safe on a bike when they are in their last year of primary school, this is never followed up, so like motorists they adopt bad habits, classes on ‘ how to be safe on a bike’ would benefit the community. The safer the cycle paths, the safer the cyclist, and vice versa.

Finally, I would say that until a larger percentage of the population become cyclists,a large expenditure of public money is unlikely, however much it would benefit the hardy people for whom this method of transport is of choice.

Karen Burgess
Conservative candidate Holbrook East

Holbrook West
Peter Burgess (Conservative)

(response to our letter) I have given my views on cycling to you before, so I will summarise.

1. Cycling should be a part of any planning application.

2. Once allocated, the finance should not be incorporated into other “pots” unless it enhances directly the original application.

3. There should be strategic plans for cycling starting with dedicated cycling/walking routes between major conurbations and schools.

4. Any new road works should include separated provision for cyclist and walkers.


5. There should be no further provision for any cycling routes whether permanent or advisory, which do not have a physical barrier between the car route and cycle/walking route. They do not offer the protection required.

6. Routes which are separated from the car routes should be as the car route and not require the cyclist to stop at every little side turning as the cyclist will use the road instead to avoid delay. A prime example is the Guildford Road, where the cycle route is stop start and is ineffective.

7. Cycle routes should be continuous. Most in Horsham have random endings, so there is no real point to them.

8. There should be a County and District survey to examine all roads and routes to see where cycle/walking routes can be established, separated from the road, and at low cost.


9. Cyclists and walkers should help themselves by wearing high visibility clothing and carry bright lights at night.
Peter Burgess

Horsham Park
Ray Chapman (Labour)

(from Horsham Society questionnaire) The river walks that have been developed in recent years  has  given Horsham residents the opportunity to enjoy the quite environment. I would listen to the views of residents to extend this type of  recreation for walking and cycling.

Horsham Park
Greg Collins (Lib Dem)

(response to our letter) I hope, as a former Forum Secretary, my support for improving the conditions for cycling in and around the town goes without saying. I don’t own a car, and I avoid the use of one wherever, and whenever possible.  Local journeys are made on foot or by bike, longer ones by public transport. For the seven years prior to my leaving Sightsavers in January I was, as you know, a committed cross-country cycle commuter.

The so-called infrastructure in Horsham for cyclists is appalling, the lack of a complete and safe route between Horsham and Crawley/Gatwick a disgrace and the attitudes towards cycling and cyclists displaced by HDC and WSCC shameful.

My colleague Frances Haigh put it very well I think when she wrote:

Cycling has a lot to offer; it is a cheap form of transport; it keeps us fit and active, reducing the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes; it should be the first option for short trips instead of the car.  It is important that we design around people and not around the car. In Horsham and West Sussex, the planners do not seem to have grasped this as yet. It is a requirement that every new home should have cycle storage, but we are not then providing the safe routes that enable more people to cycle safely. Other places such as Amsterdam, Stockholm and Portland, Oregon have invested in cycling and their communities benefit. They have cycle paths separated from traffic and ample low level cycle racks where people need them, not hidden away behind car parks. The money people save by cycling enables them to have money to spend on other things, supporting the local economy.

I’ve just spent the last week working and cycling in Copenhagen, Horsham and London. Copenhagen is a cyclist and pedestrian heaven. In a CAPITAL CITY. So why can’t we emulate at least some of that in a small market town that faces none of the social and economic competitive pressures that cities do. If cycling is the poor person’s form of transport why do the people of Copenhagen do it so much? If it restrains economic activity why are Copenhagen, and the cities Frances lists, so prosperous? Even London’s West End is a more pleasant place to cycle than downtown Horsham. And as to the rural roads of the district, only the thick-skinned, and most determined wheelers ride those during the week.

We need, urgently, to drastically reduce the speed and volume of motor traffic within the town. I want to see HGVs re-routed away from using the Brighton Road/A281 north of Lower Beeding or Cowfold. I want to see a network of one-way streets, with contraflow cycle lanes introduced in the residential streets of the town. I want to see targeted 20mph zones on the streets where people live and work.  Call me a dreamer but I want the ghastly urban race track dual-carriageway that is Albion Way turned into a boulevard with a 20mph limit that is enforced along its entirely length. I want a new bridge over the railway on North Street that cyclists, and pedestrians, can use in safety. I want the pedestrianised parts of the town centre opened up for cycling, and I want to see irresponsible behaviour on two- OR four-wheels everywhere dealt with appropriately and properly.

