Chichester MP Gillian Keegan voices her Support for Chichester Car Free Day

MP for the Chichester Constituency Gillian Keegan has published an article in the Chichester Observer expressing her support for a Car Free Day in Chichester.

Gillian has a section on her website about “Improving the Environment for Everyone” and environmental concerns are clearly high up on her agenda.

Indeed, she joined a bicycle ride last year to support the Friends of Centurion Way who are a campaign group who wish to ensure any plans to alter a local footpath/cycle way are sympathetic to the communities needs.

Gillian Keegan Supporting Friends of Centurion Way
Gillian Keegan Supporting Friends of Centurion Way in 2018

Gillian shares the same concerns with our campaigners regarding adequate provision for our disable or elderly citizens  so that they are not excluded from the city.

Sarah Sharp has asked Gillian if she would like to open the Car Free Day event in Chichester on International Car Free Day 22 Sept 2019. The Chichester Car Free Day campaigners are also tremendously excited to have Gillian’s backing. We feel that having the support of our local MP makes it far more likely we will be able to stage a successful event in the city.

You may read the full news story by following this link.

Chichester Observer Consider Could Chichester be Car Free One Day a Month?

The Chichester Observer have published a detailed story about the Car Free Chichester Campaign!

Mark & Sarah on East St

The story begins with some wonderful words from Sarah.

“The potential of a Car Free Day in Chichester is ‘limitless’ according to city councillor Sarah Sharp, who has responded to reservations about the idea. ‘Car Free’, set up by campaigner Mark Record and supported by councillor 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 the full story  here

One issue this interview with the Chichester Observer highlighted was the necessity for our group to hold a visually oriented event so we can produce some  strong promotional Photographs we can send out with press releases.

 

Chichester Post: West Sussex County Councillors Unenthusiastic.

Cars on North St

The Chichester Post has published a story about the (5th Feb Local Committee meeting) County Councils reception on the ideas about a car free day within the City walls of Chichester,

It explains that “Mr Record said after the meeting: “I felt disappointed that our county councillors were unenthusiastic about staging a small scale event in the city on Sunday, September 22, on International Car Free Day 2019.”

You may read the full article by following this link Doubt over car-free day in walls

I contacted the post shortly after the meeting and sent then the following by email.


On Monday 21st January, Chichester City Council decided that a car free day should be trialed for 1 day in the city as an experiment. Unfortunatly, it now apears such an event is unlikly to take place.

At the 5th Feb Local Committee meeting, I felt disappointed that  our West Sussex County Councilors were unenthusiastic about staging a small scale event in the city this Sunday 22nd of September on International Car Free Day 2019.

By promoting sustainable forms of transport in Chichester I believe we can achieve many positive outcomes: The city can enjoy reduced congestion from heavy traffic making it a more welcoming environment for tourists, shoppers and residents alike; Toxic vehicle fumes will be reduced leading to better health in our community. Local people can enjoy a better quality of life from the benefits of healthy exercise. We could locally achieve the required eight percent annual reduction in our CO2 emissions needed to avert catastrophic global climate change. Space in our city, currently occupied by motor vehicles, could be better used for commerce, community and culture.

My motivation for proposing a car free event in Chichester city center is comcern about the destruction of our global enviroment.

The IPCC October 2018 special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C gives a clear warning that all of humanity must immediately move away from fossil fuel dependency if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. They explained it is imperative we become a carbon neutral society within the next 12 years.

The Government Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy estimate that 26% of UK carbon dioxide emissions are now caused by transport. This currently makes transport the biggest emitting sector of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.

Because Chichester District Council is concerned over the loss of parking revenue due to a Car Free Day, I proposed only a small event at the meeting where our pedestrian precinct could be extended along the full extent of both North St. and East St. for only one day this year. I have calculated that the loss of parking revenue could not be greater than £2000 and I would be prepared to pay this amount of money from my own pocket if it allowed such an event to go ahead in our city.

I can find nothing published by our local authorities on how they intend meeting the United Nations IPCC guidelines to avoid global catastrophic climate change and I am deeply concerned that as a community we are not prepared to close a couple of streets in the city even as a small symbolic gesture on International Car Free Day.

Our green city councillor Sarah Sharp has been active asking businesses around the city about their feelings towards a car free day in the city. She has found a wide range of opinions varying from strong enthusiasm to ambivilance. What is remarkable is that no business has yet expressed oposition to the idea.

