Minutes of the HDCF AGM 2nd October 2018

Attendees: Philip Ayerst, Alex Baines-Buffery (Dorking), Thea Bredie, Ruth Fletcher (Chair), Martin Read (District Post), Stella Sharp, Peter Silburn (Secretary), Graham Sitton (FNC), Louise Skipton-Carter (Crawley BC)

Apologies: Francis Vernon


Approval of previous minutes

Approved unamended.

Matters arising

Kilnwood Vale bridleway

The resurfacing has now taken place, with a generous 2m width, the vegetation has been cut back and the zig-zag barrier at the southern end replaced with a simpler 2m restriction. However, the promised top dressing of fine gravel has not been applied, resulting in the rough sublayer being exposed, which is unsuited to everyday cycling. Peter has raised this with Sue de Chemin. [Post-meeting update: the contractors have agreed that the surface is unacceptable and are returning on site to rectify it.]

Election of officers

The following officers were elected unopposed:

  • Chair – Ruth Fletcher
  • Secretary – Peter Silburn

We welcome Louise Skipton-Carter to the steering group, who joins existing members Philip Ayerst, Geoff Bragg, Thea Bredie, Stella Sharp, Mark Treasure and Francis Vernon.

LCWIP/Horsham tube map

Peter circulated a draft of the Horsham area tube map which was produced following input from the steering group earlier in the year. It was agreed that we need to keep the key representing network quality: all sections are currently red to indicate substandard quality. Once the map is in a more advanced state it may be worth circulating to the neighbourhood councils and other local groups for input.

Peter to update further with Philip’s input.

Thea explained the proposal from the Horsham Society’s Oliver Farley in the WSCT. The objective would be to boost town centre trade and improve the public realm by 1) creating a walking and cycling only zone in the town centre, 2) making Albion Way single-carriageway and use the other carriageway for buses serving various access points around the town centre and for cycling.

Martin highlighted the need for safer town centre cycle provision with the example of his recent near-death experience on North Parade when a car travelling at around 50mph cut left across him up London Road (which allows this because of its very wide junction mouth). The proposal from London Road residents to make the road one way in the other direction for motor vehicles would prevent this particular problem.

Ruth had met Nigel Weston and discussed some initial ideas on the routes for the Horsham LCWIP. Further input and discussion will be needed; we hope that HDC will maintain a dialogue. Discussing the LCWIP, the forum agreed that the LCWIP should aim high, including all the potential routes – not just those that are likely to be delivered quickly.

Future follow up with Nigel Weston and relevant councillors. Consider getting support for a stall in Swan Walk to engage with the public.

In further discussion, Graham suggested commenting on the online Blueprint policies. Martin had attended the Lidl planning meeting and the Novartis consultation where cycling was discussed, but felt more was needed.


a. North of Horsham/Missing Link

No update.

b. Horsham town centre contraflows

Al gone quiet. Peter to follow up with Peter Bradley.

c. Christs Hospital public inquiry

The planning inspector has agreed with the forum and other objectors and rejected the school’s proposal to divert the bridleway. The school has six weeks to challenge the decision. Assuming there is no further action, this decision appears to set a precedent:

  • This is the first case we are aware of where a special diversion/extinguishment order for a PRoW through school grounds has not been confirmed because the wider interests to the public of maintaining a PRoW outweigh the protection and security benefits of removing the PRoW.
  • The inspector determined that weight should be given to the requirement in the revised National Planning Policy Framework to protect and enhance public rights of way and to provide better facilities for users – which the proposed diversion failed to do.

Ruth to liaise with Paul Brown (Open Spaces Society) on future implications and – after the six week period – with Claire Vickers on planning for improvements to the route to enable a cycle route to the station.

d. Warnham to Horsham route development

No update.

e. Former Novartis site public consultation

There will be a consultation on 30th October in the Holbrook Club.

Louise explained that the 2017 edition of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) replaces the NMU audit with a WCHAR (Walking, Cycling and Horse-Riding Assessment and Review) to be undertaken at a preliminary design stage. For major highways improvements schemes this has a 5km radius and for minor ones, a 1km radius. This should look at what provision exists and opportunities to improve and any decision not to undertake a WCHAR should be documented. The Novartis site redevelopment is a major schemes and a WCHAR should be undertaken for it to be DMRB-compliant. In Crawley WSP and WSCC are doing a WCHAR for the Manor Royal scheme.

f. Road Safety Action Group/Safe Pass

No update.

g. Feedback from WSCF meeting

The meeting held in Horsham on 27th September was well attended. Further more regular meetings are planned (the next one pencilled in for January in Crawley). Issues discussed included better communication between WSCF, WSCC and the local forums, particularly coordinating the dates so that the WSCF can discuss what to raise at the next West Sussex Cycle Strategy steering group. [Post-meeting update: It has been agreed that up to two local forum members can attend the steering group meetings.]

h. Downs Link improvements

Alex talked from the perspective of his experience running the Wine Rides cycle tours from Dorking and the potential offered if the Downs Link was improved, He had received a non-committal response from Roger Elkins, the WSCC Highways Director.

WSCC are bidding for funding for surfacing improvements. It is not clear what this will involve, but they are proposing gravel – not tarmac – surfacing.



Date of next meeting

7:30pm on Tuesday 4th December in the Bodiam Room, County Hall North, WSCC, Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham.

Please enter by the side entrance. There is covered cycle parking available.

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