Chichester Car Free Day: Observer poll results revealed

In light of plans for a Car Free Day in the city, you have been having your say on whether it is a reasonable idea.

‘Car Free’, set up by campaigner Mark Record and supported by councillor Sarah Sharp, plans to trial a scheme inside the city walls one Sunday a month to make the city more safe and a ‘fun place to walk and cycle’. Read more here

The potential of the idea is ‘limitless’ according to city councillor Sharp, who responded to reservations about the idea.

Not everyone agrees, as proved by our Facebook poll, in which 478 (66 per cent) of the 727 readers who voted said they would not be in favour of the idea. 249 people said they could see the city being car free for a day (34 per cent).

Commenting on the idea, Janice Betson wrote: “It would mean nobody going to Chichester on Sundays, and the residents wouldn’t be able to go out. Ridiculous.”

John Torch agreed. He asked: “What is the point of this? The city centre hardly has issues with traffic and you barely see a car anywhere; most of it was pedestrianised years ago. It’s a further demonisation of the motorist, when all the motorist is doing is driving into the city to buy goods and services - something that must be applauded and encouraged in such uncertain times.”

Councillor Sarah Sharp and campaigner Mark Record SUS-190218-173017001

Councillor Sarah Sharp and campaigner Mark Record SUS-190218-173017001

Mark Eddowes said Chichester will soon be ‘a people free city the way it’s going’.

Jez Madden said: “I’m sure the beleaguered traders will be thrilled to have no shoppers one day a week,” whilst Alexander Luke agreed that businesses that trade on Sundays ‘would suffer’.

Bryony Hints said: “It would just make the Saturday before really bad on the roads instead!”

However, the idea did receive its fair share of backing.

SUS-190226-085730001

SUS-190226-085730001

Christina Procter wrote: “It’s undeniable that our air quality is poorer and that it is bad for everyone if we allow it to continue. I can’t understand why there is such negativity towards small attempts to improve this. Its just within the walls!!

“If residents and traders are consulted so that the impact on them is minimal, this could be a great way to get people to realise that, in the most part, people do not need to take their car into town.

It is perfectly possible to not drive into town and the idea should be encouraged.”

Victoria Oatway agreed. She said: “If larger cities manage it then I don’t see why Chichester can’t try this, we do need to change the mindset that it’s ‘car first’ and encourage people to look at other methods of transport if possible.”

Claire Herbert said: “They’re proposing one Sunday a month, inside the walls. I think that with careful planning, thinking particularly about residents, it could be achieved.”

See also: Car free campaign launched in Chichester

Protesters march through Chichester for ‘urgent action’ to tackle climate change