Thursday, 18 June 2015

Butts Road / Albany Road junction

Getting over (or under) the ring road is a major problem for cyclists in Coventry. One of the safer crossing places is the Spon Street subway. It's also part of Cycle Coventry Routes 12 & 13, shown in yellow on Coventry Council's cycle map:

Routes 12 & 13 provide a fairly direct path to Hearsall Common, but they are not very useful for those cycling to or from the Earlsdon Street area. This could be improved by adding a link between Meadow Street and Albany Road, as indicated with a red blob on the map.

Exiting from Albany Road, cycling with the traffic, it's easy enough to turn right into the Butts Road bus lane. Unfortunately, as the google streetview image shows, you then have to bump up over the kerb and cycle five metres before bumping down to Meadow Street:

The Earlsdon bound trip presents bigger problems. You might cycle to the middle of Butts Road and join the traffic waiting to turn right into Albany Road. Or you might dismount and use the pedestrian crossing to walk across Butts Road. 

Many would find waiting in the middle of Butts Road daunting. Others might try cycling across the pedestrian crossing, annoying pedestrians whilst trying to negotiate the sharp bends and ending up on the wrong side of Albany Road:

Current routes from Meadow Street to Albany Road (Google satellite).

There are simple solutions to these problems.
  1. Add dropped kerbs and 3 more metres of blacktop to provide a cycle path between Meadow Street and Butts Road
  2. Add dropped kerbs to the central reservation, providing a refuge for cyclists turning right into Butts Road. Once in Butts Road, they would turn left at the traffic lights into Albany Road:
Proposed routes:

The fence on the central reservation has already gone. The reservation is over two metres wide, so there's enough of room for cyclists to safely wait for a gap in the traffic. Bicycles being about 1.8 m long. Waiting there would be much safer than on the carriageway proper and cyclists would only need to look for traffic coming from one direction at a time.

An application has been made for planning permission build a five storey extension to the Sherbourne House student accommodation block on Meadow Street. I've proposed that the developers should be required to contribute money to help provide the links described above. There will be a pressing need for cycle facilities, as students will be prohibited from bringing cars into Coventry as a condition of their tenancy.

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