West of Chichester planning application 19/03146/REM for the erection of 154 residential dwellings raises local concern over walking and cycling provision.
Phase 3, Parcel E of this development, covered by this planning application, runs to the immediate Northwest of Centurion Way just South of where Centurion Way passes beneath Old Broyle Road (overview map shown below)
Centurion Way is a popular shared use path that forms part of National Cycle Network Route 88. Heading Northwards on Centurion Way from Old Broyle Road takes path users into our beautiful West Sussex Downland Countryside. Heading Southwards on the path is a convenient route into Chichester that is particularly convenient for commuting to Chichester Railway Station, Chichester College, Bishop Luffa School and the Shops and High St in the City.
Unfortunately there are appear to be no direct Cycling or Pedestrian links between Phase 3, Parcel E and this fantastic shared use Cycleway/Footpath. This is a tragically missed opportunity, particularly in light of the difficulties for cyclists and pedestrians in using Old Broyle Road and St Paul’s Road.
A segment from the indicative lighting plans show will be no permeability provided for pedestrians or cyclists into the existing community.
DfT provides design guidelines for residential developments in the Manual for Streets 2007 which gives the following advice. ( page 42)
4.2.5 Internal permeability is important but the area also needs to be properly connected with adjacent street networks. A development with poor links to the surrounding area creates an enclave which encourages movement to and from it by car rather than by other modes (Fig. 4.2).
The Chichester Cycle Forum members recommend that a “Cycle audit and review” should be conducted (or a walking and cycling audit and review) as outlined in section 1.7 of the DfT Cycle infrastructure design guidelines (LTN 2/08) (page 15). These DfT guidelines highlight that campaign groups “can be very helpful in providing specialist expertise” and the Chichester Cycle Forum members would be very happy to be involved.
ChiCycle recommend, to allow compliance with Manual for Streets 2007 section 4.2.5 (page 42), permeability for walking and cycling into the surrounding area can easily be achieved by making connections with Centurion Way which is itself well connected with adjacent streets.
The northern most connection with Centurion Way crosses a gradient but by curving the path it is easy to achieve a gentle change in level suitable for walking and cycling. Indicative plans are shown below and a more detailed view can be accessed on this link.
Document – SUSTAINABILITY STATEMENT PARCEL P3.E – PART 1 OF 2 promises the development will provide “Series of connected paths and cycle links on and off site”. However current plans contain no off site connections with the surrounding community! ChiCycle recommend connections onto Centurion Way to allow residents of this parcel to have easy walking and cycling access with the surrounding area.
Document – SUSTAINABILITY STATEMENT PARCEL P3.E – PART 2 OF 2 has a subsection BFL 12 – P3.E WEST OF CHICHESTER INTEGRATING INTO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD1. CONNECTIONS
ChiCycle do not consider the current plans adequately allow the scheme to integrate into its surroundings! The current plans do not reinforce existing connections or create new ones as promised.
ChiCycle currently witnesses that these plans have a total absence of walking and cycling opportunities to the immediate East – towards the city. The development is flanked by a dedicated walking and cycling route that has already excellent permeability with the existing community. Why are there no links provided? There are no significant gradient issues to contend with, the path runs mostly at a similar level as the proposed dwellings. As the spine road lacks a cycleway meeting DfT standards there are very few other opportunities for walking and cycling. Why is there a green light shown below in the BFL assessment? We would expect to see a red light here! Please let’s improve the situation by including a couple of short access-ways.
These concerns have been raised several times by the community with Linden Miller homes at consultation meetings. Why have these very obvious opportunities for permeability for walking and cycling been missed?
You may already have guessed from our recommended tunes that ChiCycle will install the very first lunar cycleway next year! The scheme is destined to circumnavigate the moon with a path along it’s equator! We are concurrently planning a complimentary Phase 2 circumpolar lunar shared use route which will herald the start of the galaxy’s first ever extraterrestrial walking and cycling network scheduled to open early 2022.
Sarah Sharp expressed delight that such a significant length of walking and cycling infrastructure will become available soon but said, “Although this is a great scheme, I am concerned it will not address the needs of many cyclists. Half of the route traverses the dark side of the moon which will imped the uptake of e-bikes requiring solar charging. There remain several other unresolved issues like, limited access for low income families, how people will breath during active travel and the complete lack of adequate bike stand availability”.
Philip Maber is currently grappling with the necessary program coding we will employ to extend the capabilities of Google Earth. This will allow a new ChiCycle phone-app to be downloaded that will meet both pedestrian and cyclist’s navigational needs on earths nearest astronomical body.
