Gateshead cycling provision

Mark1978
Posts: 4912
Joined: 17 Jul 2012, 8:47am
Location: Chester-le-Street, County Durham

Gateshead cycling provision

Postby Mark1978 » 15 Jul 2013, 2:08pm

I occasionally post on the Gateshead Cycling forum ( http://www.gatesheadcycling.org.uk/foru ... xt-meeting ) and was discussing the current project to make more cycle friendly the A167 Durham road, which starts at the junction next to the Angel of the North and heads in a straight line through to the Tyne Bridge (used to be the A1/Great North Road).

But the council commented that they would have liked to make the provision all on road, but Sustrans has required them to provide a certain about of off road routes, therefore the route basically goes on and off the path at random. As I see it keeping nobody happy.

This can't be what Sustrans is looking for?

byegad
Posts: 3232
Joined: 3 Sep 2007, 9:44am

Re: Gateshead cycling provision

Postby byegad » 15 Jul 2013, 2:28pm

If you can work out what Sustrans is up to, your a better person than me.
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

2007 ICE QNT
2008 Hase Kettwiesel AL27
2011 Catrike Trail
1951 engine

Steady rider
Posts: 2284
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 4:31pm

Re: Gateshead cycling provision

Postby Steady rider » 15 Jul 2013, 3:00pm

If you can get other cyclists to support your view and take it to Council members that may be one approach.

A main route would be more suitable for commuters and if the route is diverted some cyclists will take to the main road, higher risk, if other branches are needed for locals they can be added later. I think the CTC should directly support you with a suitable letter for Council members.

Mark1978
Posts: 4912
Joined: 17 Jul 2012, 8:47am
Location: Chester-le-Street, County Durham

Re: Gateshead cycling provision

Postby Mark1978 » 15 Jul 2013, 3:04pm

I dunno really. I mean off road routes are a good idea, and are on road - they have their merits. But hopping in and off road seems pointless, especially if it just seems to be target driven.

User avatar
gaz
Posts: 14161
Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 12:09pm
Location: Kent, lorry park of England

Re: Gateshead cycling provision

Postby gaz » 15 Jul 2013, 11:04pm

Mark1978 wrote:But the council commented that they would have liked to make the provision all on road, but Sustrans has required them to provide a certain about of off road routes, therefore the route basically goes on and off the path at random.


:lol: Sustrans are not an all powerful government body with the power to over-rule the local highwaymen and impose their will from on high.

If the local authority come up with all the money to fund the project it can be entirely to their own design. If they aren't happy with the Sustrans proposals they aren't obliged to build them.

The council has worked with Sustrans so that it can combine Sustrans funds with it's own to implement the scheme. The organisations that provide funds to Sustrans attach strings as to how their money is used.

Sometimes strings are time related; if a project cannot be brought to fruition by a deadline the funding is lost. That can rapidly lead to patchwork facilities; e.g. the funding, planning consents and so forth being in place at the right time for sections 1, 3 and 6 of a route to be completed but not for sections 2, 4 and 5.
There'll be tarmac over, the white cliffs of Dover ...

Pete Owens
Posts: 1931
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Gateshead cycling provision

Postby Pete Owens » 16 Jul 2013, 1:26am

Local council officers are known to use any excuse to divert blame for the c**p they come up with and "Sustrans made me do it" is a common excuse. If you query Sustrans you will get the exact opposite excuse - they will deny any responsibility for the design standards and insist that it is entirely a matter for the council (though they do have a tendency to favour any off road farcility, however rubbish).

I made fruitless attempts to pesuade Sustrans to "allow" the council to remove this bit of uselessness.
http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.co.u ... er2003.htm

To see who is really to blame look at the details of the design.
If the provision happens to be on the road at places where there is spare tarmac - and diverted onto the pavement at any point where this might inconvenience motor traffic then your council will have come up with the design without any advice from Sustrans, though I doubt they will disapprove.

sirmy
Posts: 605
Joined: 11 Mar 2009, 10:53am

Re: Gateshead cycling provision

Postby sirmy » 22 Jul 2013, 7:56pm

For some reason the DFT has made Sustrans responsible administrating some grant money. I know some of the officers responsible for cycling and road planning have found themselves exacerbated by the attitude of Sustrans. Apparently in one area Sustrans want raised cushions to be installed at all junctions rather than dropped kerbs and there is a feeling within the councils that Sustrans are trying to move the goal posts and impose features that were not in the bid documents and that far exceed the design recommendations from the DFT.
To put it bluntly Sustrans are gaining a reputation for being more of a hindrance than a facilitator of cycling schemes

Pete Owens
Posts: 1931
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Gateshead cycling provision

Postby Pete Owens » 22 Jul 2013, 10:55pm

For any cycle infrastructure to be remotely useful and safe it is essential that it far excedes the design recommendations from the DfT which are utter c**p. If Sustrans are now seeking to impose higher standards, as opposed to their traditional approach of seeking to compromise standards in order to acheive a farcility at any cost then this is entirely to be welcomed.

Steady rider
Posts: 2284
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 4:31pm

Re: Gateshead cycling provision

Postby Steady rider » 23 Jul 2013, 11:14am

http://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/sites ... _lanes.pdf

I was looking for CROW cycling standards but the above may be useful to view.

You are looking for mainly good off road cycle paths or in parts perhaps good on road provision, worth viewing some Dutch roads on google.

I would focus on what you need for your situation and not in general terms like the hierarchy of provision.

