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Cyclist detection and warning system to be added to Chichester’s Northgate Gyratory

But local cyclists say fundamental road design issues remain

Drivers on Chichester’s Northgate Gyratory will be warned of the presence of cyclists via a new detection and warning system reports the Chichester Observer. Electronic signs will be triggered whenever anyone is riding in the continuous green cycle lane, warning motorists of the cyclist’s presence.

Northgate Gyratory – also known as the Fire Station Roundabout – has seen eight cyclists involved in injury collisions in the last three years. The work, which is scheduled to start on March 30 and which will take around two weeks, is intended to address that. The project will cost £210,000 with £140,000 from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) and the rest from West Sussex County Council’s road safety budget.

Ed Clark, a senior cycle training officer, said:

“Northgate’s quite a busy environment so when you’re in the cycle lane you’re on the outside of the flow of traffic it can make you a bit less visible to motorists so the boards that are going up are just going to make motorists a bit more aware that a cyclist’s approaching.”

However, local cyclist Paul Wreyford said that while the new signs were an improvement, fundamental problems remained.

“The cycle lane design remains very similar to the existing layout. There still remains the danger and conflict that I and many of my neighbours have experienced on this system.

“This is; the high speed of exiting traffic at each junction, the lack of visibility for the kerbside driver when two vehicles are at a two lane entry, the failure of drivers to signal when exiting, and the lack of lane discipline/lane markings on the gyratory system.

“Unfortunately I do not consider that these issues will be resolved by a design that concentrates mainly on improving lane safety for cyclists.”

West Sussex County Council is currently involved in three LSTF projects. £2.46m of LSTF funding has been secured for initiatives in Chichester and Horsham and the improvements to Northgate Gyratory are part of this. Other improvements for Chichester will include the development of a circular cycle route connecting the railway station to the Law Courts, the city centre and Westgate Leisure Centre as well as improvements to the layout of Chichester Railway Station for pedestrians, cyclists, taxis and cars.

In addition to this, the council is working alongside other organisations to improve sustainable access to the South Downs and New Forest national parks; and with the South Downs National Park Authority and neighbouring local transport authorities to improve cycling facilities within the park itself.

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