Today a group of residents affected by Velo South have launched via Guildford solicitors Cheyney Goulding LLP a formal legal challenge against West Sussex County Council’s blanket road closure proposals for the forthcoming event on the 23rd September.
The grounds of the challenge are that the Council failed to follow the correct procedures and legal requirements in giving its blessing to the event and its attendant road closure programme.
· WSCC failed to consult the public whilst the proposals were at a formative stage as they ought to have done;
· WSCC ignored the Department of Transport’s 2016 Special Events Guidance requiring consultation on the proposed road closure orders;
· WSCC failed to gather the necessary information required to come to a reasoned decision on road closures;
· WSCC has not gained the approval of the Secretary of State to close sections of road that have previously been closed for other events;
· and the length – both in roads to be closed and times of closure - of the proposed road closures is excessive.
This adds up to an indictment of the Council’s competence. Indeed some homes on the 100 mile Loop have still not received any informative leaflets from CSM Active; the draft road closure orders from WSCC add both longer road closure times and extra roads not previously mentioned.
We fervently hope that WSCC will redeem their reputation to some degree, by acknowledging their errors and cancelling approval for the road closure programme.
If only the Council had acted as they are required to do by consulting with the public at the earliest opportunity then an alternative event of which we all could be proud could have been designed.
We look forward to Louise Goldsmith’s response.