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Cycling ban proposed in city

Permission has been granted by West Sussex County Council to advertise a proposed traffic order, to extend the prohibition of cycling within the pedestrian precinct in Chichester city centre.

 

The current ban is between the hours of 9.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Saturday, and this proposal will see this extended to Sundays between the same hours.

 

ChiCycle are proposing a more sensitive approach involving the use of a sign “Share with Care”.

 

Sarah Sharp, co-ordinator of ChiCycle, Chichester’s cycle campaign said: “The use of a sign would be a more sensible approach to enable people still to use the streets as long as they slow down and share the space with due consideration of pedestrians.

 

“It makes sense to dismount when the streets are full of people but banning cycling at times when there is really no need causes ill feeling.

 

“In my view, this cycling ban is not properly thought through and comes at a time when we need to invest properly in our cycling infrastructure, not make it harder for people to get about by bike.

 

“It shows how out of touch the council is with the needs of real people who want to get about safely on their bikes.

 

“A more innovative approach should be taken instead of applying weekday rules to Sundays. Money should be invested where the risk to life is greatest – how many of our dangerous junctions have had real safety measures introduced?

 

“I urge the council to use their limited resources wisely and deal with the really dangerous spots first and take a more measured approach to their Sunday ban which is too extensive as it covers times when really there are few pedestrians about.”

 

“Cycling needs proper investment to enable new routes to be established. For example, safe, segregated routes from the Witterings, Emsworth, Tangmere and Selsey into the city with protected cycle lanes on the busy roads.

 

“Unless we invest properly in cycling and walking infrastructure, people have no choice but to drive the relatively short distances (e.g. seven miles from the Witterings).

 

“With electric bikes, such short distances could be real opportunities to get fit and reduce congestion, pollution and save money.”

 

Cyclists from ChiCyle gathered on Sunday at 4.30pm for a fun cycle ride around East Street and North Street to draw attention to the consultation to ban cycling on the city streets on Sundays to fit in with the same shop opening hours in the week.

 

Keen cyclist, Carley Sitwell from Chichester said: “I have arthritis in my ankle and I can’t walk distances. Cycling is my lifeline.

 

“I have lived here for over 30 years and I always cycle. I never bring my car into town. We all have to live together and be sensible. The previous times cyclists could use the town on a Sunday is reasonable.”

 

Jonathan Fulford, from Bosham, was also at Sunday’s cycle ride.

 

He said: “I commute to Chichester every day by bike. I don’t know why they are trying to change the times on Sunday. It is a nice tradition of Chichester on a more relaxed day of shopping.

 

“Sunday should be a different day, there are more people cycling socially on a Sunday. It should be more relaxed.”

 

The statutory consultation period ends on April 16. If you would like to express support or raise an objection about any part of the proposal e-mail: tro.team@westsussex.gov.uk or write to TRO Team, West Sussex County Council, The Grange, Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1RH quoting reference TRO/CHS1802/RC.

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