Cycle lanes: more harm than good? West Sussex scheme could be removed

A controversial cycle scheme in West Sussex could be removed over concerns that it's making traffic jams worse during busy periods. Credit: ITV News Meridian

A controversial cycle scheme in West Sussex could be removed over concerns that it's making traffic jams worse during busy periods.

The scheme in Chichester is one of many that were installed, using money from the government to encourage cycling post lockdown. However, businesses say it's affecting trade already hit by the pandemic.

  • Report by ITV News Meridian's Chloe Oliver:

Orange bollards have been placed through the city centre, protecting cyclists by turning dual carriageway into one car lane and one cycle lane. However, dividing the road space seems to have divided opinion.

  • Gary Shipton- Editorial director, Chichester Observer series

An irritation for drivers but for emergency services, the congestion is costing them vital seconds. Kain Lawrence was driving along this road when his wife filmed the moment an ambulance was brought to a standstill. 

An irritation for drivers but for emergency services, the congestion is costing them vital seconds Credit: ITV News Meridian

Just seeing ambulance trying to get through the town and cars moving over and ambulance trying to get through with the lights on. I don't want to have to call emergency services anytime soon. Those 2 minutes could be difference between life and death. 

Kain Lawrence, local resident

West Sussex County Council says it's holding weekly meetings with the ambulance, police and fire and rescue services to discuss issues and look at where improvements can be made. 

Orange bollards have been placed through the city centre Credit: ITV News Meridian

We were given very short notice to actually implement it, so about five working days really. One of the aspects of the review is to look at what's happened in terms of road safety and determine is there has been detrimental impact on people's safety on the roads.

Matt Davey- Director of Transport, West Sussex County Council

The seven cycleways for West Sussex were paid for by central government at a cost of £781,000.

That money includes Worthing where Sharon Clarke is the manager of the town centre initiative representing nearly 1000 businesses in the area.

  • Sharon Clarke- Worthing Town Centre Initiative

Elsewhere in county, pop up lanes have divided opinion in Brighton and Eastbourne. 

Meanwhile in Hampshire, some cycle schemes in Southampton have been removed following an increase in traffic. There are also calls to re-open roads to cars in popular areas such as south sea and Bournemouth.  

The council say they're monitoring traffic to see whether the schemes should be adjusted, removed or made permanent.