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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.

5 thoughts on “Highways England A259 Chichester-Emsworth NMU Questionnaire and Presentation documents”

  1. Hi
    I’m not sure how you stop private motor vehicles using the A 259 . What about the hundreds of people who live alone or off it?
    Wouldn’t this mean more junctions into the A27 which would come down into the villages?
    I don’t think this is workable.
    I lie the idea of contraflow on the A27

    1. Thanks for your input Jane,
      In the Netherlands the road networks were successfully redesigned starting in the 1970s. Residents of Dutch towns and villages can still easily drive out onto the road network but it is now far less convenient for motorists to drive through residential centres. It has taken around 40 years for the Dutch fully achieve these changes throughout the country but these interventions have proved to be popular and workable solutions. However, the Dutch do pay slightly higher tax to finance these schemes but the changes improve the quality of life in residential areas.
      The Highways England proposal intends to calm and restrict motor vehicle traffic at Nutbourne and Fishbourne using build outs in the road and 20 mph zones. This solution seems like all stick and no carrot. Twenty is Plenty zones through built up sections of the A259 seem reasonable but imposing that intervention alone is going to be unappealing for drivers who regularly commute this route. On such a long stretch of road it may feel like they are swimming through treacle. Highways England are not prepared to even call this scheme a bike route so few drivers will be persuaded to leave their cars behind for the option of riding their bikes on a pavement. Neither is the scheme likely to improve access to public transport. With few alternative options for motorists it seems unlikely traffic volumes will be reduced on the A259.
      It is unfortunate that there is simply not enough room to include A-road class carriageways, adequate pavements and separate cycleways within the existing A259 highway boundary. Most of the space where cycleways could once have been located has been in-filled with new housing development. I believe the whole area is overdue for sensitive town planning interventions to mitigate against the rapidly increasing population.
      Modifying the road network would certainly require considerable thought to avoid creating unwanted traffic on existing quiet streets.
      However, there are currently severe issues with intense traffic flowing through the Harbour Villages and as new housing developments are added along the path of the A259, the situation is only going to worsen.
      An example of how the road network could be modified with minimum impact on existing streets would be through adding a connection between the A259 and the A27 West of Fishbourne. This would allow traffic volumes through the village to be brought below 2,500 vehicles a day where cyclists could happily ride in the street and the village could become a centre for community life. Residents could still get onto the road network but through traffic would be prevented or severely reduced.

  2. May I comment:
    Bosham Straight – the majority of cyclists do not use the excellent cycle path. Lycraman will not use a pavement.
    Speed limits – cut to 30mph for the whole length and announce publicly.
    CIL – this levy on the many new developments over the last five years is available for enhancing the affected highways.
    Narrow the highway to B Road status allowing room for proper cycle lanes for 90% of the length.

    1. Thanks for your perspective Mbroadbean ,
      I’m not convinced the Bosham Straight is such an excellent cycle path.
      If there was another cycle track for eastbound cyclists on the North side of the A259 along the Bosham straight I would consider it a much better route.
      Heading Eastbound cyclists have to cross two lanes in one go and this is get cross a busy National speed limit A road to reach the track on the South side. The track only runs for part of the Bosham straight,a short 1.2 km run and then cyclists are expected to cross both lanes once again while on the boundary of the 60 MPH zone. That is two A road crossings for a stretch that otherwise only takes only 3.6 minutes to cycle at 20 kph.
      Heading West on a bike, the cycle track works a bit better, but it still doesn’t run the whole length of the straight. About half way along there is a bus stop where you have to ride through people waiting for the bus and the track suddenly ends where you have to stop and give way to re-join the carriageway.
      It is currently the best section between Chichester and Emsworth and if it actually joined up with a continuous route at either end that didn’t require cyclists to stop and start, I would class it as reasonably good.
      I rarely wear Lycra but can’t imaging anyone wanting to cycle past St Johns Church and past the Co-Op at Southbourne on the pavement. There will be so much conflict with elderly people who cant hear bikes approaching and cars pulling out across the pavement that every journey will be horrendously inconvenient.
      Yes, the idea of fit Lycra clad cyclists trying to get some healthy exercise riding through the village high-streets on the northern pavement (in both directions) is very clearly not going to work out satisfactorily for anyone involved.

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