As I wrote to the WSCT earlier this year, in support of the HDCF Missing link campaign:

Horsham is a small town, you can circumnavigate it on foot on the excellent Riverside Walk in 12 or so miles and in doing so you’ll never be more than a couple of miles from the town centre. In theory it is the perfect sort of small town community that should be ideal for cycling in. The number of cyclists does appear to be increasing but at peak times the sheer volume and speed of the motor traffic is still a huge obstacle to greater uptake.  I want to see a town where ordinary people, wearing ordinary clothes, are able to use a bike for transport to and from the town centre, and to and from the surrounding villages without fear, anxiety, and without putting their well-being at risk.

At present cycling for transport in and around Horsham simply requires too much machismo and too much testosterone for all but a tiny few to do it. It should not have to. Cycling to town, to go shopping, should not have to take guts to do, nor should it require cyclists to take to the pavement to ensure their own safety. The safety of cyclists, through the provision of good infrastructure, should not be a coda or afterthought in urban and highways planning nor, indeed, should it be the missing link.

Which brings me to North Horsham. Like my fellow local Liberal Democrats I’m against it. But I think some sort of North Horsham development is inevitable. I want them to build a real ‘garden suburb’ and I want that suburb linked to the town by a network of high-quality off-carriageway cycle routes that are safe and enjoyable to use.  The town centre can’t absorb more traffic and more demand for parking.

If elected, like Frances, I will continue to press for these issues to be addressed and for HDC and WSCC to work with the community to make Horsham a better place in which to live and work.

Greg Collins

Horsham Park
Frances Haigh (Lib Dem)

(response to our letter) I am a strong supporter of cycling. It is noticeable in Horsham that where there has been new development in the last 20-30 years little has been done to support pedestrians or cyclists. For instance, the routes to Millais, Forest and Tanbridge House Schools are poor so that children cannot ride safely by bike, and the majority travel to school by car or bus. Similarly, even though Gatwick and Crawley are major employment zones for residents of Horsham, there is no cycling route joining the two areas. Yet if you go a few miles north into Surrey, the situation is very different. Surrey benefited from the Olympics which raised the profile and popularity of cycling. They have recognised that there is a need for good cycle paths, and also that they can benefit from the tourism associated with encouraging people to come out to ride in the Surrey Hills.

Cycling has a lot to offer; it is a cheap form of transport; it keeps us fit and active, reducing the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes; it should be the first option for short trips instead of the car.  It is important that we design around people and not around the car. In Horsham and West Sussex, the planners do not seem to have grasped this as yet. It is a requirement that every new home should have cycle storage, but we are not then providing the safe routes that enable more people to cycle safely. Other places such as Amsterdam, Stockholm and Portland, Oregon have invested in cycling and their communities benefit. They have cycle paths separated from traffic and ample low level cycle racks where people need them, not hidden away behind car parks. The money people save by cycling enables them to have money to spend on other things, supporting the local economy.

I have opposed the North of Horsham development. One of the reasons has been because the A264 acts as a boundary. By crossing this, we are creating an isolated community that is not part of the town and we degrade the road which is part of the strategic network. Given the numbers of homes that we need to provide, it would have been far better to have had a master plan that focused on the three existing communities of Horsham, Southwater and Broadbridge Heath, and brought them together as a linked community. This could have incorporated cycle and pedestrian routes, tackling existing problem areas such as the Farthings Hill and Hop Oast roundabouts. Instead the plans introduce a whole new set of problems, for the new development, the A264 and the route via Rusper Road into Horsham. There does not seem to have been any consideration of the effect of the Parkway station on Littlehaven. If the latter is downgraded, there will be many people in North Horsham who will need to access the Parkway station, adding to the need for accessibility.

Within the town, we need to do more to tackle traffic and parking problems. The Victorian streets of the old town were not designed for vehicle traffic. I have been pressing for HDC and WSCC to come up with new solutions for these residential areas, including 20mph zones, new road modelling and better signage. In addition we need to review the car parking charges so that where people do choose to travel by car, they make use of car parks and not residential streets. This will improve the quality of life for all residents, whether travelling on foot, by bike, by mobility scooter or by wheelchair. If re-elected, I will continue to press for these issues to be addressed and for HDC and WSCC to work with the community to make Horsham a better place.

(from Horsham Society questionnaire) I think that there is scope to market Horsham as a weekend place to stay on London’s doorstep, with more being done to promote the restaurants, food producers, heritage and walking/cycling routes. Surrey has embraced the increase in cycling as both transport and a leisure activity, and it is time that West Sussex does too!

Horsham Park
Josh Murphy (Conservative)

(from Horsham Society questionnaire) I will look to encourage efforts to promote the excellent shopping experience Horsham has to offer, particularly in offering cheap, accessible car parks and improved cycle infrastructure.

Lesley Hendy (Lib Dem)

(response to our letter) I am sending you this email in response to your recent request to the Liberal Democrats about Cycling policy.

