Category Archives: New Infrastructure

Kensington Meadows: Designing out disabled access

Bath and North East Somerset announced consultation on the Kensington Meadows, an area of Bath that runs parallel to London Road between the road and the river. What is clear is that they asked the current users of the meadows what they wanted. People that avoid the meadows due to being physically unable to use the meadows really got short shrift.

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Continue reading Kensington Meadows: Designing out disabled access

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Keynsham High Street One Way System

Letter sent to Cllr Shelford (Transport), Cllr Goodman (Environment) and Keynsham Cllrs Hale, O’Brien, Organ, Gerrish, and Simmons as well as key officers.
Dear Councillors and Officers,

The attached picture was taken this morning.

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It is very clear that paint does not and will not prevent this type of behaviour that endangers residents that want to cycle.
I think there is an opportunity to ensure that the design protects all vulnerable road users while designing in good space for cycle traffic.
Vauxhall Street, London was successfully upgraded and I think the same design can be used in Keynsham High Street.
A video of the scheme is available here:
If we want to create an environment that tackles car dependency then we need to ensure that we design infrastructure that enables kids to cycle to school. Paint simply will not cut it.
Please be aware that there is a moratorium on flat “shared space” issued by the DfT (mainly due to schemes like Kingsmead Seven Dials) and that grade separation will be needed between the cycle track and the footway.
I hope that the BaNES Active Travel and Accessibility Forum (ATAF) will be heavily involved with the design and, particularly, that any concerns the RNIB raise are treated with the utmost importance.
I also want to ask that nobody is ‘surprised’ by the type of design the members of ATAF will be pushing for. It must be visibly safe for a parent to allow their 8 year old to cycle it independently. We need to enable cycling and stop just promoting cycling.
If you want to read further on this approach, please see TfL’s Vision Zero Plan https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/safety-and-security/road-safety/vision-zero-for-london and why this is critical to tackling car dependency, congestion, air pollution, and getting residents walking and cycling.
I really hope this is useful.
Regards,
Adam Reynolds

 

London Road- A BaNES First

London Road has been a long running saga and although the design is poor particularly by keeping polluting cars close to pedestrians and honestly if we had the money, I’d start with fixing the junctions either side, ANYWAY, good things are happening with the installation of Orcas and wands to protect the cycle lane. The build out is being reshaped to allow you to continue through it.

TCY0004-104 (WP2 – General Arrangement) Rev BTCY0004-105 (WP3 – Site Clearance & GA) Rev B

Work has started today and will be complete in the next couple of weeks.

It’s good to see protected cycle lanes being built using orcas

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PS: London Road still needs a redesign with an east protected cycle lane but for now this is really good to see.

We all want traffic free cycle routes! Well no we don’t.

Sustrans, in association with a number of cities, has produced an excellent “Bike Life – Women: reducing the gender gap” report. Go read it. It really shows the way our Highways Engineers have excluded women (and men) from taking up cycling. This gender gap is born out in many studies with around 28% of people that cycle being women in the UK, vs 55% in Netherlands

There is a big big problem in Highways and the DfT. Being an engineering profession I suspect it is also dominated by men and this directly impacts the design process “I would ride that.”.

However this report also showed something interesting. Continue reading We all want traffic free cycle routes! Well no we don’t.

Bath North Quays, using pedestrians to slow down cyclists

North Quays is a piece of the puzzle that completes the vision for the Bath Enterprise Area.

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If we examine the role Bath North Quays plays within this vision we see it’s key role is to provide the major cycle route that connects the west of the city to the Bath Spa Train Station. Screen Shot 2017-11-12 at 13.13.09.png

In other words it is a vital corridor for active travel.

A complete failure

However the reality of the North Quays Outline Planning Consultation is that this travel corridor has not been provided for.

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Alarming it also goes against the current requirements in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, in particular IAN 195 This is a busy 30mph A road and as per the DMRB this requires cycle tracks. Segregated cycle infrastructure is the required infrastructure.

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Conflict designed in

Yet what the council is proposing is that the South Quays route which will be significantly more attractive once the vision is implemented fully, should be the preferred route for cyclists to then ride along Riverside Parade, then dumping them onto the dual carriageway that is Ambury Street or, the more realistic solution, to ride the wrong way along the footpath round to the Bus Station then rejoin the carriageway on Dorchester Street.

It gets worse

Riverside Parade is also going to be prime café area with on road seating. It’s going to be a major focus for making this into a beautiful public realm for enjoying the river side. It’s brilliant, but should not be a preferred through route for the majority of people cycling from the south of the city.

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They were warned

The problem is that I met Cllr Anketell-Jones on site months ago. We discussed in detail the issues around creating a cycle desire line along Riverside Parade and we raised it with the officer responsible for the enterprise area and the plan has still not changed.

Simple ask

We, Cycle Bath, are simply asking that the council actually stick to the rules and regulations they love so much and deliver something that actually meets the DMRB. Build infrastructure to modern standards.

