Keep People Safe

Keep People Safe

Another crash at Basin Road unfolds its tale of human pain and agony. We don’t know the cause of the crash as police are still seeking witnesses, but we do know that not enough is being done to keep people safe in Chichester.

Click this link to read Sussex police report of the recent Basin Rd incident

We know that timescales to deliver any improvements to this area are very slow and linked in with the major development to the area. If the Highways Infrastructure is to be left in the hands of the Developer I am seriously concerned that we will not end up with high-quality walking and cycling infrastructure that we need to promote people’s health and well-being and fulfil our climate change commitments.

Traffic danger on Basin Rd
Traffic danger on Basin Rd

We need urgent and radical re-designs of this gyratory system and all the other major gateways into the City. Above all we must start to put people first and champion people-centred places. Up to now our Highways Engineers have pursued the need to keep traffic moving, fighting congestion with more roads – all in the name of continuing economic growth.

We need to change all that. We aspire to healthy, green, clean and safe places for people to be. It is that which will attract more people into the City.

In the meantime, the state of our roads seriously puts people off walking or cycling. Whole areas become no-go zones – places we learn to avoid if we can help it. As a victim of a Road Traffic Collision on this very same road, I have changed my shopping and leisure habits radically as a result. I am only one person and my concerns are undeniably more acute than most people’s but I am not alone. We continue to push people on bikes and on foot into the margins at our peril.

The well being of the City doesn’t, contrary to most people’s beliefs, depend on abolishing  or reducing car parking costs. It depends on people knowing they are safe.

At the moment we are not. We need to do more to ensure that we are. Waiting for WSCC and CDC to act is not enough.

4 thoughts on “Keep People Safe

  1. I couldn’t agree more with the change of focus needed to put pedestrians and cyclists first. The speed of traffic in Chichester is unbelievable but there is no incentive for any vehicle to slow down as there are very few pedestrian crosssings, hardly any traffic calming features and no speed cameras. Chichester could be such a lovely city to walk and cycle around but it seems no one is interested in making that happen.

    1. Dear Amanda,
      Thank you for your kind comments. I have been campaigning since 2010 for people on foot and on bikes.
      We did manage to get 20mph limits on residential roads in 2013 after 3 years’ of hard work. Unfortunately the Councillors refused to consider the dangerous junctions eg Northgate and Southgate in the scheme as they argued that these are arterial roads and the traffic should go faster there. I agree about the lack of crossings – as a pedestrian I find it very difficult to cross the road and more elderly people or parents with prams etc do find it much more intimidating. The end result is that people are frightened off the streets and into their cars. If you have any specific examples or ideas you could contact – Kate is working on our Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan – the council is currently putting out to consultants for help to put this plan together -so now is a good time to put a specific junction or crossing on her list. The consultants should get to see her list in the bidding process. Thanks again for getting in touch. Just one final comment – I am super interested in making Chichester a better place to live and walk and cycle in. I no longer drive and so want above all to feel safe when walking or cycling. I can’t speak for the other candidates in the local elections. You could look up who your candidates will be in the local elections on the Chichester District Council website and contact them by phone or email and ask them to commit to making Chichester a safer place.
      P.S. I am standing in the local elections in Chichester South on May 2nd.

      1. Hi Sarah
        Thank you for you reply. I have already emailed ksimons and I think I copied you.
        I am a bit fed up today because having managed to avoid all previous cars who tried to drive into me in Chichester by stopping and giving way, this afternoon I was cycling along the cycle route past the New Park cinema and a car turned across my path and hit me. He was turning into a parking space and as he hit my bike side on he managed to stop so I was OK. This has rather dented my confidence in being able to cycle safely in Chichester. When I went out later this afternoon instead of cycling a 10 minute cycle ride I chose to drive instead. I don’t like only feeling safe in Chichester if I am in a car.
        I would vote for you if I lived in Chichester South as I feel you are the only person who cares about making Chichester a safe walking and cycling city.
        I will email ksimons again about specific junctions that I find particularly dangerous.
        Good luck in the local elections.

        1. Hi Amanda,
          I really feel for you and understand exactly where you are at having had a very, very near miss. I would suggest, if you feel so inclined, you write to the newspaper – or – leader of the County Council or – she is the Public Health Lead for the West Sussex. Or you could write to your County Councillor – I don’t know where you live but you can easily look this up.
          It is really not just or right that those people doing the “correct” things for their health and the health of the planet are put in so much danger. There needs to be a mentality shift here. Mostly it is pedestrians writing to the paper or complaining to Councillors about feeling threatened by people on bikes. But actually those of us really endangered by people behind the wheel of vehicles are so marginalised. So sorry you had to drive. I think you might – with time – find that some of your confidence comes back. I had a serious crash and do cycle a little bit now – not half as much as I used to. I used to cycle EVERYWHERE and now I have to take the bus or walk much more. Thank you for writing to me and good luck with your letter writing. There might come a point where we all say that letter writing is not enough and we need more protests to make our point – I hope you might be up to that. Take Care and thank you for your good wishes for the elections. You might be able to vote for some of my Green colleagues – depending on where you live. Sarah

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