News & Interest

Centurion Way is now planned to go all the way to Cocking!

South Downs National Park Centurion Way Plan Invitation Header

Southdowns National Park have published an open invitation to come and view their Centurion Way Planning Drawings for the stretch from West Dean to the South Downs Way, Cocking.

24 October
3pm to 7pm
Cocking Village Hall, Bell Ln, Cocking, GU29 0HU

Read the full details of their invitation here
SDNPA Project Update Stakeholders Sept_2018

The Friends of Centurion Way are very supportive of these plans.
However we wish to remind people that it would be a great shame if the Southern end of the path was lost due to development threats while the Northern end is being extended.

We recommend anyone enthusiastic about Centurion Way visits this plans viewing event and if possible, discusses their concerns about the development threats that over shadow the future of our Chichester section of path.

Cracks and Bumps have been quickly repaired

Late  this summer Adam Bell reported issues with Centurion Way Path to our local authorities.

There was a long and reasonably wide crack along the centre of the path at it’s southern end. It was an especial nasty if cycling at night.

In virtually no time at all the local authorities repaired crack in the path and removed the bump from a large tree root as well.

Tree root bump close to railway footbridge has been removed
Tree root bump close to railway footbridge has been removed
Long crack in path filled with new tarmac strip
Long crack in path filled with new tarmac strip

The Friends of Centurion Way group are really impressed with how quickly these repairs were completed.

 

BBC Radio’s Clare Balding interviews Matt Masson on Centurion Way about his rehabilitation from injury

Clare Balding hears the uplifting story of how walking helped a young man recover from a brain injury. Click here for link to podcast.

Clare Balding interviews Matt Masson on Centurion Way
Clare Balding interviews Matt Masson on Centurion Way

At the age of 23, Matt Masson fell off a roof during a night out. He was in a coma for six weeks and, when he awoke, couldn’t walk, talk or sit-up. When his voice returned, so did a determination to return to his previously active life. Walking formed a central part of his rehab; his first goal was to walk just 300 metres but by 2014 Matt had walked the Amsterdam Marathon which took 9 hours and 37 minutes. In this edition of Ramblings, Matt and his mother, Anne, walk a stretch of the Centurion Way in Chichester and recall his many endeavours. The Centurion Way is a route between Chichester and West Dean which follows the line of part of the disused Chichester to Midhurst Railway. fell off a roof during a night out. He was in a coma for six weeks and, when he awoke, couldn’t walk, talk or sit-up. When his voice returned, so did a determination to return to his previously active life. Walking formed a central part of his rehab; his first goal was to walk just 300 metres but by 2014 Matt had walked the Amsterdam Marathon which took 9 hours and 37 minutes. In this edition of Ramblings, Matt and his mother, Anne, walk a stretch of the Centurion Way in Chichester and recall his many endeavours. The Centurion Way is a route between Chichester and West Dean which follows the line of part of the disused Chichester to Midhurst Railway.

Friends of Centurion Way meet Richard Vobes AKA The Bald Explorer

Richard’s podcast/interview about Centurion Way is now available by following this link!!!

Richard Vobes is a film maker and amateur historian. He frequently makes short films and audio recordings that explore Britain’s great heritage, traditions and legends. He has a website https://baldexplorer.com/ where his videos and podcasts can be easily accessed.

On the 20th September 2018, he visited Chichester and interviewed some of the Friends of Centurion Way. Unfortunately it was raining and therefore filming was not practical . However Richard was still able to use his sound recording equipment, so watch out for a potential podcast appearing soon on the Bald Explorer website.

Richard Vobes AKA The Bald Explorer visiting Centurion Way
Richard Vobes AKA The Bald Explorer visiting Centurion Way (photo by Philip Maber)

Vélo South on 23rd September

Vélo South promises to be a huge local event with apparently 15,000 cyclists taking part.

Centurion Way is a wonderful route you can follow up to Lavant if you wish to watch the event but need to avoid issues with the event road closures on the day!

Vélo South cycalists

More details of the event can be found by following this link to the official event website.

The event is not without some local controversy as there is now a legal challenge being made to the road closure plans.

Chichester Observer Legal Challenge to Velo South event.

Legal challenge launched and protests planned against Velo South

It is not clear how the event will proceed if motor vehicles are simultaneously allowed to use the roads with the cyclists during the event. However Friends of centurion way hope that  both Vélo south cyclists and the local residents enjoy this unusual event.

On behalf of the Friends of Centurion Way,

Mark Record

Nocturnal Activity on Centurion Way

Philip Maber caught this interesting image at night on the 18th August. It shows  interesting nocturnal activities of some of the Friends of Centurion Way participating in a walk to find bats.

Friends of Centurion Way participating in bat walk
Friends of Centurion Way participating in bat walk

A young bat enthusiast Francesca can be seen on the right of the image holding a bat detector and third from the right is Peter Etheridge who did a fantastic job leading the walk.

The walk started from Bishop Luffa Close at dusk. Immediately as we moved onto Centurion way Francesca detected bats with her detector. We all looked up and two bats could be clearly seen flying just above our heads in a figure of eight pattern!

Although it was difficult to see bats once night had fallen, the bat detectors told us the bats were still actively flying around. Peter told us most of the bats we detected were probably the Common Pipistrelle apart from one bat we detected with a distinctly different call. Peter thought that could be an example of Daubenton’s bat. A type of bat likes to hunt for small insects that gather over water so was probably commuting between hunting areas.

Many thanks to Peter Etheridge for a great evening on Centurion Way.