I am the prospective candidate for Nuthurst which has its own rural problems.  Cycling along roads such those in and around Nuthurst are very dangerous for cyclists as in many places passing distance is very narrow.

My response to your request is as follows:

1.  There needs to be an integrated attitude to the planning of transport in Horsham and its environs.  This needs to be at both District and County level.

2.  The increase  in cyclists after the ‘Wiggins’ effect needs to be taken into consideration.  We need more dedicated cycle routes both on town and rural roads.

3.  There needs to be more aggressive monitoring of cycle lanes that are being blocked by parked cars (the especially true on roads like Comptons Lane where children are cycling to school).

4.   More cycle training for school children to ensure their safety.

5. A dedicated campaign for drivers and cyclists to be aware of each other.  Some cyclists take risks at traffic lights, cycle two abreast impeding traffic.  Also cycle clubs ride in packs which makes overtaking, especially on the rural roads, very difficult and dangerous when car drivers get aggressive.

I know that fellow Liberal Democrats take this issue seriously and want to see cycling as a strong feature of any transport initiative undertaken at both District and County level.

yours sincerely
Lesley Hendy

Roffey North
Tony Bevis, (Lib Dem)

(response to our letter) Clearly the level of provision for cyclists in Horsham is inadequate; equally clearly funding to improve the situation will continue to be in short supply – probably for the next five years. What we have seen are a number of poorly thought out and badly executed schemes which councillors and officers have hoped would tick cyclist’s boxes. We need to recognise that the long list of changes that will make Horsham a cyclist friendly town cannot all be delivered in short order therefore, rather than delivering 5% of 20 schemes let’s prioritise one scheme and do it well.

One further thought, many years ago Worthing Young Liberals appealed for old bikes which they then did up, painted white and left round the town for people to use –free Boris bikes if you like. Perhaps Horsham District Cycling Forum might like to adapt such a scheme for Horsham?

Tony Bevis

Roffey North
Jonathan Dancer (Conservative)

(from Horsham Society questionnaire) I believe it is important that we provide suitable facilities for physical recreation including not only appropriate leisure centres but by enhancing cycling provision, a key part of which is listening to the concerns of residents that cycle either for transportation or leisure and finding ways to act upon them.

(response to our letter) Unfortunately I am travelling, so cannot respond as fully as I would like to, but in brief:

Firstly I would like to say how strongly I support the aims of the Horsham District Cycle Forum.  The benefits of cycling in terms of health, congestion and environment are clear.

I have lived in Denmark and seen how cycling is embraced and supported and am astonished that the UK cannot provide the same level of support.  Having said this, we do have a far busier road network and an infrastructure that has not been designed from the ground up to be cycle-friendly.  We also face times of austerity and much of the pressure will fall upon District Councils, but none of these are reasons not to do the very best we can, especially on issues that concern safety.

I cannot pretend to be an expert on the best measures to put in place for cyclists to keep them safe and well, or indeed where the specific danger spots are in the District, but if elected, I commit to becoming well-informed.  I do not know which areas of responsibilities I would eventually take up within HDC if elected, but regardless of that, as with all matters I am interested in, I will follow a clear process to research, understand and resolve any concerns of the electorate.  The way I propose to approach this particular issue is this:

1. Identify what the main concerns are in the District terms of safety/ease of use/encouragement/leisure and transport cycling needs – this can only be through discussion/consultation/desk research with individuals/groups having the requisite knowledge – cycling forums/road safety experts/police/HDC resources

2. Determine what work is already ongoing within the Council and which officers are already involved

3. Prioritise the (long) list of concerns to a short list of urgent and important issues

4. Understand what funding flows and grants are in existence/could be accessed within the District and at County/National level

5. Identify other National and Regional bodies that have an interest or a stake, WSCC, Highways Agency etc.

6. Match the elements, help to develop proposals to resolve priority issues and implement rapidly especially where issues of safety prevail

7. Support the development of proposals and policies

8. Propose, vote for and lobby support for the policies that follow to ensure rapid adoption and implementation

I hope this is helpful.  I think it is the most sensible response at this stage given my state of knowledge.

All the best

John Chidlow, Ian Howard and Claire Vickers (Conservative)

(response to our letter) We commit to represent the interests of cycling and promote any action or schemes that will make cycling safer and more attractive within our areas of influence.

Roger Smith (Independent)

(response to our letter) Thank you for inviting me to explain what I would do for cycling if I were to be elected as a District Councillor for Southwater.

One of the NPPF Core Planning Principles, which should underpin both plan-making and decision-taking, is that planning should actively manage patterns of growth to make the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling, and focus significant development in locations which are or can be made sustainable (NPPF paragraph 17, bullet 11).