Lets take this exciting moment in ChiCycle’s history to consider some equally incredible projects closer to home.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked the public to avoid using public transport during the pandemic. He recommends driving as an alternative but explained it is better still to walk or cycle to your destination. ChiCycle is a local campaign promoting safe and confident walking and cycling in the Chichester area and we agree with the Prime Minister’s advice.
Grant Shapps has announced National government has launched the largest ever boost for cyclists and pedestrians with a £2 billion scheme involving the re-location of road-space to allow a significantly increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians. This is a tremendous opportunity to make the whole Chichester area more welcoming and easy to explore for both residents and tourists. This part of the world contains so much natural beauty that our tourist trade will surly flourish after this crisis if we can make this an appealing location for visitors who want to walk and cycle.
Unfortunately, several local schemes are being push through during the pandemic, where two way cycle traffic traffic will be run along busy pavements! ChiCycle have mixed feelings about these projects. Feasibility studies have already been approved in some cases, so the planning process has already progressed a long way towards implementing these schemes.
One proposal is to put cyclists on the pavement between the North Street Car Park and Oakland’s Way Dual Carriageway. The effective width of this single pavement is less than half that required by national standards for shared use. The ChiCycle team are concerned many elderly residents and elderly visitors using the car park, rely on walking this route and would be fearful of meeting speeding cyclists on the narrow path. Many senior citizens develop fragile bones with age and might never properly recover mobility after a traumatic collision with a cyclist.
Debbie Carter who is a Chichester City Councillor, explained “As a local resident with impaired vision I feel anxious at the prospect of sharing this narrow pavement with cyclists”. Another local resident Rebecca, who is concerned over pavements being reallocated as cycleways, said “Being a cyclist as well as a pedestrian, I am aware of the importance of a bicycle bell. But having hearing loss which requires a hearing aid, I have found that the modern bells can’t be distinguished from other sounds and loud horns are unnecessarily frightening. Whereas the old fashioned ‘ching ching’ bells are instantly recognisable as an approaching bike”.
Anne Phillips who lives in the Centre of Chichester wrote to ChiCycle, “The more the merrier when it comes to bike riding instead of cars, but as a pedestrian I would so appreciate the courtesy of cyclists ringing a bell when approaching to overtake me on a shared path. I am an older person but not frail, and my hearing is good enough not to need a hearing aid, yet my heart lurches with fright each time a bike speeds up silently from behind and passes just inches from my shoulder. I am left with a pounding heart and a sense of anger at the cyclist who has sped on unaware. I do believe most cyclists would be upset to think their actions could have the above effect on pedestrians, but I also feel that if a huge effort is to be put, rightly so, into making special lanes for their safety, then just as much thought should be put into protected areas for pedestrians only. A painted white line isn’t adequate as cycling increases.
Another feasibility study recommends cyclists should be diverted onto the pavement along the A259 at Southbourne and Nutbourne as part of the Emsworth to Chichester Cycleway (ChEmRoute). Although improvements to this cycle route are welcome, residents may not view these changes favourably.
The Department for Transport standards indicate the design should allow commuter cyclists to travel up to 20 Mph. This speed of two way cycling might feel intimidating for pedestrians sharing these narrow village walkways. Children might be particularly at risk forcing parents to take the less health alternative of driving their families to local destinations. Keith Sutton a lecturer at Chichester College remarked “I am a regular cyclist who rides quickly to get places fast. Forcing cyclists like me to ride on a pavement is irresponsible! people will get injured if pavements are not maintained as safe spaces where pedestrians can walk”.
A third scheme receiving planning approval, is the West of Chichester Development spine road. It has been decided that the largest housing development in Chichester will not include a cycleway along it’s main spine road. Instead, it is proposed that cyclists travelling in both directions should travel along a single pavement shared with pedestrians.
ChiCycle have worked with the Chichester Cycle District Forum to oppose this scheme because the plans are dangerous and do not meet any recognised national standards. We believe local planning authorities are failing to enforce statutory measures required by the National Planning Policy Framework. The policy framework insists that new housing development plans must “provide for high quality walking and cycling networks”. Local environmental campaigner Philip Maber remarked “The Health and Safety aspects of children forced to cycle along the kerbstones – one error or gust of wind, and they’re off the kerb laying in the road … hurt at best”.
Please share your thoughts about these new cycle routes being located on pavements with ChiCycle team at firstname.lastname@example.org
The West of Chichester Development planning application 19/02584/REM contains plans for an approximately 150 metre stretch of the Southern Access road.
There is as yet no agreed detailed transport master plan for this road.
