Highways England A259 Chichester-Emsworth NMU Questionnaire and Presentation documents

Highways England have emailed a number of people inviting feedback on their proposals to adapt the pavements on the A259 to carry a two way cycle track that will in many places be shared with pedestrians.

The following links give access to documents used by Highways England when presenting the proposals for the A259 NMU scheme.

1. Story Board-Southbourne
2. Story Board-Sbourne to NBourne
3. Story Board-Nutbourne
4. Story Board-Bosham
5. Story Board-Bosham to Fishbourne
6. Story Board-Fishbourne
Chemroute factsheet v2
C2ENMU – Community Leaflet v3 (AC)

Please note that in the meetings with Highways England held on the 4th and 5th of February 2021, it was made clear that there would be sections of this scheme where pavements and cycle tracks would have widths restricted below those dimensions shown on the story board graphics. I would suggest taking the story board graphics as only an indication of the maximum widths that will be provided for walking and cycling on this scheme.

Shared pavements through urban areas of the route where there are frequent houses and driveways on the road will account for approximately 4km of the route’s length.

It is strongly recommended everyone who wishes their opinion to be heard fills in the following questionnaire provided by Highways England

A27 Chichester-Emsworth NMU Questionnaire

The deadline for completing the questionnaire is 17th March at 12pm.

I recommend giving your own perspective but my own notes on the questions are given in the following list and these may highlight issues where you may have  concerns.

  • (Question No 7) This only asks about the A259 and a significant number of people use Fishbourne Rd East. Highways England falsely claim this road is a very quiet street! You may wish to tick other and include “I use Fishbourne Rd East too” in response to question No 8.
  • (Question No 9) This question asks stakeholders to rate if parking is an issue. However parking can be an issue both because it is desirable to park at the side of the road in the cycle lane or for exactly the opposite reason, that if you are a cyclist or pedestrian it is undesirable to have cars parked on the cycleway or pavement. For this reason it may be best leaving this answer with a mid rating. Sadly, it is not possible to highlight traffic volume as an issue. This is unfortunate as it is the main issues preventing cyclists using the road and why the local authorities wish to convert the pavement into a shared use cycle track.
  • (Question No 11) With 150 driveways and access-ways crossing the pavements intended for conversion to shared use cycle tracks, this scheme is likely to have a negative impact on safety and convenience. Many of the driveways will be blind to approaching cyclists so the situation will be dangerous. This issue may cause cyclists to swerve knocking pedestrians over or even into the road. A score of zero is recommended as an answer to question 11.
  • (Question No 14) There is no reason why contraflow arrangements could not be employed on the A27 as an alternative to maintaining the A259 as a backup route in the event of road closures. This provides the opportunity to downgrade the A259 to a B road. The harbour villages are unsuitable for carrying in excess of 20,000 vehicles per day.
  • (Question No 15) The biggest obstacle preventing safe walking, cycling and community living in the Harbour Villages is the volume of traffic on the A259. The transport network could be modified so that private motor vehicles are not allowed to travel through the village centres. This will improve the quality for all residents but would require additional routes for existing motor-traffic such additional junctions onto the A27. Emergency vehicles and public transport could continue to pass through the centre of the Harbour Villages but other vehicles would need to take alternative routes. This would allow cyclists to use the roadway leaving pavements clear for the exclusive use of pedestrians.

Chichester Observer reports A259 Conversion of Pavements to Shared Use Cycle Tracks

On the 17th February 2021 the Chichester Post published a story explaining scepticism from residents after proposals were revealed to narrow a road in Emsworth, to make way for a ‘shared use pavement’, and to relocate a Southbourne bus stop, to allow a narrow pavement to be used as a two-way cycle-track. Full details of the story can be read here: Latest proposals for ‘two-way cycle track’ between Emsworth and Chichester divide opinion.

Andrew Gould, Gabby Adams and Mark Record were shown simulating what pedestrians will face when the narrow Pavement at Nutbourne is converted into a shared use cycle-track.

