Minutes of HDCF meeting 6th February 2018

Attendees: Geoff Bragg, Lis Clegg and Sue Robinson (St Leonards Park horse riders), Ruth Fletcher (Chair), Derek Hardman, Graham Sitton (FNC), Ben Peterson, Francis Vernon.

Apologies: Philip Ayerst, Richard Bates, Geoff Farrell, Thea Bredie, Martin Read, Peter Silburn (Secretary), Mark Treasure

Agenda

Matters arising

Kings Road

A number of HDCF’s suggestions have been taken on board and resurfacing and improvements to the cycle lane are due in July. Andy Ekinsmyth (WSCC) has agreed to look at how WSCC can link future maintenance schedules with implementation of cycle improvements. Geoff welcomed the resurfacing and improvements. The meeting was generally supportive of the future potential of limiting through-traffic and a 20mph limit for the benefit of school children and the older residents on this road.

Boulevard Bridge

We are pleased that Berkeleys responded positively and have quickly restored cycle access through the temporary barrier. They have also undertaken to make improvements to the design for the permanent closure to motorised traffic.

Welcomes

The forum welcomed:

  • Derek Hardman from Crawley who was interested in how the various cycle forums in WSCC are working and networking.
  • Ben Peterson who has recently moved to the area. Ben gave an overview of his impressions of cycling in the local area, in particular the poor design of the new developments in the west of Horsham for cycling, the poor access between Horsham and the Downs Link, the lack of safe crossings on the A264 and the lack of a cycle route linking Horsham and Southwater. Ben was invited to write down his comments which will give a valuable insight into Horsham from a newcomer’s perspective.
  • Lis Clegg and Sue Robinson who own and ride horses from St Leonards Park into the forest via Hammerpond Road which is dangerous because of high speeds, narrow road, poor visibility (bends, overhanging vegetation and the dip at Roosthole). This road is also a popular leisure cycling route and both user groups suffer similar problems. They have been in contact with Jon Perks and Richard Speller at WSCC, with WSLAF and Jesse (Forestry Commission works manager). The discussion included shared experiences of road danger, current lack of WSCC/police support for reduced speeds on country lanes and aspirations for upgrading footpath to bridleway access for the section of High Weald Landscape Trail and the Sunoak footpath.

North of Horsham/Kings Hill visit/Missing Link

Thea, Ruth and Mark visited Kings Hill on 25th January for a meeting with Liberty (Derek Lloyd and Liz Roche).

The s106 negotiations were nearing completion. Liberty said they would do no further work on the cycle plan until then. Liberty emphasised that it would meet WSCC requirements on cycle infrastructure but it was unrealistic to seek to meet additional guidance or best practice such as the designs shown at the West Sussex Cycle Summit. We were told there was no need for further input and the forum would be able to comment after planning applications were made.

If WSCC required the A264 cycle bridge specification to be revised to meet IAN195/16 and site restrictions caused a difficulty, Liberty would request a departure from standards rather than review the location or design concept. Liberty emphasised that Kings Hill has no problems with cycle safety. There have been no complaints, residents ride on pavements without problems and there was no need for a higher level of provision. Liberty emphasised that its responsibility stops at the site boundary with a few exceptions where off-site mitigations were limited to meeting WSCC requirements.

Liberty believe that the s106 agreement that will safeguard land for the NofH station will prevent the Missing Link being built – at least without huge difficulty and costs arising from a need to renegotiate with all the landowners involved in the whole development. Liberty will not act to enable delivery of either the Missing Link or early completion of the Horsham to Crawley cycle via the Rusper Road roundabout. The forum has asked for further clarification via HDC.

Ruth to update Peter Smith (Crawley Cycle Forum) re the Missing Link.

Cycling tour of Kings Hill: the infrastructure is a mix of on-street cycle lanes which give up at junctions, awkward transitions and shared-use pavements. There was some good permeability in the central areas and cycling was permitted in the central pedestrianised area. Pavement cycling is widely permitted in Kings Hill. The modal share for cycling is visibly low and cars dominated at school pick-up time. We saw no evidence that this type of cycle infrastructure has been effective in encouraging or enabling more people to cycle as a means of transport: the environment is designed around car use.

Christs Hospital bridleway diversion

The public enquiry date is due to be set shortly. The forum will put in a Statement of Case and will contact our mailing list and other known objectors to keep them updated and inform them about how they can support our case.
LCWIP and development of local cycling policy.

Andrew Baldwin has continued dialogue with Dr Lyons on the LCWIP and Cycle Plan for North of Horsham. Blueprint continue to progress their policies and there is still time for the forum to provide input. The current status of a review of the HDPF and opportunities to provide input are unclear. The forum’s aspiration is for HDC to develop and adopt a cycling SPD. We remain concerned that HDC actions do not yet show commitment to this.

Wheels for All, Try a Bike Event, Broadbridge Heath, Wed pm May 30th

We are working with Paul Taylor of HDC and Ed Clark of WSCC and the event will take place alongside the Wheels for All Downs Link Charity ride. We have some cycle suppliers lined up to bring along demo bikes. Ruth, Mark and Thea took some of the adapted cycles out from the BBH depot to the Riverside Walk which highlighted some of the accessibility problems.  Ruth to set up a meeting to organise and invite the steering group and contact local cycle shops.

WSCC town centre contraflows

We are concerned that the project is being watered down. Local WSCC members will meet Forum representatives to discuss the proposals and any concerns.

Horsham visitor economy

Thea continues to work on the Shelley project and has put in grant applications. Thea and Ruth to attend further meetings as required.

Cycling KSIs

Ruth to check what is happening on a KSI action group within WSCC and the WSCF. The forum continues to attend the local Road Safety Action Group meetings and to raise the need for action to tackle disproportionately high and rising cycle KSIs.

Operation Close Pass was originally an initiative by West Midlands Traffic Police and is a major step forward for cycling road safety which is having a noticeable effect in reducing their cycle KSI rates. It is now being adopted by police forces around the country. The forum has been lobbying Sussex Police and Sussex SRP to introduce it here so we welcome the news that Sussex Police are shortly due to launch Operation Close Pass locally. Hammerpond Road and Worthing Road were both suggested as possible locations.

[Update: We have since been informed that Close Pass will launch in April in Worthing ‘based on the Hampshire model’.]

Date of next meeting

7:30pm on Tuesday 3rd April in the Bodiam Room, County Hall North, WSCC, Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham.

Please enter by the side entrance. Cycle parking is available.

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