Significant improvements for people who ride bicycles are being made to a £1 million Bath & North East Somerset Council scheme to regenerate London Road – but it won’t extend to a two-way segregated route all the way back to Morrisons.
The changes to the original scheme are in response to the Council listening to cycling interest groups about their suggestions to make the project as safe and convenient as possible for cyclists whilst ensuring the benefits of the regeneration scheme remain.
As a result, a public realm scheme will be delivered that provides an improved environment for cyclists at the approach to Cleveland junction. The key features are as follows:
- Improvements to the existing cycling provision at the approach to Cleveland junction by removal of parking, other than off peak loading bays, and increasing the length by 40 metres eastwards;
- Removal of bollards within the current cycleway and replacement with full height kerbs to improve protection to cyclists and remove obstructions in the route;
- A renewed way out for cyclists at the Cleveland junction traffic lights;
- Off peak loading bays included to serve the established business in Walcot Terrace;
- On-street parking increased from 17 to 18 spaces – comprising of 8 at Snow Hill House, 4 outside Dominos, 5 in Bedford St and Weymouth St and one on the east bound carriageway in a parking bay;
- Contrasting surfacing on the westbound carriageway to ensure one way working.
These enhancements enable the retention of public realm improvements between the Snow Hill and Morrison’s junctions as developed by the Gateway Community Group.
Councillor Paul Crossley (Lib-Dem, Southdown), Leader of Council, said, “The recent Council meeting heard strong views from both members of the Gateway Community Group and cycling representatives about their aspirations for the London Road. I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the consultation we’ve held on our ideas.
“This final proposal balances these opinions, presenting a scheme that both upholds the regeneration of this busy entrance to Bath and is consistent with the Cabinet’s aspirations to encourage more people to cycle.”
Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said, “The environment for cyclists is now safer than currently with improvements to safety at the Cleveland junction and the removal of bollards. Nothing in this scheme excludes further improvements to cycling facilities on the London Road in the future and the Transport Strategy will include a number of measures to reduce the unacceptable level of motor traffic on this road.”
Options were also considered for a segregated cycle way and shared cycle way/ footway. After a thorough safety audit these were regarded unsafe because of a lack of width for people on foot and cyclists to share.
Committed to cycling – a record of action, a promise of more
The Council has either delivered or committed funding to a range of projects that make the area a better place to cycle. These include:
- £470,000 already invested in the Two Tunnels Project;
- £475,000 for the new shared pedestrian/cycling path between NCN4 at Twerton Fork and Bath Spa University; a new light controlled crossing will be installed across the A4 at the Globe roundabout next spring and a new ramp to the Bristol-Bath cycle path in 2014/15.
- £1.2 million for improving routes in Bath city centre at Seven Dials;
- £189,000 for a new ramp from Claude Avenue in Oldfield Park to the Greenway/Two Tunnel path, to be built in spring 2014;
- £910,000 on the new route to improve access from Bathampton and Batheaston to Bath city centre;
- A further £220,000 on cycle route schemes district–wide;
- Both Victoria Bridge (£1.9 million) and the Destructor Bridge (£2 million) joining north and south across the River Avon are being refurbished which will dramatically improve links across the city for cyclists;
- A further £430,000 for the Two Tunnels Project to support carrying out Northern Links and Element 3 by April 2014.
On-going cycling initiatives:
- Free bike loan hire for people to sample commuting by bike before they take the plunge on buy one themselves;
- Go By Bike Scheme to encourage cycling participation is dramatically increasing the numbers of people and schools taking part.