A local group of over 70 people (and growing) have already come together to suport Car Free Days in Chichester and set up a website http://carfreechi.org.uk/. Our next meeting is on February 25, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm at the Park Tavern in Chichester and anyone suporting Chichester car free days is welcome to join us.

Many thanks

Mark Record

Climate Change Protest 15 February

9:45 am: March to Declare Your Support for calling A Climate Emergency!!!

Climate Emergency Graphic
Support Sarah Sharp and the Motion calling a Climate Emergency by witnessing the meeting from the public gallery.

The County Council Meeting will be held at 10.30 Friday 15 February 2019 at County Hall, Chichester.

Chichester District Council’s Objection to Car Free Days and Buying a While Lot of Car Parking Tickets

On our meeting on the 28th of January, Sara Sharp ( Chichester’s green City Councillor) told us that Chichester District Council had objected to the Car Free proposal. I was keen to have precise details of the objection so we could help resolve whatever  impasse has arisen. After an email exchange and phone conversation with Sarah she established that an audio recording of recent CDC meetings are available from the District Council Website. It is not easy to navigate around these pages documenting council meetings but this appears a natural result of the complexity of local government rather than a genuine shortcoming in their record keeping systems. It is actually a very convenient and sophisticated system after a little practice with using it.

Little London and Baffin's lane car parks are repetitively small but their traffic causes disproportionately high impact cost on city life.
Little London and Baffin’s lane car parks are relatively small but their traffic causes a disproportionately high impact cost on city life.

The District Council Meeting where  Car Free Days proposal was discussed was held on the 22nd January and impressively all the details of the meeting are available by following this link.  Something has gone wrong with the audio recording as it sounds like the speakers are permanently suffering from hiccups but it is still intelligible. The discussion of Car Free Days is at 89 min in the audio recording under meeting section 10 “Initial Project Proposals 2019-2020 and Corporate Plan”. Interestingly Councillor Tony Dignum discussed the spare capacity available in the multi-storey car-park during this section of audio. As this campaign blog has already pointed out is this spare capacity could easily absorb cars displaced from Little London and Baffin’s lane car parks. The objection to Car Free Days was that some revenue would be lost from the inner city car parking. However, it seems a reasonable to presume that much of this lost revenue would be recouped when the vehicles relocated to parking using the spare capacity of surrounding car parks.

If the only objection is car-park revenue then maybe our glass is already half full!

A small amount of money may be lost in revenue from occasional closure of Baffin’s lane and Little London car parks. However the inconvenience of the traffic generated by these car parks along Chichester’s small medieval streets is an enormous impediment  to the re-development  of the city centre. Few people would consider removal of the pedestrian precinct a good idea for business and it can be seen that some shops outside of the precinct struggle to survive. Removing traffic from North st and East St could bring a huge boost to our cities appeal. If Baffin’s lane and Little London car parks are full to capacity all day on a Sunday they would only raise only £1942.50 in ticket revenue.  Surely we can easily raise this much money from the city community so we can all enjoy one day when it is not choked with motor vehicle traffic. Get saving(;-)) it looks like we may need to buy 185 all day car parking tickets to enjoy a Car Free Day!

Car Free Chichester First Meeting on the 28th Jan

There was much to discuss at our first meeting which was held in the Park Tavern.
Photo of the Park Tavern

We considered what a car free day should look like in Chichester and concluded the event should be a positive celebration of community not just a day without cars. We all agreed this was the correct approach and we all wanted the event to have the feel of a street party.
Sarah Sharp (a Chichester green City Councillor) said she had received a response from Chichester District Council that was negative towards the Car Free Day proposal because of the potential loss of revenue from the inner city car parks. It was suggested the combined revenue from Baffin’s lane and Little London car parks could not amount to much because they only hold a few dozen car park spaces each. We decided collectivity that if the local authorities refused to stage a car free event in 2019 then we would stage our own colourful, positive, lively event as a protest demonstration over inaction towards impending environmental crisis. The draft minutes of the meeting are available here.

