Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Cycle Route review

A few days ago, the Cycle Users' Consultation Group met to discuss the issues raised in the review of Coventry's cycle routes.

We started with the A45, a road built in the 1930's with cycle tracks on both sides. Unfortunately, when changes were subsequently made to accommodate increased traffic flows little consideration was given to cyclists. This has lead to a situation where established facts on the ground make re-instating cycling conditions to their original standard difficult and expensive.

After getting though about a quarter of the issues we decided to discuss Hales Street.  I hope something better  than the current arrangement will be provided.  There's also an opportunity to make Greyfriars Lane bothway for cyclists. If Coventry Council wants to show that  it is aware that cycling is a highly efficient user of scarce city centre space, a low-carbon transport solution and helps tackle the obesity issue it would do something.  Or maybe it doesn't?

Anyway here's a list of the issues raised about the signed cycle routes in the city:

Issue Recommendation Cost Notes
A45 Stonebridge Off Road (N)

Cannot get access to route from north side at Stivichall roundabout. Access possible from Tollbar but not continuous. South side works but is narrow at eastern end. Resolve as part of Tollbar Island. Current proposal is to remove route from north side of A45 and improve south side. N/A Depends on Highways Agency's works on Tollbar End
A45 Kenpas Off Road (N)

Route appears to terminate on north side just before Stivichall Island. Convert footway (by Festival pub) to shared cycle route and sign route to Leaf Lane. Ensure future continuity on A45 as part of Tollbar scheme Low Needs report and signing
No crossing facilities at Leamington Rd junction. Install non signalised crossing on end of Leamington Road. Good road width to accommodate Med Designs already available
Gap in route (on both sides) east of Kenilworth Rd. Presumably removed as part of A45 widening. No option to widen or significantly improve. Convert footway to shared cycle route and cut back vegetation where possible. Low Needs report and signing
No signalised crossing facilities over Kenilworth Rd. Must cross with traffic which can be difficult Explore possibilities as part of LSTF. Likely to have implications on traffic flows Med/High Included in bid
A45 Fletcthamstead Off Road (N)

Gap in route (south side) West of Kenilworth Rd. Presumably removed as part of A45 widening. Already used heavily by cyclists Convert footway to shared cycle route Low Needs report and signing
Short gap in route (north side) at Homebase Roundabout outside police station. Also general lack of signing to indicate continuity of route Widen footway to create shared cycle route. Consider road markings, such as elephant feet markings, to delineate route Med/Low
Large gap on (west side) between Standard Ave and Broad Lane. Not clear how the road operates i.e. one way? Needs contra flow cycle route at north end and appropriate signage. Could be difficult to accommodate into the highway Med Could be addressed through LSTF
Large gap on (east side) between Sainsbury's and Broad Lane Wide footway would allow simple conversion from footway to shared cycle route. Low
Gap on west side between Tile Hill La and Broad La Widening could be difficult due to large trees so only option is to convert to shared use Low Risk Assess
Gap on east side between Tile Hill La and Broad La No room in highway for any widening, so only option is to convert to shared use Low Risk Assess
Toucan crossing timings need adjusting as they require an unnecessary wait of around 40 seconds UTMC informed Low
A45 Dunchurch Off Road ()

Cannot get to route (west side) without cycling on busy section of A45. Unclear how this odd arrangement has occurred, presumably road widening Remove route from cycle map, or amend to fit with the actual. Sign alternative on road route through residential area Med/Low
Route does on start until end of Pickford Way slip road on east side. Not clear why this arrangement exists and is dangerous for users travelling towards Pickford Way Remove route from cycle map, or amend to fit with the actual. Sign alternative on road route through residential area Med/Low

Tile Hill Lane A45 to Tile Hill Lane east (near Blockbusters) Off Road (N)

Route technically does not continue beyond A45 junction travelling west. Works well in opposite direction Works to extend route across A45 to Tile Hill Lane west would require conversion to Toucan crossings which would be poor VFM. Leave for now. N/A Consider through LSTF, but unlikely

Hearsall Common Tile Hill La to Kingston Rd Off Road (Y)

Route (north side) terminates half way along the common. No crossing or link to Canley station Cross Hearsall Common via a new Toucan and continue route alongside the common to Earlsdon Ave North. Install new crossing point, uncontrolled, on Earlsdon Ave N opposite Kingston Rd. High (But good VFM) Scheme designed but not implemented due to Village Green

