There have been many revisions of the options proposed to manage the increases in traffic in our area that will result from building 1600 new homes, since the developers submitted their outline plans for the development of the Whitehouse Farm site in December 2014, . There are five issues the committee wishes our households to get interested in.

Click on the images to make them bigger.

  1. The Southern Access Road

At the far Western end of our street the famous southern access route to and from the development will emerge and dump its traffic into the Sherborne Road roundabout junction with Westgate. This road is proposed for the second phase but there are good arguments for insisting that it gets built now.

This is how Centurion Way and the Bishop Luffa school entrance would fare in accommodating the provision of the Southern access from the WHF site, but what is that northerly spur stub that ends nowhere?

Southern site access roundabout

See how the access road snakes across the playing fields to the roundabout.

2. The Sherborne Road Roundabout

At the other end of the street, the Westgate-Sherborne Road roundabout was modified to include provision of a special route for the school buses, which means we would lose the copse:Slide05

Modifications were also proposed to the Cathedral Way roundabout to scope with the extra traffic load turning out towards Via Ravenna or Cathedral Way heading east or west out of town:
Slide06

In October 2015 there was a proposal to realign the Westgate-Sherborne Road roundabout in an effort to make it safer for pedestrians:

Westgate:Sherborne Road Junction improvements

Vectos also came up with a second option which would involve making the western entrance to Westgate at Sherborne Road “cyclists only”. This could mean reduced through-traffic flows eastwards along Westgate towards the City as it would be effectively No Entry to vehicles.

Westbound restriction to Westgate

3. Traffic Calming along Westgate

There were three options originally proposed for calming traffic flows along the street, shown moving from West to East:

Option 1 is not unlike what we have now.Slide12

Option 2 shows a much more defined cycle route along most of the street.Slide13Option 3 has the west end pretty much as now but somehow manages to fit in a divided carriageway at the eastern end, which haste be impossible. 
Slide14
Later that year a less ambitious Westgate traffic calming plan was published:

Westgate Improvement scheme

4. National Cycle Route 2

Westgate has two cycle rotes along its length. The national cycle route from St Austell to Dover runs along Westgate as far as Mount Lane before deviating off down to the station in front of the College. This is not currently a safe or dedicated route and has many gaps.

The earlier, even more fragmented and generally less well-received South Coast Cycle Route (SCCR) also passes along our street, but deviates from NCR2 at Mount Lane and proceeds onto the A286 roundabout at the Eastern end of Westgate and on into the City.

So far any properly considered cycle route solutions had been part of the previous section, under traffic calming and you are advised to revisit those plans for the detail. A dedicated cycle route is shown in the Local Plan and is a requirement of WSCC Highways for sustainable transport proposals.

At the end of 2015, further suggestions and modifications were made both by Vectos and Paul Wreyford, the retired highways officer who works with the Parklands RA, mainly concerning the feasibility of this cycle route.

In all the Vectos proposals, providing a safe, continuous cycle track looked impossible, so Paul Wreyford had a go at fitting in a cycle track. Here are his drawings, moving from East to West along Westgate. The A286 roundabout is missing from this scheme but consideration has been given to designing a safe Dutch roundabout and can be found in section 5.

This proposal runs initially as a shared space with pedestrians in parallel to the south pavement of Westgate along to Mercers

WESTGATE 5 001 traffic calming 4

past the junction with ParklandsWESTGATE 4 001 (00000002) traffic calming 3

before the cycle track divides from the pedestrian way once past the TanneryWESTGATE 3 001 (00000002) traffic calming 2

into the broader part of WestgateWESTGATE 2 001 (00000002) Traffic calming 1

and on to the Sherborne Road roundabout.

Here Wreyford proposes two options. His Option 2 converts the roundabout into a simple junction with traffic lights to allow for protected flow of bikes and school children:
WESTGATE 1 001 (00000004) SRR Option 2

More radically, his Option 2A proposes closing the junction completely to the South and the West, making it a simple right turn from Westgate into Sherborne Road for vehicles. This would make Westgate into a local road and require the Southern Access route to exit onto the College roundabout as shown:
WESTGATE 1 ALTERNATIVE DESIGN 001 (00000004) SRR Option 2A

It is of course probable that all vehicles using Sherborne or Parklands Roads as a rat run will therefore be dumped into Westgate during the morning rush hour and vice versa in the evening. During the day it could well cut down on the use of the road as a through route.

5. The A286 Westgate Roundabout

Finally. Vectos have designed a new look to the Westgate-Ave de Chartres roundabout (A286) to try and improve the safety for cyclists and pedestrians:

Ave de Chartres roundabout cycle improvements

Whilst some or none of these proposals may be implemented it is incumbent upon us one year into the outline planning process to understand the kind of thing that is being proposed for our street  and develop opinions so that when these proposals are firmed up we are ready with our arguments for or against or with counter-proposals that make more sense.

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Colin Hicks

Webmaster, Westgate Residents' Association Chichester

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