What is the scope of the project?

    The project will provide improved provision for walking and cycling between Chichester and Emsworth along the A259. This includes consideration of:

    • Upgrades to cycling / walking infrastructure within the existing highway boundary;
    • Improved crossings for pedestrians and cyclists;
    • Relocation of elements causing pinch points, such as bus stops; and
    • Motor vehicle speed limits and restrictions.

    It is not part of the scope of this project to:

    • Acquire additional land to expand the current width of the carriageway along the A259;
    • Relocate statutory undertakers’ / utilities equipment; or
    • Change the purpose or designation of the A259 as a local A road.

    What are Designated Funds?

    This is a Highways England fund which is separate to our core work of operating, maintaining and improving Highways England’s strategic road network. They provide ring fenced funding what we use to invest in and support initiatives that deliver lasting benefits for road users, the environment and communities across England. For Chichester to Emsworth Non-Motorised User Route, we are working in partnership with West Sussex County Council and Chichester District Council to develop this project via the Designated Funds Programme. The project has been allocated funding for the design phase from the Users and Communities fund theme. Construction funding has yet to be secured and will be subject to further bidding. The fund has a dedicated website which can be found at https://highwaysengland.co.uk/designated-funds/

    Is other funding available?

    West Sussex County Council have made a funding contribution to the project that comes from developer funding.

    What standards are the proposals being designed to?

    The project will seek to meet the guidance detailed for local authorities in the Government Local Transport Note 1/20 (Cycle Infrastructure Design). Beyond that, the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges and the West Sussex Cycle Design Guide will also be considered.

    How do you determine what type of provision is appropriate?

    There are a variety of factors which we need to consider when determining what provision is most appropriate. This includes traffic conditions (such as speed and vehicle flow), the range of different users that will be using the corridor, and location. We need to consider the range of users that will use the corridor and new facility. LTN 1/20 advocates infrastructure suitable for people from 8 to 80. We therefore need to ensure that any provision caters for the most vulnerable users, and an Equality Impact Assessment is being undertaken. Our proposals take this into account to provide a balanced solution.

    Are you required to comply with LTN 1/20?

    LTN1/20 provides guidance and recommendations for cycle standards for local authorities, as opposed to requirements for compliance. Recognising that LTN 1/20 sets out current best practice guidance, we will seek to apply these recommendations wherever possible within the scope and constraints of the scheme. Our proposals are however constrained to the existing highway boundary which does limit our ability to apply these standards across the entire route. Highways England is making every effort to design the best possible scheme in line with the guidance. Where we are not able to apply LTN 1/20 recommendations, we will provide clear justification as to why the guidance cannot be met, in line with LTN 1/20 recommendations. Our current proposals look to provide segregated cycle facilities (two-way cycle tracks) where there is sufficient width in the carriageway. Elsewhere we are proposing to provide and maintain sections of shared use paths. We are also considering speed limits, improvements to crossings and relocation of bus stops.

    I thought LTN 1/20 ruled out shared use paths?

    Paragraph 6.5.5 of the guidance details where this provision is acceptable, if well designed and implemented. This includes use on interurban and arterial roads such as the A259, and where its provision provides continuity of a cycle route.

    What happens at narrow sections where you cannot accommodate any allocated provision?

    Our proposals aim to provide a continuous protected route. Where there is insufficient space to provide either a segregated cycle track or a shared use path, we are utilising existing, less direct routes for cyclists to use for their onward connections. We are also proposing speed management at some locations to allow more confident cyclists to continue on the main carriageway in accordance with LTN 1/20 recommendations. However, these will need to be self-enforcing and will require Sussex Police/statutory consultee support.

    How do we know the proposals will be safe?

    All proposals are subject to independent road safety audit at each stage in the design process. The WSCC road safety audit team is involved in the approval of any audit outputs.

    Why are you not looking to make more strategic changes?

    Through the Designated Funds programme, Highways England’s role is to consider and provide improvements for cycling and walking along the A259 between Chichester and Emsworth within the existing road space only. More strategic changes would need to be progressed by the local authorities as part of their wider infrastructure planning. Our proposals do not preclude any larger scale improvements from being undertaken in the future. In developing our proposals, we have rigorously considered numerous factors and constraints. Our preliminary designs reflect the best achievable measures to improve walking and cycling between Chichester and Emsworth within the constraints of the existing corridor. We are keen to understand community and stakeholder views on our proposals as we progress the designs. However, given that the current scope of the project is to work within the existing highways boundary and within the Designated Funds Programme, we do not think it will be possible to provide any significant additional measures as part of our proposals.