On Thursday 11th Feb when the Observer’s photographer Steve took the photos, there was horrendous levels of traffic on the A259. Indeed the WSCC traffic counter on the A259 (A259 SOUTHBOURNE, W. OF THORNEY RD, O/S NO.44) recorded 21,429 motor vehicles passing over only 16 Hours! Total recorded traffic flow for 11th Feb 2021 at this location was 22919 motor vehicles!

Gabby rides cargo trailer on soon to be shared pavement

 Mark and Andrew looking moody

Pavement with two way traffic

Notes for Chichester to Emsworth Non-Motorised User Route – Strategic Interests Workshop

I am attending a virtual meeting/workshop on Friday the 5th February 2021, staged by Highways England to discuss their plans for a Chichester to Emsworth Non-Motorised User Route.

This meeting will include approximately 35 people so each individual will have little time (less than 2 minutes) to discuss their ideas/concerns if everyone will speak for a similar duration of time.

To enable people who are attending this workshop to communicate their concerns concisely, I am making the following notes about potential issues with this HE project.

  • Reducing the Speed and Volume of motor-vehicle traffic should be seriously considered before conversion of the pavements (footways) into 30kph design speed shared use cycle tracks.
  • Down grading the A259 to a local route would allow a realistic approach to town planing for local living and a transport infrastructure that can cope with the high volumes of new development.
  • Disability groups should be warned and consulted before the existing provision for these people is severely reduce by conversion of urban pavements into shared use cycle tracks.
  • If conversion of the pavements into 30kph design speed shared use cycle tracks is still considered after consultation with disability groups, the scheme should then be trialled for several months and then community opinion polled about the outcome of the trial before commitments are made to implement any permanent infrastructure.
  • Centurion Way is a good example of how a cycle way can successfully run on local roads. In Lavant, local motor-vehicle through traffic is filtered so that the roadway remains an appropriate location for safe, confident family cycling.
  • Converting the Town/Village and City pavements (footways) to shared use will fail to comply with DfT safety visibility criteria at junctions and driveways. Cars at junctions will not be able to see approaching cyclists causing collisions. These collisions are likely so send some cyclists into the A27 main carriageway into the oncoming traffic
  • Converting the Town/Village and City pavements (footways) to shared use will fail to comply with Highways England’s own NMU standard because there is inadequate width for the required separation strip.
  • All street furniture would need to be removed (lamp-posts, signs, bus-shelters) to allow even substandard width NMU cycle tracks.

Modifying the Road Network to Reduce Traffic Volume and Speed through the Residential sections of the A259 could be Achieved through Funding the Scheme as one of the Governments 12 Mini Holland Schemes.

On 27 July 2020 The Department for Transport published Gear Change A Bold Vision for Cycling and Walking. This is our national government’s current Cycling and walking plan for England.

On page 19 the Gear Change document announces Key design principles which include:

We will choose up to 12 willing local authority areas, to benefit from intensive investment in mini-Holland schemes!
As in London, we expect to stimulate a large number of proposals across the country, from which we will choose up to 12 willing non-London local authority areas, to benefit from intensive investment in mini-Holland schemes on the same model. The main focus will be on replacing short car trips. They must be places where cycling is currently low and where there is serious political commitment to dramatic change – not just for cyclists, but for everyone who lives and works there.

This approach is championed by the ChEmRoute Vision project which aims to provide “A healthy, prosperous future for the communities between Chichester and Emsworth”

ChEmRoute Vision Logo 

Removing Road Space Currently Allocated to Cycles and Relocating Cyclists onto unsuitable Pavements (Footways) is A Retrograde Step

The DfT Recommended Approach (and Dutch Road Safety Philosophy) is to reduce traffic volumes and speeds so the town/city/village/residential centres are safe places for pedestrians, cyclists and local living.

On the 27 July 2020 the Department for Transport published Guidance for local authorities on designing high-quality, safe cycle infrastructure as document Cycle infrastructure design (LTN 1/20). It gives the following advice.

Road space reallocation 6.1.9
Creating space for cycling may require the reallocation of space within the highway boundary. Wherever possible, this should be achieved by reallocating carriageway space, not reducing the level of service for pedestrians. Only where there are very wide or lightly-used footways should part of the space be considered for use by cyclists, and the minimum footway widths recommended in Inclusive Mobility 24 should be retained.

