300 new cycle spaces at Chichester railway station

A TWO-tier cycle park is to be built at Chichester’s railway station.

Government cash will pay for 300 cycle spaces and a mobile workshop offering repair and maintenance.

Cyclists in the city welcomed news of the £150,000 grant to increase facilities, but said more needed to be done to improve road safety.

Observer readers also welcomed the increased spaces.

Paula Chatfield said: “It is a really good start as there are too few cycle spaces in the city centre and hopefully there will be good surveillance as there are too many cycle thefts.”

Kerry Whiting said: “Not all trains take bikes. Also, a decent commuter cycle path from the Witterings would encourage people to commute by bike. But yes, the more cycling is encouraged, the better.”

Moira Strickland said: “The idea of more cycle racks is a good one, the repair shop is a try-and-see idea.”

However, most cyclists felt road safety was still a big concern when it came to encouraging more people to cycle.

“I cycle nearly every day in Chichester and almost every week have a near miss from car drivers being silly or not paying attention,” said Jo Aylott.

“The best thing for cyclists would be safer cycle routes, that’s where I would like to see some money spent.”

Southern Rail will be responsible for delivering the scheme.

Paul Best, Southern’s project manager for the new facility, said the company was ‘delighted’ to secure funding.

“Now, we can move forward to plan the design and delivery of the new facility,” he added.

Announcing the funding, Mr Baker said: “Anyone who rides a bike will know it is important to keep the impetus going and this record level of funding will provide a shot in the arm to cycling.

“Our ambition is to get people cycling more safely and more often and today’s announcements will help us to make that vision a reality.”

News of cycle funding across the south east was welcomed by the South Downs National Park Authority.

Chief executive Trevor Beattie said: “There is huge potential to improve cycle routes across the South Downs National Park and we are very excited about the opportunity this fund presents to create new and safer routes, both for commuters and people cycling for pleasure.

“Situated in the most populous area of England and as the closest national park to London, we are keen to encourage greater use of both public and sustainable transport. We will be working closely in partnership with Sustrans, local authorities and other groups to take full advantage of this new funding.”

The £150,000 grant is part of a national £62m investment in cycling announced by transport minister Norman Baker.