Work striding ahead at trio of Active Travel schemes

Construction is progressing well at three Active Travel Fund schemes in West Sussex which will all provide improvements for cyclists and pedestrians.

The projects, at Drayton, Findon/Findon Valley and Shoreham, are West Sussex County Council Active Travel initiatives, funded by the Department for Transport. They aim to:

make walking and cycling to work, education and leisure activities more attractive
improve health and wellbeing by offering eco-friendly travel choices
broaden travel choices by offering safer, quick and easy walking and cycling options, particularly for short journeys
support zero emission journeys and reduce reliance on car travel.
Joy Dennis, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, visited all the sites recently to see the progress first-hand. Joy said: “Given the importance of Active Travel, I am delighted to see these improvements being built. These are the first of many such schemes I want to see across the county.

“By encouraging more walking and cycling, we can help to cut congestion, reduce carbon emissions, help improve people’s health and wellbeing and support the local economy.

“Active Travel is one of the key aspects of the West Sussex Transport Plan 2022 – 2036 , which underpins the Council’s approach to improving the transport network and dovetails with Our Council Plan. ”

Here is an outline of the three schemes and progress, to date:

Findon/Findon Valley: construction of a 2km-long shared cycleway/walkway route, connecting Findon Valley with the South Downs National Park gateway of Findon Village.

The new route will provide a link for those wanting to opt for a more active way of travelling to see one of the county’s stunning attractions – the South Downs. It also has the advantage of linking in with an existing cycleway south of the Findon Valley shops, towards the A27 and a signed route into Worthing town centre.

Phase One of the cycleway is starting to take shape between the High Street and Cross Lane: much of the drainage and earthworks are complete, with timber edging and a tree root protection system installed. The asphalt surfacing will be laid over the next week and the first 350m of new shared path will shortly be opened to the public.

Later phases will be: junction works at Cross Lane/A24 junction; junction works at Nepcote/A24 junction; Nepcote to May Tree Avenue and May Tree Avenue/ Lime Tree Avenue.

Subject to unforeseen factors, such as severe weather, the project is currently on track to complete mid-January 2023.

A283 Steyning Road in Shoreham: construction of a crossing for both pedestrians and cyclists.

This will benefit the whole community by providing a safer crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists to access the river-side footway and cycleway, improving access between St Nicolas Lane, the town centre, Shoreham Toll Bridge and the Downs Link. It will also improve connectivity for schoolchildren, such as those going to and from the Sir Robert Woodard Academy, and improve connectivity for a nearby business centre.

The project comprises:

Installing the push-button controlled traffic light crossing for pedestrians and cyclists
Installing a new two-way cycleway connection from St Nicolas Lane
Widening and resurfacing of the footways immediately adjacent to the crossing
Installation of high-friction road surfacing to improve safety for those on the crossing
Bus stop improvements, including increasing the area of hard standing and installing an electronic real time passenger information board
Crossing warning signs for motorists
Reduced speed limit from national speed limit, single lane carriageway, to 50mph between the A27 interchange roundabout and the existing speed limit change to the 30mph into Shoreham
The work is currently on course for completion around 18 November 2022 – again, subject to unforeseen factors.

A259 Drayton, near Marsh Lane: improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and bus passengers include:

A new signalised ‘Toucan’ crossing for cyclists and pedestrians using the existing shared path and to replace the traffic island on the busy A259 near Marsh Lane, east of the Drayton roundabout
A lower 50mph speed Limit on the A259 from the Drayton roundabout towards Bognor Regis – essential for the introduction of the stand-alone, traffic signal-controlled crossing
Building lengths of new footway at each of the Merston Corner bus stops

Real time passenger information displays will be installed at both bus stops
The project is currently on course for completion around 9 December 2022 – again, subject to unforeseen factors, such as severe weather.