Open Letter to Highways England regarding the Chichester to Emsworth Cycle-way

Dear Highways England A27 designated funds team,

ChiCycle are delighted that funds and planning efforts are being invested into walking and cycling infrastructure between Chichester and Emsworth.

However, we are reluctant to support the designs within the feasibility study because they involve relocating cyclists onto the pavement in built up areas. This will result in a significant reduction in provision for both cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Please find  a detailed list of our concerns, observations and recommendations at the end of this correspondence, that we hope will be considered during the further development of this scheme.

ChiCycle would welcome an assurance from you, that plans to put fast two way cycle traffic onto the pavement, in built up areas, with the cycle-way running on a single side of the road, will be thoroughly reconsidered.

Please let us know how you intend to review and revise the existing designs.  Ideally we would like a statement that you are happy for us to share by publishing on our website.

Thank you in advance for sharing your intentions,

Mark Record (on behalf of ChiCycle)


ChiCycle Concerns, Observations and Recommendations regarding the Highways England Designated Funds A27 Link Improvement Package Feasibility Study Plans

30 kph Commuter/Utility Cycle Traffic on Shared Use Pavements will Threaten Vulnerable Residents

 DMRB CD195 Designing for cycle traffic (page 17) recommends a cycle-way design speed of 30 kph. It indicates an absolute minimum design speed of 20 kph. However, the standards states this minimum speed can only be applied over a short distance:

E/3.17 Absolute minimum values for cycle track design speed shall only be used for distances up to 100 metres.
E/3.17.1 Where absolute minimum design speed values are used for cycle tracks, ‘SLOW’ markings should be included.

30 kph will be an intimidating speed of traffic  for vulnerable residents sharing the pavement. Parents may be discouraged from walking young children to school, choosing to make these journey by car instead. This may force a car-dependent lifestyle on the very youngest members of our community. Frail elderly residents may also lose the confidence to go shopping locally when fast moving cycles are relocated onto the pavement. This could prevent elderly people living independently. People with sensory impairment may feel particularly at risk.

DfT LTN 1/12 Shared Use Routes for Pedestrians and Cyclists (page 6) discusses  related issues:

The Equality Act
1.13 Shared use schemes are often implemented to improve conditions for cyclists, but it is essential that they are designed to take into account the needs of everyone expected to use the facility. Poorly designed schemes, and schemes where the available width is insufficient to comfortably accommodate the expected flows of pedestrians and cyclists, are likely to reduce the amenity value of the route.
1.14 Disabled people and older people can be particularly affected by shared use routes. Ultimately, however, it will depend on the quality of the design. Consideration of their various needs is an important part of the design of shared use, and the duties under the Equality Act 2010 are particularly relevant.

ChiCycle are concerned that removing existing cycle lanes from the carriageway  and re-locating fast cycle traffic onto existing pavements will represent a significant reduction in the quality of provision for both pedestrians and cyclists alike.

Our recommendation is to preserve the existing pavements/footways for pedestrian use only.

Feasibility Study Incorrectly Relies on CD195 Specifications for Shared Use Pavements/Foot-ways

Feasibility Study 5.1.4.  (Page 65) States:

To determine the required widths of proposed cycle infrastructure, based upon peak hour cycle flow, reference has been made to Table E/3.1 of the Highways England guidance. Table E/3.1 has been re-produced below in Figure 5-3.

However,  DMRB CD195 Designing for cycle traffic does not contain any specification for shared use pavements/footways!

The Introduction of CD195 makes the following statement:

This document refers to the provision for cycle traffic only which allows for a higher design speed when separated from pedestrian and equestrian traffic.

Chapter 1 of CD195 clarifies that the scope of the document excludes shared use paths.

1. Scope (Aspects covered)
1.1 This document shall be used for the design of routes and assets used by cycle traffic.
NOTE This document does not cover the design of shared use facilities for pedestrians, equestrians and cyclists.

ChiCycle observe that CD195 recommendations have been inappropriately applied and therefore falsely indicate a shared use pavement might be an appropriate solution in built up areas. This mistake casts doubts over the conclusions of the entire study. We recommend the proposal of reallocating pavement space for shared use is reconsidered.

Side Road Junctions do not follow CD195 Standard

DMRB CD195 Designing for cycle traffic (page 27) identifies only two methods where a cycle track can cross a side road while maintaining priority.

E/4.7 Cycle tracks which intersect the minor road at priority junctions shall cross the minor road in one of two ways – either bent-out or bent-in crossings.

The “bent in” method is not appropriate for use with two way cycle tracks.

