Poorly Designed and Without Maintenance (Stockbridge Rd Cycle Route)

James Thomas (a Bognor Sustrans campaigner) contacted ChiCycle asking our perspective on the maintenance of local cycleways. Very little maintenance of pavements or footpaths takes place in Chichester and this exacerbates issues with the extremely poor quality design of many cycleways in the city. It is not possible to entirely separate these compounding problems of poor design and lack of maintenance. I will describe below a typical route in Chichester that illustrates the difficulties encountered when riding a bike in the city.

Stockbridge Road
This Cycleway looks to be in serious need of maintenance. Is this blue sign on a cycle track that has become severely overgrown? This sign is displayed without a usable cycleway being present.
Recomended route for Cyclists
The Highway code says this sign designates a recommended route for cyclists!

Outbound Journey from Chichester College to Force Four Yacht Chandlers on Birdham Rd

On Friday the 18th Jun 2021 I wanted to by a few items from the Force Four yacht chandlers on Birdham Rd on the outskirts of Donnington. I work at Chichester college so this is only a short 2.8 mile round trip. This kind of journey is easy to make with a bike in most European cities. It should also be easy to ride this route in Chichester if only small investments in walking and cycling infrastructure were made.

Cycling southwards on Stockbridge Rd, the first cycle infrastructure I encountered on the Southbound going side of the road was an incredibly broken 20.3 metre section of former cycle lane that has now partially collapsed having subsided into a hole in the ground (apparently due to tunnelling underneath to install cable conduit). I made no attempt to ride on the remnants of this cycle lane as I would likely have damaged my bike, fallen off and hurt myself. The following images detail it’s extremely poor state of repair. 

Vestiges of road paint on the broken and sunken tarmac in the elongated pothole at the side of the road, indicates this part of the road was once a pointlessly short cycle lane!
Stockbridge Rd Heading South
On this sunken piece of broken tarmac, partial remnants of a cycle symbol once painted on the road can be seen.
Some kind of low quality repair has been partially attempted where this cycle lane once ran.
This is not a safe level surface that can be used as a cycle lane any longer!
Ending only 20 metres after it began, it is just possible to make out this is the end of the cycle lane. It is unclear where cyclists who survived riding on this broken tarmac are expected to go to continue their journeys.

After this short southbound cycle lane ends, there are additional worn out red tarmac patches, sign posted as a cycle routes. In one direction, the route directs cyclists northwards onto a now impassible overgrown cycle-lane on the northbound Stockbridge road. The images below show the poor design and absence of maintenance.

 

This link leads only to an impassable and ridiculously narrow northbound cycle lane
Vegetation has spread right across this extraordinarily narrow cycle lane making it impossible to ride on it!

Another cycle route is indicated going towards the footbridge but this is not suitable for cycling and is labelled as no cycling! The following photo shows the issue.

The footbridge and connecting paths are not suitable for bikes leaving cyclists having to tackle cycling on the A27 trunk road roundabout!

Department for Transport guidelines for walking and cycling indicate that at traffic flows of above 5,000 vehicles per day, very few people will be comfortable cycling with motor vehicle traffic. In October 2019 average traffic flow on the Chichester City section of Stockbridge Rd we around 11,000 vehicles per day! During the same period the A27 carried approximately 25,000 vehicles per day! It does not seem reasonable to signpost a recommended cycle route that involves sharing the carriageway with these high volumes of motor vehicles. The image below illustrates the unappealing nature of the Stockbridge roundabout as part of a cycle route.

Many vehicles do not adhere to the 30 MPH speed limit on this roundabout and the traffic volumes are a severe safety concern to cyclists

After crossing the A27 heading towards Birdham, there is no sign of a cycleway until reaching the pedestrian traffic lights/crossing by the local shops. On the southbound side of the road there are two end of cycle-way signs back to back about 12 meters apart! I fail to understand what this road paint on the pavement is intended to communicate. After passing the Stockbridge shops I encountered no other cycle provision on my way to the yacht chandlers.

The Return Journey from Force Four yacht chandlers to Chichester College

On my return journey I notices there is a short (approximately 110 metres) length of pavement at the Stockbridge shops labelled as a cycle track. It is not a viable route for utility of commuter cyclists as it runs over multiple blind driveways as illustrated in the image below.

This is not a realistic route for utility riding or commuting due to dangerous blind driveway exiting over the cycle-track

It is unclear why an this orphaned stretch of cycle-track has been created in this location. This cycle-track ends 170 meters before reaching the A27 Stockbridge Roundabout the location show below.

The lack of adequate cycle infrastructure between Stockbridge and Chichester leaves commuter and utility cyclists having to use the A27 Stockbridge roundabout if they are going to make practical journeys into the city. Once over the roundabout there is no usable cycle infrastructure to get further into the city.

Some of the issues encountered on the Northbound journey can bee seen in the following video.

Once the A27 roundabout has been crossed the inadequately narrow cycle-lane is the bizarrely directed onto the pavement immediately before a side junction so cycles loose priority over vehicles turning left. This forcse cyclists following the marked route to have to needlessly stop at the side road and look behind themselves for vehicles turning left that they must give way to. This is tremendously inconvenient as being made to frequently stop dissipates all momentum gathered by a cyclists pedalling effort. The image below illustrates the issue with this unsatisfactory element of the cycle infrastructure.

As soon as the cycle lane is wide enough to cycle in it directs off the road and forces cyclists to stop at a poorly designed crossing of the side road.

Immediately after crossing this side road the branches of the trees have been allowed to grow so low that it not possible to ride a bike along the following section of shared cycle track. It is  unhelpful that this part of the route lacks proper drainage so pedestrians can only use the pavement if they have wellington boots. These problems are shown in the images below.