Conversion of Existing Pavements in City/Town/Village centres (Urban Areas) into Shared Use Cycle Tracks Is Advised Against by UK National Government!

On 27 July 2020 The Department for Transport published Gear Change A Bold Vision for Cycling and Walking. This is our national government’s current Cycling and walking plan for England.

On page 21 the Gear Change document announces Key design principles which include:

  • Cyclists must be separated from pedestrians.
  • Cyclists must be treated as vehicles, not pedestrians.
  • Purely cosmetic alterations should be avoided.

On page 43 the the Gear Change document clarifies:

Largely cosmetic interventions which bring few or no benefits for cycling or walking will not be funded from any cycling or walking budget.
Too many schemes badged as being for cycling or walking do little more than prettify the status quo, such as installing nicer-looking pavements and road surfaces but doing little or nothing to restrict through traffic or provide safe space for cycling. Schemes whose main purpose and/or effect is aesthetic improvement of the public realm must be funded from other budgets.

On page 21 the Gear Change document suggests that:

Trials can help achieve change and ensure a permanent scheme is right first time. This will avoid spending time, money and effort modifying a scheme that does not
perform as anticipated.
If there is dispute about the impact of a road change, we recommend trialling it with temporary materials. If it works, it can be made permanent through appropriate materials. If it does not, it can be easily and quickly removed or changed. However, it is important that the scheme is designed correctly at the beginning, to maximise the chances of it working.

On the 27 July 2020 the Department for Transport published Guidance for local authorities on designing high-quality, safe cycle infrastructure as document Cycle infrastructure design (LTN 1/20)
LTN 1/20 gives the following advice about the suitability of shared use paths.

5.1.2 (Page 40)
Urban cycling speed averages between 10mph and 15mph but will typically vary from 5mph on an uphill gradient to around 40mph on a prolonged downhill gradient and cyclists may be capable of up to 25mph on flat unobstructed routes. There are considerable differences in speed between cycle traffic going uphill and cycle traffic going downhill. For different reasons, in both cases a more generous dynamic kinetic envelope is required.

5.1.3(Page 40)
Designers should aim to provide geometry to enable most people to proceed at a comfortable speed, typically around 20mph.

5.5.3 (page43)
Where a route is also used by pedestrians, separate facilities should be provided for pedestrian and cycle movements. However, away from the highway, and alongside busy interurban roads with few pedestrians or building frontages, shared use might be adequate (see Chapters 6 and 8). Such facilities should be designed to meet the needs of cycle traffic, however – including its width, alignment and treatment at side roads and other junctions. Conversion of existing footways to shared use should only be considered when options that reuse carriageway or other (e.g. verge) space have been rejected as unworkable.

6.5.4 (Page 67)
In urban areas, the conversion of a footway to shared use should be regarded as a last resort. Shared use facilities are generally not favoured by either pedestrians or cyclists, particularly when flows are high. It can create particular difficulties for visually impaired people. Actual conflict may be rare, but the interactions between people moving at different speeds can be perceived to be unsafe and inaccessible, particularly by vulnerable pedestrians. This adversely affects the comfort of both types of user, as well as directness for the cyclist.

6.5.5 (Page 67)
Where a shared use facility is being considered, early engagement with relevant interested parties should be undertaken, particularly those representing disabled people, and pedestrians and cyclists generally. Engaging with such groups is an important step towards the scheme meeting the authority’s Public Sector Equality Duty.

6.5.6 (Page 67)
Shared use may be appropriate in some situations, if well-designed and implemented. Some are listed below:

  • Alongside interurban and arterial roads where there are few pedestrians;
  • At and around junctions where cyclists are generally moving at a slow speed (see Figure 6.27), including in association with Toucan facilities;
  • In situations where a length of shared use may be acceptable to achieve continuity of a cycle route;
  • In situations where high cycle and high pedestrian flows occur at different times.

