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Cycling charity heads to Court of Appeal after High Court refuses permission for legal challenge over removal of temporary bike lane

A cycling charity is heading to the Court of Appeal after its judicial review application of West Sussex County Council's decision to remove a temporary bike lane in Shoreham was refused by the High Court last month.

The county council installed the bike lane, which ran along a busy main road in Shoreham-by-Sea, using government funding provided to local authorities to encourage people to cycle during the pandemic.

When the council announced plans to remove the lanes in November 2020, after being in place for just five weeks, it said the "extraordinary environment" that led to their installation no longer existed.

The charity, Cycling UK, first lodged its application for a judicial review in February this year. It claimed that the council failed to take into account or comply with statutory guidance issued under the Traffic Management Act.

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According to the charity, the council also breached the public sector equality duty (PESD) because it did not consider the impact of the removal of the lane on young people when it made the decision.

The charity also argued that West Sussex "acted irrationally" since its own evidence showed there had been no negative impact on journey times or increase in air pollution during the period of the cycle lane's installation.

However, at a hearing in the High Court on 26 May, Mr Justice Lane refused Cycling UK's application.

On 2 June, Cycling UK appealed Mr Justice Lane's decision, which will be considered later this year in the Court of Appeal.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK head of campaigns, said the charity was disappointed by Mr Justice Lane's ruling, and "after considering legal advice has appealed this decision".

Mr Dollimore added: "The issues this case raises, including the requirement to actively consider the impact of road space reallocation decisions on all groups with protected characteristics, are too important to let this case rest here."

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said: "The High Court decided on 26 May to turn down Cycling UK's request for a judicial review on the removal of the temporary cycleway in Shoreham.

"Cycling UK is now applying to the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal this judgement."

Adam Carey

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