Kenilworth Road City boundary to Gibbet Hill Off Road (Poss)

Lack of signalised crossing facility at Gibbet Hill Rd. Cross with traffic. Signalise by installing Toucan, but would have impact on traffic capacity / congestion Med/High Check if any UoW plans
Kenilworth Road Gibbet Hill to A45 Off Road (Poss)

Need controlled crossing at A45. Often raised by cyclists as a dangerous crossing. Signalise, but could be expensive and have major impact on capacity Med/High Could explore through LSTF
Kenilworth Road A45 to Stoneleigh Ave Off Road (Y)

Need improved link into Stoneleigh Ave due to poor visibility Widen footway / convert to shared use. Cut back hedge. Med Designs already available

Spencer Park Through park Off road (Y)

Works well but needs maintenance on bridge deck Request maintenance Low

University of Warwick Lynchgate Road Off Road (Poss)

Missing link between new cycle route on Sir Henry Parks and UoW. Currently included in Tesco Cannon Park 106 N/A
University of Warwick Gibbet Hill rd. Off Road (Poss)

Need link into university on Gibbet Hill Rd 50k Available in UoW 106. Limited highway room to much without effecting trees
University of Warwick Gibbet Hill to main campus Off Road (N)

Works well N/A

Holyhead Cycle Route All On road advisory (N)

Stops at Four Pounds Ave and at Pickford Way roundabout Sections between Southbank Rd and Four Pounds Ave due to be removed. A new signed route will provide continuous signed on road route into City Centre. The western end will be extended via new developer funded routes to Browns La Jaguar Funded

Allesley Park Through Park Off road (N)

Route ends at park exit near A45 Needs signing and consider improved crossing over A45 slips at western exit Low/Med

Jaguar Whitley Whitley Common Off Road (N)

Appears to work well N/A

Coat of Arms / Memorial Park Into Jaguar Off Road (N)

Section through wooded area needs lighting, and route needs extending to Allard Way alongside London Road Light wooded area link to Abbey Road and create new route alongside London Road. Med/High
Coat of Arms / Memorial Park Into Jaguar Off Road (N)

Link to Leaf Lane is narrow but works well N/A

Coat of Arms / Memorial Park Coat of Arms Bridge Road On road (N)

Works well although some maintenance issues e.g. leaves and road surface N/A

Coat of Arms / Memorial Park Through Park Off road (N)

No signing to indicate it is a cycle route, and missing link at northern end towards Warwick Rd /Earlsdon Sign new link from Coat of Arms to Leamington Road Park. Consider options for extending route through Warwick Road Park Low

Allard Way London Road to Jasmine Grove Off Road (N)

Route ends at Humber Road. North end links into Jasmine Grove and Lang bank Ave cycle route Extend route from Humber Rd to Riverside Close through conversion of footway. Would require better crossing facilities over ASDA and Humber Rd Med/High Tie into ASDA development, on hold
Allard Way Jasmine Grove to Binley Rd N/A (N)

No suitable route between Jasmine Grove and existing route from Whitworth Ave. Either create on road signed route along Barley Lea/Whitworth Ave/Linfield or create new route along Sowe Valley to fill gap. Final section from Second Ave to Binley Rd will be addressed through New Century Park development, but would also benefit from cycle route alongside Allard Way On road low, Sowe Valley or med/high Designs done
No route between Second Ave and Binley Road Needs existing footway widening, but limited room, or new route through New Century Park. Ideally both as NCP not as convenient Med/High Some design work done. Was included in NCP development design.

Peugeot Stoke All on main spine road Off road (N)

Links well into east/Terry Road but ends abruptly on southern arm on Humber Road just before bridge, where the route is needed most! The road is narrow and changes to 40 mph, Review speed limit. Consider off road route, but could be land issues, and expensive N/A Speed review requested

Prologis Park / Arena All Off road (N)

Generally works well although access from the east is not good off Foleshill Road Link existing crossing on Foleshill Rd near Windmill Rd/Arena by converting footway to cycle route. Limited room in highway Med Risk assess

Canal All Off road (Y)

Generally works well. Section between City Centre and Leicester Causeway yet to be upgraded. Upgrade first section. Better signing and maintenance would help on existing. Would benefit from supporting signed on road link route from City Centre e.g. through Hillfields. Still plans to continue route north to Bedworth High Address canal towpath extension through LSTF.