Plans to convert City/Town/Village (Urban Area) Footways (Pavements) into Shared Use Cycle Tracks Do Not Meet DfT Visibility Road Safety Standards for Vehicles Emerging from the Many Driveways along the Route!

DfT standards require cyclists can be seen at junctions and driveways. The document Cycle infrastructure design (LTN 1/20) makes clear that cyclists must be treated as traffic. The documents states:

1.4.6 Cyclists and pedestrians are considered to be ‘traffic’, within the meaning of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Traffic Management Act 2004, and therefore duties to manage the road network to secure ‘expeditious and safe movement for all traffic’ apply to them as well as motorised modes.

On roads where footways (pavements) are not used as cycle-tracks only have to consider visibility from vehicles waiting at a junction to the kerb bordering the carriageway.

(LTN 1/20) makes it clear that where cyclists travel on cycle-tracks (including pavements carrying cycle-traffic), then this must also be considered a carriageway with vehicles at junctions being able to adequately see approaching cyclists!

A diagram (Figure 5.4.) of the DfT visibility criteria at junctions (for cyclists) is shown below.

Figure 5.4.
Any crossing of a highway or junction
between cycle routes should be located such that all users have full visibility as shown in with Figure 5.4.

Highways England design criteria for Non Motorised User paths specifies…

Highways England NMU design speeds
Highways England NMU design speeds

For 30 kph design speed the Y1 distance that motorists must be able to see along the cycle track is 31 metres! This can be taken from LTN1/20 table 5-5 shown below.

Visibility distances from LTN1/20
Visibility SSD distances from LTN1/20 given on page 44

The X1 distance, back into driveways and junctions from which motorists must be able to see cyclists is  specifies in LTN1/20 as…

X distances from LTN 1/20
X distances from LTN 1/20 from page 45

Going East from Emsworth roundabout to Westgate (the Orchard Street roundabout in Chichester) there are 214 vehicle exits. Therefore these visibility issues present a significant concern.

Design Criteria for the Inappropriately Applied CD143 Specification (for Non Motorised Routes) Can Not be Met because the Highway is Too Narrow

Even without considering street furniture like traffic lights and lamp-posts, the highway space available on the A259 is not wide enough to carry even a single shared use cycle-track meeting Highways England’s own CD143 standard!

CD143 specifies that NMU tracks where walking is permitted must be separated from the highway by a “separation strip”. It states that:

E/1.2.1 On walking routes, the separation from the carriageway should be at least 1.5 metres or 0.5 metres on roads with speed limits of 40 mph or less.

According to specification CD143, paths that allow walking must provide widths as specified in the table below.

Widths for walking routes shall be in accordance with Table E/1.2.
Widths for walking routes shall be in accordance with Table E/1.2.

Where paths run adjacent to vertical features such as buildings, bus-stops, hedges and fences, additional width must be provided for routes where walking is permitted. Table E/1.2 shows that where there are vertical features on one side of the path over 1.2 meters high, and additional width of 0.5 meters must be included!

Where the NMY passes buildings and other vertical features over 1.4 meters high the specification demands a width of 3 meters for the combined separation strip and pathway! Much of the proposed A259 NMY scheme shows a with of only 2,5 meters which the specification indicates is inadequate.

Street Furniture, Bus Stops & Dustbin Day

As explained in the previous section, Highways England’s CD143 standard requires tracks that are for use by pedestrians to be an absolute minimum of 2 metres wide with half a metre separation at each size from tall vertical features like buildings, bus-stops, telegraph-poles-lamp-posts, traffic-signage and traffic signalling. The problem is compounded by implementing a track specification only intended for rural settings away from housing, in built up urban areas. Bins put out on dustbin day will cause significant issues if all cycle traffic (travelling in both directions) is expected to travel on a narrow pavement lined with dustbins!

Narrow path with bins out
Narrow path in Fishbourne with the bins out

The image below shows a range of street furniture outside St John’s Church in Southbourne. Presumably the bus stop, road signs, lamp-posts and traffic lights will have to be removed from the pavement to meet the width requirements of CD143?

