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ChEmRoute Goes Dutch

In parallel to Chichester District Council (CDC), West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and Highways England (HE) announcing plans to remove cycle lanes from the A259 between Chichester to Emsworth to make bikes ride on the pavement, the Department for Transport (DfT) has introduced giudlines and policies that require higher standards of walking and cycling provision.

On the 27 July 2020 DfT published their policy paper for cycling and walking plan for England which sets out a vision for a travel revolution in England’s streets, towns and communities. It is also known as the Gear change: a bold vision for cycling and walking document. This documents states that only walking and cycling projects meeting DfT standards will receive funding!

Also published by the DfT on 27 July 2020 is Cycle infrastructure design (LTN 1/20), Guidance for local authorities on designing high-quality, safe cycle infrastructure. This is a rather lengthy but comprehensive PDF document, 15.9MB, 188 pages. Importantly it emphasises that cycleways should not be run on urban pavements.

Gear change: a bold vision for cycling and walking has announced that the DfT want to:

We will choose up to 12 willing local authority areas, to benefit from intensive investment in mini-Holland schemes.

ChEmRoute Goes Dutch working group is making its first zoom meeting on Tues 11th August. The intention is to work up some bold, aspirational and exciting concepts worthy of making ChEmRoute into one of the 12 DfT Mini Holland beacon schemes.

Please watch this space to find out what ideas and solutions we will bring forward as a vision for walking and cycling through the Harbour Villages.

Some notes for the meeting are available here ChEmRouteOptionNotes

3 thoughts on “ChEmRoute Goes Dutch”

  1. Highways England will not consider new accesses to / from the A27 for any site fewer than 10,000 units, so the idea of 3 or 4 additional junctions on the A27 is a non-starter. Modelling of new development along the A259 doesn’t generate enough traffic to justify a new A27 junction, so new ones on the basis of turning A259 into a quiet street certainly won’t be given time of day.
    Also the A259 has to operate as a relief for the A27 when it is shut or restricted for maintenance (notwithstanding also as an alternative if an accident has affected the A27) so needs to remain ‘man enough’ to carry A27 flows in a planned or unplanned A27 closure.
    LTN1/20 still allows unsegregated shared use where pedestrian footfall is less than 300/hour and so consistently widening the existing footway to 3m along the north side of the carriageway may be the most realistic solution.

    1. Thanks for your input Steve,
      LTN1/20 allows unsegregated shared use in appropriate situations but shared use is self evidently unsuitable for a fast commuter route through built up areas (such as Southbourne, Nutbourne, Hermitage & Fishbourne). LTN1/20 makes it abundantly clear shared use is inappropriate for a number or reasons (design speed, convenience, directness, equality for other pavement users, being realistic about cyclists wanting to make adequate progress e.t.c) but particularly because of safety issues with splay visibility at junctions and driveways. For these reason a shared use path cannot meet LTN1/20. There is also inadequate width for a shared use path in many of the narrow sections!
      Unfortunately neither is there room for segregated cycle-ways, so it is is unavoidable that cycles will have to share the same space as motor vehicle traffic unless an alternative route is found for cyclists. Sadly there is no realistic clear route for an alternative cycle-way so what to do?
      Expanding rates of housing development are pushing up traffic levels to way beyond what is acceptable for cyclists to share space with motor-vehicles. Intense traffic volumes are also highly undesirable driving through small historic towns and villages. Finding alternative routes for motor traffic appears the only realistic option.
      The A259 is not suitable for carrying additional traffic especially since it is supposed to be a cycle route, so the local authorities have a choice, either to provide realistic transport infrastructure to resolve these issues, or admit they are abandoning national government policies on walking and cycling.
      There are a great many junctions onto the A27 serving far less than 10,000 (units -presumably homes). This would equate to a population size of 24,000 people assuming the average rate of national home occupancy. Therefore the HE statement is not all that credible and cannot really be taken too seriously. Essentially they are saying they would only consider providing one single new junction for a development the size of the whole of Chichester city and then only if the entire development was being built in one go!
      Boxgrove has it’s own Junction which seems ample evidence that communities far far smaller than 24,000 are considered suitable for local access connections onto the A27.
      It is also unclear why the A259 must remain a relief road for the A27? There are plenty of similar A roads without a parallel relief road (such as the A3 at Butser Hill). There are two carriageways on the A27 so contraflow seems a reasonable solution if there is a blockage or roadworks.
      Handling accident situations on the A27 seems a good argument for additional junctions on an unusual long length of road without alternative means of emergency access.
      A few extra roundabouts like at Boxgrove might help relieve Chichester from being a bottleneck, saving the unjustifiable expense and environmental destruction of a Northern bypass.

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