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September 20, 2019

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Cycle Basingstoke's Response to: Basingstoke's Transport Strategy

 

Calling all cyclists and would be cyclists.  Please reply to the consultation on the Basingstoke Transport Strategy.  Closing date 28 January.  Let us know what you think.

 

What is good about it? 

Cycling is a major part of the strategy (page 25)  The county wants to:

  1. Address the physical barriers to cycling within and through the town centre.  How will they do this?  what are the alternatives to the one way s       

  2. Prioritise the completion of continuous, direct routes on the Strategic Cycle Network.  

  3. Provide segregated facilities on priority routes where feasible.

  4. Enhance key bus stops to enable cycle parking, in order to encourage integration with public transport services?

  5. Ensure new developments provide facilities to promote walking and cycling in line with current design standards.  They have saying this for years  and never done it.

  6. Design public areas in ways that support walking and cycling in safe and attractive environments?

What is bad?

Are the  current design standards    the ones used on the Harow Way and Winchester road, see pictures??   If so they are not good enough.   A 50 metre cycle route linking nowhere to nowhere is no good.   

What are segregated facilities?  Segregated from what?  Unlikely to be provided anyway unless it is easy  to do (feasible).

A key aim is developing priority strategic walking and cycling corridors.  Good.  But if they are just pavements shared with walkers segregated  by a white line, (per current design standards), then these are very bad.  We want expressways for cycling along the main arterial roads into Basingstoke, not used or shared by pedestrians.   We object to shared use pavements designed for walking not cycling and frequent crossings of the road as at Longacre on the A30.

This is what we are telling the council.  Do you agree?  Let us know

 

Why we think  walking and cycling should be considered separately

 

The advantages of these transport modes are different and the barriers to walking and cycling are different.  No investigation has been done into why and where people walk.  Lack of pavements and paths is not the reason.  

Utility journeys are those whose main purpose is reaching the destination e.g. going to work, to school, shopping, visiting friends and family.  Below is a comparison of the differences between walking and cycling.

Utility Walking

 

Advantages

  • Requires no equipment other than protective clothing

  • Suitable for short distances

  • Combines well with other transport modes

  • comprehensive walking infrastructure available

  • some walking routes can provide shortcuts compared with the carriageway

 

Disadvantages

  • Slow

  • Requires physical effort

  • Need physical capacity

  • Not suitable if having to transport loads

  • Only suitable for short distances up to 2 miles or 40 mins

  • Often too far to walk to school

  • Stranger danger

  • Danger from motor traffic, especially crossing roads

  • Society does not see it as safe for children to walk unaccompanied

  • No maps or signage

 

CB does not consider that the proposal for walking routes along the main corridors is attractive or useful. 

 
The main barrier to walking is not a lack of strategic walking corridors but
  • Poor road layout design

  • severance (caused by roads, junctions, roundabouts, railway line, remedied by crossings, bridges, subways, crossings can light controlled, zebra, raised surface, change of colour or texture as in Alton High street etc. e.g. residents in an old people’s home in Kempshott cannot walk to the shops as there is no crossing of Pack lane)

  • dropped kerbs

  • lack of signage and maps

  • footpaths in new estates which have no function or purpose other than recreational.

  • Unattractive environment (including noise and pollution from neighbouring motor traffic)

  • Steps (barrier to trolleys, mobility carriages, push chairs etc.)

  • Maintenance (surfaces, vegetation)

  • Maintenance and linkage of Rights of Way (ROWs) ,

  • ROWs destroyed or narrowed by new housing or industrial sites

  • Cars parked on pavements

Utility Cycling

Advantages

Unlike walking cycling is not suitable for short distances under a mile unless the bike is being used as a luggage carrier.   The reason being the time required to change equipment and remove the bike from storage and then lock it up again.  Frequently there is no secure parking site at one or other end of the journey, you cannot cycle door to door unlike walking.

A bicycle is suitable for longer journeys 2 – 10 miles, but it is important to have routes available that are shorter than car routes either using cycle corridors or/and shortcuts on paths and across open spaces.

A bicycle is a vehicle it has length and width and is unstable at low speeds, particularly if laden, so cannot negotiate narrow spaces or sharp corners.  It is most efficient when a continuous high speed is maintained without loss of momentum.  The advantage of cycling over walking is its

  • Greater Speed

  • more time saved, (increases with distance)

  • longer Distances possible

  • less effort

  • possible for those who cannot walk/can walk with difficulty

  • greater Carrying capacity

 

 

On dedicated cycle “routes” there is frequent conflict with other users, both walkers and cyclists,  due to pinch points and lack of space.   It is frightening when a bike speeds past only inches from your shoulder.  It requires strength and skill to manoeuvre because of street furniture, vegetation and other obstacles.

