Development’s cycle and pedestrian access a ‘dog’s breakfast’

The bridge into the Highwood development, which has now been closed to general traffic (photo by Francis Vernon).
The bridge into the Highwood development, which has now been closed to general traffic (photo by Francis Vernon).
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A pedestrian and cycle link into a major Horsham development has been described as a ‘complete dog’s breakfast’, by the town’s cycle forum.

Berkeley Homes is around halfway through building more than 1,000 homes to the east of the A24 on the edge of Horsham.

Vehicles have been accessing the development from Hills Farm Lane via a bridge over Boldings Brook, but this is being downgraded to emergency, pedestrian, and cycle use only.

The developer has submitted an application to Horsham District Council to vary the design and layout of the bridge.

But the plans have been described as a ‘complete dog’s breakfast’ by the Horsham District Cycle Forum as cyclists and pedestrians have to share a two-metre wide pavement, with ‘excess’ space given over to decorative setts.

A spokesman for the cycle forum said: “This is yet another case which highlights the desperate need for HDC and WSCC to up their game and require continuous, high quality cycle routes which link properly to the rest of the network

“This is not due to a lack of money (a high quality cycle network would have been no more expensive), it is due to a lack of planning and leadership on this and because HDC and WSCC have not adopted best practice standards.

“This is bad enough for existing able-bodied cyclists, but utterly useless if we want to get children, disabled people and new cyclists enjoying independence and healthy cycle rides instead of clogging up our roads with yet more car journeys.”

Even West Sussex County Council has asked why the shared footway/cycleway is narrowed to two metres on the bridge.

The highways officers’ response to the application said: “There are no apparent constraints as to why a continuous 2.5 metre could not be continued from the development onto the bridge itself.”

To view the plans visit www.horsham.gov.uk/planning using code DC/17/2175.