Dear Demand-Better supporters,
We need to move swiftly if we are to prevent this poor quality scheme turning the pavements along the A259 between Chichester and Emsworth into shared use cycle-tracks.
This Tuesday 21st of July I phoned Simon Elliott who is the Highways England project manager for this scheme. Simon explained that funding is only allocated towards a scheme for shared use pavements and he is not able to consider alternative solutions. If this scheme goes ahead Highways England will deliver cycle tracks on our pavements. He seems a reasonable and polite man but his hands appear tied in this matter. The fine details of design will be finalised this Autumn and presumably construction will commence after that.
Unfortunately all local cycling groups who were invited to consultation have already declared support for this scheme. It is not clear why other community groups were neither contacted nor consulted. However, many cyclists oppose this scheme due to the obvious issues with riding on pavements.
If you haven’t done so already I strongly recommend you write or phone the contacts listed here, asking for this scheme to be halted.
On the first weekend of August on both Saturday 1st and Sunday the 2nd, I hope some of us can meet up to take photos we can send into the press. If we can get a diverse mix of young, adolescent, middle aged , elderly, parents with prams , sensory impaired pedestrians, wheelchair users and people with bikes, we will be able to make images showing how problematic this scheme will prove in everyday life.
Anyone who wishes to participate will be most welcome. It will also be a good opportunity to get to know each other. However, we will need to consider responsible social distancing. If the weather is bad we should reschedule.
I suggest we could meet in the car park at the Southbourne mini roundabout at 1pm Saturday 1st and/or at the Fishbourne centre at 1pm on Sunday the 2nd. I propose we all dress flamboyantly and look cheerful and friendly in photos. This will give a good impression that we are a positive minded group of residents with legitimate concerns over the future use of our pavements.
Perhaps some of might find some inspiring words for a press release can highlight our concerns.
As well as emailing, it is possible to comment and communicate by leaving comments on the ChiAction website. Although it may take a short time before your first comment will appear because I moderate peoples first post to stop spammers.
On Saturday 1st August Clare and Harry Harrison joined ChiAction protesting against the conversion of Southbourne Pavements into two way cycle tracks. Images of the Southbourne protest are shown in the photo gallery below.