Pete Owens
Posts: 1931
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Gateshead cycling provision

Postby Pete Owens » 24 Jul 2013, 1:54am

And if you look at that document you will see it recomends c**p narrow 1.5m cycle lanes.
To see how much worse that sort of "provision" makes things take a look at:
http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.co.u ... -lanes.pdf
To be fair, the document does actually list many of the downsides of cycle lanes - but does not follow this to its logical conclusion.

The reason the hierarchy of provision is so important is that it concentrates on the things that actually make roads safer:
Reducing traffic volumes, reducing speeds, and treating junctions, and reallocating carriageway space.
Unfortunately these things go against the grain of highway engineering culture whos one overriding concern is optimising the road network to maximise the speed and throughput of motor vehicles. Hence their preference for pretending to cater for us by putting cycle farcilities in the gutter or on the pavement to prevent us getting in the way of "proper" traffic, irrespective of how dangerous, or inconvenient that might be for us.

Richard Mann
Posts: 427
Joined: 21 Nov 2009, 12:46am

Re: Gateshead cycling provision

Postby Richard Mann » 24 Jul 2013, 12:17pm

Pete Owens wrote:And if you look at that document you will see it recomends c**p narrow 1.5m cycle lanes.
To see how much worse that sort of "provision" makes things take a look at:
http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.co.u ... -lanes.pdf


That report compares a 30mph road with cycle lanes to a 40mph road without cycle lanes. The two road sections are not directly comparable.

Getting speeds down (as Pete says) is one of the things to be aiming to achieve. Cycle lanes can be part of that, though the degree of enclosure of the road, the number and width of traffic lanes (1 each way, 3m max), pedestrian crossings, and raised crossings of side roads are all important techniques.

Pete Owens
Posts: 1931
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Gateshead cycling provision

Postby Pete Owens » 25 Jul 2013, 9:30am

Richard Mann wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:And if you look at that document you will see it recomends c**p narrow 1.5m cycle lanes.
To see how much worse that sort of "provision" makes things take a look at:
http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.co.u ... -lanes.pdf

Look, I know you are personally culpable for subjecting the cyclists of Oxford to cycle lanes that are even worse than those in the study which actually meets minimum standards, so you are rather desperate to spread obfuscation whenever research shows how counter-productive your efforts were. But, before you go any further, try testing whether you actually believe your own words: Imagine that you are the cyclist in the report and answer the simple straight queston that I have put to you before.
"Would you prefer a truck to pass you with plenty of space (as in fig 3a) or squeeze past (as in fig 3b)"

That report compares a 30mph road with cycle lanes to a 40mph road without cycle lanes. The two road sections are not directly comparable.


It is the same road - with the same width with observations carried out on the same afternoon under the same traffic condition so the sections are very much comparible. Applying Ocam's razor the most simple and obvious feature to have an effect on lateral position of vehicles is the lane markings. Now if you have an alternative hypothesis that those results are a result of a change in speed limit, rather than the rather more obvious features it is really incumbent on you to come up with some evidence.

Of course if you genuinely believed that the dire effect was the result of a lowering of the speed limit then you would be campaigning for speed limits to be raised....
Getting speeds down (as Pete says) is one of the things to be aiming to achieve.

... hmmm.

Now, I do campaign for lower speed limits as probably the single most politically achievable way of improving our cities for cyclists and pedestrians. But if there was evidence that lower speed limits resulted in closer overtaking then I would change my position accordingly.
Cycle lanes can be part of that

The effect of lane markings, whether centre lines, edge of carriageway markings or cycle lanes is to increase vehicle speeds by creating a tram line effect giving drivers greater confidence of their line.

Mark1978
Posts: 4912
Joined: 17 Jul 2012, 8:47am
Location: Chester-le-Street, County Durham

Re: Gateshead cycling provision

Postby Mark1978 » 25 Jul 2013, 10:08am

While I respect Pete's report and the way it's presented. I think it needs more research, and more objective research before we can draw any firm conclusions.

To my mind it doesn't matter that if without a cycle path 99 cars out of 100 pass me with more distance, what matter is the 1 which passes me with less distance than they would if a cycle lane had been present.

But I do agree with the premise that narrow cycle lanes are counter-productive.

Richard Mann
Posts: 427
Joined: 21 Nov 2009, 12:46am

Re: Gateshead cycling provision

Postby Richard Mann » 25 Jul 2013, 12:41pm

Pete claims the two sites are fully comparable: "Both sites were located away from junctions and on straight stretches of the road in order to be fully comparable."

One of them has a 30mph limit, the other has a 40mph limit (and speed cameras). Since there's evidence from other studies that speed makes a difference, the two sites would have to have the same speed profile to be "fully comparable".

There are other (rather more robust) studies that couldn't find a significant difference in passing distance on a 30mph road (whereas there was a significant difference on a 50mph and a 60mph road).

Me, I'll stick to trying to get speeds down towards 25mph, and supporting the sorts of cycle facilities that people seem to like. If Pete wants to come to Oxford and campaign for the removal of the 1.2m cycle lanes, he is very welcome (but he'd be laughed out of town).

AlaninWales
Posts: 1609
Joined: 26 Oct 2012, 1:47pm

Re: Gateshead cycling provision

Postby AlaninWales » 25 Jul 2013, 1:49pm

The report from WarringtonCycleCampaign matches my experience both as a cyclist and as a driver: When passing cyclists in a lane, if you move out it is an unexpected manoevre for other drivers. Drivers will typically pass in their lane, regardless of the effect of slipstream (especially a problem with larger vehicles of course).
Other trials that find the same effect are also referenced in the report. Of course 'more research is needed' - always will be the case with cycling such a low priority for spending, but this is just one of the demonstrable problems with poor quality cycle provision and no amount of 'but people want them' excuses those who actually should know better.