Granting permission to build a mid section of the Southern Access Spine road will literally cast into stone many design aspects that must then span the entire length of road. Our transport infrastructure must not be designed like miss-fitting pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
“table 3.1 “Indicative steps in the design process for new developments and changes to existing streets”
Stage 3 (Design) includes “Produce detailed master-plan or scheme layout” a complete design has not yet been revealed to the public.
Stage 4 (Quality auditing) Carry out “Particular audits required to assess compliance with objectives” these are then “considered by planning and highway authorities“
Stage 5. Initially gives “Planning Approval for Outline planning application“
Stage 5. Finally gives “Planning Approval for Full planning application“
Each step is vital in arriving at a satisfactory walking and cycling solution that can serve all residents. Problems will be generated by jumping prematurely to the final planning approval stages if, in particular, the quality auditing stage is omitted.
The section of Southern Access Road shown in the planning application is incapable of carrying a cycleway that meets DfT recommendations. Riding cycles on pavements is considered unsatisfactory.
1.3.2 The road network is the most basic (and important) cycling facility available, and the preferred way of providing for cyclists is to create conditions on the carriageway where cyclists are content to use it, particularly in urban areas. There is seldom the opportunity to provide an off carriageway route (on-the-pavement) within the highway boundary that does not compromise pedestrian facilities or create potential hazards for cyclists, particularly at side roads.
In Step with advice from the DfT, West Sussex County Council Guidelines Recommend Stepped Cycle Tracks for all Large Residential Developments
New West Sussex County Council design guidelines (page 12) specify that housing development spine roads with over 500 dwellings should have pavements on either side of the road and include segregated cycle lanes, as shown in the diagram below.
Any suggestion that adequate cycle provision might be successfully retrofitted to the Southern Access Road is unconvincing. Surly, it would be preferable have a satisfactory design from the outset?
There is little point in including additional cycle-stands in this proposal while the road design cements in a poor quality of cycle access via the developments main spine road.
The community action group Friends of Centurion Way has been actively campaigning for over 30 months to try to have a say in how local walking and cycling will be impacted by the Southern Access Road. It does not seem fair to begin building this road without at least inviting their input into a potential detailed transport master-plan for this development.
Indeed, offers of engagement from John Grimshaw (the original architect of Centurion Way) were turned down by developers.
FoCW also believe stepped cycle tracks are necessary, particularly considering as the new Southern Access Road passes Bishop Luffa school it will be expected to carry;
Cars, pedestrians and cyclists from the new 1600 house estate
Bishop Luffa teachers and students arriving and leaving by bus, car, bicycle and on foot
Virtually all pedestrian and cycle traffic between the city and the Tesco Supermarket
Pedestrians and Cyclists commuting in and out of the city via the ChEmRoute south coast route.
Pedestrians and Cyclists following Salterns Way towards Birdham.
Cars and possibly cycles rat running between the Funtington road and the A27
Families with prams and mobility scooter users.
And last but not least everyone leaving or joining the southern end of Centurion Way
I recommend that a “Cycle audit and review” should be conducted as outlined in section 1.7 of the DfT Cycle infrastructure design guidelines (LTN 2/08) (page 15). These DfT guidelines highlight that campaign groups “can be very helpful in providing specialist expertise” and the Chichester Cycle Forum members would be very happy to be involved.
Many thanks to all members of the planning committee for hearing my heartfelt concerns over this planning application,
Audio of the planning committee meeting that approved this section of southern access spine road is available
The following planning application contains details of junctions on the development spine road. CC/20/01046/REM – Case Officer: Steve Harris. 50 dwellings with associated parking, landscaping, informal open space and associated works (Phase 5, Parcel F, permission 14/04301/OUT).
A typical junction from this plan is shown in the image clipped from document CB_70_068_P5_F_000 (SITE LOCATION PLAN) is shown below.
Developers have proposed that the pavement shown to the north east side of the spine road could be designated as a shared use path carrying both pedestrians and two way cycle traffic.
Proposed Junctions do not Pass DfT Recommended Visibility Splay Analysis
9.1 Visibility criteria at junctions and crossings
9.1.1 Where a cycle track meets a road, visibility splays are required to ensure cyclists can see and be seen by approaching motorists. Splays are defined by their X and Y distances.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
9.1.2 MfS normally recommends an X distance (of 2.4 metres) which allows one car driver at a time to check along the main alignment before exiting the minor arm.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
9.1.3 The circumstances are different at a cycle track junction–for one thing, the speeds involved are lower. In this case, longer X distances are preferred, as they can reduce cycling effort and may enhance safety. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
22 metres is appropriate for Y as the DfT recommend a 20 mph Cycle-way Design Speed for routes intended predominantly for utility cycling. Cyclists commuting towards Chichester Station travelling South East, will be running on a significant down hill incline and will easily be able to achieve 20 mph.