    I would like to see a segregated provision for cyclists throughout the entire route. Is this going to happen?

    Wherever possible we have sought to provide segregated, protected cycle tracks. Due to the space we have available for this scheme, it will not be possible to provide segregated provision across the entire route. Where this is not achievable, we are proposing to provide shared use paths to provide a safer and continuous protected route.

    When do you plan to complete the analysis of the questionnaires and the engagement that took place in March 2021?

    This is work in progress and it needs to be corroborated with the analysis done following the public engagement we plan to run between July and September. A full engagement report will be published online by November.

    When will the end of stage report be available for circulation?

    This will be shared with all our stakeholders once the engagement is complete, expected to be late November 2021.

    Has the scheme contract gone to tender for the next stage? Has a supplier/contractor/consultant been appointed yet?

    Once the preliminary design stage is complete and there is clarity around what the scheme to be taken forward is, we will be in a position to commence the tender competition for a design and build contract.

    If the tendering is via your internal frameworks does that mean that it will not be listed on the gov.uk Find a tender service website?

    This is correct. It will not be listed on gov.uk Find a Tender website.

    When will the Detailed Design funding be secured?

    The Detailed Design funding has already been secured, but we cannot share the budget with you as it has the potential of negatively influencing the tender competition for the Detailed Design stage.

    Will West Sussex County Council Highways Department be involved in the Brief Drafting process?

    We have been working closely with West Sussex County Council throughout the whole process, from inception until now and we plan to continue doing so going forward. Their comments, feedback and advice will be taken into account when drafting the brief.

    When will drafting of the brief be completed? Will the brief be available for stakeholders to see?

    The brief will be drafted after the Preliminary Design stage is complete. In order to safeguard the commercial interests and competitive advantage of Highways England the brief will not be made immediately available to stakeholders, but it could be requested once the next Consultant is procured and the contract is signed.

    What are the next steps?

    We will carefully consider all comments received during engagement to inform our decision making on the next steps for the proposal. We will document the process and publish the results in a consultation report.

    Subject to the outcome of consultation, construction is due to commence once detailed design is complete. This is planned to take place in the first half of 2022, with construction following thereafter.

    How will the A27 Chichester Improvements scheme, that is part of the RIS 3 Pipeline portfolio, affect the work on the A259?

    As part of the A27 Chichester improvements scheme, we will look to improve the safety of the route for all road users, including cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders as well as vulnerable groups. We will work closely with colleagues working on other schemes in the area as well as with stakeholders to ensure we are coordinated in our approach and other work informs the development of options for the scheme.

    What were the recommendations of the road safety audit?

    The Stage 1 Road Safety Audit noted that the proposed scheme provides a route that is a mix of different route types (shared use paths, two-way segregated cycle tracks and quiet road routes).   Its overarching recommendation was that – if possible – a more consistent, higher quality segregated cycle route with physical separation providing a protected space for cycling is implemented.  

    Within the highway space available, both the Highway Authority (WSCC) and Overseeing Organisation (Highways England) agree with the Designer that it is not possible to implement a continuous fully segregated cycle route.  The proposed scheme does provide a continuous off-carriageway or quiet road route to cater for all user types.  Shared use paths have been proposed as a last resort only, in full compliance with the principles of the LTN1/20 guidance.

    Liaison between the Designer, Highway Authority and Active Travel England (depending on its status) will be undertaken at detailed design stage.  Active Travel England will independently verify whether all reasonable steps have been taken to adhere to the LTN1/20 guidance, and evidence of this verification will be provided at the time of the Stage 2 Road Safety Audit.  Only with the support of Active Travel England will the scheme proceed to implementation.

    The Stage 1 Road Safety Audit made other general recommendations, namely:

    • A consistent approach to the layout and crossing arrangements at side roads, with priority given to pedestrians and cyclists if possible.  However, the Designer, Highway Authority and Overseeing Organisation agreed that this is unsuitable for most of the route.  Therefore, the pedestrian/cycle priority crossings at Woodfield Park Road and Bramley Gardens were removed from the proposals to ensure consistency.


    • Due to concern that 20mph speed limits may be ignored, more severe speed reduction measures/streetscape alterations are provided where the place function of the street can dominate the movement function – or the removal of the 20mph speed limit proposal.  The Designer, Highway Authority and Overseeing Organisation disagreed with this recommendation, although the streetscape will be looked at during detailed design.  The Overseeing Organisation expects to be formally consulted on the scheme with evidence of specific support for a 20mph zone/limit on a strategic A road needing to be provided.