Although Previous DfT Guidelines were Moderately More Permissive towards Urban Shared Use Paths, Previous Shared Use Standard LTN 1/12 Warned Against Converting pavements Shared Use Paths on Urban Streets.

30kph design speeds specified in Highways England’s CD143NMU specification are not appropriate for many of the urban stretches of pavement between Chichester and Emsworth. Converting these pavements into shared use cycle tracks will cause intense anxiety for elderly pedestrians and people with sensory impairment.

Guidelines preceding the current cycle infrastructure standard LTN1/20, warned that the conversion of pavements into shared use cycle tracks was usually inappropriate. Shared Use Standard LTN 1/12 stated on page 6 (LTN1/20 itself strongly recommends against converting pavements to shared use):

Guidance warns of shared use pitfalls

LTN 1/12 recommended that significant thought should be put towards the Equality Act 2010 and that particularly the need of people with disabilities should be taken into account before considering implementation of converting a pavement to shared use. The document continued to state on page6 :

Equality Concerns of DfT

Centurion Way has been given as an Example of a Successfully Cycle Scheme! However, where Centurion Way Runs Along the Highway, Cyclists Ride on the Roadway and Never On any Section of Pavement (footway)

Only in sections away from the highway does Centurion Way employ shared use walking and cycling space. On these sections there are absolutely no concealed driveways of motor-vehicle junctions at any location along the shared use walking and cycling sections of the path. The vast majority of shared use space along Centurion Way has a wide separation boundary between the path and any vertical features at either side. The only section where this is not the case is where the path has been modified at Bishop Luffa school and this fence causes difficulties as it boarders the edge of the metalled path surface. This limits the effective width of the path at one of its busiest sections.

The image below illustrates how the effective useful width of the path is maintained with a boundary strip each side and how this enables excellent visibility helping all path users to avoid conflict.

Centurion Way with Separation Strips

Where Centurion Way runs along local roads at Lavant, these roads are filtered to prevent through motor-vehicle traffic endangering the safety of cyclists. This is illustrated in the images below.

Government Policy States that: “We will not fund or part-fund any scheme that does not meet the new standards”!

The text show above is taken directly from page 31 of the document Gear Change A Bold Vision for Cycling and Walking. This is our national government’s current Cycling and walking plan for England. Page 33 of the document displays the following statement:

A new commissioning body and inspectorate, Active Travel England, led by a new national cycling and walking commissioner which will be established in the next few months.

If these policy statements made by national government are genuine, this NMU scheme will not be able to go ahead because it fails to meet recognised UK standards for walking and cycling.

notes

Highways England Official Statement 4th August

Dear Mr Record

Please find attached a statement that Highways England have jointly prepared with West Sussex County Council and Chichester District Council regarding the proposed A259 Chichester to Emsworth Non-Motorised User (NMU) improvements.

This statement is being issued to local cycling groups in response to recent correspondence from them on the Highways England feasibility study recommendation. It clarifies the status of the project, our next steps and confirms that we will be testing the current proposals against the Dept for Transport’s recently issued LTN 1/20 guidance document on cycling as we move forward.

Kind Regards

Simon Elliott

Project Update : the proposed A259 Non-Motorised User improvements between
Chichester & Emsworth
The proposed improvement scheme seeks to provide a consistent and safe standard of provision for both pedestrians and cyclists along the A259 between Chichester and Emsworth. The proposals have been subject to a Highways England funded feasibility study which considered both on and off carriageway solutions.
Noting various constraints along the corridor, the study recommended that a shared pedestrian/cycle path would meet the core design principles of safety, directness, coherence, comfort and attractiveness, and could be delivered using the land available within the highway boundary. Funding has been allocated to develop this solution further.
The differing rural/urban characteristics of the corridor and the provision of a
consistent standard means Highways England cannot provide a segregated route
without significant changes to the road layout or the purchase of additional land.
Both of these constraints are currently outside of this project’s remit.
Highways England are currently procuring a delivery partner to take the project
forward. This commission consists of further data gathering, early engagement with interested parties, a review of the recommended solution against the recently published design guidance and production of a preliminary design. We currently anticipate that this stage of the project will commence during Autumn 2020.
We have received significant interest on the proposals published to date. We will be engaging with interested parties at key stages throughout the project’s development. Should you or your interest group wish to be included in the list of such parties, please let us know by emailing A27DesignatedFunds@highwaysengland.co.uk.
Highways England
West Sussex County Council
Chichester District Council
August 2020

