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No plan to update Crawley cycle lanes

By Crawley News  |  Posted: August 29, 2012


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THE county council has no plans to improve the town's cycle paths despite growing tension between cyclists and pedestrians.

The News told last week how pensioners in Three Bridges were increasingly concerned about their safety on footpaths as cyclists often speed along them.

Cyclists have since been in touch to say that inadequate cycle paths and aggressive drivers on the roads often force them on to the footpaths.

However, West Sussex County Council says only one small section of the town's 41 kilometres of cycle paths, in Tilgate Drive, is earmarked for improvement.

And it is so far down the list of priorities it is likely to be years before this work is completed.

Peter Smith, a Labour councillor for Ifield, said the problems would not go away until better infrastructure was in place.

Mr Smith, who is also a cycling campaigner, said: "The problem is that people can't tell where the cycle paths are.

"Many times the county council has just put some white lines down and designated it a cycle path.

"We don't support people cycling illegally on footpaths but we do need to see better infrastructure for cyclists to stop them doing it."

The News reported in January that borough councillor Ken Trussell had requested £25,000 from the borough council's budget to fund some improvements.

However, the money will not pay for the upkeep of cycle paths but is geared towards encouraging more people to cycle.

Despite being allocated, the money has still not been spent.

But Mr Trussell said plans were beginning to take shape.

He said: "Cycle paths are very clearly a county council responsibility so there is very little we can do. I'm hoping what we can do will encourage people to cycle safely and make sure they know where they can cycle.

"We have some ideas for what the £25,000 will be spent on. We are looking at building cycle racks around the town and we want to create maps which show people where there are complete cycle routes.

"That way they will know how to get from one part of the town to another using designated cycle paths and without cycling illegally on footpaths."

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  • Richard20101  |  August 30 2012, 5:36PM

    Cycle along the cycle lane in Gatwick Road (by the bus stop/motor cycle shop), and the cycle lane disappears altogether - very dangerously. Thank you, WSCC Highways !

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  • Cyclestrian  |  August 30 2012, 11:24AM

    £25k? More like £25M needed to make a difference to a town like Crawley. Plus motorists may need to give up some of their tarmac. Government is in an "invest in infrastructure" mood at the moment so it's not impossible if the right people open their eyes and drag themselves out of the 1960s. Please don't waste money on maps: you'll just be embarrass the town by publishing how poor cycling infrastructure in Crawley actually is. Most people use smartphone apps and tools like cyclestreets anyway. Cycle stands.... do people ask for them? They need to get to their destination safely first. I don't believe Crawley has 41km of cycle paths. If you take out those routes that are shared with pedestrians or shared with motor traffic, how much really is there?

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  • debdjsim  |  August 29 2012, 6:52PM

    I cycle every day around Crawley and have to say that Crawley's cycle path routes must be some of the worst cycle routes ever! Bumpy, cracked, pot holed and existing one minute and when it really matters, the cycle path dissappears. I have worked out that 1 in every 5 drivers has no idea how to over take a cyclist when I am on the road and pedestrians can be just as rude and aggressive as the car drivers, when we do share a pathway. We can't win and as a healthier option, Crawley really sucks at this.

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  • shooter73  |  August 29 2012, 12:05PM

    How can it be that the Netherlands, which never had the windfall of North Sea oil revenues or ever served as the base for a massively profitable financial sector, has managed to create a network of amazing cycle paths right across the country. Civic minded council leadership. That's how. And what do we get? Monstorous car-centred gyratories and playgrounds being removed. Says it all really

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