Proposed cycle path on Goring Seawall

A Quick Summary

There are indeed many, many people that
would like a cycle track along the Worthing esplanade. In general we believe that cycling is a good thing, and cycle paths seem
like a good idea. But.

Brian Curtis is the engineer in WBC who is the contact about cycle paths. He is now putting together an implementation paln for the Executive. This will say that they will start the cycle path at Lancing and work section by section towards the West providing a coherent route.

There is a lot of engineering work involved in East Worthing. When this is done they will tackle the next bit going west. It will be some years before they reach Goring. They had thought that Goring should be done first because it is easy, but in view of the residents’ objections it will now be last, if at all.

To make it safe according to the Government Guidelines LTN 2/86, it would seem that
the the cycle track should be segregated and 3.5m wide (about 11ft) to allow cycles to ride in both directions. And the separate pedestrian path wide enough for two prams or wheel chairs to pass. If it is not segregated some classes of pedestrians may feel threatened and ceased to use the path.

Our concern here is with the Goring stretch. From George V Avenue to Sea
Place we agree there could be cycle paths if they decide to go ahead along the promenade. From Sea Place to the Sea Lane
Cafe it is very doubtful, as people will step out from between the beach
huts. From the Sea Lane Cafe to Ferring it is just not on without very
expensive engineering and against the Trust Deed for the greensward which allows only a footpath which has been established by continuous usage over many years.

And note that the existing South Coast Cycle Route is already in place along Marine Crescent and Marine Drive.

Along the Goring part of the route people do cycle though it is forbidden, and they usually dismount so that pedestrians can pass safely.

Like many of lifes challenges, there is no easy solution which would satisfy
everyone.

 



Plans published for Consultation
Four week consultation period started 17 May

The Goring Library has a copy of the proposals for the combined cycletrack/footpath from Lancing to Splash Point. You have to ask to see the plans as they are kept behind the counter. There is also a display at the Town Hall every weekday, and on Saturday 31 May at the Pier Pavilion. There are no details at this time about the rest of the cycle track to Ferring.

The plans are not very intelligible. Work will be starting early in 2004 at the Lancing border and coming through to Splash Point. Problems are expected with the fishermen at Ham and Windsor roads. The paths may be painted green to show the difference between paths for cyclists and pedestrians. The path will be painted red where there is a ‘hazard’.

There will be some sort of ‘step’ to save the shingle getting on the paths as the cycling part will be the sea side. This is a major problem along the Broadlands front, and will require a lot of maintenance.

Already it is clear that the planned paths are nothing like wide enough if the guidelines in Government Guidelines LTN 2/86 are followed. The minimum width of the cycle track to cater for cyclists travelling on both directions is 3 metres, and there must be at least a .5metre space between the pedestrian and cycle paths – a low curb will not be a sufficient separator.

It is still not clear if the need had been established particularly in view of the little [if any) use of the cycle path along Goring Road.

Cost of first stage will be £220/260k most coming from other sources but it seems £80k from the Borough funds. Whatever, it is all taxpayers money.

 



Argus News Item – 23 Oct 02
Prom cycle route fears
by Huw Borland

Campaigners fear a proposed �million cycle lane would lead to collisions between cyclists and people walking along Worthing seafront. Worthing Borough Council is considering whether a proposed route from Sea Lane in Ferring to Western Road in East Worthing should run along the promenade or the road.

A temporary cycle lane was closed in 1995 after a woman suffered head injuries after colliding with a cyclist.

The cycle network in Worthing is due to be completed within the next ten to 15 years. Cycle lanes have already been introduced in Goring. The proposals, drawn up by consultants Traffic Management and Safety (TMS), also include converting the roundabout at South Street and Marine Parade to a traffic light system. A 20mph speed limit could be introduced in Marine Parade, from Heene Road to Splash Point.

If a promenade route is approved, green cycle lanes would be put in place with red pedestrian crossing sections. However, cycling campaigner Burt Kent said: “I think a cycle lane along the promenade is contrary to what the town wants. It should be for people to walk along and it is a visitor attraction.”

Richard Waller, chairman of Goring Residents’ Association, fears the route would “irreversibly change” the character of the path along the sea wall.


 



Letter from Richard Waller,
Chairman Goring Residents’ Association
to the papers – 30 Oct 02

Worthing Borough Council Executive meeting on Monday evening (28 Oct 2002) decided to go ahead with the plan to make a cycle track along Worthing promenade, and then to extend this to Sea Lane Ferring.

