A CYCLING campaigner has hit out after claims her much-publicised cargo trike was not safe on Chichester’s streets.
Sarah Sharp, who masterminded the city’s 20’s Plenty campaign, was rebuffed in her attempts to get a grant from West Sussex County Council last week.
Mrs Sharp bid for £2,349.63 from the community initiative fund to be allocated towards the cargo trike project, with the money being used for printing, insurance and web creation.
However, at the meeting, county councillor for Chichester north Jeremy Hunt said: “I’m not happy putting money towards something that I don’t think is safe on our roads as they are at the moment.”
Other councillors agreed, with leader Louise Goldsmith saying Chichester’s Georgian roads were too narrow for the cargo trike to be safe.
Mrs Sharp responded at the meeting: “If you don’t think it’s safe for Chichester’s roads maybe you should sort Chichester’s roads out.”
Cabinet member Pieter Montyn said the county council was involved in ten different initiatives in the past two years looking at supporting cycling.
Speaking on Tuesday about the Chichester south county local committee’s decision last week, Mrs Sharp said: “I suppose that’s the crux of the problem – people think ‘the only way to travel safely is to put a big metal box around my children’.
“Those county councillors and their views, they’re only repeating the views of the general population. People think cycling is inherently unsafe.
“The result of that is we’ve got a huge amount of congestion.”
She said she hoped families would realise it could be a safe way to travel.
The council’s funding is to ‘pump prime’ new community initiatives, rather than fund ongoing revenue and for this reason the application was refused.
A spokeswoman said: “The county council is already a keen supporter of a number of projects across West Sussex which support cycling and sustainable transport.”