    • Measures to advise drivers of the two-way cycle route so that they anticipate cyclists approaching from both directions, including a raised track at junctions. The Designer disagreed with the problem and noted that raising the track would give cyclists a perception of priority at side roads, yet insufficient visibility exists to provide such priority.  Both the Highway Authority and Overseeing Organisation concurred with the Designer, although the scope for additional road markings and cycle symbols will be investigated at detailed design stage. 


    • Clear and consistent provision at bus stops, including bus cages on the road.  The Designer, Highway Authority and Overseeing Organisation agreed with this recommendation.  At one location a false bus boarder has been replaced with a full bus boarder, and an additional bus boarder has been designed at chainage 4350.


    • On sections of segregated two-way cycle track, provision of a stepped cycle track with crossfalls towards the carriageway, to prevent surface water ponding. Alternatively, if a fall towards the carriageway cannot be achieved, cycle friendly drainage should be provided in the cycle track to cater for any carriageway runoff.  The Designer disagreed with the problem as a functioning highway drainage system should not create ponding.  The planned drainage survey, along with the existing topographical survey, should identify any existing drainage issues to be addressed at detailed design stage. The Highway Authority and Overseeing Organisation agreed with this response.


    • Provision of sufficient and consistent carriageway width to allow vehicles to safely pass a stationary bus.  The Designer disagreed with the problem, providing evidence that there is sufficient space for vehicles to pass buses either largely or entirely on their side of the carriageway, with good visibility.  The Highway Authority and Overseeing Organisation agreed with this response.


    • Provision of cycle symbol markings at regular intervals along the quiet roads and repeated across junctions, as drivers may not anticipate cyclists using these routes.  The Designer, Highway Authority and Overseeing Organisation disagreed with this recommendation as the quiet routes are already used by cyclists and are lightly used no through routes with no history of incident.  


    • Localised carriageway repairs on quiet road links to reduce the risk of cyclists losing control after hitting potholes or debris as a result of poor-quality surfacing. The Designer and Overseeing Organisation agreed with this recommendation, as did the Highway Authority, but the latter also responded that the improvements should be budgeted for through the scheme’s capital costs and not left as a burden to WSCC. 

    Full details of the above, together with other location-specific recommendations, are provided in the Stage 1 Road Safety Audit and Responses

    Between Emsworth and Southbourne you are proposing a shared use path. C&DCF and BFWG submitted an alternative design (not endorsed by ChiCycle) they feel is LTN 01/20 compliant. Why has this not been incorporated into the design?

    We have carefully considered the Chichester and District Cycle Forum (C&DCF) & Bournes Forum Working Group (BFWG) engagement document (dated 21/09/2020) which reviewed the previous feasibility design proposals for the scheme. The main proposal outlined within the document is the introduction of a continuous segregated cycle route on both sides of the road (some sections separated from the carriageway by bollards/stepped kerbs, other sections by solid white line rumble strips) combined with the introduction of permanent speed limit reductions to 30mph and 20mph along pinch points.


    The C&DCF/BFWG document presented a visualisation of the segregated cycle track proposals for the A259 just west of its junction with Gordon Road in Hermitage.   It identified seven pinchpoints on the entire corridor, defined as approximately 11.0m.  It is noted that the available width west of Gordon Road exceeds 11.0m and that topographical survey data collected as part of the preliminary design process has identified five pinchpoints between Emsworth and Southbourne alone:


    • East of Slipper Road = 11.0m
    • East of Southbourne Avenue = 10.5m
    • East of Tuppenny Lane = 11.0m
    • West of Prinsted Lane = 11.0m
    • East of Prinsted Lane = 10.1m


    The C&DCF/BFWG document presented a 11.0m cross-section showing how segregated with-flow cycle tracks could be accommodated, which is replicated for ease of reference below.

    C&DCF/BFWG’s proposed cycle path widths do not comply with the principles of the LTN 01/20 guidance, being 0.33m below the 1.5m absolute minimum width at constraints stated in Table 5-2.  The proposed footway widths of 1.17m similarly do not comply, paragraph 6.1.9 of LTN 01/20 stating that minimum footway widths must be designed to consider Inclusive Mobility within any new proposals.  Any designs reducing the available footway width below 1.5m, the minimum acceptable width to allow a wheelchair user and a walker to pass one another as defined in Inclusive Mobility, are to be avoided.   The absolute minimum acceptable footway width is 1.0m but only where there is an obstacle and only over a maximum length of 6.0m.