Binley Road Sky Blue Way On/off road (N)

Key missing link between Far Gosford St and Binley / A444 roundabout (south side), and along Far Gosford St which is one way. Very well used route. Address FGS by create new cycle route along Sky Blue Way utilising bus lane and new cut-through by new hotel. Consider removing parking bays on south side of Binley Road to accommodate cycle route. Existing footway bit narrow. Med/High Gap included in hotel plans
Binley Road A444 to Allard Way On road advisory (N)

Works well, although some sections too narrow around Brays la to Church la. Route ends at Allard way Remark cycle route around Brays Lane to accommodate buffer between parking and cycle route. Med

Broad Lane Hawthorn to Banner Off road (Y)

Forms part of NCN. Works well but not yet complete. Will link into new Banner La route Complete route as part of Bannerbrook Sec 106 works N/A

Naul's Mill Park Barkers Butts to Randle St Off road (N)

Pleasant route, but poorly maintained. Needs resurfacing. Many people cycle on better maintained main path through park.
Check if highway/inform parks dept

Compass Court Spon St to Windsor St Off Road (Y)

Works well N/A N/A

West of Rugby Club Between Butts and Sovereign Rd Off Road (Y)

Route does not link in Compass Court route as end of Upper Spon St is one way. Create cycle contraflow Med

Techno Centre Puma Way to Parkside Off Road (N)

Works well. Wrong tactile paving N/A N/A Not highway

Subways Jct 6 Off road (N)

Missing link between Coventry station and subway cycle route to City Centre Address through 2012 and LSTF by creating contraflow route on Eaton Rd Med
Subways Jct 2 Off road (N)

Existing route to Millennium Square ends abruptly at Chauntry Place and does not link into Stoney Stanton or Foleshill Rd Create new shared use cycle track to end of Stoney Stanton Rd. Tie into possible Pool Meadow access improvements Med
Subways Jct 5 (N)

Missing link between subway at jct 5 and Park Road Create new segregated shared use route, but requires Cycle Tracks Act order Low
Subways Jct 8 (N)

Fill in Hill St Subway? Cyclists use both the subway and bridge Carry out quick count to assess situation N/A
Subways Jct 4 N/A (N)

No provision for cyclists around Gulson /London Rd Convert footway to segregated shared use Low Designs done

Monday, 30 January 2012

Stoney Road Bridge: Southbound cars banned

There's a proposed Traffic Regulation Order banning private motor vehicles from travelling south over Stoney Road's railway bridge.  Taxis are now to be included in the ban.

Modification of a Road Traffic Order
City of Coventry (Stoney Road) (Bus Lane) Order 2011

Coventry City Council ("the Council"), under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (as amended) and the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996, intends to modify the above Road Traffic Regulation Order ("the Order").

The Order was advertised on 13th October 2010, and sought to implement a bus lane in the nearside lane of Stoney Road (south carriageway) from a point four (4) metres south west of its junction with Manor Road to a point forty-seven (47) metres north of its junction with Michaelmas Road.

As advertised, the Order permitted buses, taxis, private hire vehicles, pedal cycles and vehicles accessing 41 and/or 43 Stoney Road, to travel in the bus lane.

The Council received a number of responses in favour of the proposal together with a number of formal objections. These were formally considered at the Cabinet Member (City Services) meeting held on 13th December 2011. At the meeting the decision was reached that the Order should be modified to prohibit taxis (hackney carriages and private hire vehicles) using the bus lane.

As a result of the aforementioned decision the Council hereby gives notice that the Order is to be modified thereby prohibiting taxis (hackney carriages and private hire vehicles) from using the bus lane. Buses, pedal cycles and vehicles accessing 41 and/or 43 Stoney Road, will continue to be permitted to use the bus lane.

A copy of this notice, the modified Order, plan and modified Statement of Reasons for making the Order may be inspected at Civic Centre 4 (Reception Area), Much Park Street, Coventry, during normal office hours. Any objections to the proposed modification should be forwarded to Mr R Parkes, Commercial Team, Legal Services, Coventry City Council, 4th Floor, Christchurch House, Greyfriars Lane, Coventry CV1 2QL by no later than Thursday, 16th February 2012.

Any person requiring further information in connection with this proposed modification should contact the Council's Traffic Management Team during normal office hours on telephone number 024 76834209.

