Cycle Routes Report June 2020

Coventry Coundon Cycleway

This promises to be of a quality never before seen in Coventry or Warwickshire. A three metre wide path separated from both pedestrians and motor traffic with priority over side streets.

There is  opposition from residents who regard the storing of cars on the public highway as a basic right. There are petitions both for and against.

People who live or work in the council wards close to the route should contact the councillors expressing support. The affected wards are

Details of the route and a discussion forum can be found here.

Pop-up infrastructure

Due to the need for social distancing, the government is advising people to avoid using public transport.  There’s a fear that this will lead to massive road congestion if commuters switch to cars as the lockdown is relaxed. In response to this, the Department of Transport has made £250 million available to local authorities, telling them to make significant changes to their road layouts, giving more space to cyclists and pedestrians.

However, buses and trains have a small share of transport in Coventry and the Warwickshire towns, except for journeys to schools and colleges, so it is likely that little will be implemented here.

Measures so far taken in  Coventry and Warwickshire

If you know a place where there are considerable numbers of cyclists and where low cost temporary measures, such as planters or barriers, would greatly improve conditions, please email your local councillors about the issue. Copy in the relevant council cabinet members.  In Coventry those would be Jim O’Boyle, Patricia Hetherton and Kamran Caan.

Shows bollardsBollards block heavy traffic Pop-up protected cycle laneLeicester pop-up protected cycle lanes

Canal Towpath

The towpath between bridge 4 (where the Stoney Stanton Road meets Leicester Causeway) and Hawkesbury junction is due to be re-surfaced to 2.2m before the Autumn.

Links

For the latest news, follow these pages:

Warwickshire’s Cycling Infrastructure Plan

Warwickshire County Council is inviting input to their Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).  A LCWIP is needed when they make  funding bids for infrastructure projects. Please respond. I suggest making your response as wide ranging as possible. E.g:

  • Routes to access schools, colleges, hospitals, business parks, leisure centres, parks, railway and bus stations etc.
  • Direct routes between the suburbs and town centres
  • Routes between towns and villages
  • Highlight barriers to cycling

Link

Vehicle battery factory at Coventry Airport?

There’s a proposal to build a vehicle battery factory on the land currently occupied by Coventry Airport.

Details, and a chance to comment on the proposals, can be found at http://www.gigafactoryconsultation.co.uk (note that the page is slow to load).

I’ve already made the following comment:

1) The battery factory will generate a lot of HGV traffic. What about a railway link to the West Coast Main Line (WCML) at a point just east of the A46? HS2 is supposed to free WCML capacity for freight.

2) The cycle routes need to be a lot better than the recently installed shared use path on the north side of Rowley Road. Cyclists on that path are expected to give way to traffic turning into and out of premises at fourteen points in a distance of about a mile.

Do local highway engineers understand the concept of Kinetic Energy and the fact that cyclists must generate their own? Have they ever heard of Department Of Transport publication “Cycle Infrastructure Design (LTN 1/20)” ?

On Your Bike and Vote!

On Thursday, 6 May there are elections for West Midlands Combined Authority mayor.

Cycle campaigners have been busy contacting candidates, asking them to “sign up” to a pledge for an active travel revolution.  What the candidates were asked and their responses are here.

There’s interviews of the main candidates on their attitude to cycling as well.

If you like what a candidate says, please tell them so by email or Twitter.  The Birmingham Cycling Campaign (Pushbikes) have listed the email addresses and twitter accounts at the end of this blog post

Coventry City Council, Solihull Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council are holding elections too, so if you might want to contact candidates there as well.  Link to the answers that candidates for Warwickshire County Council gave to cycle campaigners.

Note district councils don’t have control of highways.

Cannon Park Cycleway

Coventry City Council is consulting on possible improvements to the cycling route between Warwick University’s Lynchgate Road entrance and Fletchamsted Highway (Canley Ford).

Click here for an expanded version of the plan.

When responding to the Council, you may wish to support some modifications to the plans:

    1. Installing wands to protect cyclists on the “contra-flow” cycle lane along the Fletchamstead Highway service road north-west of Charter Avenue and at the Charter Avenue / Cannon Hill Road junction.
    2. Making the “pop up” lane along Charter Avenue permanent.
    3. Upgrading the un-signalled crossing of Lynchgate Road north of Shultern Lane. Possibly use a parallel zebra.  A two stage crossing would be overkill for the sort of traffic speeds which should be aimed for.
    4. Lighting of any path or cycleway through the wooded areas by Aldi.
    5. A toucan crossing on Kirby Corner Road just before Lynchgate Road to provide a shorter route between the university entrance and Charter Avenue (West).
    6. Sign-posting the route along Albany Road, Earlsdon Street and The Riddings as a way of cycling between the city centre and Lynchgate Road. It passes more homes than the Canley Ford / Kenilworth Road route. It doesn’t involve unlit woods, narrow bridges shared with pedestrians  and steep gradients either.

