Drivers should be the best campaigners for segregated cycle routes

I thought I ought to write to the local paper as Worthing’s enjoyment to drive is soon going to be a thing of the past. Despite the endeavours of the County and Borough Councils cycling will, just as it has everywhere else, come to Worthing. We might not have any cycle routes but we have riders, pavements, cycle racks and even town hire bikes. Virtually the entire executive of the borough council is pro cycling. It is only a matter of time.

I thought that I should sound a wakeup call. So here is my letter (below). Why do I do this? Well, nothing is going to happen…. yet. Nothing ever does in Worthing but at least we ought to be talking about it. If someone disagrees enough to be angry they will notice me  and, as far as I am concerned, if I am noticed, I am seen and that is a lot safer than not being seen!

For the record, West Sussex had double the KSIs (killed or Seriously Injured) on its roads and Worthing had the same a Brighton which has five time the population!

This letter was published in the 17th August 2017 edition.

Dear Herald,

Worthing has always been a great place to drive and has not had to endure the traffic calming or restrictions that other towns in the county have had to put up with. It has not even had any discussion on alternatives such as cycling or buses as the town functions, or has, so smoothly with the car. We must be the envy of other towns in the county.

Our freedom to roam has been impacted by the desire of outsiders to pass through using the A27 and also by the very popularity of driving. Our journeys are affected by the extra burden on the A27 but, luckily the excess numbers within the town have been accommodated by the tolerance of the town to pavement parking. We must be the luckiest place in the county as pavement parking everywhere else is illegal.

Despite our greatest efforts our freedom to drive is being eroded and even with West Sussex County Council’s staunch support for the car the county and town may soon succumb to the ways of the rest of the country. We may even go the way of Surrey and be overrun with bikes. This will be a disaster and will hit us worse than any other town because Worthing has never needed cycle routes. It has none! The roads may well begin to be clogged with bikes. Imagine the disruption, first the A27 and then bikes! The cyclists will inevitably become the biggest problem.

Drivers need to act now. You need clear roads and your wing mirrors need protection from pavement riders. If you value the freedom to drive that Worthing offers, campaign for cycle routes now! It is in your interest to ensure that when the cycle tsunami hits that there is some where for bicycles to go; and away from the roads. It is only a matter of time.

What can you do? Contact your borough and county councillors and ask them for help before it’s too late.

Yours JP

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