VOTE: Dad pedals idea of forging cycle routes

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A Birdham dad who wants to create new cycle routes from Chichester to villages across the Manhood Peninsula is urging residents to join his campaign.

Justin Goodwin felt there were not enough safe routes for his daughters to cycle on, so he launched a website to raise the profile of his idea.

Mr Goodwin said: “I enjoy cycling but I wouldn’t say I was a fanatic. I was more driven to do this because my kids are getting to the age where they want to get out and about and there is not enough safe routes down to the Witterings and up to Chichester.

“It was the realisation that on this nice peninsula, which attracts tourists, there isn’t much in terms of cycle infrastructure.”

Mr Goodwin, who has a background in climate change, designed a website so his family and friends could comment on his proposals for new cycle routes.

His aim is to create two fast and safe commuter cycle routes to and from Chichester for residents and visitors to the coast. He wants this to serve East and West Wittering and Selsey.

He has also proposed to create one east-west safe and fast scenic beach route between West Wittering and Selsey. He is backing the completion of the new National Cycle Route 88 from Chichester to Selsey.

Mr Goodwin acknowledged the start of one new cycle route to Selsey, but added: “We could do better. We’ve done well with the existing Route 88 Bill Way cycle route.

“It has got to Sidlesham and it’s progressing, but quite slowly.”

Founder of ChiCycle Sarah Sharp said: “I support anything that is going to encourage people to cycle. Anything to make it safer, easier and more fun to cycle on our roads.

“Realistically I know what Justin is up against, it is a huge obstacle and he needs to persuade people in power that this is important.”

She added: “In this day and age what can you do? The council will say there is no money.”

A questionnaire has been launched on Mr Goodwin’s website, so he can gather people’s views about his cycle route plans.

One quote from someone who filled in the questionnaire said ‘for a healthy lifestyle and road safety it’s a no-brainer’.

Mr Goodwin added: “The questionnaire was to gauge interest in people so I can find out if they are fully behind it or whether I am barking up the wrong tree.”

Mr Goodwin wants to help continue the work done by Sustrans, West Sussex County Council, Manhood Cycle Network, ChiCycle, Chichester and West Sussex Cycle Forum, Chichester And District Cycle Forum in bringing safe cycle routes to the peninsula.

To view Mr Goodwin’s proposals log on to www.manhoodbybike.wikidot.com.