Residents Concerned over Conversion of A259 Pavements into Cycle-Tracks

On the first weekend in August 2020 residents took to the streets to show concern over Highways England plans to turn their pavements into two way cycle-tracks. On Saturday the 1st August Clare and Harry Harrison protested on the pavement outside St.John’s Church in Southbourne. Clare and Harry live close by on New Rd in Southbourne. They both fear that when this section of pavement is converted into a two way cycle-track it will make it difficult for villagers to walk to the Co-Op, Church and Chemist. The picture below shows them discussing this issues with a local resident returning from the Co-Op with a bag loaded with shopping.

Fishbourne residents met on the A259 in the Village outside a Cottage owned by Gabrielle Adam’s who has put up signs asking for pavements to remain dedicated safe spaces for pedestrian use. Anne Thompson and Geoff Allen who also live on the main road can be seen at the left of the photo below.
The two concerned local residents in the middle of the picture and Laura Eccott from Chichester, is shown second to the right. She is an advocate for people with visual impairment. Philip Maber shown on the right, arrived on his E Bike from his home in Singleton.

The photograph highlights problems that will be encountered by many people when this scheme goes ahead. Many keen sports cyclists ride at speed through Fishbourne at the weekend and it is unthinkable that they should be expected to continue doing so, travelling in both directions on cycle tracks built on village pavements. It is difficult to imagine cyclists commuting  to work will want to negotiate pedestrians walking in the village and tackle cars exiting  blind driveways into their path. Numerous homeowners are anxious that their properties will exit directly onto a busy fast two way cycle-track.  

HIGHWAYS ENGLAND DESIGNATED FUNDS-A27 NMU LINK IMPROVEMENTS PACKAGE has had it’s funding agreed and Highways England is currently arranging a contract to implement the scheme. Simon Elliott of Highways England has been in contact with a local Group ChiCycle and explained “We are currently in the process of procuring a design partner to progress the recommendations of the WSP feasibility study for a shared path on the northern side of the A259 between Chichester and the border with Hampshire.” The plans show that virtually the entire provision for cyclists will involve the northern pavements of the A259 being re-designated as cycle-tracks. More details of the scheme can be found on the website  http://chiaction.co.uk.

Clare and Harry Harrison said:

My wife and I are elderly residents in New Road, Southbourne, and we cannot believe that they plan to re-engineer the A259 pavements into two-way 20mph cycle tracks!
Surely, in law, the pavements are only for use by pedestrians and should remain so.
How are children, elderly and vulnerable residents be able to walk safely, when cyclists are on the pavements coming both ways at the same time at 20 mph? This can only lead to accidents! Even if they keep to the speed limit!
Also, we residents will have to leave our driveways safely, avoiding the cyclists, to go to the local doctors surgery,the pharmacy and the shops.
The A259 already has proper cycle lanes in the roadway and, may be, could be improved, if necessary, to satisfy those campaigning for bike route improvements between Chichester and Emsworth.
We are totally against this highly dangerous plan.
By all means improve the A259 roadway for cyclists, but not at the cost of losing the rights of pedestrians and their safety.

Laura Eccott commented she is concerned over accessibility issues faced by visually impaired people, as using this pavement when it becomes a cycle track would be choosing a riskier route than non-shared paths. She is disappointed the majority of fully sighted people do not concern themselves that those spaces aren’t equally available to all. For example, when someone with a guide dog needs to use the path and there is no clear separation between walkers and cyclists, it’ll be even more dangerous for all involved.

