Campaigners have said the future of the city’s cycle routes will be dead and buried if poor development plans are implemented
A coffin representing the campaigners’ grief at the prospect of losing much loved cycle provision through a series of poor planning decisions was the key symbol outside the Chichester Dsitrict Council offices on Saturday.
Upset cyclists were raising awareness of planning decisions that will affect the future quality and safety of cycle-ways in the city.
The campaigners are keen to get across the message that provision must be of the highest quality to enable more people to leave their cars at home.
Michael Neville, a resident of Bosham who cycles into the city for work, explained that he was particularly anxious about the proposed plans for Westgate.
He said: “The plans incorporated into the S106 agreements show poor cycle provision. I use the A259 every day and at every stage of my commute, poor planning of new development is destined to make cycling increasingly impractical and unpleasant.
“There has to be an acknowledgement of a climate emergency. Every stage of planning must not simply consider, but prioritise opportunities to get people out of cars and moving around on foot or by bicycle.”
Camaigner Mark Record added: “I fear that the car-centred design of the mini-roundabout at the junction of Sherborne Road and Westgate will prevent future cycle ways joining when the new access road from White House Farm gets put in. This locks in poor design on a key part of National Cycle Route 2”.
John Grimshaw, the original architect of Centurion Way and founder of Sustrans, contacted campaigners expressing his disappointment with slow progress. He said: “What a long struggle! One despairs that planning for walking and cycling provision is not being prioritised. Of course they should be taking a continuous and good quality route suitable for all through to the city centre.”
Local campaigners were lent the coffin by Louise Curry of Earth to Heaven Eco Friendly Coffins as a symbol of the future of cycleways in the city.
Sarah Sharp, former chairman of ChiCycle, added: “I have come down to find out about the event today and to speak to campaigners about their concerns. I hope that the new Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan that the councils are working on will give us a much needed new chance to put together higher quality plans for the future – not only for the people in White House Farm but also for all around the city with all the new developments going in.”