By Kelly Wickham
A fatal collision in Chichester has left campaigners asking for changes.
The accident involved a lorry and a pedal cyclist on the A259 Fishbourne Road West at the junction with Salthill Road, Chichester, just before 1.55pm on Wednesday last week. The cyclist, a 45-year-old local woman, who has not been officially named yet, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Campaigners are raising questions about the safety of the road and cycle lane.
ChEmRoute is a project/campaign to provide safe, segregated and direct cycling provision between Chichester and Emsworth. Mr Rupert Emerson, former secretary of the project, said: “Another tragic fatality between Chichester and Emsworth was not only predictable, it was predicted to the authorities. Further deaths will occur and minor accidents continue while the excuse of insufficient money remains. We must reflect that if we want services we have to raise tax and spend wisely.
“Unfortunately, decisions being taken now mean that the ChEmRoute project for a safer A259 is already compromised with the failure to grasp the need to protect the route as it exits west from Chichester.
“If something is to be done about this dangerous road it must be designed properly, otherwise ‘improvements’ could make matters worse not better.
“There is no point wasting money on painting lines and pictures and it would be unwise to encourage cyclists onto the A259 if the cycle provision is not safely separated along a complete section.
Work can be done in stages, from Chichester to Fishbourne and then Fishbourne to Bosham etc., but each stage has to be continuous, safe and direct.
“Transparency in local council decision- making is essential while nationally we need recognition the money thrown at ‘smart’ motorways is leading to horrible deaths, especially when no refuge or lane control is provided. More traffic is going to be fed our way from the enlarged M27 and this will impact the A27 and the A259. Money must be redirected towards safe local cycle provision as part of a move away from our dependence on the motor car for every trip.”
Cllr Sarah Sharp added: “We know how dangerous our roads are. The ChEmRoute Campaign set out a vision that sadly the authorities have not been able to react adequately and now we have lost a valued member of the community.”
Police want to speak to anyone who saw the collision or who may have dash cam footage. You can report this online or call 101, quoting Operation Davenham.