By Kelly Wickham
A special bike ride took place on Sunday to remember a much-loved member of the community.
More than 45 people gathered to join the ChiCycle Community bicycle ride at the junction of Fishbourne Road West and Salthill Road.
At 2pm the group held a minutes silence in respect for Gina McWilliam, a cyclist who lost her life at this junction in November last year.
“This was an overwhelming turnout for a frosty January day and bears testimony to the community’s desire to remember and honour a well known member of the local community,” said Mark Record, a member of ChiCycle.
“There were also people in the crowd who didn’t know Gina but who turned out anyway to pay their respects. Indeed there were so many attended that the pavement around the junction became full of people and bikes.”
After a minute’s silence the group moved off to Bosham – most of the people heading north up to Emperor’s Way and then forming a large group all the way to Chequer Lane before turning onto the quiet country lanes to Bosham Quay.
City councillor Sarah Sharp said: “It was an impressive site seeing this mass of people cycling – but also it was quite obvious how inadequate the road system is for people on bikes – a bit of white paint is no comfort, no protection.
“If we want safe and happy cycling to get higher up the agenda, we will have to grow Sunday’s event of remembering Gina into a mass movement.”
ChiCycle wish to raise awareness that there is a desperate need to upgrade this cycleway between Chichester and Emsworth.
The A259 carries the South Coast National Cycle Route No2 but this section of cycle way is dangerous.
Another ChiCycle member, Philip Maber remarked: “So many more people will adopt the habit of cycling to work, for leisure and to visit local shops, if the cycle route between Chichester and Emsworth can be made safe, fast and convenient.
“With so many housing developments planned along the route of the A259, it is vital to implement provision for sustainable transport allowing West Sussex to become a zero carbon county.”
ChiCycle say that for many years local authorities have promised to improve this cycleway and the group now hope their enthusiastic campaigning will finally make these promises become a reality.
ChiCycle intend meeting at the same place and at the same time on Sunday, February 23.
To find out more or to join ChiCycle’s campaign, visit the website: chicycle.co.uk