20 metres further north towards the city centre, the section of pavement provided for cycling is too narrow even for single way cycling with vegetation obstructing the path. The road paint indicates the path is intended for two way cycle traffic and pedestrians! The specification is well below DfT minimum specifications for shared use cycle tracks. Cyclists have to go around a blind corner created by the path zig zagging between trees. This issue is illustrated in the following two images.

This is unnavigable as a two way main city artery route for commuter and utility cyclists

At the junction of Terminus Rd, poorly maintained street drainage leaves pedestrians unable to commute to work without bringing wellington boots. Having cyclists riding bikes over this pedestrian crossing and sharing these busy city pavements is unsatisfactory for both pedestrians and cyclists (particularly vulnerable/elderly pedestrians). This arrangement does not follow DfT guidelines on urban street design. These issues are illustrated in the following image.

Shared use crossing is inappropriate in this busy urban location

There is a section of tarmac with a few traces of green paint at the approach to the station on the northbound side of the road. However the remaining road paint is so worn that few drivers appear to identify it as a bike lane. The image below shows the road-paint is so worn out the original signage can now only be made out by a slight change in the tarmac’s surface texture.

The road paint is so worn that drivers do not recognise this as a cycle lane

Summery of  Issues Encountered using the Stockbridge Cycle Provision.

On this route between Chichester Station to Birdham and return, there was no cycle infrastructure capable of supporting practical commuter or utility cycling. The only viable (but unsatisfactory) option is for commuters and utility cyclists to share the road space with the intimidatingly heavy flows of motor-vehicle traffic.

The majority of cycle infrastructure in place on the route is in a shockingly poor state of maintenance.

The extremely low design standards of this infrastructure ensure few existing cyclists would opt to use the provision, even if it was maintained. The poor quality of the design is highly unlikely to persuade any people to make a modal shift towards walking and cycling.

If WSCC and CDC are genuine about their commitment to preventing climate catastrophe and increasing the proportion of people walking and cycling, then they must urgently rethink, invest in, redesign and rebuild this transport infrastructure.

 

Whitehouse Farm Development modifications to Westgate/Sherbourne Mini Roundabout will contravene the Equality Act 2010

ChiCycle are concerned with plans to relocate cyclists from Westgate and Sherbourne roads onto unsuitable pavements around the mini roundabout junction. We believe this will contravene the Equality Act 2010 as vulnerable pedestrians will be forced into direct conflict with significant flows of cyclists. Please see the attached document for more details of our concerns.

Our concerns are outlined in detail in this PDF report on the proposals.

The following images show where pavements with blind corners will be converted to cycletracks. At these locations cyclists will be relocated from the carriageway onto these narrow pavements.

 

Two residents who will be particularly discriminated against are Patricia O’Brien and Paul Voller who are both heavily reliant on canine assistant working dogs. Patricia’s family specifically relocated her to Parklands because currently the location allows her to access local shops and facilities with her severe paralysis due to Multiple Sclerosis. Paul will loose his independence if he is unable to use the pavements with his guide dog when they are inappropriately converted into shared use cycle tracks.

Who has consulted Patricia O’Brien and Paul Voller about the removal of the legal classification as footways of the currently safe pavements that they rely on for independent living?

How is it considered satisfactory to convert these pavements used by many vulnerable people into substandard shared cycle tracks that have virtually no forward visibility at corners and are far below the minimum shared use width requirements given by the DfT?

Why have the ISG stakeholders failed to consult organisations such as Canine Partners, RNIB, MSsociety and Age Concern to determine if it is appropriate to convert these narrow urban pavements into shared cycle tracks?

Conversion of our existing safe footways into sub standard cycle tracks, without adequate consideration for the vulnerable residents who rely on them, will be a failure of the planning authorities Public Sector Equality Duty.

ChiCycle are currently seeking legal advice over how best to enforce the Equality Act 2010 if these proposals to reclassify our urban footways as cycleways go forwards.

Please support ChiCycle in our opposition to these ill-considered street modifications that will unjustifiably disadvantage disabled local residents who do not drive.

Kind Regards

Mark Record (Secretory for ChiCycle)

No Nonsense Bike Security by Ray Burridge and his Gemara Locking Cycle Stand

Ray Burridge is an inventor from Yapton who has developed a simple but ingenious solution to prevent cycle theft. Formerly, while working as a policeman, Ray realised how little was being done to prevent bikes being stolen or to detect such crimes. To resolve this problem he formed Gemara Cycle Security Ltd in 1986 and successfully produced a number of highly successful locking cycle stands. Unfortunately, when Ray took on a larger production order his bank got cold feet and withdrew their finance and his business folded.

The Gemara cycle stand allows cyclists to leave cumbersome bike locks at home and instead take only a single pound coin to use as a deposit in exchange for a bike-lock key. A key can be released by depositing a pound coin into a slot dispenser. The key allows a bike to be secured by a substantial no nonsense steel bar that can pass through any type of cycle frame.  Once the security key is used to release bikes from a Gemara cycle stand, the cyclist can then retrieve their deposited pound coin and ride away.

Ray sent us the following short silent video and explained he was trying to resurrect the project now that cycling is becoming a better recognised and respected clean, green form of popular transport.

If you know of any funding channels that are available to help him restart this worthwhile project, Ray would be very keen to hear from you.

More details of Ray Burridge’s project are given below. The following text and pictures are copied from emails Ray sent in to ChiCycle addressed to Sarah Sharp and Philip Maber.


