Thursday, 15 May 2014

More traffic on Lynchgate Road

Those who cycle to the University of Warwick via its Lynchgate Road entrance will be disappointed to learn that the University wishes to put a large car park just inside the entrance with access via Lynchgate Road:



They propose a roundabout where the Science Park access road and the access road to the new car park meets Lynchgate Road. Link to planning application.

Plenty of people have objected, complaining about the traffic increase the proposal, if adopted, would bring.  Here's my comment:

I object to this planning application as it will have a negative impact on pedestrian and cyclist access to the University and Science Park.

The Department for Transport's "Manual for Streets (2007)" adopts a hierarchy of users to assist in design, planning and development control decisions. This places pedestrians at the top, followed by cyclists, then public transport, with unaccompanied private­ car users last. Furthermore there are local policies AM8 (Improving Pedestrian Routes) and AM11 (Improving Cycling Facilities).

The University's Lynchgate Road entrance has the potential to be the major access point for pedestrians and cyclists working and studying at the campus and Science Park, due to the large volume of residential housing within walking and cycling distances. In addition there is a great potential for rail plus cycle commuting from further afield via the Canley and Coventry railway stations.

According to The Department for Transport's LTN "Cycle Infrastructure Design" the first thing to be considered when creating or improving a cycle route is Traffic Volume Reduction (followed by Traffic Speed Reduction). The application proposes a Traffic Volume Increase on Lynchgate Road. It also proposes a downgrade of the cyclist/pedestrian route within the University campus from segregation between cyclists and pedestrians to a shared pedestrian/cyclist path. Such arrangements are unsuitable for routes with medium to high cyclist and pedestrian use.

If the car park is to be built, a much more imaginative approach needs to be taken to its access by motor traffic. An approach which reduces rather than increases the delay and danger posed to pedestrians and cyclists. One possibility would be to have access via the Science Park's Sir William Lyons Road and to move the access between Sir William Lyons Road and the public highway significantly closer to Kirby Corner Road.

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