Draft ChiCycle position on the proposed A259 Chichester to Emsworth conversion of pavements to shared use cycle tracks

Proposals mainly consisting of conversion of the pavements between Chichester and Emsworth into shared cycle tracks have been published by Highways England and West Sussex County Council.

These proposals can be viewed here

The draft ChiCycle position on these proposals is provided below for discussion.

Within it’s Limited Scope, the A27 Designated Funds NMU Project can only Worsen the Standard of Provision for Walking and Cycling

Highways England (HE) and West Sussex County Council (WSCC) claim their Non Motorised User (NMU) project will provide improved provision for walking and cycling between Chichester and Emsworth along the A259. However, because of severe limitations in the project scope only one in four of these areas for consideration could be successfully delivered:

-Upgrades to cycling / walking infrastructure within the existing highway boundary (forcing pedestrians and cyclists onto unsuitable village high-street pavements will only result in severe reduction in provision for both pedestrians and cyclists);
-Improved crossings for pedestrians and cyclists (As the new cycle provision proposed is of universally unacceptable standard, the cycle crossings offer no benefit);
-Relocation of elements causing pinch points, such as bus stops (These changes will only inconvenience pedestrians and offer no benefit to cyclists because the proposed shared use cycle tracks are of unusably poor quality);
-Motor vehicle speed limits and restrictions (These might improve the streets if the pavements are not converted to cycle-tracks)

HE and WSCC acknowledge the following points are excluded from the scope of this project. Unfortunately, to deliver successful improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, every one of these interventions would be be essential:

-Acquire additional land to expand the current width of the carriageway along the A259;
-Relocate statutory undertakers’ / utilities equipment; or
Change the purpose or designation of the A259 as a local A road (this last point is of fundamental importance to a successful outcome).

The intervention of highest importance needed to resolve transport issues between Chichester and Emsworth has been omitted entirely from HE and WSCC discussion of the project scope.

The local transport network must be revised to reduce traffic speeds and volume on the A259, particularly where the road passes through the historic harbour villages. Properly researched and funded town planning must take into consideration the transport requirements of the many new residents purchasing homes in the many housing developments under construction or in the planning pipeline. Relocating cyclists onto the harbour village high-streets is not a credible alternative to town planning designs that can cater for the future needs of the local population.

Artists Impression of the short section of Two Way Cycle Track between Southbourne and Nutbourne gives Misleading Impression of a Continuous Separation Strip

The Highways England (HE) visualisation used as the header image for the projects consultation website gives a misleading impression the short (580 metre) two way cycle track has a continuous half meter wide separation strip protecting cyclists from traffic. In this short length the segregation strip is broken 12 times by side-roads, access ways  and shared driveway exits. The segregation is broken on average once for every 45 metres of its length. Where the HE visualisation is shown crossing the 25 metre wide shared driveway mouth (that also is used by a busy caravan park),  an approximately 30 metre section of the two way cycle track will have no segregation from traffic. ChiCycle have made a created a more realistic impression showing that the segregation strip will not be continuous at this wide driveway mouth. 

Segregation Strip Will Not be Continuous
Segregation Strip Will Not be Continuous. The ChiCycle  image above gives a more realistic impression

For comparison the Highways England illustration is shown below.

Highways England Image is misleading
Highways England Image is Misleading

Claims by HE and WSCC over Compliance with Standards Lack Credibility

HE and WSCC refer to current policies and standards only as “guidance”. They fail to acknowledge that it is a mandated requirement for them to follow the Summary Principals shared by both LTN1/20 and Gear Change national policy on walking and cycling!

Page 20 of the Gear Change national policy on walking and cycling states:

We will set much higher standards. Inadequate cycling infrastructure discourages cycling and wastes public money. Much cycling infrastructure in this country is inadequate. It reflects a belief, conscious or otherwise, that hardly anyone cycles, that cycling is unimportant and that cycles must take no meaningful space from more important road users, such as motor vehicles and pedestrians. It offers little protection from motor traffic and gives up at the points where any difficulty is faced or inconvenience to motorists is risked. These are often, of course, precisely the places where cycling provision is most needed. In order to see the increases in cycling we want, the quality of cycling infrastructure installed on our roads must dramatically improve. We have today, alongside this document, published new cycling design guidance which sets out the much higher standards we will now require if schemes are to receive funding, along with a number of failings, common in the past, which we will either no longer allow at all, or will strongly discourage. The summary principles are set out in the Appendix to this document. We do not seek perfection – but we do demand adequacy. We would rather do nothing than do something inadequate.

Page 31 of the Gear Change national policy on walking and cycling clarifies:
Funding only schemes which meet the new standards

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. This includes schemes delivered through pots such as the Transforming Cities Fund.

Summary principle No.2 shared by both LTN1/20 and Gear Change national policy on walking and cycling includes the following text:

02. 7Cycles 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.

HE and WSCC claim in project documentation that the entirety of the A259 is a rural street. However the A259 forms Hermitage, Southbourne, Nutbourne and Fishbourne village high streets. The A259 also runs through the town of Emsworth. These sections of street are just as urban as many roads within major UK cities. Claiming that these high streets are rural locations is a professional discredit to the people who have written these reports.

Summary principle No.22 shared by both LTN1/20 and Gear Change national policy on walking and cycling permit only short stretches of occasional departure from strict adherence to current standards:

22. When to break these principles. In rare cases, where it is absolutely unavoidable, a short stretch of less good provision rather than jettison an entire route which is otherwise good will be appropriate. But in most instances it is not absolutely unavoidable and exceptions will be rare.

HE and WSCC are Misrepresenting Current Guidelines

HE and WSCC have made the following claim to justify the use of shared pavement cycle track scheme along the A259 between Emsworth and Chichester:

Paragraph 6.5.5 of the guidance details where this provision is acceptable, if well designed and implemented. This includes use on interurban and arterial roads such as the A259, and where its provision provides continuity of a cycle route.

The official text written within the LTN1/20 standards is shown below with the omissions highlighted in red.

6.5.6 Shared use may be appropriate in some situations, if well-designed and implemented. Some are listed below:
-Alongside interurban and arterial roads where there are few pedestrians;
-In situations where a length of shared use may be acceptable to achieve continuity of a cycle route;

It is simply not acceptable to claim in locations such as Southbourne High-street that the A259 is an arterial road where there are few pedestrians. Local government and Highways England should have standards for public engagement that rule out use of this kind of misrepresentation.

Jonathan Fulford gives his first impressions of the Chichester to Emsworth Highways England proposals for shared use pavements

There was zoom meeting on Mon 19th held by HE re the Chem route, I can only think I was invited because I am a parish councillor on the route, I could not see everyone who was there. There were some other councillors from other councils.

For some reason we were asked not to discuss it until Thurs so I didn’t but on checking it is now Thurs! They did not say what time!

