Monday, 5 May 2014

Canley Railway Station to Warwick University

Coventry Council is consulting on a number of traffic schemes in South West Coventry. The schemes are mostly about making it easier to access the various employment and study sites in the area by car.

It's a chance to get things improved for cyclists as well!

The map shows a cycle route between the city centre and Kenilworth:

Open map in a new window

The section between Canley Railway Station and the University of Warwick links various residential areas with Westwood Business Park, the University of Warwick and the University's Science Park. People living close to any of the railway stations along the line to Birmingham could also use this section as part of a train + cycle commute. 

How might it be improved?

Sir Henry Parkes Road, between Canley station and the A45 has little traffic. Unfortunately the road is rather wide, a relic of the days when the road and railway met at a level crossing and a major car factory was on the north side of the tracks. So there is speeding. To make the road more cycle-friendly, the centre white line should be removed and the speed limit reduced to 20 mph. Other changes to the layout should be considered to encourage motorists to slow down. Perhaps 2m wide cycle lanes should be painted on both sides, even wider where they pass areas where cars might be parked.
Sir Henry Parkes Road - View towards the A45

Motorists need to reduce their speed as they leave the A45 roundabout

As can be seen from the map, the current recommended route for cyclists from the NE side of the A45 to Lynchgate Road uses seven Toucan crossings in a distance of less than 700m. No help is provided at either Sir Henry Parkes Road (NE of A45) or Lynchgate Road to join/leave this "toucan crossing tour".

One way of reducing the number of Toucan crossings would be to remove the bus lane on Sir Henry Parkes Road to make room for a cycle path on the south-eastern side. Cyclists who don't want to use the carriageway would no longer need to cross Sir Henry Parkes Road and then cross back when travelling between Lynchgate Road and the A45. They would avoid three Toucan crossings.

The refuge in the centre of the A45 is too narrow

Lynchgate Road is a subject on its own. Large numbers of pedestrians must cross this road to reach the shopping centre from the Science Park. None of the pedestrian crossing points are marked with traffic signs or Belisha beacons.
A large sign blocks the view of pedestrians about to cross left to right

Recently added "safety" feature (hidden behind Tesco sign)
Sign of a recent fatality

Traffic speed and volume need to be drastically reduced on Lynchgate Road.

One way of cutting volume would be to block Lynchgate Road south of the shopping centre and replace the current Science Park entry/exit with one much closer to Shultern Lane:


  1. If the cycle path were routed along Canley Road to the A45 and over the pair of crossings near the petrol station (possibly moved to the west to avoid crossing the petrol station entrance), and then along a widened pavement on the south side of Charter Avenue, this would eliminate all the roundabouts 5 crossings and use quieter roads. The extra distance is ~650m, less if the A45 crossing is moved. The existing four crossings could then be used to continue to Tile Hill. Not ideal, but I can't see anything changing in the short term.

    Canon Park is a poorly designed for transport. even the bus stops are on the wrong side of the road. The main problem with your proposal is that the incoming and outgoing traffic would cross over at the junction of Lynchgate Road and Shultern Lane, delaying each other. This is why most people leaving the car park turn right at the moment. Reversing the flow in the car park is one solution, but I think the petrol station lay out prohibits this.

    An alternative would be to convert the Canon Park "circle" into a clockwise one way system with one lane for cars and a bus/cycle lane. The car park entrance could be moved to a link off the service road to the west of the site. There were several cars parked there today so this shouldn't obstruct the use of the service road.

    Warwick University are planning to build a new car park accessed of Lynchgate Road (FUL/2014/1161) which will add traffic at the busiest time of day and make this road even more unsuitable as a cycle route.

  2. Hello Peter,

    Rather than refer to "moving the cycle route" I'd like to think in terms of adding alternatives. Improving Charter Ave. (east of Sir Henry Parkes Road) and moving the Toucan crossing west of the filling station entrance would benefit cyclists travelling from Earlsdon Street (via The Riddings) as well as others.

    The crossings of the Canley Crematorium entrance and Cannon Hill Road need to be considered. For safety, cyclists and motorists should only cross each other's path at right-angles or closer to straight-ahead. There must also be enough room to allow a person to stop should they see someone else about to cross their path.

    Another idea for the Canon Park shopping centre is for the current entrance to be widened to become the exit as well as the entrance. This would allow the filling station to remain as it is.

    I'll raise the idea of the University's new car park using the Science Park's access road (Sir William Lyons Road) and moving the Science Park's entrance/exit to the north end of Lynchgate Road at the consultation about the South West Coventry Road "Improvements" at University House Thursday 15 May (15:30 to 19:00).

    Major car parks should be placed close to the major roads with any access roads crossing above or below the pedestrian and cyclist desire lines. Dream on...

    1. Hi George,

      I'm all for alternative routes. We may even get a network eventually.

      Looking at google street view the entry to the Crematorium now seems to be in the middle of a car park, highlighted with a couple of plastic planters. I think this is in serious need of improvement, Cycle Coventry or otherwise.

      There were a number of lapsed plans to expand the Tesco store about 10 years ago (R/2002/1759), but these concentrated on part pedestrianisation of De Montfort way to improve access to the eastern car parks. It would be interesting to find their current thoughts. The limited cycle parking at Canon Park seems to be very well used.


    2. Using google chrome as a browser it's possible to see streetview photos taken at different times. The July 2008 photo shows a scene where the car parks are not overflowing (unlike Aug 2011 or Nov 2012).