Chichester cycling scheme for Big Society

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Schoolchildren in Chichester could soon have invites in their book bags to take part in a whole host of unique cycling activities, if one group’s Big Society idea comes off.

Sarah Sharp delivered a passionate speech during the South Chichester County Local Committee (SCCLC) meeting at Boxgrove Village Hall, asking for £300 to get the scheme up and running.

She is co-chairman of the Chichester and District Cycle Forum which is behind the scheme.

The forum plans to take over Bike Week, being run by the district council, and promote activities for it by putting information out to schools, libraries and doctors’ surgeries.

Sarah said: “I believe that volunteers want to do things as quickly, as efficiently, and as cheaply as possible because they have the passion. All bureaucrats do not seem to have this urgent desire to bring about change in society.

“Our community group is trying to bring about change. We were advised to come to this meeting to ask for six changes to some cycle routes in the area. We were told officers will now think about this. It was an officer who told me to come to this meeting, we don’t seem to have got very far this evening.”

Sarah announced the ideas after a lengthy discussion about a new county council pilot scheme, which aims to encourage communities to embrace the Big Society idea.

She wants to team up with a haulage company to invest in a scheme where fluorescent safety vests can be given away to school children to keep them safe on the roads and while cycling.

Last summer Sarah filled out an LTP3 survey form, in what she wants to see improved in West Sussex over the next two years.

She told the meeting out of all the areas that took part, residents from Chichester filled in 49 – the most in the county. She compiled a list together of 80 improvements to be made to cycle routes in the local area.

She was told to choose six items from this list to present to the SCCLC meeting, in the hope something can be done.

The areas she said the cycle forum wants to improve included the Hunston crossing, introducing a contra-flow cycle lanes by the northern and eastern walls of the city and completing Route 888 linking Selsey to Chichester.