E/4.16 Cycle tracks at bent-in crossings shall be one-way.

ChiCycle doubt there is adequate space in the built the up areas to “bent out” the cycle track by a minimum of 5 metres at all access roads and minor junctions .

E/4.15 At bent-out crossings, where cycle tracks cross minor private access roads carrying less than 2000 AADT, there shall be a minimum set-back distance of 5 metres.

ChiCycle recommend stepped cycle tracks as a more appropriate solution. CD195 indicates stepped cycle tracks are acceptable as long as a speed limit of no more than 30 Mph is applied where they are employed.

Table shows a stepped cycle track is a suitable solution even with the high 15697 AADT traffic flow of the A259.

LCDS Recommends Against Running Two-Way Cycle Tracks Across the Mouths of Side Road Junctions

LCDS Ch5 Junctions and crossings (Page 25 – Priority junctions) gives design advice on side road junctions for two way cycle tracks that is similar to that given in CD195.

For two-way tracks crossing two-way side roads, ‘bending-out’ by 5 metres is the recommended option. Where island separation is wide, this can be achieved with little or no deviation of the cycle track. Continuing a two-way track through a priority junction without deviation is possible, but brings with it various risks, related to the visibility of cyclists to turning motorised traffic. It is not recommended unless traffic speeds and volumes are very low and other measures can be put in place to enhance visibility of cyclists – even then, it should be subject to a site- specific risk assessment. Closing side streets to motorised traffic is likely to be the only reliable way of dealing with these risks.

LCDS recommend that if a two way cycle track can not be “bent out” at junctions the only reliable way of making the arrangement safe is to close the side streets to motorised traffic!

The Feasibility Study may have considered the use of two way cycle tracks parallel to the road due to the misconception that this arrangement requires the least highway space to accommodate it. However CD195 and LCDS both include bending out the cycleway by 5 metres where cycle tracks cross minor roads or access-ways. ChiCycle consider the proposed two-way cycle track an inefficient use of available space due to the requirement of bending out the cycle way at each junction/access-way.

For these reasons ChiCycle recommend that in built up areas, either stepped cycle tracks should be provided on both sides of the road or alternatively traffic volumes and speeds should be reduced to levels where cyclists can safely share the carriageway with motorists.

Proposed Plans Require Properties Adjacent to the Cycle Track to Limit Boundary Heights to 600mm for Visibility Splay Compliance

DfT LTN 02/08 Section 9.1 (page 53) explains visibility requirements at junctions and crossings of cycle tracks. It states:

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, and Figure 9.1 shows the
basic layout. Figure 7.18 in the Manual for Streets (DfT/CLG, 2007) (MfS) shows how splays are measured on curved alignments.

Boundaries of properties immediately adjacent to the cycle track will need to be free from visual obstructions. This is so motor-vehicles at junctions or vehicles emerging from driveways can see and give way to cyclists before pulling out into approaching cycle traffic. A 31 metre SSD is recommended for 30 kph design speed cycle tracks which will be the Y distance a motorist would need to see oncoming cyclists in advance of pulling out across the cycle way. Maintaining adequate visibility will require boundary planting, fencing and walls on private properties, being brought down and maintained at below the DfT recommended height of 600mm.

ChiCycle are concerned residents may be reluctant to comply with requests to modify their front gardens and that future policing of these visibility requirement may prove difficult to enforce.

All Current UK Highway Standards Recommend Against Converting Pavements to Shared Use for Two-Way Long Distance Commuter/Utility Cycle Routes running through Built Up Areas

LCDS Ch4 Cycle lanes and tracks (Page 79) –  makes the following statement about shared use footways:

4.6.3 – Partially separated and shared use footways are not generally recommended alongside the carriageway where there are better ways of providing for cyclists. They suffer from many of the drawbacks outlined for equivalent off-road facilities in section 4.5 above, with regard to compliance, compromising pedestrian comfort and deterring use by many people who find sharing with cyclists intimidating, including people with mobility or visual impairments. They also represent a low level of service for cyclists.

DfT LTN 02/08 (page 10) Table 1.2 Outlines a hierarchy of provision intended to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable road users are fully considered in all highway schemes.

hierarchy-of-provision
hierarchy-of-provision from LTN02/08

DfT LTN 1/12 Shared Use Routes for Pedestrians and Cyclists (page 22) explores some of the disadvantages of relocating two way cycle traffic onto a shared pavement/footway.

