As a postscript to the roundabout, West Sussex County Council completely resurfaced it a couple of months ago. This beautiful new surface is coupled with the fact that they didn’t narrow the profile to accomodate a proper cycling facility with the potential for slowing traffic down. This means that at night you can hear the screeching tyres of ‘hot hatches’ speeding around what is a residential area with two schools and a clinic. For some reason, people accept this.
Anyway, let’s cycle to the sea British Infrastructure style! Firstly use the shared use facility and into what should be a nice residential road, pleasant for cycling.
Alas, I’ve found that ‘recommended cycle routes’ also tend to be ‘rat runs’ and so it goes with this fast straight piece of road, perfect for the motorist in a hurry. Just add parked cars and novice cyclists for a beautiful slalom!
I’m going to have to hurry things along as there’s a lot to get through (which I find a bit odd for a simple cycle ride to the sea). Having crossed a fast chicane and taken a quick detour through a housing estate you continue south down this road to another junction and on to a tunnel under the railway line
You can nearly smell the sea can’t you?!!
To pass under the railway you have to skirt a Trading Estate first. The occasional blue bicycle signs should take your mind off the massive trucks swinging in and out.
Don’t forget to dismount! Dismounting and walking are an essential part of cycling in the eyes of a Highways Engineer.
This is where it starts to get interesting. Once back on board your trusty steed you cross the road here and pick up the first cycling contraflow lane.
Over the busy road…
What’s this?! A new road layout for cyclists?! the sign of course is alerting motorists that this is the only place where they have to be aware of cyclists, despite there being a cycle contraflow lane along the road.
As you continue on to the sea (if by now you can remember what a ‘sea’ looks like) you will notice to your left a reasonably nice contraflow cycle lane….
Why they couldn’t realign the road so the layby was on the right with the contraflow on the left I’m not quite sure. It fizzles out at the end of this short residential street too. I think it’s to get cyclists somewhere near the hospital nearby. If someone opens their car door without looking you can take a more direct route.
At the end of the residential bit, I think cyclists heading south either have to pick up this 30mph dual carriageway or cross in front of any vehicles swinging in plus the cycle lane and on to the pavement to a pelican crossing on the right. The cycle route continues over the other side. How you get there is a little vague, but that would have involved thought from the engineers. Instead we have the same thought process that came up with a 30mph dual carriageway being a good idea for a town centre.
Above is a close up of where you would have to cross.
The picture above is looking North from whence we came. On the left is the shared use path from the pelican crossing. Please note that no space has been ceded by motorists, who still enjoy loads of space to speed into and out of town. In the Netherlands, they might have reduced the traffic flow to single carriageway, provided a decent, wide cycle path segregated from pedestrians, added planting and even additonal parking for residents. But this isn’t the Netherlands.
At the end of the cycle path you cross the roundabout entrance to pick up the road to the right and start the push (quite literally!) along the final furlong! Well, done for making it this far!!
The road you’ve just entered is 20mph and is two way past the car park entrance on the left up to the busy Royal Mail sorting offices on the right where a natty little cycle contraflow has been added! Let’s take a look!
Yes! The entrance at the other end has an entrance for cyclists only that cuts right across the entrance to the busy sorting office. Perfect for the novice cyclist looking to gain a bit of confidence.
All we have to do now is turn left out of this road (cyclists can’t turn right here anyway despite a Library and the Town Hall being nearby) and head to the sea!
All you have to do is cycle down this 20mph road (which is blatantly ignored by motorists), along the bus/cycle lane through the pedestrianised bit and you are finally at Worthing Pier!!
Then go home, pack your bags and head to Copenhagen, Amsterdam or Grongingen to find out how the Council should have done it.