Dear Sarah,
 
My name is Ray Burridge, and I invented a very simple idea to prevent Cycle Thefts, having to deal with them at the sharp end on a daily basis, and aware of what little was being done in terms of preventing, or detecting such crimes. My idea, in short, was to put a steel bar through the actual frame of the bike, and lock it. The idea was seen by a Crime Prevention Officer, then by an eminent locksmith who told me to get a Patent a.s.a.p., as he thought the idea was ‘brilliant’ due to its sheer simplicity. FOUR years, and FOUR grand later, the Patent was issued to great acclaim from the media, initially local, then national press. When broadcast on the BBC Overseas Network, I received 100+ replies implying that cycle theft was obviously a problem globally. All this before Google!
 
A company, Gemara Cycle Security Ltd was formed in 1986, and initially got little response from investors, the company getting a derisory £25,000 Govt. Guaranteed Loan. The same response came from local authorities, but gradually, as the first installations proved totally successful, larger orders came in, culminating in a massive order of £40,000+ from a City Council to supply all their car parks. The Bank said we had ‘overtraded’, a euphemism for getting too ambitious, and the company folded. Needless to say, the existing units continued their 100% success. The product had proved itself over 5 years.
 
Now, after many years of watching cycling becoming more, and more mainline transport and the environmental benefits involved, I was contacted by a cycling organisation to see if I was interested in resurrecting the successful system, although initially reluctant after the first foray. I had retired, spent some years in France, and on returning to the UK, resumed being a professional cartoonist, and musician. Furthermore, I had an operation at St Richard’s for cancer in late 2019, the all-clear for an Ileostomy reversal coming 2 weeks ago. It made me determined to get this idea up, and running again, especially with Covid prompting the massive groundswell of cycling it provoked…and the ensuing thefts!
 
I have had tremendous interest from cycling organisations, such as BritishCycling, and CyclingUK (aka Cycling Touring Club), a local organiser of the latter helping me to bring the product up-to-date. He saw a video online, and e-mailed me to say he had been advocating better SECURITY facilities for years, and thought ‘I had cracked it!’ I have had great assistance from local councillors in Portsmouth, my home-town, and even enquiries from the EU, presumably having seen a video of the product on a video channel (MSN?).
 
The new Crime & Police Commissioner for Hampshire & IOW, Donna Jones, who has been very supportive for the past year, suggested I try my LOCAL Councils to see if finance, by way of a grant, or otherwise, would be available, as Central Government seem reluctant to mention ‘the Elephant in the room’ when encouraging people to cycle, namely SECURITY.
 
In essence, the product has an excellent record in preventing cycle theft, and is virtually ready to produce, apart from finance. I have contacted the Chichester LEP,  ‘Country to Coast’, but getting little response, apparently out of funds at present. The Covid-19 element naturally being paramount in funding existing businesses.  
On a ‘personal note’, in a recent article from Pedalsure, Chichester is incredibly FIFTH out of the 10 Worst Places in the country for cycle theft, and the Rail Station is in the Top Ten Worst Stations. I am not touting for business at present, but it did surprise me!
 
I enclose some *stills from an old video I took some years ago whilst on a visit to see an installation at Bournemouth Town Hall, 18 years after they were installed – and NO BIKES STOLEN. I will send the video in an accompanying e-mail, ‘home-made’, but sufficient to show its simplicity, and aesthetic qualities.
 
Best Regards,
 
Ray Burridge 
(we are currently checking if Ray minds us publishing his contact details)
 
 
 
 

To: themabers@googlemail.com
Subject: Gemara Cycle Security system- overview

The Gemara Cycle Security system is a unique, and simple device to use, and proven to prevent bike thefts over several years. It is primarily based on a substantial steel bar being manoeuvred through the frame of the cycle, and locked by the use of a coin-lock. The bar has been designed to be strategically placed to secure all known types of bikes, including those with the common triangular frame, hybrid frames (those with the angled crossbar), ladies’ twin, and loop tube, and folding bikes, whether folded or not, some owners of such bikes prefer putting the steel bar through a space in the folded version. It has also been especially designed to take children’s bikes, whether with a conventional crossbar design, or, what is commonly known as a U-tube style. The bar is made of 32mm 304 Stainless Steel, the hardest available, and none have ever shown any form of attempted cutting.

The Gemara system comprises 10 such ‘units’, with each unit adjoining another, all of
4″ galvanised box steel uprights, each topped with a steel box containing the lock. Though primarily coin-return at present, other forms of locking, such as phone apps, are being considered. The uprights are all welded to a horizontal 4″ box steel base, which is placed in concrete on site, with tapered zinc runners for the cycle wheels flush with the finished base between each unit. Instructions are supplied to the purchaser for installation.

USE – The user pushes the cycle into a unit, using the runners, and simultaneously moves the bar through the frame, inserting a coin, and locking the bar with the key supplied to that unit, each key supplied having a fob denoting the unit used, with each unit similarly marked. On return, the procedure is reversed, the key locking itself for the next user.
Each locking-box is powder-coated for durability, and virtually any colour is available.
It has room for instructions, and logos if required. The finished product has changeable cylinders, if necessary, should a key be lost, thus quickly putting the unit back in use, and without replacing the whole lock..both time-consuming, and more expensive.

The updated version is being designed with SECURITY being paramount, but without its aesthetic design being compromised. Assistance is being given by a member of a cycling organisation in order to make the Gemara system at least one step ahead of potential cycle thieves. In addition, regular contact will be made with cycle stores, such as Halford
as in previous years, to ascertain whether new styles of bikes are on the market, along with viewing sites such ECF, Velo-City etc..
N.B. It appears that the Gemara Security System is capable of securing E-BIKES, from those seen at present, but due regard will be given to further developments. The same applies for Tandems, now becoming more popular.

Ray Burridge – Inventor & Designer

Cycling Has Become a Much Brighter Prospect in Beijing Once Again

ChiCycle members and the Chichester area community, desperately need some positive ideas to cheer us all up. Perhaps the wisdom and vision of the Chinese people might prove a healthy inspiration to us all? This will be a happy contrast to the situation locally.