6.12 A common reason for taking cyclists off the carriageway is the perception that it will improve safety. However, it is important to understand that a shared use route will not necessarily be safer than an on-carriageway alternative. In particular, careful consideration is needed where a cycle track running alongside a road crosses side a road – see Figure 6.1. At these locations, there is significant potential for conflict, which can sometimes negate the safety benefits of segregating cyclists from motor vehicles. Section 10.3 of LTN 2/08 discusses this in greater detail.
6.13 Where cycle tracks alongside roads accommodate two-way flow, the potential for conflict can increase significantly. It is probable that drivers are less likely to expect cyclists to come from both directions because, intuitively, they might assume cyclists would be travelling in the same directions as traffic in the adjacent part of the carriageway – see Figures 6.1 and 6.2.

The now obsolete Sustrans Design Manual Handbook for cycle-friendly design
April 2014, Chapter 4 – Streets and roads (page 14) explains the manuals philosophy towards reallocation of road space:

Reallocation of road space. A fundamental aspect of the provision of cycling facilities is the reallocation of carriageway from motor vehicles to cycling. This can be seen in the majority of figures within this document. The provision of cycle tracks in urban areas at the expense of the footway is not encouraged (it tends to be unpopular with pedestrians and cyclists)

Routeing the South Coast National Cycleway along pavements, through built up areas, will prove counter productive to road safety. Motorists often show aggression  towards cyclists who choose not to use poor quality cycle provision. This aggression is frequently accompanied by dangerous driving endangering cyclists. West Sussex already contains many examples of unsuitable cycle schemes that cyclists normally bypass by riding in the roadway.

If national cycle design standards are ignored, the Designated Funds A27 Link Improvement Package risks becoming a waste of public money. It may then produce unusable and useless infrastructure that the community do not want to see constructed.

ChiCycle advise that the A27 Designated Funds should only be spent on high quality, national standards compliant (preferably CD195) infrastructure. This will enable the uptake of safe, convenient and confident cycling along the South Coast National Cycle-route.

Plans Confuse Actual Widths Measured between Vertical Features with Recommended Usable Effective Widths Prescribed by National Cycle Standards

ChiCycle have surveyed sections of the A259 pavement and concluded that there has been a misinterpretation of national cycle design guidelines regarding usable track widths. Widths shown in the Feasibility Study appear not to make allowance for the vertical features adjacent to the path such as boundary walls and hedges.

As already discussed  DMRB CD195 Designing for cycle traffic does not contain any specification for shared use pavements/footways. However, even if pedestrians could be removed from the pavement to make way for a dedicated cycle-way, then the standards for track widths have still been misapplied.

DMRB CD195 Designing for cycle traffic (page 12) states:

E/3.2 Additional width shall be added to cycle tracks to make allowance for fixed objects adjacent to or within the cycle track in accordance with Table E/3.2.

E/3.2 Additional width
E/3.2 Additional widths
E/3.2 Additional width diagram
E/3.2 Additional width diagram

DfT LTN 02/08 (page 43) Table 8.2 Additional width required for footways and cycle tracks gives similar guidance:

Although DfT LTN 1/12 Shared Use Routes for Pedestrians and Cyclists indicates a shared pavement is an inappropriate solution for carrying the National South Coast Cycle Route, it is the current specification to follow for designing shared use paths in situations where shared use is advisable. It gives the following specifications in LTN 1/12 Table 7.5 & 7.5 (Page 43 – 44):

ChiCycle are unable to replicate LCDS Cycle Level of Service (CLoS) analysis figures shown in Feasibility Study report

Details of the studies LCDS CLoS scoring for existing infrastructure was given in Appendix A, but the report omits detailed scoring analysis of Option-1 and Option-2. ChiCycle performed their own CLoS analysis for  link number 4 for Option-1 (Southbourne to Farm Lane) but have been unable to replicate similar score to that reported in the feasibility study.

The Feasibility Study awards Option-1 link number 4, an extremely high CLoS score of 85%. Several legitimate concerns resulted in the existing infrastructure on the same section, being awarded a low score of only 24%. There are a number of scoring issues we are unable to follow:

    • The existing traffic arrangement is marked as a critical fail due to “Heavy streams of turning traffic cut across main cycling stream”. However, it is not clear how moving cyclists onto the pavement will resolved this issue.
    • Another critical fail identified in the existing arrangement is “Cycle Lanes <1.5m alongside parking loading with no buffer. This raises the issue of conflict with “Kerbside activity or risk of collision with door”. Because CD195 requires two way cycle tracks to be divided into opposing direction lanes, Option-1 presumably will have a lane less than 1.5 meters wide, adjacent to the kerb where “collision with door” are to be expected. It is also difficult to see how a cyclists riding on a pavement might be isolated from kerb side activity?
    • Option-1 fails to provide the convenience or directness of a route absent from frequent road crossing or free from obstruction from other road users, so it is difficult to understand how a CLoS scoring of 85% has been calculated. DfT LTN 02/08 states that:

      8.2.1 On commuter routes, cyclists usually want to be able to travel at speeds of between 12 mph and 20 mph, 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.