Chichester City Council Suggested Car Free Day Initiative Should be Trialled as an Experiment

Chichester City Council Community Affairs Committee met on Monday 21st January 2019. For reasons that are still unclear to me the meeting minutes start at point 45. CAR FREE DAY was discussed as point 54. It would have been surprising if the Council had immediately committed to implement regular monthly Car Free Sundays. Indeed, it is a remarkable success that the  Council said they wish to trial the idea for a day! When this opportunity arises CFCC will do everything in it’s powers to make the day a success and then lobby for it to become a regular event after that.
Council Offices in North St

Below is an extract copied directly from the Council Minutes (the full minutes can be viewed here).

“54 CAR FREE DAY Council Minute 51 refers The Town Clerk advised that following the Council Meeting in December 2018, when this matter was raised by a member of the public, he had contacted West Sussex County Council and Chichester District Council and BID. The response from the Chief Executive of Chichester District Council, who had spoken to the County Council Chief Executive on this matter, was not supported. The view of BID was favourable. Members were disappointed with the response as the District Council’s ‘Chichester Vision’ document included alternative travelling methods and felt that it was the decision of District Council and County Council Members collectively, on whether such a scheme was viable. The Committee discussed the advantages and disadvantages of having a Car Free Day each month, on a Sunday, and suggested that such an initiative should be trialled for 1 day as an experiment. The Town Clerk was commended for the actions he had already taken and was asked to write again to the Leaders of Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council suggesting a one day trial, on a Sunday, be considered.”

I see this as brilliant news and it now seems a Car Free Day in Chichester could  become (or is even likely to become) a reality in the near future!

Mark Record

Logo Competition Opens On 25th Jan

The Logo Competition Opens On 25th Jan

Competition Opening Photo

The Car Free Chichester Campaign want to trial a scheme inside the city walls one Sunday a month. Key aims of the campaign are to reduce pollution, make it more safe with fun places to walk and cycle by extending the heart of the city outwards and to help combat climate change. Original news story from the Chichester Post

Design Brief For Car Free Chichester Campaign Logo Competition

Emily Penny, Brand Consultant for Colourful Design Strategy (becolourful.co.uk) has very kindly given CFCC some tips for successfully creating a brief for a community campaign. Emily’s ideas have been very helpful in considering what we want to achieve.

Car Free Chichester Campaign Logo Submissions

Dolly ( David Sciberras), a mature student at Chichester university studying Fine Art has kindly produced this artwork for our Campaign

The font I have chosen is called Sans Forgetica, created by RMIT (Royal Melbourne Information and Technology) which is scientifically proven to help the viewer to remember.
The font I have chosen is called Sans Forgetica, created by RMIT (Royal Melbourne Information and Technology) which is scientifically proven to help the viewer to remember.

A great aspect to this logo is it highlights emissions and pollution are the problem with motor vehicles.

Kenneth Dolman has submitted a range of possible Logos

Kenneth Dolman Leaf Shaped Logos
Kenneth Dolman Leaf Shaped Logos
Kenneth Dolman Walking Family Circular Logos
Kenneth Dolman Walking Family Circular Logos
Kenneth Dolman City walls and N S E W streets Logos
Kenneth Dolman City walls and N S E W streets Logos
Kenneth Dolman Exclamation mark Logos
Kenneth Dolman Exclamation mark Logos

The family group graphic feels like a strong counter to people asking why they should be denied motor car access to Chichester city centre.

The light coloured E in the first series is a playful lettering idea for Car(e) Free

Ken Wrote,
Hi, saw your article in the Chichester post and thought I’d have an attempt at some logos. What you see are first thoughts and could be developed and designed further, as well as exploring new colours and
of course different wording. I have tried to be a little ‘green'(healthy living) and also incorporate a walking’family'(mobility/community), rather than showing the negative side(cars/pollution). I’ve also used a circle and cross motif to imply the surrounding city wall and the four main streets(North, South, East and West Streets). Plus I’ve added a fourth design of a friendly exclamation mark (warning). Hope your meetings go well and hey, it’s a good idea to go car free one Sunday a month….why not? Regards,
Ken Dolman

Monty Toms was Quick Off the Mark with the First Submitted Logo

Monty Toms Quick off the Mark With First Submission
This logo is refreshingly direct and was completed before our meeting on the 28th.
Some members of our group are very keen advocates for sustainable transport use and enjoyed the militant feel of this graphic but we also worry it might make some car owners feel too personally excluded from their city.

