Minutes of the HDCF meeting 6th December 2016

Attendees: Philip Ayerst, Andy Bateson, Thea Bredie, Ruth Fletcher (Chair), Claire Freor-Humphreys, James Mack (Colgate PC), Peter Silburn (Secretary), Dick Streeter

Apologies: Richard Bates, Geoff Bragg, Simon Mortimer, Stella Sharp, Jill Shuker, Graham Sitton, Francis Vernon


We were delighted to welcome two new faces: Andy Bateson and James Mack.

James is a Colgate parish councillor who has recently moved to the area from London and who voiced his astonishment at how poor conditions for cycling were here (particularly in contrast to what he has grown accustomed to in London).

Approval of previous minutes

Approved unamended.

Matters arising

Kilnwood Vale bridleway

Crawley Borough Council have now accepted responsibility for clearing the undergrowth from the 150m section of bridleway 1550 (to the east of the Kilnwood Vale development). This is a significant step towards making the path accessible for people on bikes. Once the undergrowth has been cleared we can assess what surfacing work in needed.

Peter reported that some initial clearance has been done, with the undergrowth cleared right back to the bank in places, but that the most overgrown section by the houses was only partially cleared. Sue Philipson (WSCC PROW Ranger) was due to visit the site on Friday. Peter to follow up.


Monks Gate/Mannings Heath cycle route

Gill Fairham from the recently formed Parish Community Group is keen to see a safe cycle route from Monks Gate/Mannings Heath. A draft report on the route can be viewed here. She will pass on the details to the Transport and Environment group chair and hopes to progress this early next year.


Riverside Walk

Forum members supported the Riverside Walk team’s recent bid for funding via Aviva but unfortunately the bid was not successful.

Carfax contraflow

The promised “Except cyclists” signs have now finally appeared under the No entry signs outside Barclays Bank on East Street.

County Hall North cycle racks

It was noted that the framework for the cycle stands outside County Hall North has now been installed. We remain hopeful that the roof, along with the stands themselves, will make an appearance in 2017.

Updates from external meetings

Road Safety Action Group

Thea attended the meeting of the Road Safety Action Group on 1st December. Accident statistics for Horsham district are poor compared with the rest of the county. Greg Charman (HDC Community Safety Manager) said that, following the recent NICE research into air quality, now was the time to look into cycling improvements.

Andy Ekinsmyth talked about the Walking and Cycling Strategy and how he sees the key determinants for improvement being 1) better infrastructure and 2) attitudinal training. 20s Plenty was also discussed: Andy said the results in terms of reducing accidents from the partial implementation in Chichester were unclear.

Jon Forster (Road Safety Engineering, WSCC) is due to attend next meeting. Ruth to contact him. Ruth also to contact Bob Lanzer, the incoming Board Member for Highways and Transport.


Thea/Philip to raise the excellent West Midlands Police “close pass” initiative at the next meeting.


Liberty/North Horsham Parish Council working group

NHPC are holding a working group meeting on infrastructure for the north of Horsham development. Ruth will attend for the forum and Philip on behalf of the Horsham Society. The forum’s position is that the analysis and provision for cycling as shown in the outline planning application is inadequate in both quality and quantity. The application lacks detail and is too vague to ensure the provision is delivered.

Our key areas of concern are:

  • Lack of safe, grade-separated crossing points (underpasses) on the A264/A24
  • An inadequate on-site cycle network
  • Lack of links to Horsham and other key destinations

There are some promising proposals for the Missing Link, but some problems still remain: for example there is no direct link to Wimland Road and no delivery timescale.

The meeting heard that Liberty is on record saying:

“The suggestion for underpasses needs to be dropped and discounted going forward. This has been appraised by PBA and due to many reasons, not just financial, but logistically and practically it is not possible. The suggestions presented by the Cycle Forum were not underpasses, they were roads built over other roads. We do not own sufficient land to provide an underpass. They are not supported by Secured by Design, are difficult to ensure surveillance is adequate and would require the closure of the A264 for a prolonged period to construct. We will not be pursuing an option to build an underpass and have the support of WSCC in this decision.”

HDCF rejects this. Interim Advisory Note 195/16 is the relevant standard for the A264/A24 junctions and makes clear that grade separation is required. The necessary additional land is in public ownership. See this short video for how it’s possible to install an underpass in a weekend.

[Ruth subsequently attended the working group. Ian Gledhill (WSCC) said that it was not correct that WSCC “supports” Liberty in opposing underpasses. He confirmed that IAN195/16 is the “appropriate standard” for cycle provision for the A264 junctions but it became clear that in practice WSCC responds to proposals from PBA/Liberty and judges them according to whether the result can be rejected on the grounds of causing a “severe residual impact”.

There is no effective mechanism in place to ensure that alternative proposals – including underpasses – put forward by third parties such as HDCF, the Horsham Society and NHPC are considered and properly evaluated. Ruth emphasized the importance of IAN195/16, the fact that, even without the additional demand from the north of Horsham, the A264 already has a poor safety record for cycling.

West Sussex’s Local Transport |Plan (LTP3) acknowledges that existing infrastructure is inadequate. Even if WSCC judge that the overall impact of the development is not considered to be “severe”, this is not an adequate measure of the impact on cycling. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is clear that design for cycling should be prioritized. It is not acceptable to simply fall back on a subjective residual impact test.]

West Sussex Cycle Forum

The West Sussex Cycle Forum met on 8th November in County Hall North, Horsham. Ruth, Peter, Francis and Thea attended from the Horsham forum. Peter to forward the minutes of the meeting to the steering group.


A steering group (what was formerly to be a governance panel) has been set up to implement the new Walking and Cycling Strategy and is due to hold its first meeting on 13th December. [This has now been delayed until 9th January.]

Planning applications

Philip has sent in our response to the Piries Place application. Peter to put this on the website. [Now done.]

We were pleased to note that HDCF was listed as a consultee for the Winterton Court development.


East Grinstead Cycle Forum

Residents in East Grinstead are starting a cycle forum and invited people to attend an inaugural ride around the town on Saturday 17th December. [Ruth and Peter attended the event. You can read a report here.]

Date of next meeting

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

** N.B. Please note the change from the usual room. ***

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

Open discussion/next steps

There was a brief discussion on how to raise the profile of the group and be more effective.

Steering group

The meeting ended at 9pm when we adjourned to the Black Jug.

Speak Your Mind