ChiCycle recommend future CLoS assessments are conducted with input from the community of cycle users in the area. A full cycle audit and review should also be conducted with the input of local cycling groups following the recommendations of  DfT LTN 02/08 1.7 (page 15).

Scope of the Cycle-way Improvement Scheme may be too Narrow and Ignores Wider Aspects of Town Planning.

There are a significant number of housing developments under construction in the South East of England with significant pressure from National Government to build even more. Fishbourne, Nutbourne, Bosham and Southbourne are small village high streets that could become appealing local centres. However for the street scene of these villages to remain appealing as local centres, something needs to be done about the increasing volume of traffic travelling on the A259.

The expansion of housing will bring an associated rise in local population. This seems likely to increase motor vehicle use still further unless steps are taken to mitigate against it. With the A259 being the main conduit for local traffic between Chichester and Emsworth it is difficult to imagine the small villages retaining an appealing sense of place with increasing traffic flow along the A259. Perhaps solving this problem requires stepping back from the narrow details of cycle track specification and considering wider issues from the alternative perspective of town planning.

ChiCycle have the following town planning recommendations for the A259 corridor between Chichester and Emsworth.

  1. Provide employment, shops, schools and other local amenities to reduce the need for motor vehicle journeys.
  2. Improve the convenience of public transport by providing more train stations, more frequent trains or a parallel tram service. This will provide viable alternatives to journeys by car.
  3. Expand and improve the cycle network in the region to provide further alternatives to motor vehicle dependency.
  4. Provide local roads with new access connections onto the A27 to relieve village centres from heavy traffic. If there must be an increase in motor vehicle use then infrastructure will be needed to divert this traffic away from the National South Coast Cycle Route and the villages/communities it connects together.
  5. If it is not possible to reduce traffic volumes on the A259, an alternative, direct and high quality cycle route should be constructed parallel to the railway line.

Conclusion

The transport sector is now the UK’s greatest contributor of CO2 emissions. It is generally accepted that unless global CO2 emissions are halted by 2030, there will be a bleak future for humanity. ChiCycle also believe getting around by bike is more health and fun than a sedentary lifestyle with hours spent stuck inside stuffy motor-vehicles. Considering the urgency of Climate Crisis, ChiCycle hope the Designated Funds A27 Link Improvement Package plans can be reconsidered to include something more aspirational and appealing than cyclists riding on existing pavements. At this time of Climate Crisis it is vital we move away from unsustainable motor vehicle dependency and embrace sustainable modes of transport.

I hope this provides a constructive input to the Designated Funds A27 Link Improvement Package scheme,

Mark Record (on behalf of ChiCycle)

A copy of this email has now been sent to (Simon Elliott Programme Manager Regional Investment Programme South East Highways England)

 

 

Cycling Without Age and BrightRide

A new Chichester community cycling website https://www.brightride.org.uk/  has appeared and their objectives overlap with many similar aims held by ChiCycle. We are excited about working with them but remain slightly jealous because their website looks considerably more professional than ours.

Richard Turnbull has politely contacted us for support with the BrightRide Cycling Without Age Project and we are really pleased to hear that someone is working towards such a wonderful idea for inclusive cycling.

The project is to make a community trishaw available, and to organise volunteer pilots take elderly and isolated members of the community out for bike rides to get fresh air.

Age no limit to fresh air

Anyone who supports this project idea might wish to pledge towards their spacehive community fund.

You can also volunteer to do some of the pedalling on this link

We have included a page in our menu bar about the project which is also shown below.

Chichester Cycling Without Age

Chichester to Emsworth Cycle Route (please share your opinions)

The Chichester District Cycle Forum made a freedom of information request to government to publish the National Highways fund feasibility study plans for the Chichester to Emsworth Cycle Route. As a result the document has been publicly released. A few sensitive commercial details have been blanked out from the report but all the information likely to be of interest to the community has been disclosed.

The full report is available on this link. It can also be reached from the www.gov.uk website by entering the following text into the search facility “Chichester to Emsworth cycle route”.

The plans show the existing cycle lanes will be removed from the roadway and cyclists travelling in both directions will be relocated onto one pavement that is also to be shared with pedestrians. According to the feasibility study plans, cyclists will no longer have priority where many side roads join the A259 and will have to stop and give way at many of these junctions (for safety).