Objections raised by Goring councillors Steven Waight and David Marchant were ignored. Previous experiments with a cycle track along the promenade ended after an accident with a pedestrian. Now to extend this, even on the easy bit in Goring from the Yacht Club to the refreshment tables at Sea Lane Cafe, the planned 2 metre wide track will not be wide enough for either pedestrians or cycles to have a free path. Existing users are families with small children, senior persons, and dog walkers – all of whom will be inconvenienced by cyclists that come up silently from behind them.

From Sea Lane Cafe to Ferring the existing road along Marine Drive is not so busy and is already available for cyclists. To propose that there should be a hard-surface cycle path along the sea wall suggests that none of the WBC Executive have actually visited Goring. The Tamarisk bushes provide shade and shelter from the wind for the picnics, barbecues and children’s outings on the greensward which is heavily protected by covenants against any building works. And the children have easy access to the beach over the sea wall.

It is not as if this proposed cycle track goes anywhere. Over the council boundary into Arun District the only route onwards is up Sea Lane Ferring, which is itself narrow and at school times very crowded. It is possible to state an objective of a South Coast Cycle Way from say, Penzance to Dover, but there are major obstacles to routing this along the sea wall at many places, not least at Ferring, Kingston Gorse, East Preston, and further on at Climping.

We would expect an application for planning permission for this project in due course. While generally encouraging cyclists, Goring Residents’ Association will continue to object most strongly to this project.


 



Letter from Goring Councillor David Marchant
to the papers – 1 Nov 02

Dear Sir,
I was interested to see the correspondence in your issue of the 31st October and, as my name was mentioned, perhaps I may make my views known. We are trying to encourage Tourists and Holiday makers to Worthing most of whom come to enjoy the facilities on the seafront. Footpaths and promenades, by their very name, are for the peaceful enjoyment of pedestrians. Whilst cyclists must be provided
for they do not mix with pedestrians as is well documented in your newspaper. It must be an infringement of the rights of pedestrians to have their enjoyment spoiled by cyclists.

I wonder if sufficient research was made to assess the need for cycle paths along the Seafront. Who are the potential users – long distance or local users? We are told it is the ‘South Coast Cycle Route’ which implies long distance use!

So far as the Greensward at Goring is concerned there will be a considerable detrimental affect to the natural beauty of one of the few remaining Greenswards in the County if the footpaths are widened and concreted and the Tamarisks cut back. What will be the ongoing costs of maintenance and cutting back the Tamarisks?

The unconventional lay out of the cycle paths in the Goring Road, the A259 main coastal road, has resulted in narrowing this already busy road. The design puts cyclists as well as motorists at risk and is not friendly towards pedestrians. Cyclists still use the
footpaths!

The suggestion to put part of the proposed cycle route along the sea front road between West Buildings and Splash point, and introduce traffic calming methods, is inconceivable. The road is already extremely busy and narrow at best and it is well known that the town is grid-locked with traffic at peak times. This will exascerbate the
problem.

There must be considerable concern for the safety of pedestrians, both the elderly and the young, on the sea front and footpaths. How will the annual Fun Fairs be accommodated and also the Sea Front Fair in July?

Signs and speed notices are already ignored and will, in any case, be
unenforceable. We already have laws against cycling on the footpath and cycling without lights after dark. These are never enforced. How will pedestrians be protected?

If roads are narrowed and traffic calmed the town will lose business. The ‘Warnes’ car park will soon be lost as will the Union Place car park. This will considerably reduce the number of spaces and, particularly for the Pier Pavilion and the Connaught there will be no off road parking nearby.

Is expenditure in excess of �. justified for the use it will get? Is the desecration of our seafront justified for a small minority of
users?

I should make it clear that I am not anti-bicycle. My late father was a
racing cyclist and I am a ‘fair weather’ cyclist when I have the opportunity.

I suggest further consideration and consultation is required.

Councillor David Marchant.
15 Arlington Avenue,
Goring by Sea, BN12 4SX.
Tel: 01903 244771.
e-mail: djmat15@aol.com


 



Email from Richard Waller
to Chris Bradley, WBC Parks Department
which he passed to James Appleby, WBC Development Manager – 1 Nov 02

I would not like the proposed cycle track along the sea wall at Goring to go through without proper planning consent.