On behalf of the Friends of Centurion Way,

Mark Record

 

Bat Watch, Walk & Talk

Discover these fantastic flying mammals on Centurion Way

Flying Bat

Join us for a very special talk with Bat expert Peter Etheridge to find out about the bats that live and thrive on Centurion Way. To include a short walk at dusk for bat spotting. Places on the event are limited so please contact us at friends@centurionway.org.uk to make sure it is not fully booked.August 18, 2018 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The Mayor of Chichester Charity Bike Ride

‘Cycling Legends’ Justin Bulpett & Malcolm Meaby are making a charity bike ride to raise money for Stone Pillow which is charity for local homeless people. They will depart from John O’Groats Tuesday 21st August, arriving Chichester Friday 31th August.

‘Cycling Legends’ Justin Bulpett & Malcolm Meaby will depart from John O’Groats Tuesday 21st August, arriving Chichester Friday 31th August.
‘Cycling Legends’ Justin Bulpett & Malcolm Meaby
With the Mayor Martyn Bell

On Friday the 31st August they plan to complete a final stage ‘Gala’ Ride!

However this plan has changed slightly and the will now begin on Centurion Way where its bridge crosses Newland’s Lane. The ride will proceed down to the bottom of Centurion Way then along Westgate & West St to the Council House.. Previously the plan was to begin the ‘Gala Ride’ at west dean West Dean.

The ‘procession’ of riders would arrive at the Council House at approx. 2pm to be greeted by the Mayor & others, with a buffet lunch for all inside afterwards.

The Friends of Centurion Way firmly support their fund raising efforts in support of Stone Pillow and would particularly like to encourage participation in their final stage ‘Gala’ Ride as an opportunity to help draw attention to the importance of CW and the lack of a safe cycle route into the City Centre itself.

Please feel free to circulate their leaflet and to to sponsor Justin and Malcolm, visit
www.stonepillow.org.uk
or call the Oxmarket
Gallery on 01243 779103

FoCW Summer Festival Success

On the 7th July the Friends of Centurion Way will held a summer celebration on Centurion Way as part of the Festival of Chichester.

Group of people enjoying FoCW Summer Festival Event
Group of people enjoying FoCW Summer Festival Event

The event was well attended despite the date clashing with England’s football quarter final game in the 2018 World Cup.

Cyclists enjoying a cool drink at Summer Event
Cyclists enjoying a cool drink at Summer Event

Offering cool drinks to thirsty path users proved a highly successful strategy to engaging them with the campaign to preserve the path.

The circular walk (integrated with activities such as a quiz and estimating the age of a giant oak) was well received so FoCW may well run similar activities in future events.

The Chichester Observer also reported this story which can be read here.

Planning Application for White House Farm Phase 1 (Awaiting Comments!)

Please consider contacting Chichester District Council with your comments and suggestions regarding the following planning application. There are potential issues regarding access links  for new residents wishing to use Centurion Way. You may follow this link to the comprehensive set of plans made available by Chichester District Council.

Although provisions are outlined in the 89 documents for facilities targeting pedestrians and cyclists, many of these seem aimed only at being either short circular walks or excursions for dog walking/exercise.

Issues with connectivity for sustainable transport can be considered particularly when viewing Drawing number MILL21274-21.B (click to follow link for a closer look)

SANGS MASTERPLAN (A0) Thumbnail
SANGS MASTERPLAN (A0) Thumbnail

In the top half of this drawing is a strip labelled…

“Green Corridor – Central Green Link, This green linear link connects the site as a whole. Board-walks will provide pedestrian links  between residential pockets as well as a continuous hogging footpath running alongside the stream linking the southern and northern country parks.”

Although there is an appealing aspect to this green corridor, it is sadly impractical for sustainable transport because once it reaches the southern park all of the planed routes become curved, twisted and convoluted.  The paths do not navigate along the desire lines walkers, mobility scooter users and cyclists would naturally chose to follow in order to directly get into the city centre or to the railway station.

A closer look at the absence of easy to use sustainable transport links into our existing footpaths/cycleways can also be made by studying the following two drawings;

MILL21274.14 SHEET 1(click for link)

MILL21274.14 SHEET 1 Thumbnail
MILL21274.14 SHEET 1 Thumbnail

MILL21274.14 SHEET 2(click for link)

MILL21274.14 SHEET 2 thumbnail
MILL21274.14 SHEET 2 thumbnail

Many people moving into the newly proposed dwellings will wish to avoid creating unnecessary pollution and avoid the dangers/expense associated with motor vehicle use. New residents may also wish to enjoy the measurable health benefits associated with walking or cycling as part of their daily commute. However, unless direct, safe and easy to use routes can be provided, sustainable transport will be impracticable for new residents. Better links between the new development and onto Centurion Way would provide the best opportunity for walkers, mobility scooter users and cyclists from the new development to integrate with the existing community. John Grimshaw, the original architect of Centurion Way also highlights these points which are published here in his workbook of plans for Centurion Way.

Promoting sustainable transport links with the new development is also advantageous for existing residents, even if they have no interest in using the cities footpaths and cycleways. Every extra person who is be encouraged to use sustainable transport relieves a little bit of congestion from the city and this makes everybody else’s journey faster and slightly more pleasant.

Friends of Centurion Way are committed to making Chichester just as accessible for pedestrians, mobility scooter users & cyclists as it is for motorists.

Please consider contacting Chichester District Council with constructive comments and suggestions regarding these plans and the access link issues for new residents wishing to use Centurion Way?

You’ll need to follow this link then go to the “comments tab” and then follow the link to “register” with the council to register to leave a comment electronically (presumably an alternative would be to send a traditional paper letter).

Best Regards,

Mark Record (on behalf of FoCW)