Adam Tranter, Coventry’s Bicycle Mayor, has produced a map of what he thinks the scheme should look like.

 

The consultation website is at

https://letstalk.coventry.gov.uk/cannonparkcycleway

Deadline: Sunday 11th April 2021

Foleshill Road

Coventry City Council is consulting on possible improvements.

Adam Tranter, Coventry’s Bicycle Mayor, has a good grasp of the ideas under consideration.

He writes

“Foleshill Road is one of the most hostile areas in the city for cycling, walking and driving. New average speed cameras are already coming in, but through the government’s Active Travel Fund, there is now funding for a cycle lane from the city centre to just past the Lockhurst Lane junction. Combined with potential bus gates, the through traffic in the area can be much decreased and alternative transport options provided. The majority of traffic on Foleshill Road is not adding any value to the community – most are using it as a cut through to get to the M6 and/or the city centre (people should be using the A444); as such, the road is one of the worst polluted in the city.”

“The scheme’s budget will mean the council will use wands for segregation from traffic for people cycling and there will be junction safety improvements for cycling; cyclists will have priority over side roads and the route will be continuous and direct.”

The council is taking on board every consultation response, so if you’re able to support the scheme, showing it by completing the web form would be much appreciated.  As Adam puts it “A lot of people drive through the area and will be frustrated that they will no longer be able to do so. Therefore, it’s important to make sure there are as many positive voices as possible.” If people are to switch from car to bicycle, it’s important that the routes are direct and cyclists are not held up by long delays at traffic signals.  People walking shouldn’t have a long wait to cross Foleshill Road either.

Adam also writes that “public realm improvements including parklets (mini seating areas in the space of parking bays) as well as general improvement of the shopping areas should be implemented as soon as possible.”

 

The consultation website is at

https://letstalk.coventry.gov.uk/foleshillroad

Deadline: Sunday 11th April 2021

Binley Cycleway Phase 2

Coventry Council is consulting on phase 2 of the cycleway; between Brandon Road and University Hospital.

The consultation closes on Sunday 18 April 2021.

There’s a petition in support. It can be signed by a person of any age who lives, works or studies in Coventry.

The proposals are very good, but a number of small points could be made:

Brinklow Road / Clifford Bridge Road junction.

The three 90 degree turns needed to access the Business Park path via the cycleway are all very tight.  So many cyclists wishing to access the business park from Binley Road will leave the cycleway before the Clifford Bridge Road junction, at the access to St. Bartholomew’s church. Consequently, a dropped kerb on the east side of Brinklow Road at the access to the Business Park would be welcome.

Bridgeacre Gardens (south)

The cycleway will be on the west side of Clifford Bridge Road, with priority over Mill Lane and Bridgeacre Gardens.  The pedestrian/cyclist crossing will be at pavement height.

Clifford Bridge Road lay-bys.

Along this part of Clifford Bridge Road, the proposal is to narrow both the traffic lanes and the lay-bys (on both sides of the road) to make space for the cycleway.

Bridgeacre Gardens (north)

Cyclists sharing space with pedestrians only works when the people are not allowed to drive!

Further north
  • The existing, 170cm wide, pedestrian bridge over the Sowe is to be used for both walkers and cyclists.
  • The cycleway crosses to the west side of Clifford Bridge Road at a point between the entrance to Tesco and Dorchester Way.  Will the signals detect cyclists, so that they don’t always have to wait to cross?
  • At both ends of Dorchester Way, there will be a “Zebra” type crossing, designed for parallel use by pedestrians and cyclists.   Will visibility be good enough for motorists to stop?
  • The cycleway will end at the entrance to the hospital grounds, although changes will be made to make it easier for cyclists to cycle between Farren Road and the hospital.

 

HS2 and the Kenilworth Greenway

Concerns have been expressed about the temporary alterations to the Kenilworth Greenway due to HS2. See this facebook post and also this one.

The temporary paths will probably be in place until HS2 is in operation, perhaps 2030 or later. Once HS2 is in operation, a permanent replacement will be opened parallel to HS2, on its south side between Burton Green and Berkswell station.

Make any comments you have on the “temporary” path between Kenilworth and Hob Lane to Warwick District Council. Search for reference W/20/1978/HS2

For the “temporary” path between Hob Lane and Berkswell station, send comments to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.  Search for reference PL/2020/02821/HS2DIS

Coventry: Where the bicycle was invented, but nearly forgotten

Adam Tranter  has made a video about Coventry’s cycling history:

In this short documentary, Adam explains the history of cycling in Coventry, and the realities of cycling in Coventry today. Comparisons to Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands are made.

The video will be shown at the opening of Culture Space Coventry’s gearing up exhibition on 12 March. The exhibition features over 80 cycles and celebrates the history, unique designs, and benefits of cycling. The exhibition will continue to 13 June, by which time it is hoped that it will be open for viewing in person at the Transport Museum, as well as for online browsing.

You can find out more about Adam here​ or follow him on Twitter