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MORE DANGEROUS CYCLE ROUTES PLANNED, REAL CYCLE ROUTES POSSIBLE

July 10, 2019

 

 

By expecting people on cycles to use the footway Hampshire County Council is failing in its duty of care to highway users.

 

Cycle Basingstoke is still campaigning for a segregated, safe cycle lane along both sides of  the A30 for its whole length.  Short stretches of pavement now and again with criss-crossing from side to side is no good.  We are slowly gaining more support at County and Borough for real cycle routes.

 

A proposal to extend a footway from the busstop near Longacre to the top of Kempshott lane does not provide for cycling and is highly dangerous

 

Shared footways  use should only be used as a last resort where there is lack of space or very  few users.

 

Cycle Basingstoke has replied to both the  Hounsome fields and the Golf course planning applications 

 

 

Good news.

Cycle Basingstoke has obtained the support of leaders of both the Labour and the Conservative party for cycle infrastructure that works.  We have been talking to both councillors and officers at Borough (responsible for planning for houses) and County (responsible for transport)  and we have obtained an investigation into the Borough Cycling Strategy which is failing to deliver infrastructure for cycling that is actually usable.

 

Cycle Basingstoke is still campaigning for a segregated, safe cycle lane along both sides of  the A30 for its whole length.  Short stretches of pavement now and again with criss-crossing from side to side is no good.

 

The latest proposals for cycling along the A30 and within the Golf  course, Hounsome fields just does  not work.  You can see our comments on the Borough website (links).  The Supplementary Planning Document for the Golf Course is out to consultation and is so vague that it will not be possible to cycle efficiently to or from this site, despite all the many words.   The latest proposal for a cycle route along the A30 is a pavement shared between cycles and pedestrians  from the busstop at Longacre to the top of Kempshott lane off the Sainsbury roundabout.   This may be suitable for a short connection to the shops (although not much room on a narrow pavement if you have a wide bike due to loaded panniers), but it is hardly suitable as part of a long distance fast route to local secondary schools, BCOT, QMC or work the other side of town or the station.

 

A proposal to extend a footway from the busstop near Longacre to the top of Kempshott lane does not provide for cycling and is highly dangerous.  Mobility scooters on footways are restricted to walking speed at 4 mph.  Normal cycle speeds, especially on longer distance journeys can be up to 10 times greater than walking.  Cycles do not have the manoeuvrability of pedestrians who can change direction on a sixpence and who can stop instantly,  a cycle requires a turning circle to manoeuvre and the braking distance for a cycle is much greater than that for a pedestrian or even a car.  If successfully stopped abruptly bikes tend to skid or overturn injuring/killing those involved.  Pedestrians rightly complain of silent, close passes by cycle vehicles as they could have inadvertently stepped into the path of the cycle with an unavoidable collision.  We have had two court cases in the national news where cyclists where unable to avoid a pedestrian who stepped without looking on to the carriageway and into the path of a cycle.  In both cases it was deemed that the cyclist had the ability to brake and stop in time, despite the fact that a car in a similar situation could not have done so either.   Pedestrians complain that cyclists do not use a bell, however shouting a warning does not work either if it is impossible to swerve, brake or take avoiding action.

 

At busy times there is not enough space to cycle safely on the cycle pavement  from Woods lane to Viables, alternatively cycling on the carriageway means that car users overtake cycle users dangerously too close.  Real space for cycling is needed on long distance, strategic routes, not shared with motor vehicles, joggers, dogs overgrown bushes etc..  This is just one typical example of poor design.

 

Shared footway use should only be used as a last resort

when there is insufficient available space.  Shared space with pedestrians is  suitable over very short distances, and where the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists are expected to be very low or alternatively In town centres where the distance is again very short, and cycle speeds are  4 miles an hour or less.   If a pedestrian steps suddenly into the path of somebody travelling at cycling speed on a cycle vehicle it is virtually impossible to avoid a collision.    Cycle infrastructure needs to be designed for cycle vehicles not for walking, especially if we are to meet the challenges of sustainable energy production, traffic gridlock/efficient transport solutions and air pollution.

 

Cycle Basingstoke has replied to both  the  Hounsome fields and the Golf course planning applications  stating that the provision for cycle transport is woefully lacking.  (links )  The so-called cycle route from Manydown will be  using new and existing pavements as well as paths, blue signs will convert these into an indirect, slow routes  to Basingstoke centre.  Real cycle routes are wide, direct and designed for cycling, not walking.  Real cycle routes are a real possibility,  all it needs is political will.  Please  ask or write to  your local county councillor or Borough councillor. https://democracy.basingstoke.gov.uk/mgFindMember.aspx

  Protected cycle lanes, segregated from both motor vehicles and pedestrians, make it safer for everyone and makes fast efficient journeys possible cycle and motor users alike.

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