Disappointment over Horsham station cycle scheme

Improvements to pedestrian crossing and island at Horsham Railway Station. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150223-151355001

Improvements to pedestrian crossing and island at Horsham Railway Station. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150223-151355001

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Work by West Sussex County Council to improve cycle access to Horsham Railway Station is ‘a waste of money’ according to the town’s cycling forum.

Contractors Balfour Beatty are carrying out the £70,000 improvement project aimed at helping cyclists and pedestrians using the station.

They have widened the island to accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians and built a toucan crossing to extend the cycle route from North Street to the station.

But Ruth Fletcher from the Horsham District Cycling Forum says the work, originally budgeted at £195,000, would not benefit cyclists much.

They have pushed for a crossing by the railway bridge, which is not being built.

Ruth said: “Overall this scheme will not make a great deal of difference. The jug handle (where cyclists leave the road to join the pavement) is still there. That’s supposed to be improved. There’s a little bit more space than there was. There’s no significant change on that approach.

“Having a toucan crossing is better than none because it at least makes it legal.

“The shared area between the road and the forecourt is wider, but it’s still going to be very crowded. It’s not adequate for two-way movement by pedestrians and cyclists.

“We shouldn’t be wasting money on cycle schemes that have minor difference. We should be doing the job properly.”

She added there was disappointment much-needed double decker cycle racks were not included in this project.

A WSCC spokesman said: “There is a high level of demand for cycle parking at the railway station and Southern Railway is investing further in cycle facilities and is in the process of constructing a Cycle Hub at the eastern entrance, although this is not funded through this LSTF programme.

“The original budget of £195k includes upgrading the pedestrian crossing in North Street to a toucan crossing. It never included a toucan crossing north of the station.”

He added the £95,000 underspend was due in part to a bid to replace old, privately owned bus shelters not being approved. It will be reallocated elsewhere in the programme.