Chichester campaigners gather to remember beloved cyclist and demand road improvements
Following the death of a well-known Bosham cyclist, a group of campaigners paid their respects and appealed for changes to the ‘inadequate road system’ at a well-attended event on Sunday (January 19).
In an effort to promote cycle safety between Chichester and Emsworth, more than 45 people gathered to join the ChiCycle Community bicycle ride, which was also held to mark the group’s tenth anniversary. Spokesman Mark Record said: “We met at the junction of Fishbourne Road West and Salthill Road and at 2pm we held a minutes silence in respect for Gina McWilliam, a cyclist who lost her life at this junction in November last year. This was an overwhelming turnout for a frosty January day and bears testimony to the community’s desire to remember and honour a well known member of the local community. There were also people in the crowd who didn’t know Gina but who turned out anyway to pay their respects. Indeed there were so many attended that the pavement around the junction became full of people and bikes.” Mark said the group then moved off to Bosham, with the majority heading north up to Emperor’s Way and then forming a large group to Chequers Lane before turning onto the country lanes to Bosham Quay. Councillor Sarah Sharp said “It was an impressive site seeing this mass of people cycling but also it was quite obvious how inadequate the road system is for people on bikes. A bit of white paint is no comfort, no protection.” ChiCycle intends to raise awareness that there is a ‘desperate need’ to upgrade the cycleway between Chichester and Emsworth. Mr Record added: “The A259 carries the South Coast National Cycle Route No2 but this section of cycle way is dangerous. For many years local authorities have promised to improve this cycleway and ChiCycle now hope our enthusiastic campaigning will finally make these promises become a reality.” Fellow ChiCycle member Philip Maber said more people would ‘adopt the habit’ of cycling to work, for leisure and to visit local shops, if the cycle route between Chichester and Emsworth was made ‘safe, fast and convenient’. He added: “With so many housing developments planned along the route of the A259, it is vital to implement provision for sustainable transport allowing West Sussex to become a zero carbon county.”