CCAG Bath – East, Guided Tour and Workshop Initial thoughts

For those that went on the tour today, I can only say thank you. So so so much was covered and I can’t thank people enough for the amount of local knowledge people brought to the table. I thought I jot down a very very quick summary of what we discussed in the sequence that things occurred.

  1. Great Pulteney Street :- Brighton uses herringbone parking in the centre of the street, enabling more efficient parking (more spaces) while providing protected cycle lanes on road edges. Either way moving the car parking spaces out into the road, have cycle lanes next to the pavements and then a ‘buffer’ would be perfect.
  2. Getting from Great Pulteney Street to Sydney Gardens could be done with a toucan, path widening to create a shared path past the Holburne Museum entrance, up Sydney Place and then straight into Sydney Gardens.
  3. Sydney Gardens exit by the play area is possible and very very easy to do. Would need locked gate widening, a fence+gate to close off access to the play area and  a small path. It’s so simple it’s brilliant and beautiful.
  4. K&A Towpath exit onto Beckford Road should offer solutions going up and down. Down should have path widened, toucan over the road, path widened on Sydney Gardens side and then into Sydney Gardens through the widened entrance. Up should recognise that a better route to the school would be good as well as widening the path to the current lights. So the K&A
  5. We briefly described North road as a better cycling route to the Uni, but there really is too much parking on the road. Sydney Road could also do with removal of one side of parking to facilitate a good route down to Great Pulteney Street.
  6. The footbridge down to Hampton Row is being replaced by National Rail. It’s location and route to the pools should require it to be replaced with a bridge usable by people with accessibility issues. Yes that means a ramp but there is space to deliver this solution. K&A Towpath should definitely be connected correctly to this path.
  7. Ramp down to Grosvenor Bridge is brilliant, if muddy. It’s quite ‘steep’ so needs to be wide and give a smooth wide turn at the bottom.
  8. Grosvenor Bridge Rd to Lambridge Street will probably need removal of beginning of bus lane to enable widening of the path.
  9. Lambridge Street contraflow is possible HOWEVER while we were there somebody in a wheelchair was being wheeled down the road because the pavement was unusable. In fact loads of people were walking in the road. This screams out that rather than a contraflow the pavement needs sorting up this road.
  10. St Saviours Road is mostly ok but not child friendly however a contraflow on the right hand side in the one way section entrance to London Road should absolutely be done. They’ve already narrowed entrance.
  11. We rode down Ringwell Gardens to see if we could access Kensington Meadows. Gates locked. No chance. Massive beautiful resource not accessible to the residents living next to it.
  12. Rode along London Road on the bus lane, into Morrisons to access Kensington Meadows. The access point is between two corner parking spaces which could easily block access to the meadows if two large cars parked there. One of them needs to go.
  13. Kensington Meadows is beautiful but really could do with a gravel/tarmac path along the river side. A bridge over to the pools would be exceptional here to reduce the immense amount of traffic that will be parking around the pools. Cycle Bath should talk to the pools people. Note I think all the roads down on the meadows should have fences ripped down to give access.
  14. Back to the towpath. It’s busy and seriously rough going. Most of it is 2.5m wide however 3m+ so so is needed. Surface needs to be upgraded but not something I have an opinion on.
  15. Bathampton to Batheaston is a 60mph road in sections! Alison Sherwin mentioned you wanted this to be reduced to 20mph and I seriously think this needs to happen. Something however has to be done to create a safe route on that road from the Bridge field exit to Bathampton. Path widening, single road sections should do it.

Discussion with the Parish Council at Batheaston might mean we have somebody local to be able to come up with a good design.

Anyway a lot to write-up into the project and thank you all who came along, Mark, Dick, Nick, Vicky, and Vicky. Was a lot of fun, but unsure how much we can deliver. The ‘buffer’ is the towpath. Yes it needs ‘upgrading’ but let’s not kid ourselves, it’s one hell of a money sink, and there is so much that needs doing.

Vicky’s thoughts:

Set off at 10am and finished 1pm on Saturday 14th March 2015….

Looked at Great Pulteney Street and possible change of parking to herringbone style in centre of road, allowing for cycle lane down side of road alongside pavements. Would look more attractive, keep existing parking spaces and also create a designated cycle route.

Looked at pedestrian crossing over to Sydney Gardens and two possible ways through the park: one right alongside and through Holburne Museum café and grounds and the other through the gate a little further up.

Looked at access to the canal from the centre of Sydney Gardens through a tiny gateway with a few steps. Apart from enlarging this access, the towpath westward is too narrow for child safety on a bike and apparently would cost £3 million to widen. Railings under one of the bridges could also be put up under the second bridge for safety.

Looked at route through east to west side of Sydney Gardens as a way of connecting the canal to the town centre and found that a slim gate (in a high wall that would need to be widened) was in an ideal situation in a raised area above the children’s play park, where a path through could be simply constructed to join the existing path through Sydney Gardens.

We then looked at the other side of this, on Beckford Road that would have to be crossed from the canal entrance/exit there. There is plenty of room on the canal side for a short section of cycle path contra-flow going down the road to connect to a pelican crossing on the bend to allow access to the gate into Sydney Gardens. Traffic was noted to take a line in the centre of the road anyway at present, so this would not change anything for the motorist.