ChiCycle are disappointed that local provision for walking and cycling is currently either not provided at all or in some locations is actually being downgraded and/or removed. Despite fake green-wash rhetoric from local and national government that promises to act on the climate emergency, in reality provision for sustainable transport is rapidly worsening in West Sussex.

  • Cycle lanes are be removed from the A259 with the expectation that cyclists should ride on the Harbour village pavements
  • The southern end of Centurion way is destined to be removed to provide cheap/free land for developers to use as a motor vehicle access road
  • Cyclists will be forced off the road approaching the mini roundabout at the southern end of Sherbourne Rd onto the pavement. This will leave cyclists turning impossibly tight blind corners directly into the path of pedestrians. A tall brick wall prevents visibility at these sharp corners so frequent accidents will be inevitable. For elderly residents such collisions with bikes could well end independent living and once crippled leave them only a short a future of living in a care home without mobility.
  • Huge developments like Tangmere (1,300 new homes) and White House farm (1,600 new homes) are being built without any realistic walking and cycling opportunities for new residents could use to access shops, schools or employment without depending on using a car.

Despite Chinese culture copying many mistakes made by western nations by moving towards car dependent lifestyles at the end of the 20th and start of the 21st century, the Chinese people have now started to wake up and embrace walking and cycling as the future way to travel through their urban environments!

The following image links from The Beijinger show just how much is being invested in super high standard cycleways in Beijing!

Bike to work in Beijing

 900 km of cycleways being installed

READ: Beijing to Improve Over 900km of Bike Lanes, Expand Urban Rail

According to its 13th Five-Year Plan, Beijing aims to build 3,200 kilometres of bike lanes within the city’s Third Ring Road by 2020. Meanwhile, city officials unveiled a proposal last year to create a massive city-wide waterfront greenway so large that a person riding a bicycle at 25 kilometres an hour would require 7 hours to complete the entire circuit.

The Chinese walking and cycling vision makes LTN1/20 (the current UK standards for cycling that are universally ignored) look pathetically unambitious.

Walking and cycling routes are segregated to avoid conflict. Beijing authorities don’t just paint a cycle symbols on unsuitable pavements and pretend these are cycle-routes like WSCC, they put in bike routes where nothing forces cyclists to stop or give way to other modes of transport.

The image below is from a video of a brand new Beijing Superhighway. Check out how there are signalled tidal directional lanes to reduce cycle congestion!

Smart Super Highway
Beijing’s newest bike path will be elevated, much like the world’s longest elevated bike path over in Xiamen that extends over five miles long

The image below is from another video of the Cycle Super Highway

Beijing Cycle Super Highway at night
Beijing Cycle Super Highway at night

The Chinese aren’t skimping on cycle-racks either! The following images are from yet another video of Beijing cycleways.

 

The Department of Transport Perspective on Chichester to Emsworth Shared Pavement NMU Scheme

West Sussex County Council and Highways England intend to remove the legal footway status of the pavements through the Harbour Villages and along the A259. The intention is to re designate 4km of pavements as two way cycle tracks that pedestrians are permitted to share with all the bicycle traffic using the National South Coast Cycle Route. More details of this scheme are available here.

ChiCycle, the Chichester Area District Cycle Forum and the West Sussex Cycle Forum, believe that this scheme is unsafe and will cause inconvenience to pedestrians and cyclists. Our understanding of National Policy for Cycling and Walking Gear Change and the Department for Transport guidelines for cycling infrastructure LTN1/20, is that both documents strongly advise against the conversion of significant lengths of pavement footways into shared use cycle-tracks.

On the 4th March 2021 We have sent a joint letter to Chris Heaton-Harris MP, who is the Minister of State for Walking and Cycling. (A picture of Chris Heaton-Harris is shown below)
Chris Heaton Headges MP

We have now receive a response from Chris Heaton-Harris which is available here.

Gabriel Adams of Fishbourne has also recently written to Gillian Keegan the MP for Chichester with her concerns about the A259 shared pavement NMU scheme. (An image of Gillian Keegan is shown below)
Gillian Keegan

Gillian Keegan kindly replied to Gabriel Adams, sending her a response from Chris Heaton-Harris. The response from Chris Heaton-Harris is available here.

Remarkably, Chris Heaton-Harris and the Department of Transport believe the NMU Scheme will meet Current Guidelines!!!

It seems likely Chris Heaton-Harris and his aids at the DfT have not been fully briefed on the details of this project. The following paragraph from the most recent correspondence with Chris Heaton-Harris shows there is no awareness long sections of pavement are going to be converted into cycle-tracks:

Following the publication of the new guidelines in July 2020 (Local Transport Note 1/20) (LTN1/20), Highways England sought to establish the impact of the guidelines on it’s feasibility recommendations. As a result, Highways England’s designs have evolved to a solution comprising of a mix of speed management zones, shared use paths and segregated facilities, which are compliant with LTN1/20 and will cater for all users. All of Highways England’s designs will be subjected to independent road safety audit review and an Equality Impact assessment.

The Department of Transport only use the term shared use paths to describe infrastructure away from traffic and roads. Shared use paths are the only form of shared use facility Chris Heaton Harris mentioned in his reply, but it is not these sections of the route where we have safety concerns.

Our specific safety concerns are over the plans to remove the legal status of 4km of urban pavements so that they will no longer classified as footways for pedestrian use only. These sections will be converted to shared use cycle tracks following the procedures of the Cycle Tracks Act 1984. The DfT would not normally describe shared use cycle tracks adjacent to or contiguous with a roadway as a shared use path.

