Sunday, 1 July 2012

Green Fayre

Every year Cyclic has a stall at both the Green Fayre and the Godiva Festival. An opportunity for us to talk to local cyclists about the problems with Coventry's roads and paths.
Heavy rainfall caused this year's Godiva Festival to be cancelled. However the Green Fayre did take place on 23 June in War Memorial Park. Some of the points made:

Holyhead Road

The cycle lane has been removed between Southbank Road and Moseley Ave. / Four Pounds Ave. In its place there's kerbside car parking. Although a set back, I didn't complain too loudly as
  • the cycle lanes were not really part of a good route as the conditions for cycling on Holyhead Road between Moseley Avenue and the ring road are pretty poor
  • converting the Holyhead Road pavements to cycle paths would create dangers for both pedestrians and cyclists. Motorists would drive into cyclists as they crossed the side roads. The money needed to create a half safe solution could be better spent on improvements at other locations in Coventry.
  • there's a alternative route via Barkers Butts Lane:

Tesco Cannon Park

  • Roundabout junction of Lynchgate Road and Kirby Corner Road. Buses and taxis entering the roundabout from Kirby Corner Road have priority over cyclists on the roundabout travelling from the University of Warwick to Sir Henry Parks Road or Charter Ave. (western arm). Many such cyclists wish to use the bus lane or join the cycle path which begins at the Toucan crossing between that roundabout and the one at the Charter Avenue junction.
  • At the entrance to the University of Warwick at Lynchgate Road, motorists from De Montford Way sometimes take the racing line, crossing the centre line at the bend. There's also considerable pedestrian traffic between the University of Warwick's entrance and Tesco.

Coventry Canal

The towpath is too narrow, but there's not much that can be done about that. What could be improved are the access points:
It's very difficult to get tandems or bicycles with trailers past the chicanes. No way could a mobility scooter get past.

North-South Road

Is there space to build a cycle path along side?

Other points

I was able to give some advice on things like secure cycle parking at the Barracks car park (contact CVOne in New Union Street, CV1 2NT. 024 7683 3671 for details) and cycle retailers (see map).


  1. What is the correct procedure at the bus gates on Foleshill Road and Sir Henry Parkes Road as the bus/cycle lane traffic lights don't seem to respond to cyclists waiting at the stop line.

  2. I don't know what the "correct procedure" is. What I do is
    1) complain to the council
    2) treat the red light as a "give way" sign.

    Back in December 2008 I checked eight bus gates erected as part of "Primelines". Many didn't detect cyclists. I met with the council and discussed it. But nothing happened on the ground.

    Recently I noticed that the lights at the junction of Gosford Street and Far Gosford (near the Sky Blue Way roundabout) no longer detected my bicycle. I complained, I even went on a site visit. The lights seemed to work at the time of the site visit, but now they don't. I suppose I'll complain again.

    In the first instance ring Coventry Direct on 0500 834 333. They will probably connect you to the appropriate department. Take note of what the council workers have to say. If (or should that be "when") you find that doesn't lead anywhere try one of the councillors who covers the area.

  3. I believe the Highway Code allows for a road user to proceed with caution through a red light if they believe it to be faulty/out-of-order. Not activating for a bicycle would be covered by this.

    I also found the bus gate on Gosford Street/Far Gosford Street didn't detect my bike recently, when in the past it has done.

    On another note, I think there is room alongside the A444 for a cycle path, and it's long overdue for one. Ideally there would be a proper segregated route all the way from Coventry into Nuneaton with access to George Eliot Hospital en route. Given the parking issues that they clearly have at GEH, I'm frankly astonished at just how hard it is to access the hospital by public transport or bicycle.

  4. Re A444. Generally councils (outside of tourist areas) don't have much time for cycle journeys over 3 or 4 miles, arguing that only a very small number of people are interested in travelling that sort of distance by bicycle. On the other hand Nuneaton & Bedworth council should be concerned with access to the George Eliot Hospital by hospital staff and outpatients living within a couple of miles of the hospital (or potentialy travelling by train+bike). Also the junctions on the A444 would be an issue for a longer distance route.

    Centro has won some money from the government's Local Sustainable Transport Fund for improved cycle infrastructure in North Coventry. Quoting from the bid:

    Route 1:
    City centre to Holbrooks (Ricoh and Prologis Park employment areas) - largely new off-road facility.
    Route 2:
    City centre to Leicester Causeway (accessing employment sites in the Foleshill area and major
    retail redevelopment around the Canal Basin).
    Route 3:
    City centre to Longford and Hospital via Wyken (serving three large employment areas, Henley College and healthcare sites) upgrade with an expected contribution from the hospital to provide a new walk/cycle bridge).

    What that means in practice we will have to see.

  5. I can understand that the priority would be for shorter distances I suppose. The thing is if you provide long routes then it opens up the possibility for longer journeys and allows others to use shorter sections for shorter journeys.

    Glad that funds are at least being made available to attempt to address cycle provision in these areas, but as you say, will be interesting to see the results.

    I had a hospital appointment at GEH a couple of years back. We're a 1 car family and my wife needs the car to get to work and back (at GEH ironically). Not being keen on cycling up the A444 I ended up on the bus, which required a walk into Coventry city centre and then didn't even stop at the hospital, requiring a half mile walk at the other end as well. Not a problem for me, but potentially a significant problem to the elderly/disabled/sick.

  6. There does seem to be a car-free bridge over the A444 near George Eliot Hospital. Perhaps more will be done when the Coventry-Nuneaton railway is upgraded with a station at Bermuda Park.

  7. I've solved the problem of the bus gate on the Foleshill road. If you cycle along the detector wire (thin black line) in the road it picks up the bike and the lights change.