Category Archives: Highways

A defined route over which “the public at large” can pass and re-pass as frequently as they wish, without hindrance and without charge.

Lorries in the Pallants – some progress in controlling access

Although not a shopping street, the Pallants are one of the things that people come to Chichester to see and the area is very much on the City guide route. In the 1970’s East Street and North Street were pedestrianised and much thought was given to servicing the shops in these streets. East Street was to be served from a back area leading off Cooper Street and a similar arrangement was put in place for North Street. Additionally deliveries to premises in these streets could easily be made out of shopping hours.

In general this has worked well, but in recent years two things have happened. Overtime working gave rise to deliveries out of hours and 40ft articulated lorries were not envisaged when the pedestrian area was born. As a result of this we now have a situation where these large lorries attempt to use the Pallants to service shops in East Street. A second problem is that ‘sat navs’ misdirect drivers thinking that there is a through route. This has resulted in 40ft articulated lorries having to make a three point turn or else reverse the length of North and South Pallant.

Not only is this upsetting for the residents (in some of the smaller properties there are bedroom windows on a level with the driver’s cab) but it results in considerable damage to the listed buildings in the street as well as causing damage to the historic paving, to say nothing of the inevitable damage to parked cars.

The continuing damage caused to buildings and pavements was brought to the attention of the Chichester Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CCAAC). Alan Green, Chairman of the CCAAC wrote several strong letters to the leader of West Sussex Council.  This produced words of sympathy but no action or solutions. As a result it was suggested that the residents might see better results if complaints came from an official body.

Subsequent discussions with Highways England led to a sign being put up to deter HGVs from entering the Pallants. This has certainly helped as lorries have been observed backing into the South Pallant Car Park to return up Old Market Avenue.

Problems with the approaches to the Whyke roundabout A27 Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge

Alan Carn, Co-Chair Whyke Residents Association explains

At last we have the prospect of a safe crossing of the A27 at the Whyke roundabout.

The new bridge is in place and the approach steps and ramps appear to be in an advanced state of preparation. Highways have done what they were tasked to do, and the design (in my opinion as a long time teacher of Design) is quite pleasing and elegant.

The A27 problem has been solved, but unfortunately not the attendant problems of the B2145 (Whyke Road and Hunston Road).

Approaching the new bridge from Whyke Road, a pavement takes the pedestrian towards the A27 on the west side, but stops some 50 yards from the roundabout. Here it is necessary to cross Whyke Road in order to continue on the pavement which connects to the roundabout on the east side. At the roundabout it is necessary to cross to the west side again to access the new bridge. Drivers leaving the A27 and heading into town often seem not to appreciate that they are entering a 30 mph zone, and often exceed the limit, at just the points where pedestrians would be obliged to cross.

The Council are looking into the problem, but is seems unlikely that a solution will be in place when the new bridge is scheduled to open, or for some time after.

A similar problem exists on the Hunston Road side. The pavement on the West side connects directly to the bridge, but runs out a short distance from the roundabout.

To continue south, it is necessary to cross the road in order to pick up the pavement to Chichester Lakes, but at the entry point to the lakes, the pavement ends, and further progress towards Hunston is at the mercy of the traffic.

Crossing the Hunston Road at any point near to the roundabout is hazardous as the sight lines are restricted and the speed limit is an astonishing 50 mph!

There are other safe ways of accessing the bridge from the town side, but these are circuitous and not obvious. Similarly, there is a footpath to Hunston which crosses the fields behind the old Carmelite Convent and emerges by Canal Corner. Again not particularly obvious and no help to people wishing to visit the lakes or walk or cycle to The Mundhams.

Received 23 Jan 2017

A27 Proposals – position statement from the Society

The Chairman of the Society, Richard Childs, Society issued a press release on 19 January which reads as follows.

The Chichester Society has looked at the maps recently published by the Observer showing possible upgrades for the A27. Richard Childs, the Chairman, said “The Chichester Society has a responsibility to support whatever is best for Chichester as a whole”.

We currently have a situation in which everyone agrees that something must be done. Predictably, North Chichester and Lavant have come out in favour of a southern route, and South Chichester and Selsey in favour of a northern route.

As ever the devil is in the detail. Will a northern route contain sufficient environmental safeguards to prevent the destruction of the scenic value of the South Downs? Will a southern route have the capacity to cope with the vast expansion of Chichester proposed in the Local Plan? Should temporary traffic congestion determine the choice of a route which will be in place for decades to come? While the leaked maps are useful in helping to frame such questions, lines on a map do not provide answers. For this reason the Society will hold a watching brief and comment or campaign as appropriate once the full consultation is launched.’

The original document can be viewed by clicking here.

Via Ravenna Underpass Mural Restoration

Older city residents still remember the days when cows used to graze right up to the city walls.

All that changed, however, nearly 30 years ago in the 1980s when someone followed the “wisdom” of the time and ran a road through Westgate Fields.

The road, in its turn, required an underpass in order to keep the pedestrian link which connects, notably, Chichester College and the railway station and sees hundreds of students each day, not to mention all those Waitrose shoppers too.

And if an underpass is to be attractive, it needs to be more than a concrete tunnel. So a competition was launched to design a set of murals. This was rather fittingly won by a Chichester College student, Victor Hang, whose vision was completed in early 1987.

Nearly thirty years on, the underpass was very much showing its age. So in 2012 we started working to get the pass spruced up again, hopefully in time to form part of the Society’s own 40th anniversary celebrations in 2013.

The first essential was to commission a survey, and the Society was fortunate to obtain the services of Katey Corder, a conservator of international standing specialising in murals and walls paintings. Her report informed the Society’s bid to West Sussex County Council for a grant to fund the works. The County accepted our proposals and awarded the grant. We then appointed Mark Lewis and his team at Art and Soul Traders whose colourful murals are illustrated here.

As it turned out, the project overshot our target by a year, but painting work did finish in mid July 2014, and on 30 July 2014 we had a small gathering to celebrate the completion of the work. We were particularly pleased to be joined by Clare Smith and Debbie Burford, landscape architects who had been very active in helping progress the original project all those years ago.