A COURT date has been set for a judicial review into a council's decision to remove a temporary cycle lane.

Charity Cycling UK has challenged West Sussex County Council’s decision to remove the "popular" cycle lane in Shoreham.

On January 25 to 26 2022, the High Court will have the opportunity to rule whether the council’s decision to remove the lane on the Upper Shoreham Road was unlawful.

The pop-up cycleway was installed at the end of September 2020 through government funding to encourage more people to walk and cycle.

The council voted to remove it in November 2020 and Cycling UK later applied for a judicial review in February 2021.

The review was initially refused by the High Court but was then accepted by the Court of Appeal.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns said: “In Shoreham, Cycling UK wants to draw a line in the sand, and show there are repercussions for councils which ignore government guidance. We’re taking the council to court as we want to set a precedent, and put a stop to short sighted decisions like this which are happening across the UK.

“Though we’re a cycling charity fighting over a cycle lane’s removal, at the heart of our legal challenge this really isn’t a cycling issue.

"We’re fighting to ensure children can travel to school in safety, so people don’t have to breathe foul air, and for healthier, safer streets where we live and work.

“We’re truly grateful for all the support we’ve received from the public so far for our legal battle in Shoreham and hope they can continue to support us and our ongoing work to make the UK a better place for everyone.”

During its short lifetime the lane was used for 30,000 cycle trips, serving five schools along its length.

The cycleway was implemented as part of the government's Emergency Active Travel Fund during lockdown. The council was given £781,000 by the fund for seven pop-up cycle lane schemes.

After the council authorised the lane’s removal, the Department for Transport barred it from bidding for the next round of funding from its Active Travel Fund.

Cycling UK is relying on crowdsourced funding through its Cyclist Defence Fund (CDF) for its legal challenge and is asking for donations to cover the costs for the trial and to support CDF’s wider work.

The charity has said that, if it is successful in its legal challenge and recovers its costs, it will use the funding for its ongoing work to make the roads safer.

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