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Crawley council wants to hear your opinion on the proposed cycle and walking plans

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Crawley Borough Council has published a draft long-term plan for a network of cycle routes in the town and wants to hear what you think.

During the pandemic we are all finding out how important walking and cycling is for personal and public health, mobility and in reducing traffic problems, but the council was working on a cycling and walking plan for the town long before Covid-19 struck.

Crawley’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) is now available at www.crawley.gov.uk/consultation along with a short survey for you to share your thoughts.

The council has long been keen to develop its cycling infrastructure to a high standard for safe, practical cycling, to improve street space for walking and reduce car dependency.

The LCWIP is based on government guidance on how to analyse travel needs and determine the best routes and areas for improvement. Crawley’s plan was developed in partnership with West Sussex County Council.

The Crawley LCWIP cycle network comprises 16 routes with initial ideas for improvements and estimated costs. Each route will be subject to discussion and detailed design work involving residents and business when they are ready to be taken forward.

The LCWIP analyses the town centre for walkability and identifies improvements needed. Further work across the town’s neighbourhoods is to be undertaken, using LCWIP methods.

Councillor Gurinder Jhans, Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, said:

“The government has recently announced an increase in funding for cycling and funding will only be available for high quality schemes based on well-thought out infrastructure plans. The council is committed to ensuring that the town is ready for these opportunities.

“We want Crawley residents to take a key role in conversations on how we make our neighbourhoods truly walkable and safe for everyone to cycle. The LCWIP will help us in this process.

“We know walking and cycling has a number of benefits for mental and physical health, as well as for our environment. During lockdown, we’ve seen more people take up active travel which saw improvements in our air quality – a trend we’d all like to see continue. I’d like to encourage as many people as possible to take part in this consultation, so together we can make the town’s infrastructure safer, more accessible and more attractive to encourage more people to cycle and walk.”

To have your say visit www.crawley.gov.uk/consultation before the closing date of Monday 14 September.

For more information email cycling@crawley.gov.uk

Business

BREAKING NEWS: Sainsbury’s to close Crawley town centre store

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It has been an historic part of the town centre for decades, but now the supermarket on Queensway is to close its doors with the potential loss of jobs.

Image: Google Street View

Sainsbury’s says it has made the difficult decision after announcing it would close up to 15 supermarkets a year ago, pre-covid.

Sources close to the Crawley supermarket say that staff began finding out the news yesterday.

The supermarket said they would work with their staff at the site to try to find alternative roles within the firm.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson speaking to Crawley News 24 said,

“We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Crawley store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected.

“Customers can continue to shop with us online and at our nearby stores. For example, our West Green store is a short drive away.”

Whilst a date for the closure has not been announced, some sources say it could be as soon as January ’21.

Cllr Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic said:

“I am sorry for the staff that will lose their jobs at this difficult time when most supermarkets are reporting improving profits.

We have had enquiries from other supermarkets looking for suitable sites who may recognise that there will shortly be an additional 2500 residential homes just a short walk away from this prestigious location. We will be doing all we can to help find a quality occupier as soon as we can.”

Crawley Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“It is tremendously saddening to read that one of the original major shops in the town centre is closing. A lot of housing provision is currently being created in the town centre area and there is an increasing, not decreasing need for food retailers in the town centre.

We haven’t even begun to knock down the administrative offices of the town hall which will be replaced by a huge apartment block, and they are still building the first apartment block on the former council car park as I type this! I genuinely hope that another food retailer grabs the huge opportunity to take on that store.”

The news comes just one after one of the most iconic town centre independent store, P&J Sweets also announced they were to close.

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