? Shall you be be sponsoring department.
? Will you make sure that you dot the eyes and cross the tees. We would for instance want to know exactly how many Tamarisk bushes would be destroyed or suffer root damage.
? Will you bear in mind that the deed of conveyance dated 1st August 1935 states clearly that there shall be no vehicular traffic (which by definition includes cycles) along the greensward which includes not only the green but also the foreshore – the existing path having occured by usage along the existing stone wall, not by planning.

I would be grateful for a reply that I can take to my committee


 



Reply from Hayley Young, Planning Officer – 8 Nov 02
In response to the points you have raised I can comment as follows:

1) I have clarified with the Development Control Manager, James Appleton, that the works to provide the proposed cycle route will not actually require formal planning consent as they are deemed to be permitted development under the General Development Order.

2) In terms of the funding of the Seafront Route this will be provided by several sources including the Borough Council (from S106 developer monies already secured), West Sussex County Council, also working with
organisations such as Sustrans to bid for monies from central government
sources.

3) As only preliminary designs have been prepared I am not able to advise you at this stage as to whether any Tamarisk bushes will be destroyed. It was the consultants recommendation that there would be need for them to be cut back for visibility. This matter will be looked at in more detail at the detailed design stage.

4) Deed of Conveyance 1935 – I have also forwarded your email to Andy Couper in our Legal section and requested that he responds to you on this matter as soon as possible.


 



Letter from Richard Waller
to the papers – 7 Nov 02

We now understand that there will not be any consultation on the Worthing Council’s proposals for a cycle track along the Goring sea wall, perhaps better described as the shingle bank. Apparently the decision to go ahead was made at the Council meeting on 28 October last year. At that time apparently there was consultation with two cycle organisations, but not at all with the three Goring amenity societies: Goring Residents’ Association, Ilex Conservation Group, or the Goring Gap Preservation Trust. In addition, mysteriously, none of these groups received copies of the Agenda, much less the detailed consultants report which recommended the cycle tracks. If we had heard of the proposals, all three groups would have objected very strongly.

The decision by the executive just recently, to carry on with detailed
planning, has now been ‘called in’ and will now be discussed by the Scrutiny Committee. We hope that sense will prevail. The proposed cycle track along the Goring sea wall is just not on.


 



Argus Editorial 18 Dec 2002
Battle ground
The proposed construction of a cycle lane at Worthing is still a long way off and a major question mark still hangs over how it is going to be funded.

But even at this embryonic stage battle lines are being drawn.

Goring Residents’ Association has vowed to fight tooth and nail to stop any path damaging the greensward or tamarisk bushes in its neck of the woods. To back its campaign the association has tabled deeds dating back to 1935 which seem to show that there is a legal bar to the path.

Worthing Borough Council has a highly-paid barrister on its books to pick through the deeds and sort out fact from fiction. But the council would be ill-advised to undermine the association’s cause by tying up the argument in legal jargon.

It would do well to remember the entire council is up for re-election in 2004 and Goring is in fighting mood.


 



Argus News Item 18 Dec 2002

Deed threat to bike path
by Paul Holden

Plans for a seafront cycle lane in Worthing could be scuppered by a legal document dating back to 1935, campaigners believe. The deeds were unearthed by Goring Residents’ Association, which opposes proposals for an off-road lane running parallel to the shore in Goring.

Richard Waller, chairman of the association, said the deeds showed there “shall be no vehicular traffic along the greensward, which includes not only the green but also the foreshore”. Campaigners believe this applies to bikes as well as cars.

A 350-name petition against the lane was presented to the executive of Worthing Borough Council and a copy of the deeds, relating to the Goring Hall Estate, was shown to councillors. Mr Waller said: “We now await detailed plans for the cycle track so we can oppose these in detail. “We believe the existing South Coast Cycle Route along Marine Drive and Marine Crescent is fine and we do not want it changed.”

Simon Aley, the council’s head of legal services, said he had not seen the deeds and did not know if they were legally binding. But he has invited the association to discuss the matter with a council barrister. Mr Aley said: “They have made a number of points based on their interpretation. “If there is an issue we need to look at further we shall do so once we have had that discussion. “They were very keen to take up our offer to talk but we have not heard from them yet.”

Mr Aley said “vehicular traffic” usually referred to vehicles with engines, so bicycles did not apply.

Mr Waller also wants to know how many Tamarisk bushes lining the seafront would be destroyed if the lane was installed but the council was unable to say how many.

 

 

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Contributed by Richard Waller
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