DfT Manual for Streets page 93 gives an examples of Splay Analysis and an appropriate example is shown in the image below.
Chichester Cycle Forum visibility splay analysis of the proposed development plans highlight road safety issues. Images of analysis shown below.
Developers have Submitted Splay Analysis that Ignores Visibility of Cyclists
An example of the developers junction splay analysis can be seen by viewing document PRIMARY_ACCESS_ROAD_VISIBILITY_SPLAY_ANALYSIS_SHEET_4_OF_4__A1 that is part of planning application 18/01587/REM
A section of this drawing is shown below.
Notice that the splay lines do not include the cycleway that motorists will need to see clearly in order to give way to cyclists who are intended to have priority.
Part of the drawing key is shown below
Although it is usual to analyse viability splays that align with the main axis carriageway kerb, this will clearly not be appropriate in this case because cycle traffic has been diverted onto the pavement and motor vehicles are intended to give way to the cyclists at the side road junctions. It will not be possible for motor vehicles to give priority to cyclists unless it is made possible; for the cyclists to be within the drivers visibility spay.
7.7.3 The Y distance represents the distance that a driver who is about to exit from the minor arm can see to his left and right along the main alignment. For simplicity it is measured along the nearside kerb line of the main arm, although vehicles will normally be travelling a distance from the kerb line. The measurement is taken from the point where this line intersects the centreline of the minor arm (unless, as above, there is a splitter island in the minor arm).
1.3.2 The road network is the most basic (and important) cycling facility available , and the preferred way of providing for cyclists is to create conditions on the carriage way where cyclists are content to use it, particularly in urban areas. There is seldom the opportunity to provide an off carriage way route within the highway boundary that does not compromise pedestrian facilities or create potential hazards for cyclists, particularly at side roads. Measures that reduce the volume or speed of motor traffic benefit other road users by making the roads safer and more pleasant for them to use. New build situations provide good opportunities for creating attractive high quality infrastructure for cyclists, either in the form of quieter roads or direct cycle routes away from motor traffic.
9.1.1 Where a cycle track meets a road, visibility splays are required to ensure cyclists can see and be seen by approaching motorists.
Clearly it is vital for everyone safety that there is adequate visibility provided at side road junctions so that cars do not pull out in front of the cyclists who have right of way.
Visibility Compliance Relies on Miniature Front Garden Architecture
It is also of concern that developers splay analysis states compliance with DfT visibility criteria will rely on peoples front gardens having fencing, shrubs and hedges that must remain under 600mm (24 inches) in height.
Landscaping & any External Works Fencing (i.e. Picket Fencing within property curtilage) to be kept below 600mm in height where located within visibility splays.
A brief survey around the Chichester area should quickly confirm that most residents choose taller planting and landscaping in their front gardens. Very few popular hedges or shrubs will be happy to be pruned down to 600mm (24 inches) in height!
The Cycleway Width will be Constrained at Junctions.
At the mouth of the junctions is a traffic calming feature. Its start and finish has inclines leading to a level “table” section in its middle part. Because the level “table” section is offset from the pathway, cyclists will have to hug the side of the pavement furthest from the kerb when transitioning onto the table to cross the side roads. It is presumed the transition between pavement and the inclined sections of the traffic calming will not be flush. This issue is illustrated in the image below..
The cycleway width is shown to be severely restricted at junction by uneven kerb area
Minimum Path Width Should be 3.45 Metres because Path is Bounded by Shrubs, Hedges and a Kerb
On page 42 it gives the following guidance on path widths for off-road cycleways.
8.5 Width requirements
8.5.1 The minimum widths given in this section relate to what is physically required for the convenient passage of a small number of users. They do not take into account the need for increased width to accommodate larger user flows. Wherever it is possible, widths larger than the minimum should be used. Practitioners should not regard minimum widths as design targets.
On page 43 the guidance on path widths continues.
8.5.3 Where there is no segregation between pedestrians and cyclists, a route width of 3 metres should generally be regarded as the minimum acceptable, although in areas with few cyclists or pedestrians a narrower route might suffice. In all cases where a cycle track or foot way is bounded by a vertical feature such as a wall, railings or kerb, an additional allowance should be made, as the very edge of the path cannot be used. Table 8.2 provides the recommended width additions for various vertical features.
The shrubs and hedges that border the path at the junction are vertical features and should be taken into account as requiring additional path width. The same apples to the up stand kerb. The DfT guidelines suggest a minimum path width of 3.45 meters, whereas the usable width shown on the plans narrows to only two metres wide at side junctions (approximately).