Chris wrote the foreword to the LTN1/20 document which which mirrors the key principles and ideas embodied within the National Gear Change policy for Walking and Cycling. If he is fully aware of of the intended conversion of pavements to shared use, it is impossible to understand his reasoning for stating the scheme complies with LTN1/20. We can only assume he has been incorrectly briefed about these details.

Rupert Emerson also had correspondence discussing the NMU scheme with DfT in Summer 2020

Rupert Emerson wrote to the DfT on 4 August 2020 and received a response on 4 September 2020. The response letter is interesting because it confuses the distinction between paths, which in technical literature refer only to routes away from roads and cycle-tracks which critically have a different legal status and run adjacent or congruent to carriageways. This can be seen in the following paragraph taken from the DfT response dated 04/09/20:

The recent announcement of the Government’s new design guidelines for cycling infrastructure design (Local Transport Note 1/20) has necessitated a re-evaluation of the design process. These guidelines refer to shared use as the ‘last resort’ solution, but do quote some exceptions on where it may be appropriate, such as interurban routes with low pedestrian flow like the A259. Highways England is mindful of this new designation, but also note that shared use paths have been used widely for providing safe journeys for both cyclists and pedestrians across Highways England’s and the West Sussex network for many years. The existing network around Chichester includes popular examples of shared use paths such as Centurion Way and the path alongside the A259 between Chichester & Littlehampton.

Centurion Way is a shared use path as it away from motor-vehicle traffic but DfT guidelines do not classify the cycle-way between Chichester & Littlehampton as a path. It is classed as a cycle-track by DfT literature as it runs adjacent to a road.

Most stretches of the A259 between are Chichester & Littlehampton are intra-urban  which is in stark contrast to the Chichester to Emsworth sections that run through urban streets bordered by shops, churches and houses with frequent driveways.

 

Highways England A259 Chichester-Emsworth NMU Questionnaire and Presentation documents

Highways England have emailed a number of people inviting feedback on their proposals to adapt the pavements on the A259 to carry a two way cycle track that will in many places be shared with pedestrians.

The following links give access to documents used by Highways England when presenting the proposals for the A259 NMU scheme.

1. Story Board-Southbourne
2. Story Board-Sbourne to NBourne
3. Story Board-Nutbourne
4. Story Board-Bosham
5. Story Board-Bosham to Fishbourne
6. Story Board-Fishbourne
Chemroute factsheet v2
C2ENMU – Community Leaflet v3 (AC)

Please note that in the meetings with Highways England held on the 4th and 5th of February 2021, it was made clear that there would be sections of this scheme where pavements and cycle tracks would have widths restricted below those dimensions shown on the story board graphics. I would suggest taking the story board graphics as only an indication of the maximum widths that will be provided for walking and cycling on this scheme.

Shared pavements through urban areas of the route where there are frequent houses and driveways on the road will account for approximately 4km of the route’s length.

It is strongly recommended everyone who wishes their opinion to be heard fills in the following questionnaire provided by Highways England

A27 Chichester-Emsworth NMU Questionnaire

The deadline for completing the questionnaire is 17th March at 12pm.

I recommend giving your own perspective but my own notes on the questions are given in the following list and these may highlight issues where you may have  concerns.

  • (Question No 7) This only asks about the A259 and a significant number of people use Fishbourne Rd East. Highways England falsely claim this road is a very quiet street! You may wish to tick other and include “I use Fishbourne Rd East too” in response to question No 8.
  • (Question No 9) This question asks stakeholders to rate if parking is an issue. However parking can be an issue both because it is desirable to park at the side of the road in the cycle lane or for exactly the opposite reason, that if you are a cyclist or pedestrian it is undesirable to have cars parked on the cycleway or pavement. For this reason it may be best leaving this answer with a mid rating. Sadly, it is not possible to highlight traffic volume as an issue. This is unfortunate as it is the main issues preventing cyclists using the road and why the local authorities wish to convert the pavement into a shared use cycle track.
  • (Question No 11) With 150 driveways and access-ways crossing the pavements intended for conversion to shared use cycle tracks, this scheme is likely to have a negative impact on safety and convenience. Many of the driveways will be blind to approaching cyclists so the situation will be dangerous. This issue may cause cyclists to swerve knocking pedestrians over or even into the road. A score of zero is recommended as an answer to question 11.
  • (Question No 14) There is no reason why contraflow arrangements could not be employed on the A27 as an alternative to maintaining the A259 as a backup route in the event of road closures. This provides the opportunity to downgrade the A259 to a B road. The harbour villages are unsuitable for carrying in excess of 20,000 vehicles per day.
  • (Question No 15) The biggest obstacle preventing safe walking, cycling and community living in the Harbour Villages is the volume of traffic on the A259. The transport network could be modified so that private motor vehicles are not allowed to travel through the village centres. This will improve the quality for all residents but would require additional routes for existing motor-traffic such additional junctions onto the A27. Emergency vehicles and public transport could continue to pass through the centre of the Harbour Villages but other vehicles would need to take alternative routes. This would allow cyclists to use the roadway leaving pavements clear for the exclusive use of pedestrians.

Walking and Cycling Provision for the Tangmere Housing Development

Tangmere Housing Development Application 20/02893/OUT  incorporates welcome design elements within the development but the absence of a functioning wider area walking and cycling network may leave residents stranded in Tangmere if they do not wish to drive. As with any design, there is room for improvement but there is clear evidence walking and cycling needs within the development are being thoughtfully considered by the architects.