Stella Wild has Submitted a Graphic Showing a Map of the City as a Globe Earth Shaped Logo

Stella Wild's Logo
She explains, “The design of a map or (a carbon footprint) highlights the message due to no cars, there is less pollution so being able to walk, cycle, plants to grow and build a happy and healthy community in the heart of Chichester. The outer blue circle signifies the world and so this campaign is part of helping to combat global warming.”

Is There Enough Parking Capacity Outside The City Walls?

The 20th of January was a bright sunny winters day so I decided to go into Chichester city to look at and photograph available spare car park capacity outside the city walls. This may help answer the question: Is there enough parking capacity outside the city walls to cater for redirected parking on Car Free Sundays?

The Multi-Storey Car Park is Virtually Empty on January Sundays!

I arrived at around 10:35 Am. When I arrived, there were few cars using the multistorey and a number of children were using the quiet top two decks to ride bicycles and scooters. I wanted to get their permission for a photo but the sight of a strange lone adult riding around the car-park on a bike caused them to look at me suspiciously and they quickly left .

Virtually Empty Top Deck of Multistorey
Virtually Empty Top Mid Deck of Multistorey
Virtually Empty Mid Deck Multistorey
Lower Deck of Multistorey was approximately Three Quarters Empty
It really was Notably Empty on the Top Deck
It was Notably Empty on the Top Deck
The Lower Mid Deck Was Very Quiet
The Lower Mid Deck Was Very Quiet
So few cars on the mid deck
So few cars on the mid deck

North St Car Park has Significant Spare Capacity

Plenty of Spare Capacity in North St Car Park

Market St Car Park was Heavily Used but still had Spare Spaces

Perhaps the successfully Sunday Car-boot sale and Market could be moved into the city on Car Free Sundays. This would free up space inside the market street car park. Vendors could purchase a ticket and arrive and depart at managed times to prevent pedestrian conflict with traffic.

Market St was busy but still had spaces
Market St. was busy but still had spaces

Comparison of Car Park Areas

The image below shows aerial images (taken from Bing Maps) of three car parks in Chichester, arranged together so that their areas can be easily compared. All three combined images are to the same scale. However the date on which the images were taken is not known.

Comparing Baffins Lane, Little London & Multistorey car-park size
On  days similar to this Sunday the 20th of January, the spare capacity on the top deck of the Multistorey carpark could by itself easily absorb cars redirected from both the Little London and Baffin’s Lane car parks. That would be the case even if both  Little London and Baffin’s Lane car parks were used to their full capacities, which they were not on the 20th January.

Conclusion

There may be variation in parking demand throughout the year. However in January there appears to ample parking capacity outside the city walls to cater for car-parks within the city walls to be closed on car free days. There is certainly enough spare capacity to absorb cars from Little London and Baffin’s Lane car parks. This could allow the ends of both East St and North St to be freed from traffic all the way up to the Hornet  Gyratory and Midhurst Roundabout.

Everyone can Enjoy a Monthly Car Free Sunday in Chichester!

On Wednesday 5th Dec 2018 at the city council meeting in North Street I raised a question. I asked if it would be possible to hold a day free from motor vehicles, within our city’s walls, on the first Sunday of each month. The idea appeared remarkably well received by the council. However even our councillors seem unsure how the idea could be progressed.

Climate change represents an immediate threat to humanity and we should all bear a responsibility to do all we can to move towards a more sustainable way of life. Organising a car free day in the centre of Chichester sounds like a challenging endeavour but represents only a single minute step towards avoiding climate catastrophe.

I believe there are great potential social benefits that we can realise if we free our streets of traffic. We could enjoy our streets as:

  • Family friendly spaces inclusive to those of all ages
  • Places that feel welcoming to disabled residents.
  • Arenas for street theatre
  • Stages for musical performance
  • Convenient places to sit outside patisseries and coffee shops
  • Bustling market areas
  • Clean air spaces

However, could even this modest aspiration for a car free day be realised in our culture so intensely dependent on fossil fuel and motor vehicle use? To be honest I don’t know! So I’m going to recruit all the help I can from our local community! I am hoping to make this website interactive so our community can use it to share ideas. I also intend to campaign on our cities streets to encourage support for this idea.

So watch this space for upcoming ideas and opportunities to get involved. Together we can make something big happen in our city and we may enjoy a lot of fun as we achieve it.