My understanding is that, unfortunately, providing the infrastructure needed to facilitate safe cycling to encourage and enable cycling as a practicable alternative to using cars when assessing facilities outside of new developments, seems to be a low priority for both plan-makers and decision-takers in Horsham District.

Whilst the NPPF requirement is acknowledged in travel plans and by traffic assessments submitted in support of applications, how or whether the requirement will or can be met in respect of cycling is rarely explained in the detail or considered by the decision-takers, either at District or County level, or by Planning Inspectors at Appeal.

It seems to me that in order to meet the NPPF requirement – to make the fullest possible use of cycling – developers should be required to identify desired places/facilities that residents would want to access from proposed developments and determine whether these locations could be assessed safely by cyclists – and what measures would need to be taken to enable safe cycling, for example the imposition on roads of speed limits where necessary and /or the addition or creation of cycle lanes, and/or provision of traffic lights, and/or upgrading existing public footpaths or bridleways, and/or creation of public cycle paths. Implicit, too, in the NPPF core planning principle is that developers should pay costs.

Positive consequences should include improved safety for cyclists, reduced dependency on car usage, reduced accumulative emissions from motor vehicles with resulting health benefits and reduced demand for car parking at desired locations.

Cyclists should be encouraged to report potholes and hazardous-to-them road surfaces to WSCC Highways in expectation of timely repairs.

Current procedures for imposing speed limits along our narrow winding country lanes need to be reviewed and streamlined for the benefit of all users.

If I were elected Councillor I would work with officers, fellow councillors, residents and Horsham District Cycling Forum to make the above happen.  

I think your email and the pdf letter raise important questions about sustainable development and whether developments approved or in the decision-making pipeline are truly sustainable. The serious/fatal injuries to cyclists is appalling and unacceptable and I was unaware.

As we discussed over telephone this morning, Horsham Cycling Forum and CPRE Sussex (Horsham District) have overlapping concerns and objectives and it would be mutually beneficial to collaborate where appropriate. Thank you for inviting me to the next meeting of the Forum and also for adding me to your mailing list.

Kind regards,

Dr Roger F Smith

Christine Costin (Lib Dem)

(response to our letter) The safety of cyclists and pedestrians is very much in my thoughts. Recently I have been especially concerned about traffic problems near to schools. At the start and finish of the school day there is absolute chaos in the vicinity of schools. There is a mad scrabble to grab somewhere, anywhere to park. Giving rise to huge dangers to the children, cyclists, pedestrians and other road users. It is important to encourage children to walk or cycle to school but currently there are too few safe dedicated routes for cyclists that avoid the dangers of main roads. I would want to see regular safety campaigns reaching pupils,parents and the public which highlight the dangers of poor driving and inappropriate parking. Everyone needs to know how to be a safe cyclist and/or a sensibly alert pedestrian. Other road users need to be reminded about the consequences of driving without due care and attention.

West Sussex County Council run a Safer Routes to School  initiative which is seeking to tackle the issues. It is vital that our cyclists know how to keep safe. And how to respond to pedestrians when using the same footpaths and pathways.

In many areas it should be possible to ‘intermingle.’ A responsible cyclist is aware that people can be hard of hearing, unpredictable or slowed down by age or infirmity. Much could be achieved by good manners and understanding on all sides.

Problems arise when reckless cyclists move at speed through crowded busy shopping areas such as West Street and Middle Street where there have been one or two nasty incidents and many near misses which I have seen for myself. Pedestrians are worried. These streets are regulated and the police could impose penalties, responsible cyclists do dismount. Such a pity  that tearaways spoil things for others. 

I would definitely want to see more dedicated cycle paths in Horsham. A massive opportunity was thrown away when Albion Way was built, there was so much space to get of right.  Now, whenever possible cycling provision should be properly incorporated at the the early planning stages for roads and developments.

This an overview of some of my thoughts about cycling written on my mobile which is quite a challenge. Yes I would like to see proper space allowed for cyclists whenever possible and no I do not like the new cycle racks supplied in Horsham town they look lethal! Your cycles deserve something better and safer.

Christine Costin

Trafalgar Ward (Horsham Town)

Whilst technically outside Horsham District we received the following response from Paul Brown, standing for the Greens in High Weald.

Lindfield and High Weald
Paul Brown (Green Party)

It goes without saying that the Green Party are totally committed to increasing cycling. Please see my flyer attached.*

Paul Brown

* Camapaigning for new safe multi-user ways (foot, bike and horse).


  1. Please do encourage your MP candidates to submit their views on Vote Bike (those that are represented at the moment at least) – if they need a hand please tell them to get in touch with votebike[at] !

    Thanks and keep up the cracking work in Horsham!

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