It was a presentation on zoom along the lines of ‘next slide please’ with comical delays. Seemingly they guy doing the talking did not have the slide some lady somewhere else was doing it, either she kept nodding off or she had a snail running her internet.

In brief the proposal is what they called, ‘continuous shared use path’ with ‘options’ for more experienced cyclist to stay on the road, speed reductions and traffic calming. They were adamant that A259 remains route B for A27 in the event of accident or road works.

They said no existing infrastructure would be moved, so no poles/lampposts/BT boxes etc etc they would just do ‘work arounds’ or bodge it as my grandfather would have said! -They did not say that!

So, nothing new, the pictures they showed looked nice but when you know the route unworkable as a ‘continuous’ route. The pictures looked like one of those rugs children have looking like a street scene, scale of vehicle is mostly irrelevant you just drive over things if you cannot turn! We still have our son’s one, I am thinking HE have one in their office for sure!

At question time (which was limited) one gentleman asked what about maintenance of foliage, this was a great question as we would all be shoved in the hedge and hedges do what hedges do and grow, this question was swept under the carpet which is ironic as they don’t sweep the path.

I questioned their use of ‘continuous path’ I said it is not CP if you must keep looking in every driveway for cars coming out with drivers still fiddling with radio/phone/coffee/makeup etc, I see this every morning. They said ‘drivers must give way’.  ‘But they don’t’ ‘But they should’  I thinking an epitaph ‘The car should have given way’.

East of the subway, where clay lane meets whatever, the road is called behind Tesco? They plan to change the priority here, so cars don’t have to give way and cyclist do………..why because someone was knocked of their bike here??? So you give priority to the offender not the victim??

East of the Tesco bridge, out came the broom and the carpet ‘this will be dealt with under a different project, we stop at the (Inadequate) bridge.

A misery bucket of an hour drizzled in false/ill informed ideas.

As I say typed in great haste, hope it makes some sense, keep your eyes out for the official line, be ready for a fight.

I suspect it will happen whatever we say.

Any questions please ask.

All the best

Jonathan

 

A Recommended Action, Oppose the Inappropriate Conversion of Westgate Pavements into Shared Use Cycle Tracks

The consultation period for Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) CHS9038RC closes on the 5th August 2021.

ChiCycle advise that this TRO does contain some welcome changes (New Zebra Crossings) that should be encouraged; Other elements in this order might become worthwhile infrastructure with improved design (e.g. a Dutch Style Roundabout); However, we believe the creation of sub standard shared cycle tracks around the Sherborne-Rd/Westgate junction (TRO items iii & iv) should be strongly opposed for the following reasons:

  1. Cyclists will round sharp blind corners when riding on narrow pavements directly into the path of oncoming pedestrians. Because this design element particularly discriminates against young, vulnerable, disabled and elderly pedestrians, it contravenes the Equality Act 2010.
  2. Westgate is the only viable walking and cycling route carrying pedestrians and cyclists from the city centre onto National Cycle Route No2 (South Coast Route), National Cycle Route No88 (Centurion Way) and onto Salterns Way. It is a main route used by Bishop Luffa staff and students to walk and cycle to school, for Chichester College staff and students to get into college, for parents and toddlers to access First Steps Nursery, for parents and children to reach Parklands Nursery School/Parklands Infant School, for shoppers and shop-staff to reach the Tesco Hyper market. The proposed narrow shared use pavements are not adequate to carry even existing volumes of rush hour pedestrian and cycle traffic yet this infrastructure is also intended to serve the additional sustainable transport needs of 1,600 new homes. The proposed provision for walking and cycling at Sherborne-Rd/Westgate junction must be redesigned to conform to at least minimum DfT standards for walking and cycling.
  3. The appropriate legal procedures for conversion of pedestrian footways on existing pavements, into shared use cycle tracks, are not included or adhered to in Traffic Regulation Order CHS9038RC.
  4. There has been inadequate consultation with disability groups over the proposed conversion of urban pedestrian footways into shared use cycle tracks.
  5. The proposed cycle crossings are only half the width required by the Department for Transport (DfT) for connection with two way cycle facilities.
  6. Give way markings will be painted on the shared use pavements forcing cyclists to look simultaneously forward, behind themselves and also sideways as they approach each and every driveway that exits across the pavements. It is unlikely cyclists lacking confidence can successfully perform such a demanding all round observation while balancing a bike riding on narrow pavements. However, WSCC claim this infrastructure is primarily intended to meet the needs of this type of cyclist.
  7. Parallel cycle crossings require drivers to see cyclists approaching crossings who intend to cross the road. However, in the proposed scheme, cyclists are expected to cycle along narrow shared use tracks running alongside the carriageway. As cyclists reach the crossings they may  choose either to make an abrupt 90° turn into the road and over the crossings or otherwise continue along the pavement without turning. In this situation, it will be impossible for drivers to pre-empt the actions of the cyclist in proximity to the crossings and for them to safely react. Cyclists will also be expected to look both forwards at approaching motor traffic and simultaneously look back behind themselves to assess both the presence and intention of vehicles making complex manoeuvrers around a mini roundabout. This is not something a majority of cyclists can do in comfort and safety. The situation is worsened by the absence of separation strips between the shared use cycleway and the carriageway.  This will leave virtually zero time between cyclists initiating a turn and transitioning onto the carriageway at the crossing.
  8. Pavements proposed for conversion to shared use cycle tracks are significantly below minimum DfT widths for shared use.
  9. Inappropriate road markings are proposed within parallel crossing control areas. This does not comply to standards within the DfT Traffic Signs Manual 2019.

Please object to any or all of these design failings that are certain to create unnecessary conflict between all road users if the proposed modification to Sherborne-Rd/Westgate junction go ahead.

There are several options for making objections or comments over this Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) CHS9038RC consultation process. You may:

  • email your objections, comments and concerns to tro.team@westsussex.gov.uk
  • reply to WSCC using the TRO response form on their website. Currently this link gives access but if it fails, try using this more general link covering all WSCC TROs
  • send in writing to: TRO Team, West Sussex County Council, The Grange, Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1RH

Please be sure to quote reference TRO/CHS9038/RC and include your full name and address when responding as otherwise your concerns can not be taken into consideration by WSCC.

Detailed descriptions of the issues numbered above are available below the horizontal line. Please feel free to copy any of the text, links or images given below when contacting WSCC about issues within this Traffic Regulation Order.

A copy of the material in this web post is also available in the following formats

Although I have done my best to provide accurate information but cannot guarantee all my analysis is free of mistakes and errors.

Many thanks in advance to everyone supporting ChiCycle by engaging in this TRO consultation process.

Mark Record (on behalf of ChiCycle)


Issue No1. Cyclists will Round Sharp Blind Corners Directly into the Paths of Oncoming Pedestrians!