Some ChiCycle members have had difficulty viewing the very large PDF format document so we are making some of the text and plans available in alternative formats. (available soon)

Please feel free to share your views on these plans but please be patient because it may take time for us to moderate your comments.

The ChiCycle team found it difficult to match the plans with the broader surrounding area so we hope this rough guide showing the approximate relationship with OS maps is a help.

Overview from Warblington to Southborne
Plans 1of10, 2of10, 3of10 cover Warblington to Southbourne. Pages 189 to 191 in feasibility study
Overview from Southborne to Bosham
Plans 4of10, 5of10, 6of10 cover Southborne to Bosham. Pages 192 to 194 in feasibility study
Bosham to Chichester
Plans 7of10, 8of10, 9of10 and 10of10 cover Bosham to Chichester. Pages 195 to 199 in feasibility study

Images of the plans taken from the feasibility study are available as follows

Plan 1of10 South of Emsworth is shown below but a higher resolution images is available here.

1of10
West of Emsworth plan 1of10

Plan 2of10 Emsworth, is shown below but a higher resolution images is available here.

Emsworth Plans 2 of 10
Route diverts into Emsworth town Centre Plan 20f10

Plan 3of10 between Emsworth and Southbourne is shown below but higher resolution image available here.

plan 3 of 10 between Emsworth and Southbourne
plan 3 of 10 between Emsworth and Southbourne

Plan 4of10 showing plans for Southbourne are shown below. A higher resolution image is available here.

plan 4of10 Nutborne
plan 4of10 Southbourne

Plan 5of10 showing plans in Nutborne  are shown below. A higher resolution image is available here.

Plan 5of10 showing plans between Nutborne and Bosham
Plan 5of10 showing plans between Nutborne

Plan 6of10 plan between Nutborne and Bosham shown below. Higher resolution image available here.

6 of 10 between Nutborne and Bosham
6 of 10 between Nutborne and Bosham

Plans for the area around the Bosham roundabout are shown below. Higher resolution images are available here.

Bosham roundabout plans
Bosham roundabout plans

Plans 8of10 between Bosham and Fishbourne are shown below. A higher resolution image is available here.

Between Bosham and Chichester
Plans Between Bosham and Chichester 8of10

Plans 9of10 through Fishbourne are shown below and a higher resolution image image is available here.

9of10 Fishbourne plans
9of10 Fishbourne plans

Plans 10of10 into Chichester are shown below and a higher resolution image is available here.

Plan 10of10 into Chichester
Plan 10of10 into Chichester

West of Chichester Spine Road Cycle Provision is being Significantly Downgraded!

ChiCycle recently raised safety issues over the West of Chichester Development’s proposed continuous cycle-way that was to run parallel with the Northern Spine Road. Our concerns appear to have initiated changes in planning.

Developers promised a continuous cycle-way with pedestrians and cyclists  having priority at crossings. Unfortunately the developers designs failed to meet DFT safety standards.

A new WSCC highways adoption agreement has solved some safety issues by removing the traffic priority for pedestrians and cyclists!

ChiCycle members have mixed feelings about this new planning decision! Cyclists will now have to stop at each of the many side road junctions. The cycle way will meet at least 9 side roads in only 650 metres of spine road. This is certainly not a viable continuous commuter cycle route people could use to ride to work. However, that is exactly what the developers had originally promised to provide.

Below is an annotated image from the latest WSCC highways adoption application 20/01311/DOC. It highlights that cyclists will not have priority! The splay lines would have to start approximately 4 meters further back into the mouth of junctions and include visibility for approaching cyclists, if motor vehicles on the side roads are expected to give way to cyclists. Original document available here.

New Priority at Spine Road Junctions
The clip above is from 20/01311/DOC – Discharge of planning conditions 2 (spine road pedestrian/cycle crossing facilities) and 6 (Country Park cycle parking) from Reserved Matters approval CC/18/01587/REM – Application Received  Fri 29 May 2020.

The previous and approved 18/01587/REM agreement had a different arrangement which is shown in the annotated image below. Original document available here.

The clip above is from plans agreed on wed 05 Dec 2018 – 18/01587/REM – Approval of reserved matters in respect of Appearance, Landscaping, Layout and Scale following outline planning permission CC/14/04301/OUT – Consent sought for Primary Road

The West of Chichester Strategic Housing Development Cycle Strategy for Phase 1 made the following promises…

Along the Primary Access Road,the northern pavement is designated as a shared cycle/pedestrian way of  three metres in width. To further improve its utility for cyclists (and pedestrians), the crossings will be raised tables for vehicles and at grade with the footway/cycleway and will provide priority for pedestrians and cyclists. These features follow the principles outlined in page 21 of the Sustrans Handbook for Cycle Friendly Design (2014) and section 3.5.3 of the London Cycling Design Standards.