ChiCycle Assessment of Walking and Cycling Infrastructure within the Tangmere Development

  1. These plans now appear to include a green corridor carrying a kind of separate spine road for cycling on the eastern side of the development. This looks to be separated from the corridor carrying the road-way spine road. Presumably this will be a car free lane within central the heart of the community. This seems likely to allow families to make local journeys to school or to the shops using a route mainly away from the spine road. ChiCycle feel this is a highly desirable design feature. It is extremely welcome because it will facilitate healthy active travel habits in a safe inclusive environment. Moreover, this feature appears to have been included in plans through community engagement with existing Tangmere residents. Details of this cycle route are shown on page 17 of the document DESIGN_AND_ACCESS_STATEMENT_PART_3 . The image below clipped from the document shows the Principal Segregated Cycleway shown in orange.
  2. The development plan includes a street hierarchy and the document DESIGN_AND_ACCESS_STATEMENT_PART_3 states:

    7.37 The Masterplan sets out a permeable and legible network of connections for pedestrians and cyclists. Strategic connections are provided through the site providing connections to the Village Centre and to wider destinations via the Westhampnett cycle path.

    The development allows motor-vehicle access to properties by means of quiet streets. Motor-vehicle traffic is filtered by green strips preventing through traffic on most streets. However it appears permeability will be provided for walking and cycling between the parcels of development. ChiCycle feel this is excellent design practice that will encourage local journeys by walking and cycling.

  3. The spine road snakes around making many journeys by car slightly less direct than walking and cycling trips. This brings the benefit of inherent traffic calming by avoiding a fast straight spine road. Also by zig zaging through the development, the spine road can get motor vehicles close to their destinations leaving only short distances to be completed on the secondary and tertiary streets. This will minimise motor vehicle traffic on the quiet streets. ChiCycle approve of this design strategy.
  4. Near the southern exit of the spine road the principal cycleway crosses the spine road. It then recrosses it again at the mouth of the spine road exit onto Tangmere Rd. We feel crossing the spine road here twice is undesirable, particularly as it is crossed twice within only a short distance. We feel it would be better to keep the cycle-way on the north east side of the spine road. This might be achieved by relocating the spine road a few metres to the south west so that existing layouts for houses would not need substantial changes made. A sketch of how we recommend the layout is adapted is shown below with the ChiCycle modification shown with a dashed purple-line.
  5. At the northern end of the development the principal cycleway is shown running adjacent to the spine road. ChiCycle normally oppose this type of solution but in this case it seems unlikely many pedestrians will follow this route out of the development as there is nowhere much that can be reached within a reasonable walking distance. This route is also shown without side-road crossings. Under these circumstances, a relatively short stretch at the north of the development where the cycleway follows the spine road may be an acceptable solution.
  6. Where the primary cycleway follows the spine road (or indeed anywhere else the cycleway goes) the diagram showing a wide segregated route for cyclists is enthusiastically supported by ChiCycle. An image depicting this layout is shown below.
  7. We do not approve of the design for primary streets with cyclists sharing pavements. Shared use provision could work in other locations within the development away from the highway, particularly where there is grass or vegetation on either side that pedestrians and/or cyclists can swerve onto if a collision appears imminent. The preliminary designs shows alternative routes  away from the roads. We advise on a focus of routes away from the highway being made accessible to cyclists as an alternative to using shared pavements. Of particular concern are the parked cars adjacent to the cycleway. Passengers opening the nearside car door as a cyclist approaches on the pavement will cause nasty accidents. LTN1/20 gives the following advice:

    6.5.4 In urban areas, the conversion of a footway to
    shared use should be regarded as a last resort. Shared
    use facilities are generally not favoured by either
    pedestrians or cyclists, particularly when flows are high.
    It can create particular difficulties for visually impaired
    people. Actual conflict may be rare, but the interactions
    between people moving at different speeds can be
    perceived to be unsafe and inaccessible, particularly by
    vulnerable pedestrians. This adversely affects the
    comfort of both types of user, as well as directness
    for the cyclist.

    6.2.42 Kerbed island separation or light segregation
    (see Figure 6.15) that provides a buffer zone of at least
    0.5m between cyclists and parked vehicles is
    recommended to minimise risk of collision between
    cyclists and vehicle doors. A clear, level width of 2.0m is
    required alongside disabled parking bays to allow users
    to unload a wheelchair and turn within the space.

    The following image details our concerns.

    The ChiCycle position is that it would be better to make the pavements 2.5 metres wide on both sides for the benefit of pedestrians, not to included shared use pavements and focus on high quality provision for cycling elsewhere.

  8. High levels of inherent traffic calming on secondary and tertiary streets create environments suitable for all members of the community to walk or cycle. ChiCycle support designs for quiet streets that are safe to be shared by all road users. 

ChiCycle Assessment of Wider area Cycle Routes with the Tangmere Development

  1. It is commendable that the developers have discussed these matter with local community groups such as the Chichester District Cycle Forum. Assessment details can be found on pages 14 and 15 of the document  20_02893_OUT-TRANSPORT_ASSESSMENT_-_PART_2-3067405
  2. ChiCycle do not favour the Westhampnett Route because the shared pavement scheme there is not safe, convenient or appealing to cyclists and the route from Westhampnett to the centre of Chichester is only suitable for brave/foolhardy cyclists.
  3. ChiCycle strongly recommend perusing opportunities for a cycle route running just south of the A27 that has been referred to as the Shopwhyke Lakes Route shown in blue in the diagram below.

    Unfortunately the Shopwhyke housing development is going forwards with few realistic provisions for walking and cycling. However this route still appears to remain by far the most inclusive opportunity for people to access Chichester from Tangmere by bicycle while avoiding hostile heavy traffic on the alternative  Tangmere or Westhampnett routes

Missed Opportunities

What this scheme particularly highlights is the failure of the Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to cater for community transport needs. Local authorities have produced a local plan but this contains no specific schemes for new rail, public transport, walking, or cycling solutions. However, it is acknowledges that these are solutions that could provide desirable alternatives to motor car dependency. Without a coherent plan available in advance for how wider networks supporting sustainable travel could be routed, S106 is wasted on inappropriate shared use pavement schemes that are unappealing to both pedestrians or cyclists alike.

