Cyclists could have route in park to enjoy

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CYCLISTS could be pedalling around another open space in the Bognor Regis area.

Plans are to be drawn up to create a cycling track in West Park.

The scheme follows the setting-up of a shared cycleway with pedestrians along the nearby promenade.

Cllr Phil Hitchins (C, Aldwick W) said he believed the scheme would be very popular with those on two wheels of all ages.

“I remember writing two years ago that we should make Arun the cycling capital of West Sussex,” he said at the recent meeting of Arun District Council’s leisure, tourism and infrastructure working group.

“What I would dearly like to see is a cycling track around West Park. That nicely links up with the promenade and going through Bognor. It starts it all off.

“West Park is totally waterlogged at the moment. You can’t walk on it, let alone cycle on it. But in the summer you get lots of children cycling around it and mingling with everyone. It’s good to see.

“We have a big area there and to have a winding cycle route around it can only add to the site. There is safe parking, toilets and a cafe.

“Butlin’s have a number of bikes they let out to their visitors. If we can encourage people to cycle to West Park and spend some money on the way and back, it’s got to be good for Bognor.”

Philippa Dart, Arun’s assistant director for environmental services, said: “I’m really happy to bring back a proposal for West Park to a future meeting of the working group.

“The landscapes section will draw it up and cost it out and I will come back with a proposal even if we have to get some money from other sources.”

She told the meeting the results of the consultation into creating a cycling route through Hotham Park were almost ready.

They would be presented to the working group on March 11 ready for a decision by all councillors on May 7.

Views about the matter were sought at the Parktastic event in Hotham Park last October and in online and paper surveys.

Cllr Sandra Daniells (I, Orchard) said she believed West Park could be a more popular choice for cycling than Hotham Park.

Cllr Jim Brooks (I, Marine) said some concerns about the seafront cycleway, launched last summer, had been raised with him.

“We need to be aware of the safety aspects. There have been a couple of mishaps.”