Sustrans Report "UK Cycle Network is unsafe for children"

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mjr
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Re: UK cycle newwork unsafe for children

Postby mjr » 14 Nov 2018, 5:36pm

TrevA wrote:I live about 20 yards from an NCN (route 15), but it crosses and recrosses a main road, simply because the path is not wide enough to support it on one side of the road, one of these crossings is light controlled, but the other one isn't.

Is the highway corridor not wide enough or does the highway authority not value cycling enough to move the kerbs about and allow cycling to stay on one side or the other?

I routinely ignore light-controlled crossings on the A148 (not a NCN route) and use uncontrolled crossings in one direction because the light timings are set so that typical cycling speeds get a "red wave". I would do it in the other direction too except that the junction design means one of the crossings would be almost blind.

TrevA wrote:You just have to take your chance with the traffic. I'm not surprised that the network is not safe for children, it's hardly safe for adults.

Amen but :-(
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Pete Owens
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Re: UK cycle newwork unsafe for children

Postby Pete Owens » 15 Nov 2018, 12:19am

So finally they acknowledge what some of us have been telling them for 20 years that their network is c**p. You would think that at this point an apology would be in order, but no, just a request to give them even more money.

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meic
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Re: UK cycle newwork unsafe for children

Postby meic » 15 Nov 2018, 12:32am

You might think that an apology is in order but that says more about your attitude than than the cycle paths.
I have ridden many miles with my daughter on Sustrans provided paths, when otherwise we wouldnt have ridden. For which they get thanks.
I have also ridden many miles on Sustrans paths while doing long Audaxes with hardcore riders for which Sustrans deserves thanks.

If a bit of Sustrans path isnt to your liking then dont use it, others will.
There is plenty of Sustrans stuff which I will not ride on, just as there is plenty of the state provided roadway which I will not ride on. Often one of them facilitates me in avoiding the other.

Yes the crappy barriers while crossing the A40 near Whitland are abominable but I have yet to see a cyclist choosing to ride on the A40 instead.

PS: That totally dishonest listing of a bit of cyclepath in Swansea is still up on your website of crap cycling facilities. The one which I have been pointing out to you for years where you claim it ends in a concrete wall but in fact it turns left before the wall and runs alongside it.
http://wcc.crankfoot.xyz/facility-of-th ... er2010.htm
I think that at this point an apology is in order. :mrgreen:
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Pete Owens
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Re: UK cycle newwork unsafe for children

Postby Pete Owens » 15 Nov 2018, 12:54am

meic wrote:You might think that an apology is in order but that says more about your attitude than than the cycle paths.

You are forgetting that it is Sustrans themselves who are finally admitting that the network is rubbish. A bit of humility following that would be entirely in order.

And actually my dislike of cycle paths has been driven more by the reality of what Sustrans has put in place (and more to the point driven the agenda of highways authorities) than by anything else. In the 1990s at about the time the National Cycle Strategy was put in place I was actually a supporter of Sustrans and broadly in favour of cyclepaths. I ran a safe routes to schools project at our kids school under the Sustrans banner. I have been known to drive many miles to cycle short stretches of cycle path in the Peak District, but even back then I didn't try to kid myself that that was anything to do with sustainable transport.
Last edited by Pete Owens on 15 Nov 2018, 1:31am, edited 1 time in total.

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meic
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Re: UK cycle newwork unsafe for children

Postby meic » 15 Nov 2018, 1:02am

But they didnt make the admission it was rubbish. Those are your words.
How about the Cycling and Walking Minister.
Jesse Norman said the cycle network was a great asset for cyclists and walkers but the report showed more needed to be done to make it fully accessible.


One of the main faults which they have listed is that two thirds of the network "is on roads".
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pwa
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Re: UK cycle newwork unsafe for children

Postby pwa » 15 Nov 2018, 8:03am

The nearest bit of NCN to me is about sixty metres away and it is a very pleasant stretch of relatively safe country lane that people come from miles away to enjoy, so I don't think road sections are always deficient. I much prefer that sort of road to converted rail track. My children were cycling it supervised form the age of about six with no safety concerns, and by the age of about seven they were doing bits of it alone. It was a very gentle introduction to cycling on roads.