Philip Maber said:

Plans for this shared use NMU are so so far short of what the Government are saying must happen. The planned NMU pavement would include the removal of existing white-line bits of cycle lane … we agree the existing cycle lanes intermittently along each side of the road, are dangerously unfit for purpose, but taking them away to provide more road space is totally wrong. This flat, wide, former trunk road nwould prefer to keep their names and addresses anonymous.ow only serves local traffic – volume is at or near pre-bypass levels with daily gridlock tailbacks. Cyclists and Walkers particularly must demand better. That Highways England won’t commit to consultation until the detailed design phase is completed is wasting time and money.

Mark Record who took the photos commented:

Removing cycle-lanes from the road and re-routing cyclists onto  pavements will only reduce the total space available for walking and cycling. The aims of this scheme are claimed to be to ” improve the existing level of cycling infrastructure on the A259, thereby facilitating active mode trips between Chichester and Emsworth”. However, this project threatens instead to reduce the level of provision for both pedestrians and cyclists alike. It will also encouraging faster and larger volumes of motor vehicle traffic along the A259 through our historic harbour villages.

 

Action Planning

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.

Best Regards,

Mark Record


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.

Images Showing the Issues with Relocating Cycles from Roads onto Pavements

In a few situations cycle tracks shared with pedestrians can prove satisfactory. However relocating cyclists onto exiting pavements is generally considered an undesirable approach to highway design. All UK highway design manuals either list the conversion of pavements into cycle tracks as the very least favoured option or rule this idea out altogether.

Converting  Pavements into cycle tracks is particularly advised against under the following circumstances:

  • In built up areas
  • If cyclists are likely to frequently interact with pedestrians.
  • Where there are a large proportion of elderly, vulnerable, sensorily impaired residents.
  • In locations with frequent driveway exits.
  • Where there are concealed exits.
  • Locations with frequent side roads.
  • Residential areas with a relatively dense local population.
  • For longer distance cycle routes that may be used by fast utility, commuter or sports cyclists.
  • Where cyclists on a two way cycle-track are not separated from traffic and whose lights could confuse or dazzle oncoming traffic in dark winter evenings.

Please take a look at the following image gallery to help you determine if these issues could prove a problem on the new Highways England scheme that intends to remove all cyclists from the A259 and relocate them onto a single pavement between Chichester and Emsworth.

Click the images to obtain a larger view and you may use the arrows to the left and right to navigate forwards and backwards through the images. There are seven different sets of images that can be selected at the bottom of the gallery pane.

A Viewpoint from Southbourne

Plans to site fast two way cycle-tracks on the northern pavement of the A259 have been criticised by residents. Linda and Chris Saunders sent in the following remarks:

Looking at the proposals (in particular those between Emsworth and Southbourne as we live on this stretch) it would appear that the solution proposed is the worst of all worlds for pedestrians, cyclists and residents.

Where the cycle tracks will run
Two way cycle tracks will soon run along this pavement!
  • The idea of having cyclists and pedestrians on the same shared “current pavement” presents a high risk of serious injury to pedestrians, many of whom are either pensioners or families walking young children to/from school – particularly as cyclists will travel at speed.
  • The idea of having cyclists speeding past driveways where vehicles emerge creates a risk of serious injury for the cyclist as well as damage to vehicles. Many people leave for work in cars during rush hour which would seem to have been overlooked in the report.
  • Cyclists will have to stop at side roads in order to cross them as they will have no right of way as they won’t be on the main carriageway – this will slow the cyclist as in some stretches there are many such side roads.
  • the plan makes no mention of pushchairs, wheelchairs and non-road licensed mobility scooters – all of which have to use the current pavement.
  • Along many of the sections of the road; vehicles park with two wheels on the pavement (particularly where there are terraced cottages or other properties with no off road vehicle space).
  • Chichester District Council require their refuse bins to be positioned on the pavement so that they can easily be seen by the refuse, recycling and green waste collection teams and the “wheelie bins” at every property severely obstruct the pavement on collection days.
  • In some areas the state of the pavement is no better than the star of the roads which the report identified as an issue with using cycle lanes – WSCC have said that there is no money in their budgets to repair pavements (it appears they are even struggling to be able to fund road repairs!)

