Bmblbzzz wrote:Just picking up on the bolded phrase: even where there are quiet lane alternatives, they tend to be longer, slower and often hillier -- great for leisure routes but not so good when time is important, as commuting.
I will grant that this is true, but that is mainly due to a culture that has prioritised motor traffic. Even when there are are (potentially) good routes available for cyclists, motor traffic is prioritised.
For example, when the new A120 was built from Braintree to the M11, cyclists were banned on the basis that there are very good alternatives for cyclists on the Flitch Way and the old A120 (now B1256). The Flitch Way is mostly a good leisure route; some sections are okay for commuting, but it is not an ideal utility route. The B1256 would be perfect. It is an old Roman road, straighter and flatter than the new one. Except that when the traffic moved to the new A120, it meant cars would go 70 mph on there. When I contacted Essex CC to ask them to reduce and enforce the speed limit, I was given a wishy washy answer that included the phrase 'still an important route for commuter traffic'. Of course they meant *motor* traffic.
If it were my responsibility, I'd put gates or bollards in the road in a few strategic locations (ones that let pedal cycles, trailers, wheelchairs, etc through and are openable by the drivers of buses & emergency vehicles) and reduce the speed limit to 30 mph, then signpost it as a cycling route. That would give access for businesses and homes, but get rid of the through traffic. If they needed temporarily to reroute traffic due to an emergency, or road works, it is a simple matter to leave the gates open/bollards down and put up signs that through traffic is permitted temporarily and should be careful around non-motorised users.