The road sections of NCN that are bad are on nasty, busy roads. https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5446174 ... 6?hl=en-GB
I'd not want a seven year old turning right at this junction on their own, for example.

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Re: UK cycle newwork unsafe for children

Postby TrevA » 15 Nov 2018, 4:02pm

mjr wrote:
TrevA wrote:I live about 20 yards from an NCN (route 15), but it crosses and recrosses a main road, simply because the path is not wide enough to support it on one side of the road, one of these crossings is light controlled, but the other one isn't.

Is the highway corridor not wide enough or does the highway authority not value cycling enough to move the kerbs about and allow cycling to stay on one side or the other?

I routinely ignore light-controlled crossings on the A148 (not a NCN route) and use uncontrolled crossings in one direction because the light timings are set so that typical cycling speeds get a "red wave". I would do it in the other direction too except that the junction design means one of the crossings would be almost blind.

TrevA wrote:You just have to take your chance with the traffic. I'm not surprised that the network is not safe for children, it's hardly safe for adults.

Amen but :-(


Basically, the pavement width varies along the mile long stretch of road, so the route jumps across to take advantage of the wider pavement on the other side, rather than spend a bit on money widening the pavement and keeping the route all on the same side. I never use this section - I always use the road here. There are useful sections to the east and west of the village where I live, which keep you off the busy A52.

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Re: UK cycle newwork unsafe for children

Postby brynpoeth » 16 Nov 2018, 1:38pm

Unsafe at any speed
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras & STOP signs

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Re: UK cycle newwork unsafe for children

Postby gaz » 16 Nov 2018, 5:05pm

pwa wrote:The road sections of NCN that are bad are on nasty, busy roads.

On road sections of the NCN have been assessed for suitability using motor traffic flow data, to see if they are "traffic lite".

A rural road would be considered "traffic lite" where it carries less than 1000 vehicles per day at a median speed of 25mph, in urban areas less than 2500 vehicles per day at a median speed of 15mph.

Where vehicle numbers are higher than that model Sustrans will be looking for a traffic-free alternative, where vehicle speeds are the issue then reduced speed limits and traffic calming may be sufficient to achieve a "traffic-lite" status.

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Re: UK cycle newwork unsafe for children

Postby mjr » 16 Nov 2018, 5:25pm

gaz wrote:On road sections of the NCN have been assessed for suitability using motor traffic flow data, to see if they are "traffic lite".[...] in urban areas less than 2500 vehicles per day at a median speed of 15mph.

Given "motor traffic flow data", I assume that means 2500 motor vehicles per day, else parts of Routes 11 and 51 in Cambridge shouldn't exist :lol:

I've thrown a half dozen or so problems up onto the Sustrans map, ranging from the serious (uncycleable) through the desirable (lengthy unnecessary detours of NCN between two towns) to the trivial (mapping errors showing cycleways never built). I'll wait and see what reaction (if any) they get before deciding whether it's worth copying more across from cyclescape.
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Re: Sustrans Report "UK Cycle Network is unsafe for children"

Postby gaz » 16 Nov 2018, 6:19pm

I wouldn't expect any Sustrans reaction, the public can "agree" with any issue pinned. The Network Review was a yard by yard on the ground survey. Sustrans already know what crap they would like to see sorted.

IMO the purpose of the voodoo map is for Sustrans to be able to say to government, local authorities and others "look at how many people agree that [insert location/tag of choice] are a problem" both to build support and perhaps identify priorities.

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Re: Sustrans Report "UK Cycle Network is unsafe for children"

Postby mjr » 16 Nov 2018, 6:50pm

gaz wrote:I wouldn't expect any Sustrans reaction, the public can "agree" with any issue pinned. The Network Review was a yard by yard on the ground survey. Sustrans already know what crap they would like to see sorted.