The Northern side of the mini-roundabout is bounded by 2-metre high brick walls. Current proposals re-locate cyclists from the road onto the pavement on a shared use cycle track. Issues are:-
1). Cyclists will round corners with virtually zero forward visibility directly into the path of oncoming pedestrians.
2). The proposed width of sections of shared cycle tracks are well below minimum widths recommended by DfT. Indeed, shared use cycle tracks are inappropriate in this location according to current guidelines.

The image above shows an annotated clip taken from the currently proposed scheme.
The route of cyclists around blind corners will clearly inconvenience/endanger pedestrians. Frail elderly members of the community are particularly vulnerable to injury from collisions with bicycles on these blind corners.

3) Conflict between cyclists and pedestrians will be inevitable on the North West pavement of this roundabout.

DfT Guidlines for Cycle Infrastructure Design LTN1/20 state:

5.9.3 “Objects such as walls, fences and trees should not be sited close to the cycle track on the inside of bends as this will potentially affect the visibility”

This guidance applies to all new cycle infrastructure (as in this case) but is clearly not adhered to in these proposals. In this example, the apex of the corner is bounded by the edge of a substantial brick pillar and wall, giving no visibility between approaching pedestrians and cyclists.

4) Conflict between cyclists and pedestrians will be inevitable on the North East pavement of this roundabout

DfT Guidlines for Cycle Infrastructure Design LTN1/20 state:

5.9.3 Table 5-7 provides minimum horizontal curve radii which should be used for cycle traffic on cycle routes including shared use facilities alongside rural highways where there are few pedestrians.

These radii are based on being able to accommodate the turning space required by the cycle design vehicle (i.e. the actual turning radius of the vehicle) and to provide adequate stopping sight distance at typical cycling speeds
The minimum inside radius given in LTN1/20 Table 5-7 is four metres but at the brick pillars this scheme uses a radius of zero metres!

5) Conflict between cyclists and pedestrians is inevitable at this location on the North East pavement of the roundabout

The image above shows the visibility a cyclist will have when rounding the brick pillar that bounds the North East edge of the pavement. The absolute minimum stopping sight distance recommended in LTN1/20 (Table 5-5) is 17 metres! This distance is usually measured to the extreme inside radius edge of the cycle track. As cyclists approach the apex of this corner, ChiCycle approximate an actual working SSD of only 1 – 2 metres. This is between 6% and 12% of the minimum distance!

6) Conflict between cyclists and pedestrians is inevitable at this blind corner at the North West pavement of the roundabout.


The image above shows the approaching view of any pedestrian heading south on Sherborne Road, with the proposed crossing to the left. The implications are disastrous for anyone reliant on a mobility assistance dog, a frail elderly person, or a mother with children using the North West pavement. Current proposals convert this footway into a shared use cycle track!
In addition, Bishop Luffa has approximately 1,600 students who are increasingly encouraged to walk or cycle to school, rather than be driven in. The westward arm of the roundabout (West Westgate) also links two national cycleways and the Saltern’s way cycle path. Whilst the proposed pedestrian zebra crossing at Sherborne Road makes sense, is it really realistic to re-locate cycle traffic from the road onto this pavement?

7) Conflict between cyclists and pedestrians is also inevitable at this blind corner at the North East pavement of the roundabout.

 

The image above shows the approaching view turning north into Sherborne Road of a parent taking children to Parklands Infant and Nursery School or returning from First Steps Childcare at Chichester College.
Can it be justified for families to share space at this sharp corner with busy commuter cycle traffic approaching? Will mobility impaired and partially sighted residents feel safe using the proposed infrastructure that will have cyclists rounding this sharp corner without the protection of compliance with DfT forward visibility criteria for shared use cycle tracks?

7) On the corner on the South side of Westgate, two way rush hour cycle commuter traffic will be approaching pedestrians on the pavement where visibility is severely restricted. This is unlikely to make patients of the osteopathy clinic (or any other pedestrians) feel safe using the pavement at this corner. This issue  is illustrated in the following image.

Issue No2. Westgate is the only viable walking and cycling route carrying pedestrians and cyclists from the city centre

It is unrealistic to shoehorn existing levels of walking and cycling onto existing pavements through their conversion to shared use cycle tracks!

A number of locations to the west of Chichester create substantial volumes of pedestrian and cycle traffic that could not safely use the proposed narrow sub standard shared use pavements.
A) Whitehouse farm housing development creating 1600 new homes
B) National South Coast Cycleway NC2
C) Saltern’s Way Cyclepath
D) Tesco Hypermarket (both shoppers and employees walk and cycle)
E) Bishop Luffa School with approximately 1,600 students and teachers
F) Chichester College and First Steps Nursery, 15,144 students, of whom 4,373 are full time students
G) Parklands Council Estate, approximately 2,500 residents
H) Centurion Way, counter estimates 1000 journeys made per day
I) Parklands Community Primary/Infant/Nursery School

The coloured lines in the diagram (shown below) represent paths and desire lines that cyclists are likely to follow after the proposed conversion of the footways into shared use cycle-tracks.

This design will result in conflict that will particularly disadvantage vulnerable pedestrians. Parents pushing prams or holding a child’s hand, elderly or disabled pedestrians will be unable to avoid walking on narrow shared use cycle-tracks if they need to negotiate this junction.

Issue No3. Appropriate legal procedures for conversion of pedestrian footways (on existing pavements) into shared use cycle tracks, are not included or adhered to in Traffic Regulation Order CHS9038RC.

For good reason it is illegal to ride a bicycle on a standard pavement intended for pedestrian use only.  Pavements beside carriageways, intended for pedestrian use only, are legally classified as “footways”.
In order for cycling to be permitted on an existing pavement, a two step process must be followed. LTN1/20 explains on page 187″:

Converting a footway to cycle track:
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) [Highways Act 1980]. The process need not involve physical construction work other than the erection of signs.

Although public consultation is not a mandatory requirement, engagement with those likely to be affected is strongly recommended, particularly groups representing disabled people.

ChiCycle can find no evidence that any groups representing disabled people (or indeed local disabled people themselves) have been consulted about the imminent legal changes to the pavements they rely on.

It is surprising that Traffic Regulation Order CHS9038RC includes reference to HIGHWAYS ACT 1980 – SECTION 90 (A), (C) & (D) which covers the construction of road humps by highway authorities but fails to consult on the controversial conversion of the pavements into cycle tracks. 

ChiCycle feel it is unreasonable for WSCC to consult over other minor details of this scheme but fail to allow public consultation on the most controversial aspect.

If WSCC fail to carry out a TRO following Section 66(4) [Highways Act 1980] and then ‘create’ the cycle track under Section 65(1) [Highways Act 1980], then it will remain illegal to cycle on the pavements on Sherborne Rd and Westgate. This will put WSCC highways in an interesting legal position should they choose to signpost the pavement as a shared use cycle-track.

