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Cycle Lanes Threatened With Removal & Faulty Counters are Likely to Blame

It is believed that Chichester’s Pop up scheme is imminently threatened with removal over claims it that it is infrequently used by cyclists.

Meridian news recently ran a story titled “Cycle lanes: more harm than good? West Sussex scheme could be removed
WSCC Spokesperson

However, ChiCycle have run tests on the West Sussex County Council cycle counters and found they do not correctly measure the number of cyclists using the scheme!

It is a concern to ChiCycle that a significant amount of money has been spent on equipment that was supposed to monitor the use of this cycleway but it is failing to do its job. The falsely low count of cycle use is likely to be used to justify removal of the scheme.

On Thursday 05 October 2020 Mark Record invited Bill and Sarah Sharp to test the Eastbound Oaklands way Cycle counter. They took it in turns to cycle past the sensor. From 7:30:00pm to 7:35:00pm they made 17 passes of the counter riding on the left half of the cycle lane. From 7:35:00 to 7:40:10 they made 18 passes of the counter on the right hand half of the cycle lane.

With a total of 35 passes of cycles past the WSCC counter, zero cycles were counted!!!

These were not carbon race cycles that might be difficult for inductive sensors to pick up. Sarah was riding her Brompton, Bill was riding his Moulton and Mark was riding his Raleigh Chiltern. These are all steel framed bicycles that should be easy for inductive sensors to detect.

This raises some serious questions about the validity of the data from these sensors. It seems that a lot of money has been wasted on a useless system. We believe the company providing the sensors should reimburse the council for any taxpayers money spent because the system does not provide the data it was intended to provide.

Data recorded from the sensors is shown below

Site Number 00000086 Site Reference A0286100L01 Grid Ref 486230,105298 CHICHESTER, A286, OAKLANDS WAY, EAST OF BUS STOP Vehicle Count Report Week Begin: 05 October 2020 Channel: Eastbound Cycles
8th October 2020
19:00 – zero counts
19:05 – zero counts
19:10 – zero counts
19:15 – zero counts
19:20 – zero counts
19:25 – zero counts
19:30 – zero counts
19:35 – zero counts
19:40 – zero counts
19:45 – zero counts
19:50 – zero counts
19:55 – zero counts

The issue is not related to a GMT BST mismatch as the previous hour from 6pm to 7pm has only one single count. ChiCycle believe it is unlikely the recorded counts bear any relationship at all to the number of cyclists passing.

The traffic data can be accessed by applying for a user name from the following WSCC link

https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/traffic-management/traffic-counts/

4 thoughts on “Cycle Lanes Threatened With Removal & Faulty Counters are Likely to Blame”

  1. Wheras I doubt the efficiency of the council’s counting device it’s obvious that the cycle lanes are under used. Each time I drive by them, or rather sit by them in the traffic jam they have created I rarely see a cyclist. I have seen the odd one, but I’ve also seen cyclists riding on the pavement, despite the cycle lanes.

  2. Hello
    I support measures to enhance the safe cycling experience, particularly your quest fr an accurate counting system!
    But I can’t take your entries seriously when you insert unnecessary apostrophes and use ‘bare’ for ‘bear’.
    If in doubt, ask someone taught by teachers who had rulers to hand…

  3. You would have counted my car going down one of the lanes today! First time I’ve been to Chi in over a year and I had no clue about these cycle lanes. Just utter stupidity and highly dangerous is my conclusion. I was using sat nav to find somewhere, as one does, and with it twice telling me to get in the left lane approaching a roundabout and all I could see was bollards dividing the left and right lane and no explanation for them, I drove down the left lane. I then had to reverse back out onto a busy main road to get out. The only fortunate thing is that I didn’t encounter a cyclist whilst making this manoeuvre, but then that is hardly surprising is it?! I didn’t see a single one while circling around the city a couple of times on a sunny Sunday afternoon. A beyond stupid idea, whoever thought of it should be …… (insert your own word)

    1. Thanks for your input Jess,
      It is precisely because many motorists are oblivious to their surroundings while blindly following instructions from GPS navigational assistance devices, that many pedestrians and cyclists feel there is a need for them to have safe space segregated from motor vehicle traffic.
      While following GPS instructions you missed seeing some highly visible orange wands and several sets of warning signs indicating you were approaching the pop-up cycle scheme. It is possible you did not notice all the people using the scheme because they were safely segregated from the road on which you were driving.
      Best Regards,
      Mark Record

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