LETTER: Better for cycles, better for health

Your letters
Your letters

The following is an open letter to West Sussex and Horsham Councils:

As members of the local medical community we know there would be massive health benefits if large numbers of people chose to go by bike instead of taking the car for short journeys - people’s health would improve from being more active, whilst pollution and congestion would reduce. But this isn’t happening in West Sussex, where the number of people cycling to work has stayed at around two per cent for the last ten years, with no sign of any change in sight, whilst numbers of people on bikes killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads has risen significantly over the past few years.

It’s clear that where roads are safe for cycling people will gladly use bikes rather than cars. But almost all new road design within West Sussex seems to ignore cycling, with priority given to cars at every opportunity. Car is king in West Sussex - try riding across the new A264 west of Horsham junction, or taking a bike to the John Lewis/Waitrose stores in town to see what we mean.

We challenge the assumption that designing roads to save extra seconds on motorists’ journeys should be prioritised over the public health gain of roads made safe for cycling.

Local authorities are legally responsible for improving the health of their residents, so we support the local cycling forum in their calls on West Sussex and Horsham councils to stop building wasteful, unhealthy road schemes and to develop instead networks of pleasant, direct cycle routes in our towns and villages.

We also ask West Sussex Public Health Dept to begin to discuss with the Highways Dept how best to develop such a network across the county.

signed by:

Simon Dean, Clinical Director Horsham & Mid-Sussex CCG

Liz Fisher, GP at Park Surgery, Horsham

Jonathan Heatley, GP at Holbrook Surgery, Horsham

Jim Thomas, Head of Logistics, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

John Dudley, Dentist at Forestmead Dental Practice

David Skipp, Retired GP and Liberal Democrat councillor, HDC

Dr David Mckenzie, GP at Rudgwick Medical Centre

The Village Surgery, Southwater

Dr Julia Noorali, Principal Dentist at Holbrook Dental & Implant centre

Gabrielle Munslow, Community Psychiatric Nurse, Living Well with Dementia (LWWD) Team (Horsham)

Dr Paul Woods, GP at Holbrook Surgery, Horsham

Dr Shilpa Jethwa, GP at Park Surgery, Horsham

Dr Gitta Schirmer, Consultant Psychiatrist, New Park House, Horsham

Ali Thomas, Team Lead, LWWD Team, Horsham

Dr Talau, Speciality Doctor

Carly Holman, Community Social Worker, LWWD Team, Horsham

Claire Freeman, Consultant Podiatric Surgeon, Independent Health Group

Graham Bell, Dentist at Worthing Road Dental Practice

S. Sepenceo, Community Psychiatric Nurse, LWWD Team, Horsham

Jacky Millan, Community Psychiatric Nurse, LWWD Team, Horsham

Sam Mortimer, Team Secretary, LWWD Team, Horsham

Sally Williams, Team Secretary, LWWD Team, Horsham

Nem Foolyeca, Community Psychiatric Nurse, LWWD Team, Horsham

Deborah Steggal, Community Psychiatric Nurse, LWWD Team, Horsham

Margaret Puttock, Community Social Worker, LWWD Team, Horsham

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