However the developers plans for the cycleway bore no resemblance to their promised design principles

Neither Sustrans nor London Cycling Design Standards (LCDS) look anything like the developers proposed designs. Chapter 3-Section 3.5.3 (page 41) of the London Cycling Design Standards (LCDS) recommendation for a one way cycle-way with priority at side roads is shown below.

LCDS recommend that two way cycleways are not set across the mouths of junctions unless they are set back 5 meters from the main axis roadway. Chapter 3 of the standard guides road planners to Chapter 5 LCDS to find the details shown below in section 5.3.4 Segregated lanes and tracks at priority junctions (Page 25).

Following the LCDS guidelines for a two way cycleway parallel to the Northern Spine Road would require a solution as illustrated by ChiCycle shown below.

Northern spine plan modified to accept LCDS recommended layout for a two way cycleway

London Cycling Design Standards Chapter1 (Page 3) recommends against designs forcing cyclists to give way at side junctions

London Cycling Design Standards Chapter1 (Page 6) recommend against designs that force cyclists to share space with pedestrians at crossings.

Cyclists and pedestrians should not share the same space at crossings and junctions. Clearly-delineated separate and/or parallel routes should be provided for cyclists and pedestrians. Typical bad cycle design deals with junctions by making cyclists pretend to be pedestrians, bringing them on to the pavement and having them cross the road, often in several stages, on toucan crossings

Sustrans Handbook for Cycle Friendly Design Page 21 is titled “Cycle tracks alongside carriageway”. It includes the following guidance that WoC development has failed to follow despite promising to adhere to it’s principles.

Sustrans key design requirements for this type of cycle track: (Cycle forum comments in italics)

  • Crossing of side roads or busy private access set back 4m to 8m (CC/19/02819/REM plan crossings are not set back)
  • minimise number of side road crossings (a track alongside carriageway solution is a unsuitable for a spine road with frequent side road crossings)
  • cycle track continuity to avoid crossing and recrossing road (this is not achieved in the plans. The track is not continuous and will eventualy cross the spine road )
  • aim to provide cycle tracks on both sides of the road (this is not provided)
  • Min 0.5m margin separation from carriageway (there is zero separation distance from the carriageway in the plans)
Sustrans track alongside carriadgway
Sustrans track alongside carriageway

Response to the open letter from the Mayor – 2 June 2020

Dear Chichestor City Mayor Richard Plowman,

Sorry to say but your open letter from the Mayor – 2 June 2020 came across as negative towards cyclists and cycling. Of course it is a concern to everyone that accompanying this great renaissance in cycling there have been accidents and fatalities. However, to put these issues into context, the British Medical Journal reports an uptake in cycling generally tends to reduces rates of mortality when cyclists are compared to car-dependent control sample groups.

We are certain you have best interests for community safety at heart but opportunities for cycling can benefit the city in so many ways we feel they need to be broadcast more loudly. Criticism of people riding bicycles in a no-cycling area is clearly a legitimate subject but your open letter continued with numerous adverse comments about cycling and mentioned few supportive points to balance those remarks.

Here follow some of the comments we felt could be viewed negatively:

  • I heard recently of a gentleman who had not ridden a bicycle for many decades. He bought a brand-new one, set off down his drive, wobbled, crashed into the gate, fell off and broke his shoulder. Hardly a help to the NHS! (We expect this poor chap was intending to take up some fun heathy exercise following NICE guidelines and this was just a very unfortunate outcome. However if he remains inactive he may well develop chronic illness that would eventually make him a greater burden to the NHS).
  • The Government’s promotion of cycling is welcome, but there are consequences. (Yes, one consequence is air quality has enormously improved because of such a huge modal shift towards sustainable transport)
  • There are now many cyclists who are inexperienced. (Yes, this has been an ideal opportunity for people to gain experience while there has been less traffic. Hopefully we can provide safe cycleways so people can keep up these good habits of using active travel)
  • How many riders will stop cycling to work when the weather is cold, wet and miserable, especially when social distancing will mean few spaces at work for changing? (I cycle to work every day. If we maintain safe road space for people who want to ride a bike to work, we will have many people who continue to take the responsible choice of adopting sustainable modes of transport. Waterproof clothing technology has come on leaps and bounds since the 1950s but even back then, a little rain and snow didn’t stop my grandparents getting to work on a bicycle)
  • Children are often seen on two-wheelers that are too big for them. (Living next door to Centurion Way I see kids riding past all day. There are quite a few wobbly ones learning to balance in a safe environment but I can honestly say I have not recently seen a child riding an ill fitting bicycle. We feel this point is exaggerated)
  • Advice and training will be available soon to keep road users and pedestrians safe. (This implies that cyclists represent a significant threat to other road users and pedestrians. Training is a positive thing but there are so many unhelpful local cycle schemes that deliberately put cycles on the pavement in conflict with pedestrians. Local city planners could benefit most of all from re-training. Sending them on a cycle training course in the Netherlands is possibly the wisest investment the council could make. They might enjoy it and bing back some tasty Dutch cheese in return.)\
  • The City Council is heavily involved in this matter. (Indeed the following question was asked in the neighbourhood plan: Q12 Should there be more cycle lanes provided for new housing areas? 86.22% Yes (in two categories) only 8.45% Said No. There is clearly solid support for better cycling provision in the city!)

