24th November FOI request to WSCC regarding conversion of Westgate and Sherbourne Road pavements into Cycle Tracks

24th November FOI request to WSCC regarding conversion of Westgate and Sherbourne Road pavements into Cycle Tracks

Update

WSCC have at least acknowledged receiving their most recent FOI request from ChiCycle.

Dear Mark Record

Thank you for your request which has been assigned reference FOI/3119

Clarification over the planning process to remove the legal status of footway from Westgate and Sherbourne Road pavements (under Section 66(4) Highways Act 1980) and their following conversion to the legal status of cycle tracks (under Section 65(1) Highways Act 1980)

If you have submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), we aim to respond within the statutory timescale of 20 working days, i.e. by or on 22/12/2021. However please be aware that many of our services continue to experience pressures due to the Covid-19 pandemic so your response may be delayed beyond that timescale.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this request, please reply to this email leaving the subject line unchanged.

Yours sincerely,
West Sussex County Council


Original Post

Did you make your request via our online form at https://foi.infreemation.co.uk/westsussex/new ? If not, why not use it in future for a simple and convenient way to make FOI requests.

ChiCycle previously sent a FOI request to the WSCC TRO Consultation Team on the 4th Nov 2021. We are disappointed not to have received a reply within 20 days as should have been the case according to guidelines established by national government.

Chichester District Council have advised ChiCycle that CDC are not responsible for the highway planning decisions relating to the White House Farm (WHF) / West of Chichester (WoC) development.

We are sending another FOI request to WSCC in the hope they will respond this time! The request contains questions that we hope will clarify the planning process for the transport infrastructure related to the WoC development. ChiCycle are particularly concerned about the city’s pavements being inappropriately converted to shared use cycleways to prioritise the carriageways to carry increased volumes of motor traffic through sensitive residential neighbourhoods.

ChiCycle feel that routing heavy traffic from a large new housing developments access road, onto currently quiet streets carrying several National Cycle Routes, is the opposite to the approach recommended by UK national guidelines (Gear Change) and is also the opposite of the sustainable transport approaches being adopted throughout continental Europe and particularly in the Netherlands.

ChiCycle’s 24th November FOI request to WSCC regarding the conversion of Westgate and Sherbourne Road pavements into Cycle Tracks is available below the horizontal line. We will update this page (if) when we get a response.


WSCC highways traffic Regulation Order (TRO) CHS9038RC includes road humps and crossings on Westgate and Sherbourne Road. Drawings included as part of this TRO illustrate that there must be other plans for the Westgate and Sherbourne Road junction soon to be decided upon. Although the (TRO) CHS9038RC does not appear to cover the conversion of Westgate pavement into shared use cycle tracks, planning agreements to permit the conversion of pavements to shared-use must be necessary in order to permit cyclists to use the parallel crossings shown in the TRO.

The relocation of cyclists from the South Coast National Cycle Route No2 onto Westgate/Sherborne Rd pavements is part an S106 agreement relating to the West of Chichester Development (14/04301/OUT). These works are defined under point 7 on page 22 of a document available through the CDC planning portal, listed as (11 Apr 2018-Legal Agreement-SECTION 106 PLANNING AGREEMENT-11.04.18-PART 1 OF 9). The works are defined within the S106 agreement as “A junction improvement scheme for Westgate/Sherborne Road as shown indicatively on Highway Works Drawing 7 attached to this Agreement at Appendix 8 or as otherwise agreed in writing by the County Council”.

According to the Department for Transport (LTN1/20 Appendix C Page 187)
“To create a cycle track using part or all of an existing footway (or extending the kerbs into the carriageway) the Highway Authority must first ‘remove’ the existing footway under Section 66(4) (Highways Act 1980) and then ‘create’ the cycle track under Section 65(1)”… “Public consultation is not a mandatory requirement, however, engagement with those likely to be affected is strongly recommended, particularly groups representing disabled people”.

Please provide ChiCycle with the following information

1) Will there be (or has there already been) a planning application that includes the finalised detailed plans for conversion of sections of Westgate/Sherborne pavements into shared use cycle tracks that are associated with the S106 agreement for 14/04301/OUT? If so, what is the planning application reference and where is it available?

2) What opportunity for consultation will be given to disabled residents and/or organisations representing them, regarding conversion of sections of Westgate/Sherborne Rd pavement into shared use cycle tracks?

3) What opportunity for consultation will be given to groups who represent pedestrians and cyclists regarding this proposed conversion of sections of Westgate/Sherborne Rd pavements into shared use cycle tracks?

4) What opportunity for consultation will be provided for members of the general public who rely on safe Westgate/Sherborne footways being available for their journeys made on foot within the city?

5) When will it be decided (or has it already been decided) to remove the legal classification of footway (under Section 66(4) Highways Act 1980) from the sections of Westgate/Sherborne Rd pavement being considered for conversion into shared use cycle tracks?

6) Has the legal classification as footway (under Section 66(4) Highways Act 1980) already been removed from the sections of Westgate and Sherbourne Road proposed for conversion into shared use cycle tracks?

7) Who will take (or who has taken) the decision over whether or not to remove the legal classification of footway (under Section 66(4) Highways Act 1980) from sections of Westgate/Sherborne Rd pavement? How can the people taking this decision be contacted to lodge opposition to this scheme?

8) Will details of the planning process be published for the conversion of Westgate/Sherborne Rd pavements into shared use cycle-tracks? Will this include details such as, planning meeting dates, agendas and attendees? Will these details be made available on line? If so, where and when will they be made available.

9) Will the outcome of planning decisions made regarding the 14/04301/OUT S106 scheme to convert Westgate/Sherborne Rd footways into cycle-tracks, be published? If so, how when and where will the outcome of these planning meetings/decisions be made publicly available?

10) A (presumably draft) copy of (TRO) CHS9038RC is now available from the WSCC website as of the time of writing on this the 24th Nov 2021. Because the copy currently available from the WSCC website (and attached with this FOI request) neither carries an agreement date nor bears a Common Seal of West Sussex County Council, ChiCycle assume it has not yet received final approval. When will the final decision be made giving approval for (TRO) CHS9038RC? How will the public be notified of the date of approval for this order? How and when will a signed and sealed final copy of the document be made available on the WSDC website so there is transparency over the date of final agreement and showing who has signed to authorise this order?

11) (TRO) CHS9038RC includes parallel cycle crossings at Westgate/Sherborne Rd. These cycles crossings fail to meet numerous DfT standards and will inappropriately route cyclists onto narrow urban pavements, leading cyclists into conflict with pedestrians on bind corners of the pavement bound by brick walls and pillars. DfT strongly recommend disability groups are consulted before routing cyclists onto urban pavements and it is stated that engagement in this type of situation is a vital step for local authorities to meet their statutory duties under the 2010 Equality Act. Please list which parties representing disabled and/or vulnerable people have been actively consulted/engaged by WSCC over the (TRO) CHS9038RC proposals to route cyclists onto the Westgate/Sherborne Rd pavements?

If possible, please send an electronic copy of the response to this FOI request to mark.record@chicycle.co.uk

Many thanks in advance for information you are able to provide.

Mark Record (Secretary for ChiCycle)

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