Chris Ames 25 February 2021

Council faces legal action over cycle lane removal

Council faces legal action over cycle lane removal image

A cycling charity is taking legal action against a council’s decision to scrap a cycle lane introduced during lockdown.

Cycling UK has submitted an application for judicial review of West Sussex County Council’s decision to remove the cycle lane along Upper Shoreham Road in Shoreham-by-Sea, arguing that it is ‘irrational and unlawful’.

It said that at the heart of its challenge that the council failed to consider the equalities implications of deciding to remove the cycle lane, and in particular did not consider the impact on young people.

The charity said that despite the popularity of the cycle lane for Shoreham’s families and residents, Cllr Roger Elkins, the council’s cabinet member for highways and infrastructure made an arbitrary decision to remove it.

It said that according to an FOI investigation, Cllr Elkins never visited the route and that justification for his decision appears to have been based on a small number of complaints about increased congestion, which the charity said were not borne out by data gathered by the council.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, said: ‘Despite the public’s enthusiasm for having safer routes to walk and cycle along, it is frustrating to see the admirable ambitions of some councils wither away at the first sign of criticism.

‘If councils decide to make baseless knee jerk decisions with no evidence, then they need to realise there will be consequences. They should expect to be challenged, because such arbitrary and irrational decision making cannot be allowed to go unchecked.’

The charity said it is paying for its legal challenge via its Cyclists' Defence Fund, and is concerned that the council’s actions could be mirrored by other local authorities ‘under pressure from vocal minorities resistant to improvements in their community’.

It argued that the Upper Shoreham Road bike lane was successful, with more than 30,000 bike trips were made during its short lifetime, and pointed out that it featured in a government publicity video highlighting the community benefits of the new cycle lanes introduced during the pandemic.

A council spokesperson said: ‘WSCC has just been served with legal proceedings in relation to the temporary cycle scheme that was in situ on the Upper Shoreham Road during the autumn / winter 2020/21. We are unable to comment further at this time.’

Photo: Glen Symes /

It’s now or never for modern democracy image

It’s now or never for modern democracy

The electoral landscape is now ‘more crowded than ever’, while council resources have been ground down, says Laura Lock – and she warns that professionals do not have limitless capacity.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Project Manager

Leicestershire County Council
Up to £50,823 per annum
The role of this post is to oversee the project management, development and implementation of the County Council’s Major Transport Projects.. Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Programme and Change Delivery Manager (Spatial Planning and Urban Design)

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£43,833 - £53,115 Depending on skills and experience
Are you a change delivery manager with expertise in England’s local government spatial planning and urban design sector? Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Early Years Practitioner

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£26,544 - £30,618 per annum pro rata
This is a diverse area and we have high aspirations for all our children, starting with... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Programme Manager - Association of Directors of Children’s Services

City of York Council
£50,000 to £60,000 pa
This role will help to shape an annual SLI work plan and variously oversee, facilitate, commission or directly deliver and... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

School Wellbeing Worker

City of York Council
£27,614 to £30,602 per annum
The role will involve providing schools with consultation and advice, training, direct work in... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue