Thursday, 29 March 2012

Hales Street - a process failure

On 19th March I met council officers to consider a westbound cycling route on Hales Street.

A pavement route on the north of Hales Street is a pretty bad idea for at least two reasons:

Firstly there's not enough room at the bus stops.

Secondly cyclists travelling from Fairfax Street to Corporation Street would have to cross the path of oncoming buses and taxis to reach the pavement at Millennium Place and to get back to the left side of the road at Bishop Street.

Another idea is to convert the pavement on the south side to  pedestrian/cyclist shared use. 

It's pretty narrow, but has far fewer pedestrians than the north side. Whether it's better than an on-carriageway contra-flow is debatable.

Using the pavement presents problems at and beyond the bend.

Cyclists will have to move to the right to see pedestrians further down the road.  

Past the bend the pavement gets narrow.  People will be coming in and out of shops. There's also the problem of obstruction by retailers' signs.

A  suggestion was made to take some space from the carriageway to widen the pavement.

Contra-flow on the carriageway is the obvious solution, until you notice a bus coming from Bishop Street:
No problem for a fast (15 mph) cyclist. Such a cyclist would only take three seconds to cover the distance from where the photos were taken to the junction. But a slow (7 mph) cyclist won't reach the junction before the bus had blocked it.

The kerb on the north side has been built out too far. If the build-out were a metre less, a bus could get around the corner without taking the whole of the carriageway.

I expect the council will say it's too expensive to move the kerb.

Why didn't the design brief for the junction include a requirement for bothway cycling on Hales Street?  Perhaps if cyclists hadn't been overlooked at that stage, something much better would be in place now.

Hales Street is marked on Coventry Council's cycle map as a cycle route.

Recommended cycle routes in blue

Friday, 9 March 2012

More Cycle Parking at Coventry Station

It appears that Virgin Trains has won £300,000 from the Department of Transport to erect a
"300 space purpose built cycle point, including a mixture of secure storage of cycles (racks and lockers), covered with cctv, lighting and associated signage."
at Coventry Station.

See the spreadsheet at
Let's hope we get a better deal than Sevenoaks:

"The bike parking at Sevenoaks station has been totally inadequate and we campaigned for an increase from an existing 80 spaces to 150. Network Rail told us that as part of the station revamp, the parking was to be increased to 300. So the champagne was flowing. Until the new racks were installed. They are a rack system made by Allpark ltd and basically the racks are too close together so that squeezing in to secure the bike to a small triangular anchoring point at ground level can be a filthy procedure. "

"The Sevenoaks Cycle Forum has remonstrated with Network Rail about this but it looks highly unlikely anything will get changed at this point. If station renovations are going on near you and increased cycle parking is part of the deal get involved and make sure you don’t end up with the same travesty as has happened at Sevenoaks."

See Cyclenation News February 2012: