Cycling UK has had its appeal upheld against the High Court decision refusing permission for a judicial review of the removal of a cycle lane in Shoreham, West Sussex.
The cycle lane on the Upper Shoreham Road was used for more than 30,000 cycle trips, many servicing the five schools along its length. It also featured in a government publicity video highlighting the community benefits of the new cycle lanes introduced during lockdown in 2020. As the charity waits for the date of its final hearing, it will now begin asking for donations to support its legal costs via its Cyclists’ Defence Fund. Cycling UK is seeking to set a precedent against councils ‘ignoring governmental statutory guidance to reallocate road space for cycling and walking’.
Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, said: “Cycling UK is delighted the Court of Appeal agreed that the issues raised in this case, especially the requirement for highway authorities to properly consider the government’s statutory guidance, must be fully considered.”
Cycling UK applied for a judicial review on 25th February following the decision by West Sussex County Council (WSCC) to remove the cycle lane along the A270 Upper Shoreham Road. In its claim, the charity argued that the council failed to take into account or comply with statutory guidance issued under the Traffic Management Act.
Following an initial refusal in the High Court in May, Cycling UK appealed the decision in June and discovered in September that the Court of Appeal had allowed its appeal. The charity said it now hopes to have the final hearing before the end of the year.
“The reallocation of road space to people walking and cycling is a key element of the government’s statutory guidance to reallocate road space for cycling and walking,” said Dollimore. “Cycling UK believes West Sussex County Council failed to have regard to or comply with that guidance when making the decision to remove the cycle lane.
“This case has implications beyond Shoreham, because if councils can ignore this guidance with impunity, the Government’s ‘Gear Change’ vision to get more people walking and cycling will be stuck in first gear. Councils should not be at liberty to ignore national policy commitments and carry on regardless, prioritising motor traffic at the expense of active travel while paying lip service to their own sustainability, environmental and climate change commitments.”