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Last week West Sussex County Council wrote to a number of objectors to its proposals to dual the A2300 (between the A23 and Burgess Hill).  It has replied to us but provided no real reassurance it knows or cares what it’s doing.  For example, it has claimed in a letter to Bricycles, the Brighton & Hove Cycle Campaign group, that: “Any form of controlled crossings such as toucan or Pegasus crossings will have negative impact of the business case and put funding of the scheme in jeopardy.”  This tells us one of three things:

  1. The business case for the road is so weak it will be undermined if they slow traffic down to allow pedestrians and cyclists safe passage through the area (across the new road and its junctions).
  2. They haven’t a clue as to the needs of pedestrians and cyclists, if they think uncontrolled crossings are any form of benefit to them
  3. They just don’t care

What is worse is that WSCC cannot claim it doesn’t know that walking and cycling are important and bring many benefits.  Late last year, the Government reiterated their importance and said that it wanted to see local highways authorities spending around 15% of their transport infrastructure funding on walking and cycling.

More recently, this year the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a new draft quality standard where it proposed that: “New and upgraded roads should prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and public transport over motorised vehicles”.  This is out of concern that lack of physical exercise is ruining people’s quality of life and placing an unnecessary and expensive burden on the NHS.

Watch this space for more updates but if you live in West Sussex or use the roads in the area, then we would encourage you to lobby the County Council to start getting serious with its provision for pedestrians and cyclists.

These files are our original objection, WSCC’s response and our reply to their response

bhfoe original a2300 response

wscc a2300 letter to bhfoe

bhfoe a2300 reply to wscc

 

rs22772_plastic in ocean dark

Scientists now predict that by the middle of the century our oceans will contain more plastic waste than fish, ton for ton.

Let’s do something about it.

Ask Brighton and Hove MPs to back a Plastic Pollution Action Plan.

rubbish_webOur petition calling on the council to drastically improve recycling facilities on the seafront has now gathered over 600 signatures.

You can help the campaign by adding your name and sharing the petition with friends and family.

Can you help us reach 1,000 signatures?

 

 

West Sussex strikes again

Don’t end up with something like this

Have your say! Respond to the A2300 consultation

Having just experienced West Sussex County Council’s (WSCC) indifference to towards walking and cycling on the New Monks Farm development, we shouldn’t really be surprised to see them at it again.  This time WSCC is proposing to dual the A2300 from the A23 into Burgess Hill to support new development.  They appear to only consider road building as a serious option, while public transport, walking and cycling are seen as add-ons and consequently don’t ever deliver much.  It’s the classic ‘predict and provide’ approach that just fuels traffic growth, congestion and a low quality environment.

What is most shocking, though, is how sub-standard, dangerous and unattractive the proposals are for people who want to walk and cycle.  The shared path alongside the road will do little to alleviate traffic levels in and around Burgess Hill and we suspect that some cyclists will still use the road, even a 70mph road, because it is so bad.  Just producing maps and drawing lines on them showing routes for people to walk and cycle is meaningless unless the infrastructure provided is safe, easy and attractive to use.  This is none of these.

We are urging people to take a few minutes to object to these poor quality and dangerous facilities.

The survey is quite short and you don’t have to fill in all your personal details except for a postcode.  Deadline is midnight, Sunday 28 October.
These are some issues and thoughts on the proposed pedestrian and cycle infrastructure being proposed alongside the A2300:
  1. The scheme does not conform to the National Planning Policy Framework which says that pedestrian and cycle movements should be given priority (para 110) – here they are just an afterthought
  2. The shared path is too narrow (at 2.5m wide) – it should be at least 3 metres wide to meet latest standards
  3. The path is unsafe as it has too many crossings of high speed junctions, made worse by the 70 mph speed limit.  No help is given to people crossing these roads
  4. There are too many sharp bends at crossing points and no slips (easy access points) onto the path near the A23, at Stairbridge Lane or Cuckfield Road – this will cause cyclists to have to swerve into the traffic to get onto and off the shared path
  5. Several quieter roads (good for cycling) would be severed by these proposals with no help given to pedestrians or cyclists to cross the A2300 – Stairbridge Lane to Pookbourne Lane, Bishopstone Lane and Cuckfield Road
  6. The path under the retained overbridge is right next to the 70mph road. This is dangerous – the central reservation should be reduced and or the road moved across to provide the required 3 metre separation between road and path
  7. Some cyclists will be tempted to still use the road (even at 70mph) because the path is so poor (a measure of success in terms of design would be to provide a facility that encourages all cyclists to use it)
  8. The Cuckfield Road roundabout should be redesigned to open up easy access for walking and cycling (from all directions) and with speed limits reduced
  9. The path should have a sealed surface (tarmac)
  10. The proposed new roundabout at the eastern end (not part of this scheme but to be provided for by developers) is not fit for purpose and needs redesigning to properly accommodate cycling.
Feel free to use or adapt these points in your response, or just tell them to go back to the drawing board.  Maybe we can shame them into providing something better!  You can also email your comments to them directly: a2300@westsussex.gov.uk

You can find out more about the proposals here

Unfortunately. all the places to see A Plastic Ocean on 6 November have all been taken.

We expect some cancellations so if you’d like to go on the waiting list please send an email to bandhfoe@gmail.com and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

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On 6 November we’re showing ‘A Plastic Ocean’; a fascinating documentary about the truth of plastic pollution in our seas and oceans.

Free entry but book your place before they’ve all gone.

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A PLASTIC OCEAN begins when journalist Craig Leeson, searching for the elusive blue whale, discovers plastic waste in what should be pristine ocean.

Join Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth at St Augustine’s for a screening of this adventure documentary, as Craig teams up with free diver Tanya Streeter and an international team of scientists and researchers to travel to 20 locations around the world. Together they explore the fragile state of our oceans, uncover alarming truths about plastic pollution, and reveal working solutions that can be put into immediate effect.

Book your place.

A New Vision for Transport

Too often do planning authorities have a jaundiced view on transport. South Coast Alliance for Transport and Environment, an alliance that campaigns for a better transport system and one to which BHFOE is part, offer an alternative.

Friday last week they released their integrated transport vision for Sussex, offer[ing] a new approach to help town and country along our beautiful coast.”

The wide range of measures proposed in the report include enhanced rail and public transport opportunities and improved facilities for cycling and walking.

New technology, it is pointed out, also has the potential to change the way transport is provided and used and recognises new homes and jobs need to be provided in locations served by enhanced public transport and attractive walking and cycling connections.

This balanced approach could help solve the well-known problems surrounding the A27 and support sustainable economic growth without the negative impact of extensive new road building.

Find out more about their positive vision here: SCATE A New Vision for Transport

To join in on our campaign to save the Sussex Pad Crossing follow this link, or contact SCATE for more opportunities to campaign for better transport.