Issue No4. There has been inadequate consultation with disability groups over the proposed conversion of urban pedestrian footways into shared use cycle tracks.

LTN1/20 explains on page 7:

1.5 Core design principles
………
1.5.3 Inclusive design and accessibility should run through all five of these core design principles. Designers should always aim to provide infrastructure that meets these principles and therefore caters for the broadest range of people.
1.5.4 Infrastructure must be accessible to all and the needs of vulnerable pedestrians and local people must be considered early in the process to ensure schemes are supported locally in the long term. The Equality Act 2010 requires public sector authorities to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty in carrying out their functions. This includes making reasonable adjustments to the existing built environment to ensure the design of infrastructure is accessible to all.

LTN1/20 further explains on page 67:

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.
6.5.5 Where a shared use facility is being considered, early engagement with relevant interested parties should be undertaken, particularly those representing disabled people, and pedestrians and cyclists generally. Engaging with such groups is an important step towards the scheme meeting the authority’s Public Sector Equality Duty.

At least two local residents rely heavily on assistance dogs and regularly use these pavements. Neither have been contacted about the proposed changes. ChiCycle have also contacted the RNIB and Canine Partners and neither of these organisations appear to have been consulted about the proposals. With restricted forward visibility at blind corners and with proposed shared cycle tracks having only a fraction of recommended minimum widths, it is difficult to imagine how this infrastructure could meet the needs of disabled, vulnerable or elderly pedestrians.

Issue No5. The proposed Cycle Crossings are only Half the Minimum Width required by the Department for Transport (DfT) for Two Way Cycle Facilities.

The DfT Traffic Signs Manual (First published 2019) Chapter 6 states:

17.2.6.  The minimum width of a Parallel crossing is 2.4 m for the pedestrian section, as for a Zebra crossing, and 1.5 m for the cycle route. A minimum width of 2 m is recommended for cycle lanes on busy roads, but 1.5 m may be generally acceptable for a one‑way cycle route at a Parallel crossing. Where the cycle route is two‑way the minimum width should be 3 m. The black and white stripes should be marked as for a Zebra crossing, following the advice in 16.2.8. The maximum width for the cycle route is 5 m.

Both parallel crossings at the junction between Sherborne-Rd/Westgate will carry two way cycle traffic and therefore need to be a minimum width of 3 metres to comply with DfT minimum standards for crossings. The widths of the cycle crossings shown in the proposed plans are only 1.5 metres in width. This is only 50% of the DfT minimum width prescribed for use with two way parallel cycle crossings.

Issue No6. Give way markings will be painted on the shared use pavements forcing cyclists to look simultaneously forward, behind themselves and also sideways as they approach each and every driveway


Cycleways running adjacent to the carriageway do not have right of way over vehicles turning into side roads or driveways unless they are set back at these crossings. LTN1/20 states that:

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.

The driveways shown have virtually no splay visibility to see approaching cycles! If these proposals go ahead, it will be necessary for cyclists to come to a virtual standstill at each driveway exit where they must check in all directions for both vehicles entering these access-ways and also for vehicles pulling out onto the highway. The huge effort involved  in making these extremely difficult observations while balancing on a narrow pavement at slow speeds, will entirely negate any benefit from attempting to cycle on this sub standard shared use cycle provision. 

Issue No7. Parallel Cycle Crossings Require Drivers to See Cyclists Approaching Crossings Who Intend to Cross the Road. This is near Impossible with Cyclists Riding Parallel with the Road on a Cycle-Track Below the Minimum required DfT Widths for Shared Use and with no Separation Space between the Pavement and the Carriageway

DFT Traffic Signs Manual (First published 2019) Chapter 6 explains:

17.1.2.  The same considerations of vehicle speed and flow apply as for Zebra crossings, and a Parallel crossing should not be placed on roads with an 85th percentile speed of 35mph or above without speed reducing measures. Cyclists travel faster than pedestrians, and as a Parallel crossing does not require them to stop and wait for a green signal as a Toucan does, good visibility is essential to ensure traffic can see cyclists in time to stop. Cyclists should also be able to see oncoming traffic in time to react, as they have no priority over other traffic until they are on the crossing.
17.1.3.  If the pedestrian and cyclist desire lines do not coincide a Parallel crossing is unlikely to be suitable. The number and speed of cyclists will be a key factor in determining if a Parallel crossing is suitable. If there are very large flows of cyclists, but few pedestrians, a Parallel crossing may not be the best solution and a signal‑controlled facility using cycle only signals may be more suitable. A Parallel crossing may also be unsuitable if significant numbers of cyclists are expected to turn right from the main road onto the cycle route at this point.

Westgate carries the Long Distance National Cycle Route No2. This is also a utility cycle route regularly used by commuters. Cyclists riding this route have the expectation of meeting well designed DfT standards compliant cycle infrastructure where it is possible to safely make realistic progress in or out of the city. Westgate also carries many cyclists who are less experienced, leaving the city for family bike rides on Centurion Way.

This TRO proposes to route cycle traffic over a parallel crossing on Sherborne Rd where visibility of approaching cyclists is obscured by two metre high brick walls and pillars. Cyclists making realistic forwards progress along the cycle track to this crossing, will emerge suddenly into the view of drivers leaving them with  little time to react. Less experienced cyclists may be less aware of the limited visibility safety hazard presented by this proposed crossing. Students from Bishop Luffa School may attempt to make reasonable progress along this section of proposed cycle track.

There is only a 3 metre distance between the brick pillars obscuring visibility of approaching cyclists and from the kerb line of Sherborne Rd.

A cyclist travelling at speed of 14MPH will cover a 3 metre distance in a timespan shorter than half a second.

The limited visibility issue where cyclists will suddenly appear onto the proposed crossing after suddenly emerging from behind a tall brick wall and pillar, is illustrated in the photograph shown below.

The Highway Code includes approximate stopping distances for motor vehicles. A graphic of the stopping distance at 20 MPH is shown below:

The stopping distances given in the Highway Code indicate that drivers have an average reaction time in excess of half a second. Visibility of approaching cyclists will not be adequate for motorists to give way at the proposed Sherborne Rd parallel crossing.

DFT Traffic Signs Manual (First published 2019) Chapter 6 states:

17.2.7.  Cyclists generally travel faster than pedestrians. On the approach to a Parallel crossing, if the cycle route joins the crossing at or near a right angle to the main road, this may lead to cyclists entering the crossing at an inappropriate speed, which could endanger themselves and intimidate pedestrians.
17.2.8.  To ensure cyclists have sufficient time to assess whether there is a large enough gap in which to cross, and to allow drivers to see cyclists approaching and be ready to give way, the designer should consider how the cycle route layout can be varied to ensure cyclists do not enter the crossing too fast, for example, by deflecting the cycle route on approach. Pedestrian guardrailing for this purpose should only be used as a last resort and positioned with great care, as it can create conflict between cyclists and pedestrians, see 15.11.

