A public consultation is to be held into plans for a walking and cycling network in Chichester.

Work on the Chichester City Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan has been going on since last year, when the district council commissioned consultants Transport Initiatives.

The company has since identified 26 cycle routes that need improving, along with walking zones and areas used by both.

They include the routes on Broadway, College Lane, Vinnetrow Road, the A27 cycle bridge, Caledonian Road and Whyke Road.

A report to a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday (September 8) said the improvements would cost from £6.7m – doing the bare minimum – to £16.7m for more in-depth work.

While councillors were happy to put the plans out to consultation, there was some concern about how the costs would be met.

Tony Dignum, who has returned to his role as cabinet member for growth, place & regeneration, after recovering from heart surgery, asked what funding was available to the council.

He said: “I’m really concerned about raising expectations among the general public that we’re suddenly going to have a vast network of walking and cycling routes – and the result is little or nothing due to government parsimony.”

Simon Ballard, the council’s environmental protection manager, acknowledged that there were no guarantees that any money would be forthcoming.

But he pointed members to guidance from the Department for Transport, which said any council which had demonstrated good governance by creating an infrastructure plan would be at an advantage when they bid for money.

The consultation will run from Friday September 18 to Monday October 19 and the council will create a consultation page via it’s chichester.gov.uk website.

The plan will come back to the cabinet in January 2021, once all comments received during the consultation have been considered.