We are in a state of climate emergency and desperately need to decarbonise transportation in the City. We are in a state of climate emergency and desperately need to de-carbonise transportation in the City. Whilst electric cars produce less local pollution at the tail pipe than traditional cars, they demand huge amounts of energy to manufacture and run leaving them a long way short of being a sustainable technology.

In comparison to the carbon cost of any type of motor car, manufacture of a traditional steel framed bicycle generates only a minuscule fraction of CO2. Bicycles also tend to last far longer than a car making their manufacture an even better investment. Bicycles are powered by the kind of healthy exercise that is essential to maintain health and well-being.

A huge disadvantage with mass reliance on motor-vehicles is the vast and ever expanding expanses of brutal concrete and tarmac infrastructure needed to support the car is king culture. It would be much better if we could promote sustainable forms of active travel like cycling instead.

Constructive training and safety advice is something ChiCycle, Chichester District Cycle Forum and the Friends of Centurion Way would all be happy to become involved with. Local cyclists feel it will be more productive to encourage better road safety practice amongst cyclists than focus on demonising inappropriate behaviour. This evening as dusk fell, I did see some cyclists that would have been safer if they had lights. I am sometimes exasperated by the number of bicycles lacking a bell.  However there are so many positive aspects to people moving away from polluting, unsustainable,  car dependency, that we hope you can mention some supportive points about cycling and active travel in your future open letters from the Mayor.

Yours Sincerely

Mark Record (On behalf of ChiCycle)

Safety concerns over the West of Chichester development plans 20-01046-REM parcel 5F

ChiCycle have safety concerns over the West of Chichester development plans 20-01046-REM parcel 5F

Although we believe DfT minimum standards are not achieved for cyclists at any location on this development’s spine road, there are particular concerns over the new junctions presented in this application which have not been shown on previous plans. Not only is visibility of cyclists crossing side roads inadequate but it appears DfT visibility criteria for motor-vehicles are not achieved either.

Splay Analysis

Splay analysis shows whether road users have adequate visibility to proceed safely. Details can be found in section 7 of the DfT Manual for Streets.

Some problems arises because the mouths of junctions have geometry that differ from the previous planning agreement made under 18/01587/REM.

The junction shown below has the speed table set about a metre further back into the mouth of the junction than previously agreed.

The developers note that front garden planting will remain permanently below 600mm in height. ChiCycle campaigners feel it is unlikely this restriction could be successfully enforced. If any front garden plants grow taller there will be even greater visibility issues.

The junction analysis below is for a side road not previously shown on the agreed spine road plans 18/01587/REM.

If cars are intended to give way to cyclists, splay lines should start 2.4 meters from the edge of the path as is shown.

Assuming the front garden planting remains permanently lower than 600mm, the forward visibility of cyclists is less than 9 meters. DfT guidelines suggest this will only be safe if cycle speeds remain below 10 Mph. However, the DfT also state that commuter cyclists will want to continuously travel between 12 and 20 Mph.

The visibility of vehicles in the carriageway is shown to be only half that required for a junction onto a road with a 30 Mph restriction.

Another junction that was not included in the outline planning has even worse viability issues as can be seen in the analysis below.

DfT Visibility Criteria not met on Spine Road
DfT Visibility Criteria not met on Spine Road 20/01046/REM parcel 5F

Forward visibility of the carriageway from this junction gives a Y distance of only 15 metres. According to DfT this is only adequate if the traffic speed on the spine road is 15 Mph or below. Forward visibility of cyclists would only be satisfactory if their speeds remain below 10 Mph.