Visibility issues at the proposed Sherborne Rd parallel crossing are compounded by two additional factors:

  • As drivers travel southbound along Sherborne road, approaching the mini roundabout, their attention will be focused towards traffic entering the roundabout from the right that they must give way to. However, the limited visibility of cyclists at the parallel crossing will require drivers to react rapidly to cyclists emerging from behind a wall and brick pillar from their left. It is unlikely drivers will be able to react quickly while looking in both directions at once.
  • As cyclists approach the parallel crossing while riding on the pavement, motorists will be unable to predict if they intend turning across the crossing or carrying on riding along the pavement. This will leave drivers making split second decisions over whether they need to stop and give way or if they should continue forwards wthout stopping. The potential routes cyclists may follow at the crossing are illustrated in the following image. Drivers will need to consider all the potentially confusing manoeuvrers that cyclists could make when they approach the crossing.

Similar issues are present in the proposed design for a parallel crossing across Westgate. Because the proposed cycle tracks on Westgate pavements are significantly below minimum DfT widths for shared use, it will be even harder for drivers to predict if cyclists are about to turn to ride over the crossing, or if they will continue to ride along the pavement. The image below highlights the many potentially confusing manoeuvrers cyclists could make at the proposed Westgate  parallel crossing.

Because the cycle crossings are intended as a continuation of the cycle route running along Westgate itself, it seems likely most cyclists will choose to use the right of way at the crossings to turn right. However DfT advise that:

A Parallel crossing may also be unsuitable if significant numbers of cyclists are expected to turn right from the main road onto the cycle route at this point.

The issue with cyclists regularly wishing to turn right at the Westgate crossing is illustrated in the following diagram:

Similar issues will arise with cyclists wishing to turn right onto Sherborne road to head northbound.

Issue No8. Unsuitably Narrow Pavements are Proposed for Conversion into Shared Use Cycle Tracks!

DfT Guidelines for Cycle Infrastructure Design LTN1/20 stipulate that:

Where a cycle track is bounded by a vertical feature, people will not be able to use the entire width as they will naturally be wary of riding immediately next to walls and kerbs. Designers should provide additional width as shown in Table 5-3.

As at Sherborne Road, on the north-side where there are adjacent features such as a two-metre vertical wall, LTN1/20 indicates additional width of 0.5 metres should be provided in addition to the 3 metres minimum recommended width for shared use paths. Total 3.5 metres.

The proposed scheme ignores DfT minimum width guidelines where shared use tracks are bounded by vertical features as illustrated in following two diagrams.

 

The TRO proposals runs a cycle track past a mature beach hedge that encroaches a long way over a pavement that is already below the specified width for shard use cycle tracks. The image below illustrates the narrow gap between the hedge and the kerb. It is difficult to imagine the adult and infant shown in the image below, sharing the space between the hedge and the road with fast moving morning commuter traffic including wide cargo bikes and parents pulling bicycle child trailers also using this pavement.

These design proposals fail to follow current advice given by all relevant DfT guidelines. This will result in discrimination towards vulnerable pedestrians in contravention of the 2010 Equality Act.

In positions where yellow globes are proposed at each end of the Westgate parallel crossing, significant difficulty will arise if these are mounted onto vertical posts rising up from the pavement. The effective width at this section of the shared use cycle track would then be only a tiny fraction of the DfT minimum for shared use facilities. This is illustrated in the diagram below.

 

Issue No9. Inappropriate road markings are proposed within parallel crossing control areas

DFT Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 6 states:

15.8.16.  Markings to diagrams 1029 (S11‑4‑18) and 1062 (S11‑4‑33) may be used at or near a crossing. The use of diagram 1062 is described in Chapter 5.
15.8.17.  No other marking may be used within the controlled area, except hatched and chevron markings in the circumstances described in 15.8.4 and the cycle symbol to diagram 1057 where the zig‑zags are off‑set from the kerb to allow cycling.

Examples of the permitted markings for use within crossing controlled areas are shown as follows.

Diagram symbol 1057 may be used in conjunction with coloured tarmac to mark out a cycle lane.

diagram 1057 may only be used if the zig zags are offset to mark a cycleway

Diagram symbol 1029 may be used to remind pedestrians to look either left or right at a traffic island.

diagram 1029

Symbol 1062 is permitted only if marking a flat topped hump in the road

diagram1062

Hatched or chevron markings are only permitted in controlled area of crossings if they are between zig zags placed in the centre of the road to mark out islands!

DFT Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 6 states:

15.8.4.The Regulations permit the use of central hatched or chevron markings within the controlled area of crossings. Such markings may be used between a central double row of zig‑zags, but only in the following circumstances:
a)diagram 1040.2 may be used on the approach to a central reservation (including pedestrian refuge) of a single crossing in a two‑way road, and diagram 1041 in a one‑way road, and
b)diagram 1040.2 must be used on the approach to a staggered crossing.

traffic-signs-manual-chapter-05 diagram 1041
traffic-signs-manual-chapter-05 diagram 1040

The following diagram symbol is not permitted for use within crossing controlled areas!

This symbol is not permitted within crossing controlled areas!

Hatched, chevron or edge of carriageway markings are not permitted between the outside carriageway kerbs and the outer zig zag lines that mark out crossing controlled areas. For example the following diagrams of markings symbols are not permitted around crossings.

These markings are not permitted between the outside carriageway kerbs and the outer zig zag lines that mark out crossing controlled areas
These markings are not permitted between the outside carriageway kerbs and the outer zig zag lines that mark out crossing controlled areas

Road marking issues are evident within the proposed Westgate parallel crossing control area. This is illustrated in the diagram below.

 

Road marking issues are also evident within the proposed Sherborne Rd parallel crossing control area. This is illustrated in the diagrams below. dft-traffic-signs-manual-chapter-6

If diagram 1057 symbols are to mark out a cycle lane running between the zig zag lines and the carriageway kerb, the absolute minimum width for the cycle lane width at any constraints is 1.5 metres. This requirement is given in LTN1/20  in table Table 5-2: Cycle lane and track widths.

DfT Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 6 (page 112) provides the following diagram of acceptable implementations of cycle lanes within crossing controlled areas.

Issues exist within the proposed plans where controlled area markings terminate close to the give way markings on the Westgate Sherbourne Rd roundabout. DfT Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 6 (page115) states:

15.8.12.Crossings on minor roads close to junctions will tend to restrict the layout of the controlled area markings. To preserve the effectiveness of a junction Give Way or Stop line, the terminal line of the zig‑zag markings should not normally be less than 1m from it. This distance may be reduced to 500mm if necessary to enable the minimum pattern of markings to be laid. The controlled area should never extend beyond the nearer kerb line of the major road. It should be the aim to provide room for at least one vehicle turning into the minor road to wait at the crossing without obstructing traffic on the major road. More vehicles should be accommodated if there are large numbers turning.