Vision is key

The big failure with the council and how they are looking at the North Quays is to consider better fundamental changes to the build environment. My proposed ‘Living Heart’ gives a better answer to their problem.

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By closing Green Park Road and access from Corn Street to St James Parade we create a really good quiet space where the current proposed scheme works correctly.

One more thing

The proposed scheme re-opens Milk Street making it a new rat run into the heart of the city. I have no idea why a council, strapped for cash would not create one large office/resident block rather than two blocks cut through by an unnecessary new road. Not sure I’ve heard of councils creating roads.

Big problems with simple solutions

The officers who came up with this were warned, they did not listen, and are now proposing a poor implementation that goes against current regulatory guidance. There is an implicit assumption that pedestrians can be used to slow down cyclists. The Riverside Parade MUST be a destination, not the most ‘safe’ feeling route to use as a cycle cut through. Protected cycle tracks is a requirement on a high volume 30MPH A road. Failure to consider these as part of the scheme show a training issue within the council Highways team and a very real mindset issue to take cycling seriously as its own form of transport and not one that can be controlled by throwing pedestrians in cyclists way.

They are even going so far as to deliver two below value buildings by building a new unnecessary road rather than delivering one cohesive building. The council is literally taking high value land and building roads on it. You could not make this up.

The role of children in designing good cycle networks

Children cycling on a city’s roads and paths are the canary in the coal mine. Without overthinking this too much, a parent won’t let a child out to play on a bike unless that parent can perceive that the child can make mistakes and not be run over.

And this gets to the premise that Cycle Bath campaigns on:

To enable everyone to cycle in comfort we need high quality space for cycling, inclusive for all ages and abilities, connecting communities with schools and centres of employment. Routes must be direct and cohesive, with space on main roads re-allocated from the general carriageway, not the footway.

So when Peter Walker writes in the Guardian:

In countries where decades of investment in bike routes has made cycling safer and more everyday, the reverse is true. Almost 40% of Dutch children go to and from school by bike.

We need to understand how you achieve that level of cycling and for that we can look at Public Highways England IAN 195

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Continue reading The role of children in designing good cycle networks

The Locksbrook Greenway – The final piece in the puzzle.

Part of trying to understand how to make walking and cycling more attractive given that 47% of people living in Bath and working in Bath walk or cycle to work is trying to create cohesive end to end networks.

Whether you like it or not, your only real option for accessing the city centre from the west is to use the congested river path. It’s not only narrow, due to years of poor maintenance, but is also not perceived as safe late at night.

The Locksbrook Greenway Scheme fixes this:

Locksbrook Greenway Scheme (4)
Using the proposed BRT route we can create a traffic free corridor into the heart of the city with a new parallel Fieldings Cycle Bridge, refurbishment of Locksbrook Bridge and replacement of Traffic Light controlled Windsor Bridge junctions with Cycle Bypass Roundabouts.

But significantly it also fits in with Cycle Bath’s call to break Pines Way Gyratory:

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Remove Pineway Gyratory, replace traffic lights with roundabouts, create segregated space for walking and segregated space for cycling. The gyratory is 4 lanes in parts and this enables it to go down to 2 lanes for cars creating a larger public realm and even enable bus bypass for the protected cycle lane.

This then delivers you directly to Quays Bridge and into the city centre.

This proposal is roughly identified in the Bath Enterprise Plan

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However their proposal around the Pines Way misses the trick of identifying a core transport corridor to the train station.

The Locksbrook Greenway is not a new idea, but simply one that seems to be forgotten.

Churchill Bridge Turbo Roundabout Proposal

I think when looking at road systems it can be hard to create something that is great for maximising vehicular traffic flow and keeps cyclists safe. Roundabouts fall into the keeping traffic flowing while making cycling unsafe category.

Bring in spatial constraints and you can end up with something horrible that is extremely hostile to people wanting to cycle.

As an exercise in rethinking Churchill Bridge Roundabout I began looking at turbo roundabouts. Something highways engineers use to create a high volume vehicular throughput.

Turbo roundabout

A specific form of roundabout for motorists, with a spiral pattern that commits motorists to choosing the correct lane before entering the roundabout. Lane changes on the roundabout itself are eliminated

And I came up with this:

Churchhill Bridge Turbo Roundabout Proposal (2)

The Churchhill Bridge Turbo Roundabout Proposal (3) pdf is probably clearer.

I’m really uncomfortable with creating a Wellsway cycle lane to the right which ‘forces’ somebody cycling to take a primary position to then access the new cycle crossings. So for people that are uncomfortable with roundabouts, it’s a big ask to get them to do this just to access a traffic free way to negotiate the roundabout.

I did try and have a west crossing point, but the sight lines make it phenomenally dangerous and even the east crossing point is probably inadvisable.

For people comfortable with cycling, the roundabout now offers a lot more ‘control’ as taking the lane controls the traffic around you. No longer will you be under/over taken

Comments welcome. I have submitted it to Highways for consideration, particularly as the layout fixes the accident blackspot which is the Wellsway leg of the current roundabout.

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