Consultation on new plans closes on 10 June. Cycling will be easier, but other problems need to be addressed as the devil is in the detail.
Cycle Basingstoke likes the improvements for cycling but there are also problems. We posted an opinion on the new plans on 22nd May. Since then we have been talking with interested residents and councillors who have worked hard on our behalf to retain the subways. Could some of the subways be replaced with bridges?
Subways versus lights for cycle crossings
Cycle Basingstoke was consulted on removing the two northern subways, we agreed as they would have been too difficult to retain and still keep a convenient direct route across. Presumably the other two subways proved just as difficult/problematic when utility cables were surveyed and depths of the subways increased when the central roundabout was decreased in size to provide the extra lane for motor traffic.
As there are now no subways, is there a need for cycle routes on and to the island? Our experience of the Reading road roundabout is not good, there are long waits at lights with the longest waits at crossings to and from the central island.
The traffic simulation video does not show cyclists/pedestrians crossing arms or island. This is an important omission.
If the cycle crossings were only of the roundabout arms then land from the corner of Brighton Way and A30 SW (Borough or county ownership?) would have to be obtained and crossings of A30 SW and Brighton Way created, otherwise you would have 8 waits or delays to get from Hobbycraft to Brighton Way.
We have already been told we cannot have two toucan crossings of the A30 close together, that is the Quilter road to Beechdown as well as the crossing from Homesteads road to Hatch Warren. We don't know whether two toucans of the A30 one at the exit,entry to the roundabout and one next to the subway from ASDA would also be too close together to be allowed.
If crossings of Brighton Way and the A30 SW were not possible, then the island routes and crossings would have to be retained as crossing from Halfords round the outside would entail 6 waits (3 arms) and from the Stag and Hounds 8 waits or 4 arms.
The toucan instead of the subway from Quilter road should be easier to negotiate for cyclists than the subway and more inclusive, provided the corners are "well rounded" (have a large radius) and are not sharp right angles. It would form part of the main cycle route into town from Kempshott, Hatch Warren and new housing, and hospital out as far as M3 Junction 7. The subway will still be retained as I understand it, which will be more popular with pedestrians.
Priority of cycle tracks over side entrances
We believe there will be priority over side entrances to stores from Homebase to Halfords, dutch style on Winchester road. There will be a cycleway on Western Way but with no priority over side roads such as Chichester Place. There are also sharp corners where routes change direction and only limited directions from which you can approach or leave junctions
Cycle routes to the roundabout
There is a new good quality cycle link along Winchester road from Quilter road, past homebase and hobbycraft. Cycle Basingstoke was shown stepped cycle tracks with priority over entrances and side roads, dutch style from back entrance of Homebase to the roundabout on both sides of the road. This conforms with design guidance from Oxford County Council. go to para 3.2. Cycle Basingstoke is asking for cambridge kerbs or sloping kerbs such as the ones in Elizabeth road near the "ringway" footpath and yellow double lines to stop cars parking on it.
The new Camrose link shows a good quality cycle lane, but it is on one side only. When houses, shops or hotels are built on the Camrose "island" a possible cycle lane as well as the footway/pavement will be needed.
Missing cycle routes
Winchester road has intermittent cycleways.
Western Way will have one short section inaccessible from Buckland avenue and to the north.
Western Way needs cycle route from the roundabout to Richard Aldworth and St Andrews
Western Way needs a cycle route from Buckland avenue past Whitehouse Close to the White House (pizzeria)
Harrow Way has only one short section of cycle way,
We don't know what will be built on the Camrose "island", so we may need a cycleway as well as a footway to access this site on the other side of the road from the cyclelane?
If money is available we still need a separate cycle track on Brighton Way as far as ASDA and the school, on both sides if the A30 SW crossing is implemented.
Design details - check out this link
Brighton Hill roundabout plans are a major improvement in provision for cycling. We hope that the defects in the design details can be ironed out. Missing cycle routes to and from the roundabout need to be funded and built for these changes to have their full potential.
Cycle Basingstoke will be using website content to reply to the consultation.
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