The Chichester Local Plan Review 2016-2035 Preferred Approach states:

5.27 In addition, the County Council is expected to continue to support new development through a package of transport improvements which will continue to aim to reduce congestion and encourage people to use sustainable modes of travel such as walking, cycling and public transport. The District Council will shortly commence work on updating its local Cycling, Walking and Infrastructure Plan to help prioritise projects for delivery, particularly in Chichester City Centre. A key objective is to achieve a significant shift in travel behaviour aimed particularly at reducing car use for short distance journeys. Proposed measures are likely to include continuing to target investment in local transport infrastructure, focusing on delivery of improved and better integrated bus and train services, and improved pedestrian and cycling networks

To the East of Chichester there a great many new housing developments including, Grailingwell, Maudlin-Westhampnett, Madwick-Park and Shopwhye. While these projects were in their planning stages DfT guidelines LTN1/12 strongly advised against running two way cycle traffic on urban pavements, particularly where there are frequent side roads and driveways. However these guidelines were sadly ignored and the S106 contributions were squandered on inappropriate solutions will do little to encourage walking and cycling.

Worse still, these new developments are isolated from walking and cycling opportunities reaching into the City centre. Although it is possible for pedestrians to walk to the city, the heavy traffic of the A285 makes the environment extremely unpleasant. The A285 route into the city could no way be considered a convenient inclusive environment for family cycling. 

As Chichester is becoming a broadening East West string of communities, forward thinking opportunities for tram, light-rail and trolleybus have been ignored. Consequently, opportunities for moving to efficient low carbon forms of public transport will be severely hindered in the future.

ChiCycle feel local authorities urgently need to refocus resources away from road improvements that will cement a culture of car dependency and instead implement high quality infrastructure dedicated to sustainable modes of transport. Significant investment is required to realistically tackle the dual challenges we face with local gridlock and global climate-change. 

We have communicated our position to CDC planning sending this PDF copy of the details included in this post.

A27 NMU Link Improvements Package Response from Michael Neville Bosham Parish Councillor

Michael Neville is a Bosham Parish Councillor and a lecturer at Chichester College.

He is a committed environmentalist and has always commuted between his home and collage on his bicycle apart from a few extremely rare occasions when he used to bring in a vintage car on dry summer days. Mike has a young family and often brings his kids to work with them riding in a bike trailer so they can attend the College crèche. He has been living without a car for some time but finds local infrastructure is hostile to anyone trying to move away from car dependency.

On the 4th of February Mike attended the Highways England Workshop that introduced the revised NMU scheme planned to run between Fishbourne to Emsworth. Mike’s assessment of the proposals is similar to the ChiCycle view that the scheme may increase danger for pedestrians and cyclists and represents a reduction in provision for pedestrian.

Michael Neville has produced the following video explaining his response to this proposal. The video is almost an hour long because there are so many issues that Mike is justifiably concerned about.


If the embedded video above fails to appear in your browser, please follow this alternative link to Mike’s video https://youtu.be/xVDML70bl8A

Fishbourne Road East is NOT a Quiet Road Suitable for Cyclists to Share the Road-space with Motor-vehicles

ChiCycle will shortly be writing to Highways England in the hope of correcting misrepresentations they have made in recent presentations.

On Friday the 5th of February 2021, ChiCycle members attended a virtual meeting hosted by Highways England about their proposed for an NMU scheme that intends to move cyclists onto shared pavements on the majority of the route between Chichester and Emsworth.

While presenting the NMU proposal Helen Littler of wsp.com claimed that traffic data indicates that Fishbourne Road East is a very quiet road where it is suitable for cyclists to share the road space with motor-vehicles. This is certainly not a justifiable assessment if current guidelines for cycle infrastructure are considered. Why have facts recorded by WSCC traffic count data been misrepresented in this way to local councillors and other stakeholders?

The most recent traffic data (publicly) available for this road was recorded in August 2009. Since this date there has been significant housing development along Clay lane that feeds onto Fishbourne Road East. Therefore, it is unlikely that typical traffic volume on this road will have declined since August/September 2009.

West Sussex County Council provide the following traffic count data:
FISHBOURNE, FISHBOURNE ROAD EAST BY NO.29
Site Number: 00004581 Site Reference: C0123005L02
Vehicle Count Report August/September 2009.
Traffic volume ranged between 5129 & 2452 Vehicles Per Day

DfT Guidelines LTN1/20 (Page 74) state that:

7.1.1 Where motor traffic flows are light and
speeds are low, cyclists are likely to be able to cycle
on-carriageway in mixed traffic, as shown in Figure 4.1.
Most people, especially with younger children, will not
feel comfortable on-carriageways with more than 2,500
vehicles per day and speeds of more than 20 mph.
These values should be regarded as desirable upper
limits for inclusive cycling within the carriageway.

Of the 33 days when full daily traffic data was recorded at Site Reference: C0123005L02 during 2009, only two dates reported vehicle traffic counts below 2,500 vehicles per day! Sunday the 9th Aug and Sunday the 16th Aug. This shows that during the period of this survey the traffic volume on Fishbourne Road East was only appropriate for cycling in mixed traffic on 6% of these days.

It should also be noted that on two days the traffic volume on this road exceeded 5,000 vehicles per day! DfT guidelines LTN1/20 make the following comment on traffic volumes above 5,000 vehicles per day:

7.1.4….. At flows of above 5000 vehicles per day few
people will be prepared to cycle on-street…..

