Walking and Cycling Routes

Published: 30 June 2020

We are fortunate to have good reasons to get outside and enjoy local services, shops and surrounding countryside; but our busy roads, particularly the A272 and A29, prove a barrier to many residents. Lockdown has proven an opportunity to enjoy more walking and cycling, and it would be fantastic if off-road access could be improved in the years ahead so residents can continue to enjoy the benefits recently discovered.

At its recent virtual meeting, (and streamed online via Facebook), Billingshurst Parish Council (BPC) resolved to make preliminary investigations on potential improvements for walking and cycling in the parish. Schemes could vary in size from a new walking and cycling path linking our settlements, such as Billingshurst with Five Oaks; to widening a countryside footpath or improving the feeling of security in using an alley path in the village centre. Highway schemes are generally delivered by West Sussex County Council (WSCC), as the local highway authority, due to the cost or holding necessary technical expertise. BPC can play a positive part in undertaking initial feasibility work for WSCC, making enquiries with local landowners and developing initial scopes so as to increase the chances of funding and priority for delivery. BPC could also deliver small, off-road schemes such as up-grading public footpaths to public bridleways (so creating a right to cycle) subject to consents from the landowners and WSCC as highway authority.

So as to understand the parish's needs as completely as possible, BPC is asking residents to submit ideas for walking and cycling improvements in the parish. This information will be collated and used to promote schemes to WSCC, also lobby it and Horsham District Council for monies to deliver schemes. Residents' expectations should not race away unchecked that our parish will see schemes being delivered in the short term but without knowing of a potential scheme it will very likely never be delivered. Please send your ideas to clerk@billingshurst.gov.uk and include the following information: From, To, Current issue/ problem, Your name and contact details (if content to provide these)

If you are interested in improving local cycling infrastructure, Horsham District Cycling Forum is keen to work with communities and individuals outside of Horsham town. The Forum lobbies for improved cycling opportunities and recognition of non-motorised access in policies and development plans; it can be contacted at http://www.hdcf.org.uk/contact-us/