Chichester cycle improvements ‘a great waste of money’

Bosham cyclist Andrew Rose, 50, was knocked off his bike at the junction which links Chapel Street with North Walls. City councillors have also criticised the changes to Northgate Gyratory
Bosham cyclist Andrew Rose, 50, was knocked off his bike at the junction which links Chapel Street with North Walls. City councillors have also criticised the changes to Northgate Gyratory

The £210,000 spent on a major roundabout in Chichester has made it ‘more dangerous’ for cyclists, a city councillor has claimed.

And the junction which joins Chapel Street with North Walls has been turned into an ‘accident waiting to happen’, another has said.

West Sussex County Council spent £210,000 on changing the cycle lane and adding electronic signs triggered by cyclists to the Northgate Gyratory earlier this year.

It was part of a wider scheme to make cycling safer through the city, but the roundabout improvements came under fire during a Chichester City Council meeting on Wednesday, where it was brandished a ‘waste of money’

Cllr Martyn Bell said: “I was in North Street tonight before the meeting and talking to a well-known Chichester cyclist, Richard Hancock, the estate agent, who said he’s been knocked over, twice, on what we call the Metro roundabout.

“He made the point strongly, and I know this is well-trodden ground, that many of us do not regard what the county council has done, in terms of improvements on the Metro roundabout, to be any improvements at all.

“If anything it’s more dangerous than it was before.

“I think we have to keep on making that point...that there is no plan, to my knowledge, of any safe cycling route coming down the Old Broyle Road, and that really does worry me as a cyclist as well as a councillor.”

The Mayor of Chichester, Peter Budge, added: “I must agree the roundabout was a shock when they finished it.

“On the day it opened I stood there and watched and at least ten cyclists didn’t use it and two did.

“It did seem to me a great waste of money at the time.”

There has also been much criticism for the addition of cycle lanes along North Walls, where the road meets Chapel Street from under the city walls.

Cllr Clare Apel told the meeting: “Talking about cycle routes, the accident waiting to happen is in Chapel Street.

“As people are driving towards the town, under the arch of the walls, there is a two-way cycle track.

“They can’t see cyclists coming, cyclists can’t see them.”

Cllr Sarah Sharp said three of the UK’s leading cycle infrastructure designers had been invited to meet with councillors in March next year, as well as to speak to residents at a separate event.

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