ChiCycle recommend that the project scope is significantly expanded to allow compliance with DfT guidelines and the current inadequate proposals are discarded. It seems reasonable to expect intervention on this route of a national cycle way so that minimum DfT recommendations are met. It is not credible to dismiss intervention on this cycle route where traffic volumes can exceed 5000 vehicles per day using the pretext that this is a quiet street.

Thank you in advance for accepting our guidance in how best to provide safe cycle infrastructure between Chichester and Emsworth.

Mark Record (Secretory of ChiCycle)


Example charts below show typical hourly traffic volumes on Fishbourne Road East during Aug/Sep 2009

 

Areas on the chart indicating over 300 vehicles passing the counter each hour will have had on average more than one vehicle passing every 12 seconds. With cyclists competing for narrowed road space where cars are parked at the street edge, this is not a quiet environment allowing relaxed inclusive cycling.

 

Safety Concerns over Highways England Proposal to Convert Pavements into Cycle Tracks between Chichester and Emsworth

ChiCycle will be contacting Chris Heaton-Harris (the minister for cycling and walking) and Baroness Vere of Norbiton (the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport) to get national governments official response to the following concerns.

Highways England proposals to convert West Sussex pavements into shared use cycle tracks between Chichester and Emsworth contravene Department for Transport standards for road safety!

The A27DesignatedFunds@highwaysengland.co.uk Chichester to Emsworth Route for Non-Motorised Users is a scheme 8.85 km in length that will remove cycle lanes from the A259 carriageway with the intention of relocating cyclists onto urban pavements/footways. Approximately 4 km in of urban pavement will be converted into shared use cycle tracks.

It is proposed that two way cycle traffic will be carried on single pavements on  only one side of the road. These pavements are intersected by over 150 side roads and driveways. The proposal will give cyclists priority over traffic at many of these intersections but the cycle track is designed with “no setback” at these crossings against recommendations in LTN1/20. The DfT guidelines clearly indicate (on page 108) that this design is unsuitable for two way cycle traffic.

Design priority, no setback
10.5.24 This approach is suitable for one way tracks
travelling in the same direction as the adjacent traffic
lane, as shown in figure 10.17. Drivers must give way to
cyclists when leaving the side road, but there is no
priority for cyclists over traffic turning in

For cyclists to be granted priority where motor vehicle intersections cross the pavements, the position where motorists must give way will have to be moved back by approximately 3 meters from the existing carriageway kerb-line. Unfortunately this will leave many of the exists blind so that motorists will have virtually zero visibility along the main axis of the A259. When drivers commit to pull out onto this road they will therefore be unable to adequately see traffic approaching in either direction. This contravenes guidelines for junction geometry given in both the DfT Manual for Streets 2 and in LTN1/20. The following advice is given within LTN1/20.

LTN1/20 5.8 Visibility splay
5.8.2
Any crossing of a highway or junction
between cycle routes should be located such that all
users have full visibility as shown in with Figure 5.4.
The x distance is in Table 5-6 and y distances are as
shown in Table 5-5 (SSD)…

Figure 5.4: Visibility x and y distance for a cycle track as the minor arm
Figure 5.4: Visibility x and y distance for a cycle track as the minor arm

In the diagram of splay visibility shown above the absolute minimum distance for dimension X1 is 2.4 metres and the Y1 dimension for the recommended cycle design speed of 30 kph, is 31 metres. Dozens of the cycle-track crossings will fail to come anywhere close to meeting absolute minimum DfT road safety standards.

The justification for the Highways England proposal to convert pavements into shared use cycle tracks is that the existing provision for cycling is considered unsafe. However, DfT guidelines indicate this proposal will be counter productive and increase risks for people using all modes of transport on this route.

Moreover, national policy on cycling and walking Gear Change states that:

Appendix (page41) Summary principles for cycle infrastructure design
2. Cycles must be treated as vehicles and not as pedestrians.
On urban streets, cyclists must be physically separated
from pedestrians and should not share space with
pedestrians

A significant concern with conversion of  pavements into shared use cycle-tracks is the threat of bikes colliding with pedestrians. This is a particular issue for our many elderly residents who often have mobility issues and/or visual impairment. These people will be terrified by sharing a pavement with a design speed for 30 kph two way cycle traffic.

LTN1/20 6.5.4… Shared use facilities are generally not favoured by either pedestrians or cyclists, particularly when flows are high.
It can create particular difficulties for visually impaired
people

Safety issues caused by putting a cycle track onto these urban pavements will be worsened by the projects failure to adhere to either recommended or absolute minimum DfT cycle track widths. Indeed, it is hard to identify any elements of the Highways England proposals that meet current standards for walking and cycling or any preceding standard for walking and cycling introduced within the last 25 years.

Recent National policy on cycling and walking Gear Change has promised that:

Funding only schemes which meet the new standards (page31)

We will not fund or part-fund any scheme that does not meet the new
standards and principles described in theme 1 and in the Appendix. We
will not allow any other agency or body to fund such schemes using any of our money…

ChiCycle members and other stakeholders joined a virtual meeting with the WSP project manager for this scheme (email Paul Goodenough) on the 5th Feb 2021. Remarkably, Paul stated that there is no mandate for this project to abide by the standards and principals included in current Gear Change national policy on cycling and walking!

Please provide your insight into why this scheme in West Sussex is permitted exemption from UK DfT road safety standards and why the scheme is not required to abide by national policy minimum standards for cycling and walking.

Many thanks in advance for addressing our concerns over this matter,

Mark Record (Secretary for ChiCycle)

 Southbourne Highstreet

The image above shows Southbourne’s northern side high street pavement which is planned to be inappropriately converted into a  two way shared use cycle track.