B&NES council are proposing a number of changes to cycling priorities on the London Road which we think are detrimental to cycling in Bath; they appear to be a step backwards in understanding the needs of cyclists. The proposal includes removing the dedicated cycleway, making it a shared space with pedestrians and allowing parking across the cycle lane.
From Transition Bath’s perspective we feel that
- Shared cycle and pedestrian cycleways don’t work, especially for those trying to commute into work quickly by bike. The differing speeds of the two forms of transport, lead to conflict, and ultimately forces cyclists to move into car lanes – essentially making the cycling lane pointless.
- Allowing loading in the cycle lanes during rush hour – again forces cyclists into the car lane which is a. dangerous and b. as above means the cycling lanes won’t get used
- It is not clear to us what the council’s objectives are, but the impression is that they are attempting to discourage cycling on the London Road? It seems to us that the congestion and pollution levels on the London Road won’t reduce unless motorists can be persuades out of their cars and onto other forms of transport?
The email below from Adam Reynolds Chair of CycleBath covers the changes in more detail and provides information on how you can provide B&NES council your views on the proposed changes. We would encourage you to respond to put pressure on B&NES not to go ahead with the change.
Subject: New Threat To London Road Cycle Path – Your help is needed.
Bath and Noth East Somerset council are planning to remove the dedicated off road cycle path and make it shared space. This change will be detrimental to both people cycling and walking along London Road creating conflict between both user groups.
Feedback on the proposed changes are needed by the 15th of January.
We are demanding the following:
- Retention of the cycle lane as a designated cycle path.
- No parking allowed in the bays between 7am and 9am Mon-Sat.
- Removal of pedestrian side clutter that forces people to walk into the path of cyclists.
- Clearer demarcation of the cycle path and the footpath.
Please write/email your feedback to: firstname.lastname@example.org making sure you copy to:
Louise_Fradd@bathnes.gov.uk, Andy_Coles@bathnes.gov.uk, email@example.com
citing “A4 London Road Redevelopment Works- Executive Forward Plan Reference E2820″
This link should get you started.
Further details with drawings can be found here cyclebath.org.uk/2016/01/06/new-threat-to-london-road-cycle-path/ with more detailed reasons which I will list here for use in your email:
- The completed Gateway Project work identifies one path for cyclists and one for pedestrians, although this is currently far from being adequately marked. The proposed design for “Dual Use” is likely to cause conflict between pedestrians and cyclists; increasing the likelihood of accidents between them.
- The design of the two traffic sign posts forces pedestrians into the cycle path, made worse by an advertising A board often under one of the signs.
- The original proposals (as approved ‘Gateway scheme’, Ackerman drawing AIS060/02/01 rev.03) restricted the times of the two loading bays, keeping them clear of vehicles in morning and evening peak hours for people to cycle. Under the current proposals vehicles can use both these bays at any time thus forcing cyclists into the path of pedestrians.
- Vehicles parked in the bays will dissuade some cyclists from using the pavement level cycle lane, making them travel instead on this heavily trafficked London Road at its narrowest part near to a very busy junction, with dangerous HGVs. Others will use the cycle lane but will have to cycle around the parked vehicle on the main pavement as there is no safe alternative.
- The proposals contradict agreed Council policy in Getting Around Bath Transport Strategy: ‘That cycling be promoted through better cycling routes with appropriate infrastructure where needed, building a cycling culture for people of all abilities’. Policy GABP5 (see also GABP1, GABA7, GABAA8 & GABA9and section 3.6)
- The new proposals in E2820 are likely to adversely impact on safety for both cyclists and pedestrians and would normally be subject to an independent Safety Audit. It is not clear whether this has been done for the works completed in 2015. Please inform me when the safety audit will be done, or, if it has been ruled out, the reason for this decision.
- Air pollution problem on London Road has long exceeded WHO and EU limits. As the council has stated that the current 2.6% cycling level, if increased to 8% would reduce congestion by 16%. Why prioritise four parking/loading spaces over the health and well being of travellers and residents by making it harder to cycle?
- Can you give assurances that at no point in the future will the police prosecute cyclists for pavement cycling on this section?
It is depressing that the council are trying to take away something we have fought so hard to keep. Something that creates segregated space for cycling and walking.
Thank you for signing the petition, but two years later the fight is not over.
We need your help again.