So I delved a bit deeper and found https://www.sustrans.org.uk/pathsforeve ... tion-plans and they're doing basically naff all in the East of England except for small reroutes in Cambridge and Dunstable. Nothing to close the three gaping holes in the NCN (roughly Breckland and Forest Heath, around Diss/Eye and around Haverhill). Nothing to remove the bizarre detours. Nothing to remove the no-cycling-allowed sections. All little fiddling around the edges which won't make the network safe for children any time soon.

gaz wrote:IMO the purpose of the voodoo map is for Sustrans to be able to say to government, local authorities and others "look at how many people agree that [insert location/tag of choice] are a problem" both to build support and perhaps identify priorities.

Great, so I've just wasted another half hour up the wall. Thanks Sustrans(!)

Edited to remove unsuitable language, John1054
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Re: Sustrans Report "UK Cycle Network is unsafe for children"

Postby MikeF » 16 Nov 2018, 7:19pm

The problem is we need to be able to cycle where we need to go and not necessarily where a NCN route goes. LAs don't seem to recognise this. Often NCN uses rough tracks, steep hills and very indirect routes and that is totally unsuitable as a transport network.

It says its long-term goal is to make the network traffic-free and "safe for a 12-year-old to use on their own".
Even Sustrans don't recognise cycles as traffic. :wink:
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pwa
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Re: UK cycle newwork unsafe for children

Postby pwa » 17 Nov 2018, 10:00am

gaz wrote:
pwa wrote:The road sections of NCN that are bad are on nasty, busy roads.

On road sections of the NCN have been assessed for suitability using motor traffic flow data, to see if they are "traffic lite".

A rural road would be considered "traffic lite" where it carries less than 1000 vehicles per day at a median speed of 25mph, in urban areas less than 2500 vehicles per day at a median speed of 15mph.

Where vehicle numbers are higher than that model Sustrans will be looking for a traffic-free alternative, where vehicle speeds are the issue then reduced speed limits and traffic calming may be sufficient to achieve a "traffic-lite" status.

Thanks for that. I like quiet lanes with where the few vehicles you encounter are driving slowly, and we do have roads like that here, and I prefer those to converted rail lines with no cars. But NCN 4 at Tondu has to go on road for a busy, unattractive junction and that is just the sort of deficiency that Sustrans need to keep chipping away at.

I knew the people who set up that bit of NCN 4 and I know the very good reasons they had to put it through that junction. It was the only available route to link two attractive traffic free sections. The only alternative that might have been considered involved hugely expensive tunnelling through the embankment of a little used railway line, and possible rerouting of a gas mains. So users of NCN 4 have to put up with heavy traffic for a quarter of a mile. If you were with small children you would walk it. Nobody's fault, but it remains as something that needs a better solution.

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Re: Sustrans Report "UK Cycle Network is unsafe for children"

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 17 Nov 2018, 12:13pm

mjr wrote:So I delved a bit deeper and found https://www.sustrans.org.uk/pathsforeve ... tion-plans and they're doing basically naff all in the East of England except for small reroutes in Cambridge and Dunstable. Nothing to close the three gaping holes in the NCN (roughly Breckland and Forest Heath, around Diss/Eye and around Haverhill). Nothing to remove the bizarre detours. Nothing to remove the no-cycling-allowed sections. All little fiddling around the edges which won't make the network safe for children any time soon.


I think (happily) the situation is better than that. The plans only have what Sustrans are calling "activation projects", but I've also heard them called "demonstration projects" and elsewhere they might be called "pathfinders". Basically the idea is to start with a small number of geographically dispersed, isolated examples of what could be done. Experience from these will then be used to go out and say to funders "look, this is the sort of thing we want, now let's roll it out over the entire network". So, for example, the Lincoln activation project would be a demonstration of how to fix no-cycling-allowed sections elsewhere (the blurb says "Replace damaged signage and remove traffic regulations that restrict cycle access").

Meanwhile, Sustrans is putting together network development plans, roughly one for each county. These are the detailed lists of exactly what Sustrans wants to do in each area to make the NCN top quality. I've been peripherally involved in the drafts for a few of these in the South region and it absolutely is about making consistently good routes in both urban and rural areas, rerouting onto segregated cycleways, developing rural quietways, removing indirect routing (and, sometimes, entire routes that can't be fixed), all of that. It won't happen overnight but the aim is very much to fix the whole network, not just a few issues here and there.
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