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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

One thought on “West of Chichester Spine Road Cycle Provision is being Significantly Downgraded!”

  1. A cycle lane that requires you to stop and get off your bike 9 times in a 650m stretch isnt a cycle lane at all. Any reasonable cyclist would stay on the main road.

    Has it become WSCC policy not to provide usable cycle lanes at all? This is just not good enough.

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