Controversial cycle lanes in Chichester will be removed, says council

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

Controversial cycle lanes installed in Chichester during lockdown will be removed, council bosses have said.

The scheme was installed in May dividing many sections of dual carriage way in the city centre into a single lane for cars, with a single protected lane for cyclists.

It was paid for using government cash handed out to local authorities for transport improvements, as more people cycled and walked instead of taking public transport.

The council says that at the height of the pandemic car use in West Sussex was down 70% on usual levels.

But as schools returned and people got back to work, vehicle use increased - meaning so did the traffic.

One resident even showed us video of an ambulance stuck in the traffic, unable to get past.

Roger Elkins, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “It’s clear that while the cycleway did provide a safe route for cycling, the extraordinary circumstances during national lockdown that led to their introduction no longer exists.

"By removing the scheme we will return the network to its pre-pandemic state."

"I would like to thank everyone who took the time and trouble to provide us with feedback and reassure residents we remain committed to our long-standing, walking and cycling strategy with all the permanent benefits this will bring for active and sustainable travel.

"We have a continued ambition to support investment in sustainable and active travel and the data gathered and the experience of providing this cycleway will help us when delivering future schemes."

The seven cycleways were installed in West Sussex, costing central government £781,000.

The county council says its reviewing all feedback on the routes and will publish decisions in due course.