Minutes of the HDCF meeting 7th June 2016

Attendees: Thea Bredie, Gordon Easden (Crawley Cycle Forum), Jevon Farr (Kilnwood Vale), Ruth Fletcher (Chair), Peter Silburn (Secretary), Graham Sitton (Blueprint/Forest NC)

Apologies: Philip Ayerst, Geoff Bragg, Clive Burley, Greg Collins, Rosemary French OBE, Stella Sharp, Francis Vernon


Approval of previous minutes

Approved unamended.

Matters arising

It was suggested that the agenda be attached to the meeting minutes.


Contraflows in Carfax and Wickhurst

Still no progress on implementing these. Further follow-up required.


Town centre vision meeting

The planned meeting on 13th May to which we were invited was delayed. We did not receive an invitation to the retimed stakeholder meeting due on 15th June. We will contact Clive Burley to ask to be involved.


Progress updates and discussions

Kilnwood Vale cycle access/completing the Horsham to Crawley cycle route

Peter met Steve Wong and Jevon Farr from the Kilnwood Vale residents along with Gordon Easden from the Crawley Cycle Forum and Peter Smith (Crawley Borough Councillor) to discuss cycle access to Kilnwood Vale as well as linking up to the Horsham-Crawley cycle route.

The two routes discussed are equally important. The Horsham to Crawley cycle route (NCN228) is largely complete except for the Missing Link where is crosses the A264 north of Horsham. This will be accessed from four exits to the north of the development onto Kilnwood Lane/Wimlands Lane.

The more direct route along the A264 is aspirational and dependent on large funding. Has the support of Rosemary French (Chief Exec. of Gatwick Diamond). Any route alongside the road would potentially be very noisy (see for example the cycle path along the edge of the A23 between Handcross and Warninglid) but this can be mitigated, particularly in places where there is more space available.

Both routes score highly on the West Sussex Cycling Strategy rating. WSCC is seeking funding for feasibility studies.

With the promised exits to the north of the site not happening until the relevant phase of the development takes place (which may be as far as 10 years away) there is a question over what will be done before then to provide cycle access to Horsham.

It was therefore of particular concern that the bridleway on the eastern edge of the site be maintained and improved to provide cycle access out onto Kilnwood Lane and the Horsham-Crawley route.

However, this would require the bridleway to be brought up to an acceptable standard. The section of the bridleway directly behind the houses (just north of the Bewbush exit) is in a very poor state and is unsuitable for everyday cycling. The path is narrow, muddy and overgrown. However, if this short section could be improved there would be a viable cycle route out to Horsham and Crawley. The residents will be approaching WSCC about these improvements.

The second suggestion from the residents was for each phase of the perimeter cycle path to be constructed at the earliest possible opportunity. So for example the next stage of the path would provide an exit to Sullivan Drive. This would provide access to Horsham and Crawley avoiding the muddy section of the bridleway. Similarly, a later phase of the perimeter cycle path would provide access at Arcturius Road.

We also discussed what would be the best mechanism for providing input into the detailed plans for cycle paths etc. as the plans are being drawn up (rather than commenting on plans after they have been drawn up). Peter to contact the transport consultants.


There is talk of a potential footbridge between Faygate and Colgate at the Faygate roundabout. This does not directly affect any cycle route but may offer the opportunity (if made dual use) to cross the carriageway.

Any route along the edge of the A264 would need to be improved at the Old Crawley Road/Crawley Road junction (near the Moorhead roundabout) to enable the route to be used for families, children etc. Bewbush has a school and a surgery. This route must be accessible to all.

Steve was to contact Liz Kitchen (who is both HDC and WSCC councillor) to get her involved. Peter to attend the next Parish meeting.


Parsonage Road cycle lanes

The meeting heard that the steering group had continued to investigate how, contrary to the promises of improved cycle provision, the Linden Homes development has resulted in cycle lanes which are grossly sub-standard and less safe than previously. We received additional advice from an independent Road Safety Auditor with extensive, current experience in cycleway designs and made a FOI request which revealed that the design of the newly installed sub-standard cycle lanes had not been subject to a valid safety audit before construction.

WSCC agreed that the road layout as built is not satisfactory and held a site meeting with forum members. We put forward a number of suggestions to improve the current situation. However, WSCC’s position was that they were unwilling to consider any options that involved significant expenditure. Even a suggestion to mitigate the safety problem at the site exit by colouring the cycle lane green (as has been done elsewhere along the road) was dismissed as being too expensive to implement and maintain.

We were subsequently told that WSCC now plan to remove all cycle provision from the road – something which we had clearly stated to be unacceptable.

There are two main issues raised here. First, this is a clear example which demonstrates that the current system is simply not fit for purpose when it comes to delivering safe, attractive conditions for cycling. This needs to be addressed by WSCC and HDC so that similar problems to not keep occurring in future developments across the district.

Second, there are practical options still available to mitigate the problems with the cycle lanes on Parsonage Road. These do require adjustments to the kerb line, but could easily be incorporated with the further works (either for Linden Homes and the redevelopment of the main Novartis site) which are due to take place along this road.

Steering group

Christs Hospital bridleway diversion

Ruth and Paul Brown (Open Spaces Society) met with Francis Pulvermacher, Property Director of the Chirst’s Hospital Foundation and sought to find common ground on the proposed closure of the public rights of way across the school site, and also to see if there was any chance of a compromise that would avoid the need for the case to continue to a public inquiry.

In a cordial and constructive meeting we explained our position that this is an important right of way and that we believe that, if it goes to a public inquiry, there is a strong chance that the opponents to the closure will win. Reasonable alternative measures were discussed, which we believe would be effective and in the school’s interests as a good neighbour and which could be trialled before attempting to remove public rights of way.

Christ’s Hospital recognise that there are a significant number (28) of objections and these cannot simply be dismissed. FP undertook to hold further discussions with the school.

We also had useful discussions on the Downs Link “Missing Link” for which Christ’s Hospital has agreed a substantial s106 contribution of over £100k (linked to the Station Yard development). This is a longstanding aspiration and we were pleased to hear that CH is determined to ensure that the s106 contribution is spent on opening up the off-road section and is not used elsewhere. It was a concern however to learn that there is no budget within WSCC to complete the work. We discussed how this project, a key part of the Downs Link, needs a higher priority than it received on the first draft ranking of the WSCC RATE exercise and that it is the kind of scheme which is eligible for the C2C LEP sustainable transport funding.

FP asked for our views on the initial drawings for the proposed diversion. We agreed that these need to be improved to make the cycleway a more convenient, direct and obvious route – otherwise it will simply not be used. We will follow this up further with the developer.

Updates on Broadbridge Heath leisure centre redevelopment and cycle provision for A264 downgrade

The recently exhibited plans for the new leisure centre do not include any cycle provision, either to cycle to the centre or to park bikes once there. This is a particularly disappointing omission for a leisure centre designed to encourage physical activity.

Trevor Beadle has passed our concerns on to John Male at HDC and members of the steering group will meet the Parish Council on 4th July.

Steering group

West Sussex Cycling Strategy consultation

Consultation period ends 22nd June. You can view the Forum’s response here.

Graham noted that the draft strategy does not consider the current boom in electric bikes and mobility scooters, both of which are particularly relevant for our aging population.


Fact-finding Tour of London 11th June

See the ride report here.

Thea suggested producing a video showing the difficulties of riding a bike in Horsham.


Graham drew attention to the current call for development sites by Horsham Blueprint. Potential cycle access to these sites is one of the factors which can be considered in assessing their viability.

Date of next meeting

7:30pm on Tuesday 2nd August 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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