637 people simply ask that you keep this section of London Road safe for cycling. This can be achieved by leaving it as is. It is plainly obvious from the four speeches made about London Road last night that a working party of all stakeholders needs to be organised, but whatever comes out of it, London Road must be kept safe for cycling without compromising the safety of pedestrians.
Nigel Sherwin – Bath Cycling Club
Bryn Jones – Transition Larkhall
Dick Daniels – Transition Bath
Adam Reynolds – CycleBath
The speech made by Adam Reynolds, written as a group by the people above:
As you are aware, the petition will be handed into the council at the general council meeting this Thursday (tomorrow as of writing). The meeting starts at 6:30pm, however councillors start arriving at 5pm for pre-council meetings.
If you are intending on going, please try and be there for 5pm. It is likely that by 5:30, the impact of the protest will be less but even turning up slightly late will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for signing the petition Keep Bath’s London Road Safe For Cycling. We achieved over 600 signatures, a fantastic number to show the council how important it is to support space for cycling on London Road.
As part of the regeneration of Bath Riverside, the Destructor Bridge is being replaced with a new bridge designed to accommodate cycles, pedestrians, buses and vehicles for Bath Riverside residents. Some local amenities are affected by these works which commenced in April 2015.
During the initial launch in late April, the bridge started to move slightly off its required very precise alignment and the contractor, Britannia Construction, has now put in place measures to prevent this happening.
Britannia Construction now aim to move the new bridge into place between Monday 18th July and Wednesday 20th July 2016 (inclusive). This work will necessitate the temporary closure of the river and towpath as well as Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Recycling Centre on Upper Bristol Road.
So close and yet so far.
River Avon Towpath
During the works to replace Bath’s Destructor Bridge, the National Cycle Network (NCN4 route)…
Yesterday I spent close to 3 hours looking at Saw Close with Frank Thomson (a.k.a. Mr. Two Tunnels) and attending the public consultation. What was really good was meeting a lady that was blind and seeing her perspective on it.
For those unable to attend it looks like this:
Today the Bath Chronicle posted an article about Saw Close. I wrote a reply and then realised it had gone completely over their word limit, so had to edit it down.
I think the critical bit that UK Highways needs to listen to is: “Many countries have seen a considerable drop in traffic injuries and deaths since roughly the 1970s. Reasons were the introduction of seatbelts, drunk-driving laws, helmet laws for motorcyclists and mopeds, car cages and airbags. But in the Netherlands there also was a dramatic drop in injuries and deaths of the most vulnerable road users: cyclists and pedestrians. Traffic researches attribute this difference to the introduction of Sustainable Safety.”
Sustainable Safety (“Duurzaam veilig” in Dutch) is the name of the Dutch approach to achieve a better road safety. This policy is lesser known than ‘strict liability‘ and underestimated. Where strict liability is a cure after something went wrong, sustainable safety does much more and at a different time. The main objectives of this vision are preventing severe crashes and (almost) eliminating severe injuries when crashes do occur. It was introduced and quickly adopted by all road managers in 1992 and has since been very successful. In 2005 it was revised and extended. The approach began with establishing that the road system was inherently unsafe. The goal was to fundamentally change the system by taking a person as a yardstick. The guidelines for design were to be the physical vulnerability of a person, but also what a person can and wants to do (humans make mistakes…
The first modern Shared Space designs originated
in the Netherlands and have since become common
across other European cities. An area like this
recognises that people are equal and should be
treated as such. The perceived pecking order that
pedestrians must give way to cars is removed,
instead encouraging cooperation between users.
Cars no longer control the space and must allow
for pedestrians, this reduces traffic speeds and
makes the area less hectic. Cyclists can use the
area without being restricted to narrow cycle lanes.
The aim is for people to use this space courteously
It is why Seven-dials fails. You do not build shared space on a through road. Saw Close is still a through road (of sorts) and it is important to ensure that the route cars take through the space is not a direct fast line. Ideally Cheap Street/Westgate Street would have rising bollards put in place to prevent motorised access during the day as has been done on Lower Borough Walls, to fantastic praise from the businesses on the street.
The cherry on the top would be to install rising bollards on Westgate Street and to reroute buses to pick up on James St West.
Also of significant note, the Bath Accessibility report presented at the Bath City Conference specifically highlighted those corduroy stones as too narrow and easily step-over-able by a blind person at only 350mm wide and that a more suitable 800mm wide ledge was better. I would even suggest a slightly dropped kerb.
I’m also concerned that no clear route through the space is being provided for cyclists. However the fact the road is still clearly “marked” does give some hope, however the council must learn from Lower Borough Walls where they installed a 2m wide shared path in front of a very busy pasty shop, rather than a clearly defined contraflow cycle lane that should have been part of the road.
Unfortunately it does feel that lessons are not being learnt from the Seven Dials fiasco.
As part of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s plans to remove obstacles for walking and cycling and reduce the dominance of motor vehicles in the city centre, the Council proposes to make improvements to Saw Close to re-establish the area as a key social space and a focal point for Bath’s entertainment quarter.
Saw Close experiences low vehicle traffic but is a busy pedestrian area that is largely occupied by carriageway. It is proposed to see the road narrowed to slow traffic and encourage pedestrians to make more use of the entire area.
The plans will be on display on Monday, 11 July, from 1pm to 6pm in the Brunswick Room on the ground floor of the Guildhall in Bath, where locals will be able to give their views on the proposals. Council officers will also be present to answer any questions.
Councillor Anthony Clarke (Conservative, Lansdown), Bath &…
If you haven’t been down to the towpath recently you really need to pop down. Better still wait to a rainy horrible day and then pop down. Try to remember how bad it was.
Let me help you:
What is down there is rather fantastic now:
I also think the pea gravel surface on top of asphalt works really well although speaking to somebody who was pushing their father in a wheel chair it was harder going than on the smooth asphalt. The spray and chip top layer is still being applied.
What I do like about the pea gravel is that it makes it noisy to ride/walk along the towpath, and whether we like it or not, we unfortunately have people that do ride too fast and close to people walking and are not prone to using bells and create conflict.
Where the pea gravel surface doesn’t work so well is on the slope down to Grosvenor Bridge. Thankfully it stops halfway down but it feels a bit slippy.
One of the key points made during the consultation was the provision of signs educating people about the Canal and River Trusts Towpath Code of Conduct.
I have not seen any of these along the route. I’d like to see these down there pretty sharpish. Having spoken to a few people down there, it is a problem and it can be easily addressed.
So what still needs to happen?
The spray and chip surface along the whole length needs to be finished.
The footpath between Hampton Row footbridge and the ramp is being made into a gravel path to make it useable all year round.
Code of conduct Signs need to go up.
The exit area onto Beckford road needs asphalt and the desire line footpaths in this area I believe are going to be gravelled to make them useable all year round.
Working, Living, Cycling, and campaigning for better cycle infrastructure in Bath, UK