Walking & Cycling improvements proposed along the B2144 in Chichester

West Sussex County Council has opened a consultation on plans to improve the B2144 to make it easier & safer to cycle & walk along the B2144 from the A27 to the A259 with further connections on either end into the City Centre & the new housing development at Shopwhyke.

A general consultation was held earlier in the year to gauge a view from the public on the following suggestions:

  • Dedicated space for cycling
  • Wider footways and/or areas of shared space
  • Raised tables along some side road junctions to reduce vehicle speeds and make it safer and easier to cross for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Converting sections of the road to one-way in order to improve traffic flow.

Overall the responses to this initial consultation pointed at lack of space due to parking & additional traffic along Florence Road due to the current temporary closure of the B2144 at the A27.

As a result of the initial consultation WSCC is now consultation on two preliminary options along this corridor. The first option uses a shared use path of a nominal width of 3m with a 6.5m carriageway, although in places this does reduce where constrained. The second options provides sections of cycle lane on the carriageway, although due to the width of the carriageway only one direction can be provided for, in additional some sections of road would be made one way for traffic.

Unfortunately there is no option to provide a dedicated cycleway due to width of the highway, although it would be possible to use other options such as a bus gate to reduce through traffic along the road. The road is also a bus route, which would mean making it one-way with a two-way cycle track unfeasible without amending bus routes.

Option 1 Drawings

Starting at the A27 heading West the shared use path would tie into the existing works at the A27 junction where Toucan crossings can be used to cross the A27. The shared use path remains on the Northern side of the B2144 as a 3m path by reallocating existing carriageway to the path. Near Kelby Road (wide pedestrian alley) the shared space would crossing the B2144 at an uncontrolled crossing to the Southern side. Here it could cross over Chequers Place & Charles Avenue at raised tables.
Continuing West along Oving Road (B2144) the shared use path continues on the Southern side by widening the pavement into the carriageway and verge. At the mini-roundabout with Florence Road the shared use path heads south using the existing pavement without widening.
The route then crosses over Florence Road at Pound Farm Lane at an uncontrolled crossing. Its unclear what happens with the existing Puffin crossing here, it could be relocated here as a Toucan crossing. The route then heads along the Northern side of Pound Farm Lane as a 2.8m wide shared use path with adjacent parking on the carriageway. At the Western end of Pound Farm Lane it runs South along the Eastern pavement to the Toucan Crossing, but due to highway width the path will narrow to 2.2m

Option 2 Drawings

On the Eastern end of Oving road there would be a mix of mandatory and advisory 1.5m wide cycle lane heading Westbound, but no provision for Eastbound traffic. There would be no provision to give cyclists entering the cycle lane from the Toucan crossing priority.
West of Charles Avenue the cycle lane is on the Northern side of the road for Eastbound traffic, whilst the Westbound lane disappears. No changes would be made to the mini-roundabout at St James Road.
Oving Road West of St James Road would be made one-way for all traffic, this is not indicated to provide for a cycle-contraflow. Buildouts would be provided to improve safety.

Issues and alternatives

Both options do have issues which would make them unattractive. Option 1 uses shared spaces which may put pedestrians and cyclists in conflict, but what makes this worse is the general narrow nature of the proposed route. In a few places it is wider than 3m, but in general it is less than 3m and width adjacent hedges, fences & walls reducing the usable path to less than 2.5m which only just about gives room for two cyclists to pass each other. In some areas the usable area is merely over a meter, which means that two people or cyclists are unable to pass each other. In addition it requires cyclists to cross the road at unmarked crossings several times which is undesirable and may put off younger and inexperienced people from cycling.

Option 2 has more issues. Only parts have painted cycle lanes, which are only 1.5 metres wide with no physical segregation. It also requires those cycling to use a mini roundabout which is discouraged on cycle routes. It would also require cyclists to carry out turns across the A259 at a non-signalised junction or crossing. The second option is not suitable for inexperienced people and would only have a minor benefit for confident cyclists.

We’ve drawn up an alternative option for the route. Its an improved Option 1 using a shared use path along the proposed route. However uses parallel crossings & relocated toucan crossings to provide a continuous and direct route including a modal filter which would need a bus route to be rerouted. This option prioritises having a 4m shared path where a 6.5m carriageway can be accommodated, however in the area of the A259 junction it does reduce to a width under 3metres for a length of 17metres.

Alternative Option

Heading West from the A27, a 3.1-3.5m shared pavement would be provided on the North Side by widening the pavement. Two Parallel crossings could be provided allowing a safer with priority crossing of Oving Road & Charles Avenue. Once it switches onto the Southern side the pavement would be 4m where possible and allow access to and from Charles Avenue.
The pavement continues running along the Southern side widening into the verge and around telegraph poles as required. The mini roundabout with St James Road would be reduced in size to slow vehicle speeds. the shared pavement would bend south along Florence Road on its Eastern side.
A crossing of Florence Road would be provided at Pound Farm Road. Pound Farm Road would become a no-through route and require buses to be rerouted. The Crossing would be signalized and directs cyclists to and from the carriageway on Pound Farm Road where they would remain. Using the carriageway here is the best option as there would be very little traffic and using the pavement is unsuitable due to width and limited visibility.
At the A259, cyclists are directed onto the Pavement to head South/North, due to the width of the highway boundary, the narrowest part of the route would be 2.5m. The existing Toucan crossing would be repositioned and widened to provide for wider pavements at either end. Here the route tie into the existing route.

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