    Where highway widths are constrained, such as at the above locations, our preliminary design has prioritised the achievement of the minimum acceptable footway width as per Inclusive Mobility above the achievement of physical segregation between cyclists and pedestrians, to provide a non-motorised user route which is genuinely “accessible to all”.  We have proposed shared use paths (standard width of 3.0m, 2.0m where constrained) in preference to one-way cycle lanes, as these are considered of greater benefit to infrequent cyclists who are considering cycling more in their local area.


    We have nevertheless considered the C&DCF/BFWG proposals wherever it has been practical to do so, in the context of the A259’s continued function as a strategic diversion route for the A27 and as an important artery for the parish communities between Chichester and Emsworth, carrying in excess of 15,000 vehicles per day on many sections.   As such, our preliminary design proposals represent a significantly greater improvement in the quality of non-motorised user facilities relative to the existing situation, when compared with the previous feasibility design proposals developed prior to the publication of LTN1/20.  In particular, the preliminary design proposes sections of kerb-segregated cycle track between Southbourne and Bosham where space allows, and reduced speed limits for most of the route between Southbourne and Fishbourne.  Neither of these proposals featured in the feasibility design and both align with C&DCF/BFWG’s proposals.


    Considering the design constraints, we consider the preliminary design for this scheme is compliant with the principles of LTN 01/20.

    You are proposing sections of shared use path which pass multiple private driveways. Visibility from these driveways is often very limited. How can these proposals possibly be safe for cyclists?

    There are several route sections where segregated provision for pedestrians and cyclists is not achievable without reducing footway widths below 1.5m. This is the minimum acceptable width to allow a wheelchair user and a walker to pass one another as defined in Inclusive Mobility – A Guide to Best Practice on Access to Pedestrian and Transport Infrastructure, DfT, 2002.


    Paragraph 6.1.9 of LTN 01/20 states that these recommended minimum footway widths should be retained.  On such sections, the provision of shared use paths is unavoidable in order to provide a safer and continuous protected cycle route between Emsworth and Chichester. 


    All proposed shared use sections have been subject to a full independent road safety audit.  This identified the general problem of drivers entering/leaving side roads and accesses (including private driveways) not anticipating two-way cycling, resulting in collisions between vehicles and cyclists.  The audit recommended the consideration of additional road markings and cycle symbols.   It was agreed by the WSCC road safety audit team and by Highways England that this would be investigated at detailed design stage.  Full details are provided in Problem 4 of the Stage 1 Road Safety Audit and Responses.


    Our current preliminary design seeks to achieve minimum visibility splays of 2.4m x 17.0m for junctions and side roads, as per Table 5-5 of LTN 01/20, but it is recognised that visibility splays for existing private driveways will in some cases fall below the absolute minimum of 2.4m x 2.4m required for new private driveways.  It should be noted that the proposed arrangements represent a continuation of the existing situation where non-motorised users (i.e. pedestrians and cyclists) have right of way over cars exiting private driveways.  The onus is therefore on motorists to check for approaching pedestrians and cyclists before crossing the path, consistent with the Highway Code. 


    Furthermore, we would encourage motorists to exit private driveways in forward gear and so have the best possible visibility towards crossing pedestrians and cyclists.  This may mean reversing into private driveways from the main road if possible.  We would also encourage cyclists to cross these driveways with caution, looking and listening for potential hazards ahead.  Prior to implementation, Highways England and WSCC will investigate the potential for a new road safety campaign to stress the importance of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists behaving in a considerate manner towards one another to keep user conflicts to a minimum.


    Shared use sections have been proposed as a last resort given the local constraints.  We consider that they provide a greater safety benefit to infrequent cyclists who are considering cycling more in their local area compared with the alternative of providing one-way (unsegregated) cycle lanes in the carriageway.

    What are the current scheme options?

    The table below shows the various options (not mutually exclusive) that have been considered for implementation along the route.  It shows how the proposed design has evolved since the feasibility stage for the five corridor sections as stakeholder feedback has been taken into consideration.  


    The preliminary design proposals represent a significantly greater improvement relative to the existing situation when compared with the previous feasibility design proposals developed prior to the publication of LTN 01/20.  In particular, the preliminary design proposes sections of segregated cycle track and reduced speed limits which did not feature in the feasibility design.  Shared use paths have been proposed as a last resort only, on sections where physical and operational constraints have dictated this.