Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Railway Station to Broadgate

I make no apologies for returning to matters concerning the city centre. Big changes are being made to the area's traffic arrangements. Thankfully there doesn't seem to be any which are negative for cyclists.

On 28th November Edward Healey (Area Manager, Sustrans) and myself were briefed by Mike Waters and Nigel Mills of the council's Transport Planning department about the improvements to the pedestrian route between the Railway Station and Bull Yard. Cycling will be legal along most of the route.

Currently there is no reasonable cycle route from the station to Broadgate.

The only legal cycling route means dodging the cars on the gyratory. Cyclists have two illegal choices, the pavement or the wrong way along Eaton Road (shown).

The council is considering widening the pavement shown in the left of the image. The footway would then be suitable for shared pedestrian/cyclist use. Unfortunately that might cost more than the council is willing to spend on a scheme which will only last until the Friargate development starts, probably within the next 20 years.

On a more positive note, the Department of Transport is now more willing than ever to allow low-cost contraflow cycling schemes. The civil engineering works might involve little more than the addition of a small "except cyclists" sign underneath the main red "No Entry" signs.

At the ring road the subway is being replaced by a Toucan crossing. At Toucan crossings cyclists have the same rights as pedestrians.

To calm motorists before they reach the new Toucan crossing, there will be traffic signals to the right of the point shown; at the end of Manor Road, on the slip road from the westbound ring road carriageway and on the roundabout itself.

Cycling towards the city centre from the new crossing over the ring road towards the city centre will be legal:

The subway under Greyfriars Road will go, replaced by a seven metre wide Zebra crossing. North of Greyfriars Road, Warwick Road will be reduced to a single carriageway with a lane in each direction. So all the space filled with buses and cars in the image to the right will be given to pedestrians and cyclists!

I understand that the giant planter at the end of Warwick Lane (between the British Heart Foundation shop and Methodist Central Hall)  will go, encouraging cyclists to divert to the right when travelling towards Broadgate.

A problem with an alternative route through Bull Yard and around the Barracks car park is that it would encourage cycling though the narrow passage between the car park and the Upper Precinct and in the Upper Precinct itself.

If a route were provided using Warwick Lane, a cyclist's contraflow would have to be provided on Greyfriars Lane south of its junction with Salt Lane.


  1. I agree that the alterations to the city centre's roads are generally good (and not just for cyclists, incidentally), but unfortunately there is one negative:

    Hales Street has been made one-way!

    At the moment the signs are temporary, but I presume it will be made permanent. As I've been using this route daily for many months now, this irks me somewhat; a prime candidate for a low-cost contra-flow route, I think!

  2. Hi Ceri,

    In March the council published a proposed Traffic Regulation Order covering the new one-way arrangements. In the one I saw it was clearly written:

    Nothing (in this order) shall apply to any
    a) Pedal Cycle
    b) Vehicle used by police, fire or ambulance...

    So I hope that the signs are temporary. There are some notices pinned to various posts in the city centre announcing "Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders". I hope that the temporary signs are just that and the permanent ones, put up once the works have finished, will reflect what I understood to the legal position back in March.

    As personally I don't use Hales Street very often, I thought I'd leave pursuing the issue until I was sure that the permanent arrangements didn't allow two way cycling.

    I can give you some email addresses of people in the council who will provide a more authoritative answer, if you like.