Cycle Routes Frequently Crossing Side Roads are Not Recommended

ChiCycle have noted the DfT advice given in Local Transport Note 1/12 (6.13) and cannot follow why it has been considered acceptable to route cyclists along a single pavement where recommendations state this solution is unsuitable if there are frequent side roads joining the carriageway:

Where cycle tracks alongside roads accommodate two-way flow, the potential for conflict can increase significantly. It is probable that drivers are less likely to expect cyclists to come from both directions because, intuitively, they might assume cyclists would be travelling in the same directions as traffic in the adjacent part of the carriageway – see Figures 6.1 and 6.2.

ChiCycle have also noted that both Local Transport Note 1/12 and Cycle infrastructure design (LTN 2/08) strongly recommend providing a cycleway in the carriageway rather than on pavements it this is at all feasible. The use of shared pavements is particularly discouraged where there are frequent side roads joining the carriageway.

DfT Manual For Streets (Page 71) states:

6.2.4
Cyclists are more likely to choose routes
that enable them to keep moving. Routes that take
cyclists away from their desire lines and require
them to concede priority to side-road traffic are
less likely to be used. Anecdotal evidence suggests
that cyclists using cycle tracks running adjacent
and parallel to a main road are particularly
vulnerable when they cross the mouths of side
roads and that, overall, these routes can be
more hazardous to cyclists than the equivalent
on-road route.

It is worth noting that the entire pavement along the Northern Spine Road fails to meet DfT minimum standards for shared paths as it is bound by vertical features such as the kerb that require additional width Cycle infrastructure design (LTN 2/08) section 8.5 and Local Transport Note 1/12 (7.28). In some places the effective width is only half of the recommended minimum which seems likely to endanger the safety all path users.

The scaled illustration below shows the issues associated with the cycleway width being restricted at side junctions and the cycleway swerving into the mouth of side road junctions.

pedestrian-conflict
Path of cyclists swerve into pedestrians at mouth of junction

Please contact your district or county councillors to bring these safety issues to their attention. It may also be worthwhile writing to the local press.

We are sure everyone reading this wants to ensure everyone in the Chichester area can enjoy Safe & Confident Cycling. Please help us campaign to make this a reality in new housing developments.

Mark Record

West of Chichester Plans Miss Opportunity for Walking and Cycling Permeability

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.

ChiCycle Recommendations 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 connections with Centurion Way which is itself well connected with adjacent streets

 

Additional notes

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.

Is This Well Connected?
Is This Well Connected?

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?

Incredible Planning Statements

ChiCycle’s Latest Project Is Out Of This World !

ChiCycle will be opening a far-sighted and self financed 6,783 mile cycle-route of unprecedented length and scope in early Spring 2021! We advise cyclists joining the route to bring earbuds and a portable listening devices loaded with suitable music. Our recommended playlist includes Claude Debussy’s-Clair De Lune, Beethoven’s-Moonlight Sonata, Billie Holiday-Blue Moon, Bing Crosby-Moonlight Becomes You, Frank Sinatra-Moon River, Ella Fitzgerald-How High The Moon, Astrud Gilberto-Fly me to the Moon, Van Morrison’s-Moondance, Moon Shadow by Mike Oldfield + Maggie Reilly & Cat Stevens, Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader & Thin Lizzy, Eclipse-Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Radiohead’s-A Moon Shaped Pool.

 Sarah's been thinking big!

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.

 

Do You Support Plans for Cyclists to Ride on Pavements?

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.

 Alternative ways to travel, such as walking and cycling, could relieve the pressure on public transport.

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.

higher standards for permanent infrastructure across England

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.

Oaklands Way pavement too narrow for shared path
Oaklands Way pavement too narrow for shared path

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.

Nutbourne Pavement
Nutbourne pavement is not suitable for cycling

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.

pedestrian-conflict
Path of cyclists swerve into pedestrians at mouth of junction

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 getintogear@chicycle.co.uk

Enjoy safe and confident cycling,

Mark Record

The West of Chichester Development Southern Access Spine Road Design Must Follow West Sussex County Council and DfT Guidelines for Cycling and Walking

The West of Chichester Development planning application 19/02584/REM contains plans for an approximately 150 metre stretch of the Southern Access road.
Section of 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.

The DfT Manual for Streets (2007) (page 25) recommends…

“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.

The DfT Cycle infrastructure design ( (page 10 LTN 2/08) recommends against running cycles along the pavement.

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.

Stepped Cycleway

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,

Mark Record

Audio of the planning committee meeting that approved this section of southern access spine road is available