Pedestrians have Insufficient Visibility of Oncoming Cyclists
Siting Properties with Shrubs and Hedges Immediately Bordering Cycleway Path Boundary gives Pedestrians Insufficient Visibility of Oncoming Cyclists. This issue is compounded by cyclists having to swerve into the mouth of side junctions to cross the traffic calming table. It is important to remember many footpath users may not be tall enough to sight approaching cycles over the tops of shrubs and hedges. The issue is illustrated in the graphic below.
Visibility of Home Owners Emerging from Houses and Junctions Appears Inadequate for DfT Recommended 20 mph Cycle-way Design Speed
8.2.1 On commuter routes, cyclists usually want to be able to travel at speeds of between 12mph and 20mph, preferably without having to lose momentum. Frequent road crossings, tight corner radii, the presence of other users and restricted width or forward visibility all affect the speed with which cyclists can travel and the effort required. Cyclists tend not to favour cycle routes that frequently require them to adjust their speed or stop.
8.2.2 A design speed of 20mph is preferred for off-road routes intended predominantly for utility cycling. This provides a margin of safety for most cyclists. The average speed of cyclists on a level surface is around 12mph.
It may be practical for a property entrance to be on a pavement but is it really a realistic proposal to have a property entrance on a cycleway with a design speed of 20mph? As discusses earlier, the cycles will often have to ride away from the kerbside and closes to house entrances to have a continuous flush surface for the wheels to run on. Chichester Cycle Forum members feel this arrangement may make both homeowners and cyclists feel uncomfortable.
Lamp Posts will be set in the middle of the Cycle-Way
18/01587/REM document MLR/E4517/058 STREET LIGHTING LAYOUT SHEET 4 OF 4 (A1) shows a street light layout and a diagram of how the lampposts will be positioned almost in the centre of the cycleway, less than 2 meters from the curb. The lamp-post positioning positioning diagram from the drawing is shown below.
2.2.1 At low speeds, cyclists are prone to wobble and deviate from a straight line. For most cyclists, a speed of 7 mph (11km/h) or more is required to ride comfortably in a straight line without a conscious effort to maintain balance. Above 7mph, the amount of deviation, i.e. the additional width needed when moving, is 0.2 metres. Below this, deviation increases–at 3mph deviation is typically 0.8 metres (seeFigure2.1). Hazards such as uneven gully gratings may cause cyclists to deviate from their chosen line. Additional width for cyclists is recommended where such hazards exist. 2.2.2 For simplicity, the dynamic width (actual width plus deviation) of a cyclist on the road may be taken as 1 metre.
2.3 Critical distances to fixed objects
2.3.1 The following minimum clearances (Table2.1) are recommended and should be increased where possible. They are measured between the wheel and the object
The Chichester Cycle Forum interpret this as a single cycle requires 1 meter “wobble room” and an additional 750 mm clearance on one side to pass a lamp-post, plus an additional 250 mm clearance on the other side from the kerb edge.
This indicates that according to the DfT guidelines, there will not be enough clearance for cyclists to ride along the cycleway even in a single direction or without sharing the space with pedestrians. There will not be enough room either side of the lamp-posts for them to safely ride on the pavement.
An illustration of the proposed lamp-post position in the cycleway is illustrated below.
Chicycle intend holding monthly community bicycle rides along the cycle route between Emsworth and Chichester. This is hoped to raise the profile of our campaign for safe cycling provision along the A259.
Please join us for a bike ride this February on the Sunday of the 23rd. We will be meeting at 1.45pm at Fishbourne Palace Car Park. Ride will start at 2.00pm and go to Bosham as before.
All dates for this years additional ChEmRoute rides are listed below.
Rob and Martine Walters are the driving force behind Cycall in Worthing.
Cycall provide adapted cycles for disabled adults and children or anyone with a health issue which prevents them from accessing cycling. They have a track at Brooklands Park which runs for a third of a mile and they often provide rides along Worthing sea front.
On Saturday 25th Jan 2020 Bill and Sarah Sharp and Mark Record met up with Rob to explore the potential for inclusive cycling in Chichester.
We cycled from Chichester to West Dean on Centurion Way and found that despite there being bollards at Lavant, there is a way of unlocking an alternative route suitable for trikes and wider pedal powered vehicles.
Rob seemed impresses with the good surface and enjoyable ride that is provided by Centurion Way. The biggest problem appears to be negotiating the steps at the West Dean end of the path. We will contact local land owners to ask if it is possible to have a key that will allow an alternative route for path users who cannot easily use the steps.
If you know anyone who would like to get involved with inclusive cycling in Worthing, drop Martine Walters a line.