BaNES has recently announced consultation “Alterations to Existing 20mph Restrictions” on the installation of speed tables on the following roads to reduce the speeding along them:
- Englishcombe Lane, Bath
- Weston Road/Weston Lane/Weston Park, Bath
- St Ladoc Road, Keynsham
- Orchard Way, Peasedown St John
CycleBath has raised a formal objection to the designs as they encourage close passing or encourage drivers to move into the path of oncoming cyclists. I recognise that speed calming is necessary and we do not object to the installation of speed tables, however they need changing slightly.
In this article I want to examine what the council is proposing and why the use of Department For Transport LTN 2/08 Cycle Infrastructure Design document is inadequate and why BaNES should switch to using Transport for London’s Streets Toolkit. This contains a paradigm shift in cycle infrastructure design that prioritises pedestrian and cyclist safety over the convenience of drivers.
Cycling in London is recognised as a mass transport. When Bath can demonstrate year on year 15% of traffic on Dorchester Street is cycling then BaNES really should be doing the same.
The remit of this article is to keep within the council’s intension to install traffic calming speed tables. It is not to suggest a different approach where you segregate the cyclist from the motorised traffic:
The TfL cycle design guidance for speed calming uses a simple rule. If cyclists must share the lane with buses, then the lane must be 3-3.2m wide or greater than 4.5m:
Looking at the proposed speed tables we can analyse if they pass this test:
WHAT WE DO NOT WANT TO SEE
The following is pretty much what people seem to want to deliver. Speed tables with lanes wider than 3.2m and less than 4.5m. It’s easy to do, you’re not having to reduce any widths and the work order is simpler. “Dear contractor, please install speed table and slap some paint on it”.
This results in uncomfortable close passing and discourages people from cycling.
What we want to see
CycleBath would like to see the council recognise the 3-3.2m or greater than 4.5m lane width “rule” when designing speed calming measures and particularly when including pedestrian islands.
Pedestrian island pinch points are an absolute nightmare for cyclists with cars chancing it almost every single time.
We also want the council to adopt clearer demarkation of cycle tracks within these schemes. This is “nudge psychology” where the design of the road expressly tells the driver that the cyclist in front of him has priority and that the pedestrian comes above all other road users.
These are ambitious designs and ones that are beginning to be used around the country to redefine the road system as recognising cycling as a road user in their own right with their own needs. These designs are being delivered elsewhere in the country and we should be doing the same.
These ideas are all about trying to deliver good design outcomes within the scope of the agreed speed calming measures.