Action by Cycling UK has resulted in regular HGV movements being blocked from a national cycle network and walking route.
On Thursday February 2nd Wealden district councillors unanimously blocked retrospective planning permission for heavy goods vehicle operations to take place out of premises at Chilley Farm, Pevensey.
The Rickney Lane area is part of a series of traffic-free paths and quiet on-road cycling lanes which form the route two National Cycle Network. After a cyclist was seriously injured in a collision with a lorry travelling along the lane from the site in 2015, Cycling UK raised concerns about the frequent violations taking place on the route. It was also revealed that multiple other incidents involving HGVs and cyclists had taken place on the same stretch of road.
In early February, the company in question made its application for retrospective planning permission to the Wealden District Council in a hearing held at Hailsham. Following Cycling UK’s submissions, councillors unanimously agreed to refuse the organisation’s application.
Cycling UK senior road safety and legal campaigns officer Duncan Dollimore said: “It was obvious to the traffic commissioner and East Sussex Highway Authority that the company should never have been operating from such an unsuitable location which put walkers and cyclists at risk.
“We should not have to wait until someone is seriously injured before action is taken; at least we can take consolation that Wealden District councillors have made the right decision and significantly cut the risk on one of the UK’s flagship cycle routes.”
The Wealden District Council is now working with the company to seek out a more suitable location that will not put vulnerable road users at risk.