Chris West
Director of Finance & Legal Services
Council House
Dated: 26th January 2012

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Binley Road / Brindle Avenue junction

Coventry council is proposing to make some changes to the junction:

Adding a Toucan crossing across Brindle Avenue and shifting the crossing on the citybound carriageway closer to Brindle Avenue

Extending the bus lane on the outbound carriageway

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Phoenix Way (A444) Entrance to Tesco Arena

I should have posted this earlier, but better late than never!

Coventry Council is proposing to add Toucan crossings to the junction of Phoenix Way with Classic Drive. This will make cycling and walking along the A444 between Bedlam Lane and the Ricoh Areana easier.

It re-instates the cycle/pedestrian path diverted when Classic Way was built.

More details:
From the covering letter:

It is proposed to make some changes to the junction of Phoenix Way / Classic Drive (Tesco, Arena Retail Park) / Car Park C of the Ricoh Arena. It is proposed to install pedestrian / cycle crossing facilities, and revoke the existing Traffic Regulation Order that prohibits various manoeuvres at the junction.
If you wish to object to either of these proposals please write to Mr R Parkes, as per the detail on the attached notices by no later than 12th January 2012.
If you would like to discuss this proposal in more detail please contact Simon Gordon on 02476 832107.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Hales Street - One Way!

No entry signs have been erected on the Whittle Arch end of Hales Street.

Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders have been issued prohibiting riding and driving westwards along Hales Street between the Arches and Bishop Street. A taxi rank has been marked in Hales Street.

Yet back in March 2011 proposed Traffic Regulation Order were on view as follows:

City of Coventry (City Centre) (No. 1) (Prohibition of Driving, One Way, Variation and Revocation) Order 2011

  1. This order shall come into operation [...]
    1. In this order
    2. reference [...]
    3. "Pedal Cycle" has the same meaning as in Regulation 4 of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002
    4. [...]
  2. Save as provided in Articles 4, 5, and 6 of this Order, no person shall ride or drive [...] any vehicle on the lengths of road specified in the first column of the Second Schedule to this Order other than in the direction specified in the second column and at the times specified in the third column of the said Schedule.
  3. Nothing in Article 3 of this Order shall apply to any vehicle listed in the First Schedule to this Order
  4. [...]

First Schedule

Nothing in Article 3 of this Order shall apply to any
  1. Pedal Cycle
  2. vehicle being used for police, fire or ambulance service [...]
  3. [...]

Second Schedule

Length of Road Direction Times
[...] [...] [...]
Hales Street between its junction with Bishop Street and its junction with Trinity Street Eastbound All Times
[...] [...] [...]
[...] shows where irrelevant text has been omitted .
I'm no lawyer but I'm pretty sure that the original text meant that most vehicles were to be prohibited from travelling westbound on Hales Street.  Exceptions were for emergency services responding to emergencies and for pedal cycles.

Before Christmas I telephoned the council's traffic management department concerning the issue.

I was told that the Traffic Regulation Order hadn't been brought into force yet as the council wanted to allow time for the issues to be fully debated. It was thought unfair to make changes on the ground and then, when faced with opposition, to conclude that it would be too expensive to change things. Nevertheless the Traffic Regulation Order had been passed by various committees and would go ahead largely unchanged.

So what has happened? Did a few people, after a short chat, decide that as bus stops were to go on the museum side of Hales Street, the taxi rank would go on the other side? Simply forgetting about cyclists?

What has happened to the idea of discussing issues with interested citizens of Coventry before changing things on the ground? To the Rule of Law and Due Process?

Hales Street is an important route for cyclists travelling westwards across the city centre. It avoids the gradient on Gosford Street and the heavy traffic of the ring road. Faced with a no entry sign just past Trinity Street, cyclists will choose one of these options:
  1. Take their chances and cycle through.
  2. Ride on the footway putting pedestrians at risk.
  3. Push their bicycles on the footway
  4. Cycle along Palmer Way.
  5. Cycle along Palmer Way taking a shortcut to the Burgess via the alleyway by
    "Club Release".
 I'm pretty sure options (a) and (b) will be the most popular. Palmer Way is indirect, has a poor surface and an upwards gradient. It is often partially blocked and is probably unfamiliar to most cyclists.

One-way for motor vehicles, bothway for cyclists has worked before. As illustrated in this photograph from a Department of Transport publication: (LTN 2/08, Figure 7.6):