In summary the proposed solution doesn’t work for pedestrians because of the plan to mix them with cyclists on what is currently a pavement, doesn’t work for cyclists because of the need to stop at side roads and the increased risk of serious injury as vehicles emerge from numerous driveways, doesn’t work for wheelchair, pushchair or mobility scooter users because of the increased volume (and speed) of other users of the current pavement, doesn’t work for residents as cyclists on the pavement will be a greater risk when emerging from (or turning into) driveways and there will be an issue for those with no off-road vehicle space, and it doesn’t work for the Council Refuse Collection service. The only class of road user for whom it would seem to work will be the road users travelling along the A259 provided they don’t wish to join or leave the road at any stage!

We are totally in favour of better (and safer) facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles however, this plan doesn’t seem to address any of these in a meaningful way – in fact it probably worsens the situation for pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair users and mobility scooter users as well as residents.

Regards

Linda and Chris Saunders

Demand Safe Streets for Pedestrians!

Refuse to Accept 20 MPH Two-Way Cycle Tracks on Village High Street Pavements

Village, Town and City Pavements are a vital part of our street scene and are a completely inappropriate place for riding bicycles.

All the UK guidelines and standards acknowledged that reallocating pavements as cycle tracks is highly inadvisable. There are rare exceptions where pavements (called footways in the highway manuals) might be used for cycling:

  • Tracks parallel to remote rural roads, carrying only low volumes of walking and cycling traffic, can reasonably be designed as shared use paths.
  • Vastly wide city pavements where walking and cycling can be safely segregated, preferably with pedestrians and cyclists separated by a kerb, can safely accommodate cyclists.

It is self evident that in all other circumstances cycling on pavements is undesirable for a multitude of reasons. Some footpaths and bridal ways might be suitable for cycling. However unsegregated pavements/footways adjacent to roads that form the high streets of towns and villages are not suitable places to site heavily used cycle-ways!

Fishbourne Pavement
Fishbourne Pavement will become a bike track

Chichester District Council, West Sussex County Council and Highways England Want to Re-Engineer Village High St Pavements into Fast Two-Way Cycle Track.

Our local authorities are rapidly producing schemes to remove cyclists from our road by moving them onto the pavements. This is presumably to avoid  responsibility for town planning needed to handle increasing levels of traffic. Removing cyclists from the road may slightly increase road capacity for motor vehicles but relocating them onto pavements will come at a huge expense to the future prospects for walking and cycling in the area.

Of particular concern are plans to remove existing cycle lanes on the road between Chichester and Emsworth and move the cycle way onto the pavements where the A259 passes through the harbour towns and villages. A link to a copy of the Feasibility Study is available here.

ChiAction are Organising a Campaign to Save Local Pavements and Demand any Highway Improvements Must Meet UK Highway Standards.

Demand Better:

  • Pavements to remain exclusively for pedestrian use only
  • Resident’s right to walk safely and with confidence
  • Cyclists and pedestrians safely separated at road crossings
  • Highway design that meets appropriate UK standards
  • Design where all road users can coexist in harmony

Refuse to Accept:

  • Fast 20 Mph two-way cycle traffic on your pavement
  • Young, vulnerable or elderly residents being too frightened to walk
  • Cyclists riding across the mouths of driveways and junctions
  • Poor highway design that fails to meet minimum UK standards
  • Conflict and anger between all road users at dangerous crossings

Recommended Actions

Sign up to the email list demand-better@chiaction.co.uk
Write to the newspapers info@thevillagemagazine.co.uk
news@chiobserver.co.uk
kelly.wickham@sussexpost.co.uk
ws.letters@jpimedia.co.uk
Write the council https://www.westsussex.gov.uk
https://www.chichester.gov.uk
https://www.fishbourne-pc.gov.uk
http://www.boshamvillage.co.uk
https://www.southbourne-pc.gov.uk
http://www.emsworthhub.co.uk/localauthority.html
https://chichestercity.gov.uk/
Write to English Highways A27DesignatedFunds@highwaysengland.co.uk
Write to your MP alan.mak.mp@parliament.uk
gillian.keegan.mp@parliament.uk
Start a social media group Please send any links to demand-better@chiaction.co.uk