West Sussex County Council are concluding stage one engagement/consultation over a controversial shared use urban pavement conversion schemes. A link the the consultation is available here https://yourvoice.westsussex.gov.uk/chichester-corridors
The first part of the scheme aims to convert the pavement adjacent to the Northgate car park into a two way shared use cycle track. This will severely disadvantage people who have sensory impairment and particularly discriminate against elderly, disabled, dog owners (including people with guide dogs) and people with young families. The Oaklands way area of shared use will be an isolated piece of poor quality infrastructure that does not coherently link up to new or existing parts of the local cycle network.
The second part of the scheme focuses on infrastructure that will include shared use pavements between Chichester to Tangmere around the A285. This part of the scheme consists only of a blue line drawn vaguely on a map. In some locations the proposed route shown by the blue line goes down the middle of intensely trafficked roads and roundabout. In other locations it is shown going through lines of terraced houses. It is not possible to conclude what the true intentions of the council are from the vague map of the scheme they have published.
These plans that WSCC are putting forwards comprehensively depart from national guideline advice on active travel. The intention is to convert existing pavements and footpaths (currently dedicated to pedestrian use) into shared use cycle tracks. National guidelines for active travel strongly advise against this type of pavement conversion in busy urban areas.
ChiCycle struggle to understand how to constructively respond to this consultation.
Nonetheless, Thomas Jarvis (of Haywards Heath) has kindly provided ChiCycle with his own drawings showing how better support for active travel might be achieved within the existing highway boundaries.
ChiCycle do not necessarily endorse all of Thomas’s ideas but we feel his drawings are a constructive addition to any discussions about sustainable/active transport corridors in the city.
Thomas’ drawings (shown below) illustrate his alternative infrastructure designs that might be possible if walking and cycling is prioritised by our local authorities.