The issues with controlled area terminal markings is illustrated in the following diagram.

ChiCycle Comments on Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) CHS9038RC interventions at Westgate/Orchard-St junction

Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) CHS9038RC is open for objections and comments from the public until the close of its consultation period on the 5th August 2021. If you feel these points are worthy of consideration by WSCC, please write to them expressing your views.

Thomas Jarvis (of Haywards Heath) has kindly provided ChiCycle with a detailed assessment of where WSCC proposals at this junction (and surrounding roads) could be improved.  A great many comments included in this post are based on Thomas’ keen eyed observations. Thomas ventures all around the South East on a bike and is eager to see good quality cycle infrastructure delivered throughout the county.

ChiCycle believe that space is available at the Westgate/Orchard-St junction to make good quality improvements to suit both pedestrians and cyclists. However, in our opinion, the current proposals still require additional polish to meet current UK standards.

There are several options for making objections or comments over this Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) CHS9038RC consultation process. You may:

  • email your objections, comments and concerns to tro.team@westsussex.gov.uk
  • reply to WSCC using the TRO response form on their website. Currently this link gives access but if it fails, try using this more general link covering all WSCC TROs
  • send in writing to: TRO Team, West Sussex County Council, The Grange, Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1RH

Thomas Jarvis’ comments are shown under the first horizontal line. Mark Record will add some additional points beneath the second horizontal line.


Thomas Jarvis makes the following observations and comments on (TRO) CHS9038RC interventions at Westgate/Orchard-St junction

These comments are also available in PDF format on this link.

The main issue I have with the proposed crossing is that Parallel crossings are meant to be used when there is a cycle route off of the road, and not used to switch sides for cycle provision.

Here it is just seemed to be used to allow southbound cyclists to switch to the shared cycle/footway on the other side of the road.

Would be better if it was located just to the south to provide a crossing where the PRoW (Public Right of Way)joins/leaves the road. If this footpath was converted to allow bicycles (although at the moment there is nothing legally preventing bicycles), then it would fulfil the designed purpose of parallel crossings.

Another issue I have with it is the two-lane approach northbound. Since this reduces to one lane just the other side of the crossing, I don’t see why this could [not] be reduced to one lane prior to the crossing.

Two lane approaches to zebra or parallel crossings should be avoided as drivers may have visibility severely impacted by adjacent vehicles. Also this would provide a wider refuge for pedestrians and bicycles from 2.5m (on drawing but labelled as 2m?) up to 4.3m, although only 3m is needed [3m is required by DfT standards MR].
There should also be cycle ingress from the carriageway via dropped kerb before the crossing.

This part of the works are okay (see image below).

Although if the northbound carriageway is reduced to a single lane then alterations would have to be made around the bus stop, potentially putting it into a lay-by.

Also reduction in the side road radius would reduce the speed and therefore risk to pedestrians and cyclists using the shared use path. Potentially continues footway/cycleway treatment could be given in these situations to further reduce speed.

Reducing to a single lane sooner would also give more space on the shared cycle/footway, reducing conflict between pedestrians and cyclists.

There is lack of works being done to reduce conflict between cyclists and
busses/coaches pulling out of layby. Potentially mirrors could be provided to allow buses to check for cyclists (in the cycle lane blind spot).

This plan also seems to omit the parking restrictions on the southbound carriageway between the zigzags and bus/coach parking lay-by.

On the roundabout itself (see image below) there are many issues.

On all arms the cycleway has no segregation from the main carriageway. This poses three main issues.

The first one is that pedestrians have no refuge between crossing motor traffic arms, and the cycle track.

Adding the refuge in would reduce wait times for cyclists and motor traffic as well as providing a safer crossing for pedestrians.

The second one is that cyclists wishing to leave the roundabout have to give way to pedestrians while being in the circulatory carriageway. This may result in cyclists wishing to continue around the roundabout being prevented from doing so, or could result in rear-ended another cyclist.

Also cyclists waiting to join the cycleway roundabout would be stopped over the pedestrian crossing.

Adding segregation in would lengthen the cycleway exit/entry allowing one bicycle to wait without holding up others or blocking the pedestrian crossing. If segregation isn’t possible, the cycleway should widen on approach to provide an
“exit” lane and a continue lane. See below for example.

Third issue is that it results in incorrect markings as having a “giveway” markings between the pedestrians and cycle parts of parallel crossing. This is not allowed and would make the crossing invalid in terms of enforceability in law, unless an exception was granted by DoT.

Where segregation allows, it should be done.

The North Walls arm is done very badly. Due to physical constraints its not exactly easy to come up with a solution. I’d consider just making the whole arms a shared space between pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles with the cycle track being the only thing marked through it. There isn’t enough room there to do anything properly, so its better to not formally mark it all out except the cycle track.

The access to No 1 Orchard Street is very poor. Private accesses of roundabouts aren’t great in any situation, however here there is no capability to turn around off-highway, so the current design suggest that access is forward with reversing out back onto the roundabout. This should be the other way around with access into in reverse gear and entering the roundabout in a forward gear. Also priority isn’t clear across the cycleway here.
Other issues are minor, The loading layby on West Street is partly within the crossing controlled area. The Zigzags should be reduced so they don’t overlap.

Again there are arrows on the cycleways within the crossing controlled areas, this isn’t allowed either.


Mark Record makes the following additional observations and comments on (TRO) CHS9038RC interventions at Westgate/Orchard-St junction

ChiCycle are particularly concerned about the proposed cycle lane exiting the roundabout, heading North Eastwards on Orchard St. The cycle lane rapidly tapers down to near zero width and it is not clear what cyclists are expected to do? Presumably the cycle lane is flush with the road and forms part of the carriageway. In this case use of arrow symbol 1059 is not permitted because it is placed inside the crossing controlled zone.

A feature of cycle priority roundabouts used in the Netherlands, is they always connect up the cycle lanes (or segregated cycle tracks) carried continuously on both sides of the roads joining the roundabout. Unfortunately this proposed roundabout design does not connect to any roads that carry cycle lanes (or segregated cycle tracks) that run on both sides for more than a couple of metres. Because it stands alone mostly without joining up to other identifiable cycle infrastructure, this design is dissimilar to genuine Dutch cycle priority roundabouts.

Orchard Street is sadly too narrow to accommodate segregated cycle tracks or bike lanes and is also a busy A road carrying approximately 14,000 vehicles a day. It is not clear what advantage is provided by having cycle lanes running away from this roundabout onto Orchard Street, only to have them taper off into the kerb a few meters away to the North? LTN1/20 does not recommend running discontinuous/intermittent short sections of advisory cycle lanes along busy A roads!

