By Kelly Wickham
A safe cycling group is celebrating it’s tenth birthday with a recruitment campaign.
ChiCycle, Chichester’s cycle campaign, is ten years old – it was set up in the spring of 2010 and is celebrating its first decade with a recruitment campaign.
Founder Sarah Sharp said: “Looking back, we arguably haven’t made enormous progress to enable more people to jump on their bikes and feel safe.
“I hope that 2020 will bring protected cycle paths and safer and slower streets for more residents of West Sussex.
“With another tragic fatality in Fishbourne, we have to confront the fact that we have sadly failed to bring about the safe cycling we’ve been campaigning for.”
Highways England had suspended work on the Chemroute path – this work has now been reinstated and the group say they have been promised a plan by February, 2020, but this is only the first stage of a feasibility study.
ChiCycle is adamant that such a plan can only succeed with protected, safe, segregated paths that are direct and joined up. Where such segregation isn’t possible, they say they will insist on 20mph in the areas where people live, work, shop and go to school.
ChiCycle members have called on elected politicians to declare that road death and injury won’t be tolerated – the policy called ‘Vision Zero’ needs to be on everyone’s lips, they say.
ChiCyle also say that 20mph is a proven method to reduce the number and severity of road accidents.
Mrs Sharp continues: “20mph limits give more time and space to avoid collisions.
“If we could reduce speeds, people would start to feel safer and more willing to walk, cycle and take public transport.
“With slower speeds, traffic flow smooths with drivers able to join from junctions and filter more easily. We need to nudge the power imbalance away from vehicles and give more space to people on foot and on bikes.
“Let’s hope that the 2020s see more communities able to benefit from safer speeds and protected paths. Now we’re in a new decade, that must be shaped by our climate crisis. We desperately need to build a transport system fit for the future, with more opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make more liveable communities for our residents.”
Three charities are to benefit from donations made as a result of the death of Bosham woman Gina McWilliam, who was killed in a cycling accident at Fishbourne in November.
Ms McWilliam, who was 45, had been a customer service assistant at Delling Lane Co-op in Bosham for ten years and her death, on November 20, shocked customers, residents and friends who left tributes to her in the shop’s doorway and at the site of the fatal crash with a lorry, where Salthill Road joins Fishbourne Road West.
As well as a Just Giving online fundraising page, which collected £4,500 for Ms McWilliam’s family, donations made at the shop totalled £3,502, which will be split between Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital and Stonepillow. In addition, as a tribute, £1,000 has been given to the Salvation Army by Southern Co-operative to help homeless people.
A statement at the shop adds: “Thank you for your compassion, it’s meant a lot to us all.”
Ms McWilliam’s funeral took place at Holy Trinity Church, Bosham, on Monday, December 30.
To find out more about the ChiCycle recruitment campaign or to sign up to help, visit: chicycle.co.uk/we-need-100-new-members