 

 The main barriers to cycling are

  • Fear of motor traffic – roads too narrow or no allocated space

  • No cycle network and few cycle routes

  • Cycle routes disconnected.

  • Inadequate  provision for cycling along main strategic corridors

  • Poor infrastructure design  means that the advantages listed above are not possible.  Present cycle routes are exceedingly short, are designed for very low speeds with frequent stop and starts making it strenuous as momentum is constantly being lost, are not suitable for the less able, not suitable for  non standard bikes or heavily loaded bikes.    Most of our cycle routes would fail an Equality Impact Assessment.   

 

Unlike walking there are no cycle lanes or cycleways along most roads.  There is no dedicated space.

 

Conditions required to facilitate cycling:

 

  1. Cycle routes designed for cycling not walking and Adoption of CROW guidelines  for cycling infrastructure or similar.  (The present cycle routes are not fit for purpose.  Cycling on footways in new build is unacceptable and against official guidelines.)

  2. A comprehensive cycle network integrated into the entire highway network. 

  3. New developments fully permeable to cycling and connected to the town centre and neighbouring areas.

  4. Cycle expressways along the main corridors, not shared with motor traffic or pedestrians, safe, rapid direct as in propensity to cycle tool -  could be combined with the MRT corridors. 

  5. Redesign town centre.  Connect all cycle routes to the town centre and make the town centre fully permeable to cycling, redesign the one way system in Fairfields

  6. Park and Bike at end of MRT corridors and interchanges

  7. Circular cycle routes for health

  8. Preservation and Improvements of the Rights of Way  network

  9. More luggage space on buses to carry folding bikes and scooters

  10. Park and Bike as well as Park and Ride

  11. Bike hire schemes

  12. Adoption of a cycle manifesto by businesses and community groups

  13. Travel plans to be comparable between different schools, businesses etc.

 

Commentary on the Strategy text

 

Page 11

 

replace walking and cycling provision is not consistent. With “There is inadequate provision for cycling”. 

Have a separate category for walking as the reasons for walking are different to cycling.

What does consisitent mean?  Consistent with what?  “There is inadequate provision for cycling”.  Sums up the problem better

 

Replace

 15% of the town’s population live within 0.75 miles of the town centre, 25% live within 1 mile, and 95% live within 3 miles – but walking and cycling use is low

• People have different preferences in relation to cycle facilities, depending upon ability and purpose (for example, leisure or cycling to work) ( irrelevant)

 

With

 

95% of the town’s population live within 3 miles of the town centre–but cycling use is low

 •  “Low standards of design in the past and missing cycle routes discourage people from cycling.” 

 

 

Page 14 - Priority B

“The quality of walking and cycling infrastructure is inconsistent across the town”. 

Walking and cycling infrastructure are separate issues.  The use of the word inconsistent does not convey what the author intended.  The following might express his meaning better:

Much cycling infrastructure is either missing or poor quality (not compliant with highest standards).   CB is not aware of any inconsistency or major issues with the walking infrastructure, although some of it would fail an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA).    

 

page 15 - Priority C 

We suggest adding another bullet point

Use of equality impact assessments for cycle routes to ensure that they are usable by everyone

Page 18     Section 5 transport themes

“Developing priority strategic waking and cycling corridors”

Cycling and walking are two separate categories

Page 21 strategy theme two: integrating new developments….

 

“ensure that new developments are supported by Travel Plans”

Travel plans have failed to deliver satisfactory cycle facilities in the past.

Page 22 strategy theme 3   -  public transport

We are in favour of MRT……“high quality rapid transport corridors” are needed for  cycling.  We suggest that the cycling corridors are combined with the MRT corridors.   Park and bike and also Bike hire at terminals and interchanges are recommended.  Increased space for luggage and fold up bikes on buses are needed.

 

Page 25  Strategy theme four:  developing priority strategic walking and cycling corridors

 

Some good ideas, but rather  vague.  We think it would benefit from a rewrite.

Strategy theme 4   developing an efficient cycling network and priority cycling corridors

Why is this important?

Cycling improves health, longevity and social well- being and is also a  non- polluting, space and energy efficient form of transport.  It is suitable for short journeys up to half an hour(5miles) or even longer ones up to an hour (8 – 14 miles depending on level of fitness and route interruptions).   For the less able there is electric assistance and adapted bikes.   Cycling therefore can meet the transport demands from people in new developments and has the potential to replace many car journeys as shown by the statistics on page 10.  Most people prefer to use the car  because it is considered  quicker and more convenient.    Road layout and  infrastructure design can make cycling unnecessarily  difficult and inconvenient.   With no alternatives to one way systems, busy roads and complex junctions cycling feels very unsafe, even for the dedicated.   There are many gaps in the cycling infrastructure and what is provided needs improving in order to provide safe journeys on rapid routes.

How could this be achieved see   Conditions required to facilitate cycling  above  (hyperlink)

 

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