A council has been threatened with legal action over an “irrational and unlawful” move to shut a cycle lane.
The decision to close the temporary cycle route along Upper Shoreham Road. in Shoreham. was made in November, following concerns from some residents over traffic congestion.
Charity Cycling UK said it will be taking legal action against West Sussex County Council over the plans.
Mother-of-two Karen Murphy said she is “nervous” to bike along the road now.
Ms Murphy, who lives in Shoreham, said: “We used to frequently ride along the cycle lane, often joining another safe route travelling from Shoreham to Steyning, but we haven’t since it was removed.
“I’m nervous about travelling along the Upper Shoreham Road without it. I’m not the only one.
“I don’t understand why the council removed what had swiftly become a valuable community asset and hope they rethink their position.”
A spokesperson for West Sussex County Council confirmed it had been served with legal proceedings, and was therefore was unable to comment further.
Seven temporary cycles lanes were set up by the council in spring 2020, to help reduce the pressure on public transport during the lockdown.
The decision to remove them was taken after council feedback showed the majority of responses were opposed to the cycleways, citing increased congestion as a key issue.
Automatic traffic counters also indicated relatively low usage by cyclists in comparison with other traffic.
Cycling UK is paying for the legal challenge via its Cyclist Defence Fund, and is concerned the actions of council bosses in West Sussex could be mirrored by other local authorities.
Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, said: “When the council introduced this cycle lane, people soon changed how they travelled locally.
“Children began cycling to school, pensioners felt safe to ride into town and commuters started swapping cars and public transport for their bikes. It was a complete success story.”
He said the decision to remove the cycle lane “demonstrates a fundamentally flawed process, which Cycling UK would argue, is both irrational and unlawful”.
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