Here’s a report from Adam Tranter on the current status of the Coundon Cycleway which is subject to both ‘For’ and ‘Against’ campaigns!
I wanted to share what I think is an exciting update on the Coundon cycleway. I discussed with officers today who have provided an update on the designs after consultation ahead of a council meeting on Monday.
The meeting will discuss the “anti” Coundon petition as well as the “pro” one (which has considerably more signatures) and give a general project update. I am told that everybody (except for Cllr Glen Williams, who thinks the consultation has been rushed – despite a record response rate) is totally committed and behind the project and it will pass with no problem. Ian Court who set up the pro petition has been invited to speak at the meeting also.
Cllr Patricia Hetherton, the Cabinet Member responsible, is particularly enthusiastic about the plans and I met to discuss with her the week before last. Therefore I see the meeting on Monday as more of a formality because of the petitions raised than a debate.
It also means the revised designs are now available. I have had these checked independently by a leading active travel planner at the start of the consultation and again now, who said “The team should be rightly commended for their work because this is shaping up to be up there as one of the best UK projects.”
During the consultation, I suggested to the Council that they should adopt “Dutch style” entrances (continuous footway and cycleway with level change for vehicles) to make doubly clear pedestrian and cycle route priority, reduce speed and – in some cases – close additional side roads to reduce through traffic. I am pleased that these have been fully taken on board and the new drawings now include Dutch-style entrances, the first for Coventry and a rarity in the UK. We also have what I believe are Coventry’s first parallel zebra crossings; zebras that you can also cycle over without dismounting; these work well in Waltham Forst and driver compliance is high.
(A Dutch-style entrance)
I’m aware the route is short but this will be the first dedicated and high quality segregated cycle route in Coventry. The same design principles will be applied to the Binley route and I hope that with support from us all, we can build on the appetite for additional high-quality routes and start to build a genuine network.
One interesting thing is following the initial plans, more side roads have been “cut off” from the main roads, making for more pleasant neighbourhood roads. This has come straight from the politicians and I believe there will be increased appetite for low traffic neighbourhood schemes in future. It’s something I’ve been educating members about and banging the drum for as low-cost interventions that can have a big impact.
I would like Cllr Hetherton to have as much positive feedback as possible thanking her and officers for the great work so far. If you agree, you could drop a short message to firstname.lastname@example.org thanking her for her support and that you’re excited to see the Coundon route progressing. I think it’s important that when Councillors stand up for cycling – even with some public disquiet – that they’re given confidence and reward to do so again.
As background, I am attaching:
– A Cabinet Member report on the scheme
– Appendix A – Scheme Details
– Appendix B – Consultation Summary
Now – not everything is perfect on the cycling front but I think we are making progress. I am on at the Council to accelerate the pop up cycle routes which have still not started, for example.
I also joined a webinar on the new Station Masterplan and have set up an urgent follow up meeting with the Council to go through the cycling provision. While the entrance towards Greyfriars Green is becoming increasingly friendly for active travel; the entrance from Warwick Road is not conducive to getting people visiting by active travel at all; some of this is down to the attitude of Network Rail on cycling between the bus interchange and the main station – which is 6m wide but will be “no cycling”. I’m working to change this.
Here’s a brief update on other things on at the moment, from the Council:
We’re expecting a decision on Tranche 2 EATF regional bid soon, which includes segregated cycle routes along Foleshill Road, Charter Avenue and the first part of the regional LCWIP route from the hospital to the city centre. The consultation on the main Binley Road section is due to commence this month.
With regard to the remaining Tranche One schemes, Government only confirmed the funding allocations for those schemes on 26th June. Since then, we have been working on finalising the designs and procuring the materials required such as barriers and kerbing.
The pop-up cycle route linking the city centre with the Canal Basin across the ring road via Upper Well Street is soon to start on site.
We have also secured supplementary funding for further schemes around the University of Warwick. Improvements to the route via Canley Ford are on site currently and a pop-up route along Charter Avenue is to follow. Although not EATF, we have a major improvement to the canal towpath underway at present too.
Bicycle Mayor for Coventry, BYCS.org