The proposals show an advisory cycle lane on the Avenue de Chartres. This road carries the A286 that regularly sees weekday traffic in excess of 14,000 vehicles per day! 

Weekday traffic on Westgate regularly exceeds 5000 vehicles per day. This is considered by the Department of Transport as “[Cycle] Provision suitable for few people and will exclude most potential users and/or have safety concerns”.

ChiCycle believe the only viable way Westgate can provide inclusive opportunities for walking and cycling is for motor traffic to be filtered to reduce traffic volumes on this street.

Unfortunately, the narrows at the Eastern end of Westgate are not wide enough to accommodate cycle tracks/lanes in addition to the pavements, parking and two way motor traffic. Again, it is also not clear in this location, what advantage is provided by having cycle lanes running away from this roundabout onto Westgate, only to have them evaporate a few meters away to the West?

At Wall Cottage Drive, cycle lane widths marked by zig zag lines also confusingly taper down to zero width. One of the zig zag lines departs entirely from the main road axis into a side street which is not permitted. Thomas’ advice to reduce the use of road markings in this location is particularly welcomed by ChiCycle.

There are also issues with use of road markings on Avenue de Chartres

ChiCycle is particularly uncomfortable with confusing transitions of cycle lanes leaving the proposed Orchard-Street/Westgate roundabout.

A Dutch Style roundabout has been constructed in Cambridge. This roundabout does not force cyclists to give way to traffic when leaving the arms of the roundabout that do not have cycle lanes or tracks. Could the Chichester plans be modified to follow this example in the UK?

The two other arms of the Cambridge roundabout join to roads with continuous cycle lanes on each side. In this way it is much closer in design style to Dutch cycle priority roundabouts.

ChiCycle Perspective on the West of Chichester Development Southern Access Road

The Modification of the Road Network to Carry Motor Vehicle Traffic from the West of Chichester 1,600 Home Greenfield Development Site and also Indirectly from the B2178 Funtington Road, into the Heart of the Westgate/Parklands Residential Area of Chichester, is Inappropriate!

To view the virtual exhibition of plans for the outline planning for Phase 2 of the West of Chichester Development, you may follow this link: https://vpc.tetratecheurope.com/engage/westchichesterpart2/ a large downloadable PDF version is available here.

A large PDF file containing the 12 drawings accompanying the proposals is available here. An even larger version is available here.

Some FoCW members had trouble viewing this very large file showing all the drawings at once and we have some less detailed clips to give a quick view to those with less powerful PCs

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A PDF containing notes of issues discussed with developers on the 8th July 2021 is available here ChiCycleConcernsSAR

ChiCycle believe the proposed plans deviate from accepted  standards for walking and cycling

The Manual for Streets is the Department for Transports guidance on designing and modifying residential streets. The following recommendations are made regarding cycle and pedestrian safety

The hierarchies of provision 4.2.9: If road safety problems for pedestrians or cyclists are identified, conditions should be reviewed to see if they can be addressed, rather than segregating these users from motorised traffic. Table4.1suggests an ordered approach for the review.

The proposed Southern Access Road (SAR) will bring a significant traffic increase to both the western end of Westgate and to the southern end of Sherbourne Rd. This is the exact opposite of the most favoured approach recommended by the Manual for Streets.

Rather than reallocating road space to pedestrians as recommended by the Manual for Streets, it is being proposed that existing footways will be removed and converted into poor quality shared use cycle-tracks.

We need to be mindful that not only does Westgate carry significant local pedestrian and cycle traffic, bit it also carries traffic from two National Cycleways No 88 and No 2 in addition to the cycle traffic using Salterns Way.

ChiCycle have identified the following safety concerns for pedestrians or cyclists where the proposed SAR will run through Westgate and Sherbourne Rd:

  • Cyclists will be relocated onto the pavements in the proximity of the Sherbourne-Rd/Westgate/Cathedral-Way junction. This will bring cyclists into direct conflict with pedestrians, particularly as the pavements are too narrow and have blind corners. This represents a significant reduction in provision for local pedestrians in this urban residential location. It will particularly disadvantage young pedestrians going to school, families using prams, shoppers using wheeled trolleys, disabled pedestrians with sensory impairment, dog walkers, those reliant on guide dogs, mobility scooter users, cargo-bike users. parents taking their kids to school using bike trailers, Cycle-without-age when using their trishaw and elderly or otherwise vulnerable pedestrians. ChiCycle believe relocating cyclists from the carriageway onto these pavements will be an infringement of the 2010 Equality Act.
  • Relocating pedestrians onto shared pavements on Westgate will leave cyclists riding over blind driveways where drivers will have no visibility of approaching cyclists. This is will frequently cause cyclists to make sudden evasive maneuvers to avoid emerging cars causing additional problems for sharing the space with cyclists. Cyclists are at risk of being knocked into the road from the pavement by cars emerging from blind driveways. Cyclists knocked into the road in this manner are at extreme danger of experiencing secondary collisions with cars using the carriageway.
  • Sherbourne Rd traffic volumes (as measured in March 2017) regularly run at around 4,000 vehicles per day. DfT LTN1/20 guidelines (page 33) describe this volume of traffic as “Provision not suitable for all people and will exclude some potential users and/or have safety concerns“.
  • The central section of Westgate regularly sees weekday traffic volumes running at over 5,000 vehicles per day. DfT LTN1/20 guidelines (page 33) describe this volume of traffic as “Provision suitable for few people and will exclude most potential users”.
  • The existing pavements on Westgate and Sherbourne Rd proposed for conversion into shared cycle tracks, are below acceptable widths given in DfT LTN1/20.
  • The SAR cycleway ends at an uncontrolled crossing immediately next to Cathedral Way roundabout. The National Speed Limit of 60Mph applies to the Cathedral Way roundabout and the speed limit only reduces to 20 Mph in the immediate vicinity of the proposed crossing. Traffic on this arm of the Cathedral Way roundabout will carry traffic for Sherbourne Rd itself and in addition traffic from both Westgate and the proposed SAR. This indicates very high traffic volumes are to be anticipated at this un-signalled crossing. LTN1/20 illustrates crossing design suitability with the following table.
    LTN1/20-Table 10-2 Crossing design suitability
    The table above indicates an uncontrolled crossing at this location will only be suitable for most people if the traffic volume is below 4,000 PCU per day where the peak hour traffic flow is no more than 10% of the 24 hour flow. These low traffic volumes are unlikely to be achieved with the currently proposed SAR design.
  • There will be no reasonably accessible alternative routes allowing vulnerable pedestrians to avoid using the proposed shared use cycle tracks on the pavements!
    The purple dots in the diagram show the existing pedestrian route from the railway foot bridge at Bishop Luffa school towards the Market Cross. If the proposed scheme goes ahead, elderly, disabled pedestrians who fear collision with bikes will have to take a long detour to use alternative, safe pavements and paths. The shortest realistic alternative route is shown by the green dotted line.

