West Sussex active travel improvement scheme secures DfT investment

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West Sussex County Council will invest in cycling and walking improvements after successfully securing £2.3m funding from the UK Department of Transport.

Five projects will benefit from the funding, with active travel works put to local residents, businesses and wider stakeholders for approval.

A new 2km off-carriageway shared cycleway and footway adjacent to the A24 between Findon Valley and Findon Village has been proposed. Whilst designs for this project were previously completed, works were halted due to lack of funding.

The restarted scheme would connect the South Downs National Park gateway with Findon Village. It would also create an onward connection to Worthing through the existing cycle networking. Additionally, the design of a permanent cycleway in Shoreham will be put to the local community.

A county-wide initiative of ‘school gate’ travel improvements will also benefit from the funds. The council said this programme is aimed at promoting active travel, reducing reliance on cars and helping to protect school bus travel. Measures could include local signage, protected drop-off spaces and improvements for pedestrians.

The programme would also feature bikeability training, with ‘catch-up’ cycle training available for pupils who missed out during the Covid-19 pandemic. There would also be training for less experienced adult cyclists hoping to gain confidence with one-to-one sessions and bicycle maintenance sessions.

Furthermore, the funding will be put toward small-scale active travel improvements, such as footway widenings or enhanced crossing points. Promotion, monitoring and a full evaluation of all of the above schemes will also benefit from the DfT funds.

Roger Elkins, cabinet member for highways and improvements, said: “The emphasis in Phase 2 of the Active Travel Fund is on consulting with all stakeholders with the aim of arriving at permanent improvements for people who cycle and for pedestrians – as opposed to the temporary, emergency pop-up cycleways we saw last year.”

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