Horsham Liberal Democrats welcome the publishing of HDC’s first draft Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP). We now encourage residents to read and comment on the potential improvements, but also to flag what is missing from this draft.
The benefits of local improvements to increase both cycling and walking in the District are clear: easier, cheaper, healthier and more enjoyable travel; less congestion, less noise and pollution in the streets where we live; and a more attractive centre that brings more business to our town.
Horsham District Councillor Ruth Fletcher said, “The LCWIP is about investing in the changes needed to make walking and cycling the natural choice for more of those short trips. It’s not just for ‘cyclists’, it’s about making Horsham a better place for everyone to live, work and visit."
LCWIPs should enable a long-term approach to developing local cycling and walking networks, ideally over a 10 year period. However, the plan itself admits that it does not include a joined-up network – rather suggesting improvements to a handful of radial routes into Horsham.
Cllr Fletcher notes, “There is a black hole at the heart of the plan which has no proposals for the town centre – the most important destination and the key connection for any usable cycle network.
“There is no mention of a desperately needed cycle route to link Horsham with jobs at Manor Royal and Gatwick.
“There is nothing in this draft to complement the Warnham and Nuthurst neighbourhood plans which recognised the need for cycle routes from their villages to Horsham.”
While the draft LCWIP is a first step, more is needed to get these proposals off the ground and to succeed in winning the funding that the government is now making available to those councils that have genuine ambition.
Cllr Fletcher adds: “Above all, this draft has no timescales, budgets or commitments to action. Is Horsham District Council really committed, or will this be yet another report that gets quietly filed under ‘forget’?”
To help ensure this report doesn’t get forgotten and leads to much needed improvements to cycling and walking in Horsham please respond to the consultation by Friday 28th August.
LCWIPs, were first set out in the Government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (2017) and intended to provide strategic approach to identifying cycling and walking improvements required at the local level.