Cycling UK is appealing a High Court judge’s refusal to allow judicial review of West Sussex County Council’s decision to remove a well-used pop-up cycle lane in Shoreham-by-Sea.
The association had applied for a judicial review on February 25 of the West Sussex County Council’s decision to remove the cycle path along the A270 Upper Shoreham Road.
Construction of the dedicated lane, funded by the Ministry of Transportation’s Emergency Active Travel Fund, began in September last year and was featured in a government video promoting the benefits of investing in cycling .
Cycling levels tripled on the bike path in Shoreham after its introduction, and it was particularly busy during the afternoon school run.
But in November, Roger Elkins, a member of the West Sussex County Council for Highways cabinet, decided to remove the lanes even before construction was complete, despite the 6: 2 council review committee voting to qu ‘he reconsiders.
It later emerged following an Freedom of Information request from the local Shoreham-By-Cycle campaign group that the counselor had never formally visited the facility before making the decision.
> “Appalling”: the councilor who made the decision to remove the popular pop-up bike path had never officially seen it for himself
In its application for judicial review of the decision, Cycling UK argued that the council:
did not take into account or did not comply with the legal directives issued under the law on traffic management
acted irrationally given that the WSCC’s own information did not support the reasons given for the removal from the cycle lane and
violated the Public Sector Equality Duty (PED), especially since it had information showing that the program was particularly beneficial for children entering local secondary schools.
However, in a High Court hearing on May 26, Judge Lane denied Cycling UK’s applications for leave to continue the judicial review.
The charity has now appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal, which will consider the matter later this year.
Duncan Dollimore, the charity’s campaign and advocacy manager, said: âCycling UK is obviously disappointed with Mr Justice Lane’s decision, and after considering legal advice, he appealed the decision.
âThe issues raised by this case, including the requirement to actively consider the impact of road space reallocation decisions on all groups with protected characteristics, are too important to leave this case in abeyance here. “
He expanded on his comments in an email to road.cc, stating: âCycling UK has taken this case to court because we believe the board failed to take into account legal guidance issued under the law. on traffic management, acted irrationally and violated the sector’s duty of equality.
âWe are extremely disappointed that the judge disagreed and refused us permission to continue the case.
“That said, litigation over active travel programs is still relatively new,” he continued, noting that the Court of Appeals last week overturned a January High Court ruling that the Streetspace program of Transport for London was illegal.
> Transport for London wins call for active travel program Streetspace
“Only a fool guarantees success in any court case, but we still believe the council acted illegally, which is why, after receiving legal advice, we appealed this decision to the Court of Appeal,” Dollimore added.
The costs of the appeal, like those of the initial action, are being borne by Cycling UK’s Cyclists’ Defense Fund, which it says “helps tackle important legal cases involving cyclists and cycling. , especially those which could set important precedents for the future and could affect the safety of all cyclists.
West Sussex County Council has repeatedly said it plans to introduce a permanent program on Upper Shoreham Road, subject to DfT funding.
However, Shoreham-By-Cycle said removing the temporary track made no sense given the uncertainty over how to secure that funding, as well as the time and expense involved in planning and building it. ‘a permanent cycle path.