We looked at an additional access route by exiting the canal turning left, rather than right, onto Beckford Road and then crossing the road at the existing crossing at the corner of the road into Sydney Road to bring the cyclist in the large curve around the back of Sydney Gardens to the pedestrian crossing to Great Pulteney Street.

We then proceeded onto the canal path and looked at the dilapidated bridge onto Hampton Row which is apparently due to be replaced. We wondered if there is room for it to be ramped for cycle access. Currently, there appears to be a railway access gate which may have to be moved as there is restricted room by the current steep steps down.

We noted the very slim pathway that runs perpendicular from the top of this bridge, along the railway line to connect with the larger diagonal track a little further along the canal leading from Grosvenor Bridge up to the canal.

We looked at this diagonal path which could quite simply be surfaced and slightly widened. We noted the BMX track at the bottom on the left. This bottom section of the track was apparently re-surfaced last year.

We proceeded from Grosvenor Bridge Road across to Larkhall via Lambridge Street which was one-way in the direction of London Road with a slim footpath on one side. We took some measurements to see if there would be room for a cycle path alongside.

We also looked at St Saviours Road as an access point for cycles to Larkhall which veers off London Road at an angle and attracts rather fast vehicles. For this reason, it seemed difficult to add any cycle provision.

We now left Larkhall, crossing at the nearby pedestrian crossing to be on the other side of London Road ready to explore how to get to Morrison’s Supermarket.

A route down through Kensington Meadows, via a road between houses, was found that avoids the section of the busy London Road.

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4 thoughts on “CCAG Bath – East, Guided Tour and Workshop Initial thoughts”

  1. Ah I feel vindicated on the Hampton Row bridge 😉 Did you phone Network Rail up? I’ve found a document that says this: ‘Hampton Row Footbridge (No. MLN1 10565) carries a pedestrian footpath over the GWML linking Hampton Row to the Kennet and Avon Canal tow path. To provide sufficient clearance for the OLE, the bridge would be demolished and reconstructed. The works would commence in
    December 2014 and would last for 2 months. ‘ (17.2.11: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/projects/great%20western/electrification%20environmental%20statements/england/bath%20and%20north%20east%20somerset/gwml%20electrification%20-%20environmental%20statement%2011%20vol%201b%20-%20bath%20and%20ne%20somerset%20council.pdf)

    So I guess they are already behind schedule – did they say what the new schedule is? Presume it is owned by Network Rail and so Council won’t have any say in what bridge is made, although presumably they need planning permission? Plus if it’s linked to the road then maybe council do have a say? A ramped bridge would be sweet. I had suggested about going down the side of the houses to give a back route to Cleeveland Pools, but I wonder whether the houses’ gardens go all the way to the river edge. Either way, a ramped bridge to Hampton Row (or at the very least something innovative for cyclists to use) would be beneficial. Or are you saying that they legally need to have a ramped bridge nowadays for accessibility reasons? Maybe they could include an information board explaining how there used to be a train station there? 🙂 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hampton_Row_Halt_railway_station – April 2017 will be the centenary of its closure, interestingly. Plus article explain why those end houses look terrible!).***

    Good to see you mention about a bridge over to Cleveland Pools from Kensington Meadows – not sure whether I mentioned that but was thinking it. Access to Cleveland Pools will certainly be interesting (I think I’m right in saying this is the current entrance – https://goo.gl/maps/SAvBM), and even more so parking – will be worth investigating what the current plans are.

    I think I also mentioned about how I struggled to get into the Meadows because of the fencing – it is bizarre isn’t it?!? Should be kids playing football, etc.; such a great community resource.

    With Great Pulteney St I wouldn’t be surprised if people would complain about central parking blocking the view of the fountain and the Holbourne Museum. If this was raised as an issue, then perhaps as a compromise a long central section could have parking in the middle and the end sections nearest these two landmarks revert to pavement-side parking. Having said this there’s a pedestrian island in front of the fountain so maybe not an issue! One extra benefit of central parking is reduced road space and so cars going slower to be aware of people coming out of parking spaces. I can’t imagine you get boy racers in that part of town, but residents might appreciate a slower pace in the area.

    Great article, really encouraging – thanks for writing it up, and thanks to everybody who attended 😀

    ***
    This document (search for ” hampton”) is about the impact from alterations (includes destroying the deck to two tunnels bridge over railway, although this may be out of date): http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/projects/great%20western/electrification%20environmental%20statements/england/bath%20and%20north%20east%20somerset/gwml%20electrification%20-%20environmental%20statement%20vol%202a%20appendices%20a-d%20-%20bath%20and%20ne%20somerset%20council.pdf
    This document is about environmental impact (also search for ” hampton”): http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/projects/great%20western/electrification%20environmental%20statements/england/bath%20and%20north%20east%20somerset/gwml%20electrification%20-%20environmental%20statement%20vol%203%20-%20bath%20and%20ne%20somerset%20council.pdf.

    1. p.s. Came across these articles (scroll down a bit). http://virtualmuseumofbath.com/tag/kennet-and-avon-canal/ Generally although not entirely pro-cyclist, and also not too keen on the ‘ramp’ being tarmacked, but overlap generally.

      And the bottom of this page gives the upcoming consultation events: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/great-western-route-modernisation/banes/?cd=1 (a bit confusing as it sounds as though it’s meant to be a table about bridge closures….?)

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