Cyclists vow legal action over ‘irrational and unlawful’ move to shut cycle lane

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A row over a decision to remove a lockdown cycle lane in Shoreham is to lead to legal action against a local council.

Cyclists in Shoreham are in outcry over the move and the decision has been branded “irrational and unlawful”.

Charity Cycling UK has announced it will be taking legal action against West Sussex County Council over the plans.

The decision to close the temporary cycle route along Upper Shoreham Road in the town was made on November 24, just two months after it was officially opened.

It was removed over a period of several days in mid-January, Cycle UK says.

Mother-of-two Karen Murphy, who lives in Shoreham, said: “We used to frequently ride along the cycle lane, often joining another safe route travelling from Shoreham to Steyning, but we haven’t since it was removed.

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“I’m nervous about travelling along the Upper Shoreham Road without it. I’m not the only one.

“I don’t understand why the council removed what had swiftly become a valuable community asset and hope they rethink their position.”

Cycling UK is funding its legal challenge via its Cyclist Defence Fund, and is concerned West Sussex County Council’s actions could be mirrored by other local authorities under pressure from “vocal minorities” resistant to cycle lanes in their community.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, said: “When the council introduced this cycle lane, people soon changed how they travelled locally.

“Children began cycling to school, pensioners felt safe to ride into town and commuters started swapping cars and public transport for their bikes. It was a complete success story.”

He said the decision to remove the cycle lane “demonstrates a fundamentally flawed process, which Cycling UK would argue, is both irrational and unlawful”.

West Sussex County Council said it could not comment as it had not yet been served with any proceedings.

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