Category Archives: New Infrastructure

Bath Clean Air Zone Consultation, DEFRA’s failure to understand the problem

As people are very aware I am not just somebody that campaigns for cycling but spend a significant amount of time working on policy and, with my systems analyst hat on, how we create better cities and towns.

The council are currently consulting on the Clean Air Zone here and I’ve written my 25 page response here: CAZ Response.

The TL;DR is to implement:

  • Workplace Parking Levy
  • Citywide Parking Control with inner and outer zones based on CO2 g/km, car length, and a 50% diesel surcharge
  • Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs)
  • Sustainable Transport Levy on all parking fees
  • Free/cheap public buses

Continue reading Bath Clean Air Zone Consultation, DEFRA’s failure to understand the problem

Hartwells Site Visit July 9th 2019

In light of a previous article we (Frank Thompson and Adam Reynolds) were invited by the developer to visit the site to discuss the issues raised. In light of the visit that article will be removed due to the uninformed views expressed in that article.

Particularly that the developers are delivering a development that is anti-disabled. It does provide a publicly accessible 2.4m x 2.4m lift to get access from street level to the bottom level of the development. Continue reading Hartwells Site Visit July 9th 2019

Hartwells Development

[EDIT 10th of July] In light of a site visit this article was redacted given the inaccuracies and uninformed nature of the comments. It is now re-instated with sections crossed out for clarity to limit any criticism that we might be hiding something. During the visit the developer informed us that it was the council’s Highways officer that required the closing of the access ramp to people walking and cycling and this is why the barrier was placed there. The funding model of the STR connections outside the site through section 106 by the developer is complicated as the full state of them is unknown and the estimated £285k is a guess by the developer with no full structural understanding of the council’s STR sections. Also the site is fully accessible to people in wheelchairs.

The position Cycle Bath had taken on the Hartwells Development Proposal was to remain neutral. They’d implemented suggestions creating a 3m 3.5m wide walking and cycling route through the scheme which meant that our long term ambition of the Locksbrook Greenway Scheme was going to be delivered.

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John Taylor has been watching this planning application and informed me that a letter from the agent (Document-3C0DB35CF01BF5B2F83EE11A962DBF4C) in response to the 276 objections has been added and it’s horrendous.

Continue reading Hartwells Development

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

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.