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Would-be cyclists ‘urged’ to use new COVID pop-up lanes as County Council releases rare ‘caught-on-camera’ moment

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No your eyes are not deceiving you and this is not a photoshopped image!

It is potentially one of the rarest moment to have been captured on camera in Crawley in…well quite a while.

In a press release by West Sussex County Council, promoting the new pop-up cycleway in Crawley – you know the one that is causing more harm than good, they attached one of the rarest sightings – a cyclist using the very lane the majority of locals have come to hate.

Forgetting the fact that the cyclist isn’t wearing a helmet there should be rejoice that such an event has been witnessed and hopeful that this will lead to many more taking to their bikes and utilising this most pointless of installations.

But jokes aside it is with bewilderment that such a release was sent out in the first place.

Why?

For only weeks have passed since an online petition opposing the lanes was launched locally which to this date has gained over 4,000 signature.

In retrospect, another petition in favour of them has only amassed less than 200 signatures.

So why isn’t the county council already realising the opinion?

Simple, they are actually not interested in opinion on it, for when you read through the release what they really want to know is how many people are using it – not whether we like it there or not.

The statement reads:

“The cycleway routes are the result of collaborative work with the district and borough councils. Once fully installed and open, we will be encouraging would-be cyclists to experience the cycleways for themselves. This will be the chance for people to show how much they want the cycleway to stay.

The schemes will be closely monitored to see how well used they are and any positive or negative impacts on congestion, safety and air quality. Adjustments will be considered and, if any of them do not work, they may be removed.”

So to be clear, what they have not said is to comment on how much we all love them – how much we enjoy having to navigate roads which were already congested and narrow but which are now even worst.

What they want to know is whether anyone will actually be using it and then what the figure will relate to overall.

Does anyone want to let them know what we already know about this or shall we just leave the time-wasting politics to eat into our taxes once more.

I’ll let you decide.

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Poppy Appeal 2020

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In his article this week, Crawley MP Henry Smith looks to raise awareness of the importance of continuing support for the Royal British Legion:

Throughout the course of this year we have seen so many aspects of day-to-day life affected by COVID-19, with few being more poignant than the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

With the pandemic impacting some of the more traditional and familiar ways we remember, I am keen to raise awareness of how we can continue to support the Royal British Legion in a safe and socially distant manner.

  • Poppies in the Post: The Royal British Legion’s website allows you to request 20 poppies free of charge, which can be distributed to friends and neighbours. Many of the volunteers who usually distribute more than 40 million poppies annually are unable to do so this year, so we are being asked to step in to support the Armed Forces community and ensure their contribution to our country is not forgotten. Please remember to make a donation to the Royal British Legion after requesting your poppies.
  • Printable Poppy: Unfortunately, large scale gatherings at the Cenotaph in London, at memorials across Crawley and around the country to pay our respects will be restricted to a smaller number of representatives. The Royal British Legion have therefore launched the Printable Poppy – an A4 poster which can be displayed at home, perhaps in the front window – for us to show our support.
  • My Poppy Run: A further consequence of COVID-19 are the changes to the My Poppy Run events which are usually held in October and November. Due to social distancing, these are taking place virtually, with participants being able to run, jog or walk while raising money.
  • Visit the local supermarket: The Royal British Legion have confirmed that supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi and Asda, in addition to online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, as well as Lloyds Bank and Santander are supporting the 2020 Poppy Appeal. Each location has a number of cashless donation options, and Morrisons and Sainsbury’s offer customers an option to add a donation to their shopping bill.
  • Poppy Shop: With products ranging from poppy pins and jewellery, to clothing, stationery and homeware, 100 per cent of profits from the Poppy Shop go towards the Royal British Legion’s work to support the Armed Forces community.
  • Donate online or by text: The Legion’s website allows supporters to make a donation online, or by sending a text message to donate £2, £5 or £10.

While the ways our country reflects and remembers will undoubtedly feel different, the message remains the same. The sense of duty of all in the Armed Forces community will never be forgotten.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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