    The green route that would avoid conflict with bikes on narrow shared use pavements, is over 1.15 km longer than the direct route shown in purple. Centurion Way mostly complies with existing DfT standards so it is possible some elderly or disabled pedestrians might be confident walking the route shown by green dots.

ChiCycle demand alternative Transport Network Solutions be Considered that would Enable Parklands and Westgate to become Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

The concept of UK Low traffic neighbourhoods borrows heavily from European and particularly Dutch urban design expertise in road safety. Although there is often a degree of initial opposition to such schemes, there is evidence that once implemented a majority of people accept them as genuine and worthwhile improvements. Once established, most residents wish to retain them. Urban residents often live with the misconception that the existing volume of local motor traffic is essential to healthy community life. They fear that measures to curb motor vehicle use will restrict peoples ability to accesses local shops and services. However, once low traffic neighbourhood schemes are implemented, the remarkable phenomena of evaporating traffic takes place and residents find themselves living happily in a more pleasant and community orientated environment.

Indeed, schemes to reduce traffic are not historically unique within in Chichester. The A259 was once the main Sussex coastal road which ran over a level crossing at Westgate before leading through the centre of the city. It was necessary for it to do an awkward wiggle to squeeze around the Market Cross. A bypass was built in the 1930s but the A259 remained a route through the centre of the City until the pedestrian precinct was created in the 1970s. Cars driving past the market cross can be seen in the image below.

 Chichester Market Cross with A259 main road traffic

Only in in 1983, did an Act of Parliament authorise construction of
Cathedral Way and the diversion of what is now Fishbourne Road East.
At the same time the Westgate railway level crossing was closed to motor traffic an it became a crossing for pedestrians and cyclists only.

The closure of the Westgate level crossing to motor traffic created a Quiet Street at the western end of Westgate. As motor vehicle traffic levels increased in other parts of the city with the construction of the Chichester and Havant A27 bypass, the route along Westgate became the only realistic passage to the west of the City for pedestrians and cyclists.

With viable walking and cycling connections through Westgate to the west of the City, several cycle routes have developed. Firstly Centurion Way was built along the route of the disused Chichester to Midhurst railway in 1995. An image of it’s construction is shown below.
Construction of Centurion Way

Salterns Way is a 12 mile cycle route from the centre of Chichester to the sand dunes of East Head. It relies on Westgate being a navigable route for family cyclists and its success owes much to Louise Goldsmith’s determination to  create a wonderful cycle route in and around Chichester Harbour.

Visionary Town Planning Decisions and Projects of the 1970/1980s Successfully Quietened Chichester’s Historic Streets and helped Popularised Walking and Cycling. To Reversing these interventions is a Retrograde Step we must Urgently Reconsider in this Period of Climate Emergency.

Breaking the convenient passage for cyclists who pass through Westgate is undesirable. The proposed introduction of the Southern Access Road servicing 1,600 new homes, will result in a severance of this cycle route. This goes against the policy guidelines in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). This situation is made even worse by relocating cyclists onto unsuitable pavements. This will leave the connections along Westgate for pedestrians and cyclists inadequate for both groups of road users. The NPPF states the following:

109. Development should only be prevented or refused on highways grounds if there would be an unacceptable impact on highway safety, or the residual cumulative impacts on the road network would be severe.
110. Within this context, applications for development should:
(a) give priority first to pedestrian and cycle movements, both within the scheme and with neighbouring areas; and second – so far as possible – to facilitating access to high quality public transport, with layouts that maximise the catchment area for bus or other public transport services, and appropriate facilities that encourage public transport use;
(b) address the needs of people with disabilities and reduced mobility in relation to all modes of transport;….

It should be noted that the proposed conversion of unsuitable urban pavements to shared use will particularly discriminate against people with disabilities and reduced mobility.

The national policy on walking and cycling also demands the highest standards of convenience and safety for walking and cycling for new housing developments. The policy document Gear Change states on page 26:

We will ensure that all new housing and business developments are built around making sustainable travel, including cycling and walking, the first choice for journeys

The purpose of the planning system is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development. We expect sustainable transport issues to be considered from the earliest stages of plan-making and development proposals, so that opportunities to promote cycling and walking are pursued. Planning policies should already provide for high quality cycling and walking networks, green spaces and green routes, and supporting facilities such as cycle parking (drawing on Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans). While many local plans already say the right things, they are not always followed consistently in planning decisions. Developments often do little or nothing meaningful to enable cycling and walking. Sometimes they make cycling and walking provision worse. We want new developments to be easily and safely accessible and navigable by foot and bike, and to make existing cycling and walking provision better………… One of Active Travel England’s functions will be as a statutory consultee within the planning system to press for adequate cycling and walking provision in all developments of over a certain threshold, and provide expert advice on ways in which such provision can be improved. We will work with Active Travel England and other key stakeholders to ensure that the importance of securing high quality cycling and walking provision is embedded within the planning system………….

The ChEmRouteVision offers a high quality transport solutions that can improve local journeys made by all road users. It also provides opportunists for Westgate, Parklands and the Harbour Villages to become Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

ChEmRoute Logo

An important feature of the ChEmRouteVision is that it calls for a proper assessment of current and future transport needs to be assessed before hard to reverse changes to  are implemented. Robust transport surveys are necessary to enable design of high quality infrastructure that is both future proof and compliant with DfT standards for highway design.

It is not possible for ChiCycle (or indeed anyone else) to produce a firm credible proposal for transport network interventions until adequate transport research has successfully been conducted. It is also unreasonable for the SAR to be connected at Sherbourne road when the existing infrastructure is proving inadequate even for existing levels of traffic.

However, ChiCycle will soon produce drawings and sketches of transport network interventions indicative of the type of solutions that could resolve both existing local transport issues and those created by new development.

 

July Big Picnic Graced by Lucky Break in the Weather

Government guidelines restricted the number of people able to attend but nonetheless we still held an enjoyable picnic event and everyone enjoyed meeting up for an outdoor event.

Torrential rain cleared up just in time for people to ride to the event in dry (ish) weather. Light drizzle at the beginning of the picnic soon cleared up as more people arrived.

Picnickers enjoyed attempting to ride Adam Bells challenge bike where the steering, breaks and pedals all work the opposite way around to a standard bike. I managed to ride about 50cm length before completely loosing balance. Several people manage to ride almost a whole metre.

People arrived with all shapes and sizes of trailers, scooters, bikes, and cargo-trikes. You may spot a home built Moulton tandem conversion in the gallery of picnic images. We had 18 people in total attend and a dog. It was fun taking part in the Chichester Festival with our Big Picnic event.

 

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 be 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 forces 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