No entry signs have been erected on the Whittle Arch end of 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
- This order shall come into operation [...]
- In this order
- reference [...]
- "Pedal Cycle" has the same meaning as in Regulation 4 of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002
- 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.
- Nothing in Article 3 of this Order shall apply to any vehicle listed in the First Schedule to this Order
First ScheduleNothing in Article 3 of this Order shall apply to any
- Pedal Cycle
- vehicle being used for police, fire or ambulance service [...]
|Length of Road||Direction||Times|
|Hales Street between its junction with Bishop Street and its junction with Trinity Street||Eastbound||All Times|
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:
- Take their chances and cycle through.
- Ride on the footway putting pedestrians at risk.
- Push their bicycles on the footway
- Cycle along Palmer Way.
- Cycle along Palmer Way taking a shortcut to the Burgess via the alleyway by
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):