Costings of controversial new-look Chichester bike racks revealed

It has since been repaired, but one of the racks in North Street quickly became loose.
It has since been repaired, but one of the racks in North Street quickly became loose.

Chichester City Council has revealed that the controversial new-look bike racks cost £32,922.80 from developers’ contributions.

As a joint city council, district council and Chichester BID project, all 202 existing cycle racks in the city centre have been replaced with the same number of new stainless steel cycle racks. The change in design has attracted heavy criticism. Read more here

The old, cemented-in bike rack.

The old, cemented-in bike rack.

A city council spokesman explained that the racks were funded by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), i.e. contributions from developers for new development schemes received by the district council and then allocated accordingly to the parishes.

When asked to specify the costings of the new racks, the spokesman said: "The actual cost of the project was £32,922.80 made up of two elements, the purchase price of the new cycle racks £13,329.90 and the tender costs for the works of installation £19,592.90.

"In addition, Chichester District Council have confirmed they are offsetting costs by £7,500.

"The figure thus reduces to £25,422.80 for the provision of the 202 racks; about £125 per rack."

The new bolted-down bike racks

The new bolted-down bike racks

The spokesman confirmed the cost of the 'entire project' was funded from CIL receipts.

He added: "The city council will be receiving more CIL funds as development is implemented and city councillors will be glad to receive suggestions about where it might be allocated."

The decision to replace the bike racks prompted backlash from cyclists and residents in the city, who fear the new racks can be easily unbolted. People also argued that the money would have been better spent on something new or on making journeys into the city safer for pedestrians and cyclists, including Green Party councillor and ChiCycle co-ordinator Sarah Sharp.

She said: "The cost came out of community infrastructure funds which I believe should be used to provide something new for the community in compensation for the houses being built around Chichester.

"People aren't safe walking on the pavements or cycling into the city. The Community Infrastructure Levy should be spent addressing that; making the journeys safer for people walking and on bikes.

"We need to prioritise safety over and above cosmetic changes in my view."