Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

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mercalia
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Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

Postby mercalia » 8 May 2017, 7:00pm

"A vast network of forgotten cycle ways across the UK has been rediscovered with the help of Google Street View.

Historian and cycling enthusiast Carlton Reid found the routes, which were created between 1934 and 1940, after scanning for evidence of them online.

They were originally put in place by the Ministry of Transport, but many fell out of use after World War Two."

the webpage also includes a webpage to where they are!

what is puzzling is were some are.

I am sure I have seen some of them not noted in London, didnt know they were that old

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-39847740

jgurney
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Re: Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

Postby jgurney » 8 May 2017, 7:18pm

Hardly forgotten. There were widely known at the time and several are still in situ now, such as the ones along the A4 from Chiswick to Hounslow and the one along the A24 from the outskirts of Leatherhead to the outskirts of Dorking.

They were never a "vast network" - certainly less than 5% of all A-road mileage. The locations were in those places where roads were getting congested by the early 1930's or where towns were suffering from traffic and needed bypasses. The resulting new roads were built to the standard 'arterial road' pattern. The cycle paths were put in as part of the standard design, regardless of whether a cycle path there along the bypass rather than somewhere else in the district would actually be more use to cyclists.

They had two main flaws. One was that many followed bypasses and so were not going where many cyclists wished to go. The other, and worse, was that the design suffered the usual problem of conflicts with motor traffic turning in and out of side turnings. The A24 one mentioned above got round this by having the cycle path running along the very broad central reservation for part of the way, but that of course created a different problem for cyclists crossing the traffic to access and leave it.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

Postby Cunobelin » 8 May 2017, 8:02pm

Slightly OT

I use Muirheads Blue Guides from 1926

They are a superb resource, and the mapping and plans are surprisingly up to date as things like cathedrals and the like change little

Where there are changes to roads, villages and the likes it is superb fun matching the original

thirdcrank
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Re: Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

Postby thirdcrank » 8 May 2017, 8:50pm

There's a link within the OP's BBC link to a map. The cycle tracks alongside the A64 (A1 to Malton) are still there in spite of decades of neglect and more recently the "improvements" made by the Highways Agency / Highways England. There's a thread somehwre on here about them.
============================================================
viewtopic.php?p=681031#p681031

This includes a flickr link to some pics I took in 2013 (I've just reviewd those pics and the one with the three women wasn't posted by me. The spooks must be sabotaging my work. :shock:

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Si
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Re: Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

Postby Si » 8 May 2017, 9:58pm

Ive two near me. One has never been forgotten - it's still a mostly segragated cyclepath, although it does run through macdonalds carpark, and a lot of it is routinely parked on.

The other was lost and then a new shared use cycle path was built on it, the planners AFAIK having no knowledge that it used to be a cycle path.

mercalia
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Re: Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

Postby mercalia » 8 May 2017, 10:13pm

Ive always wondered about many of the what I thought were pavements some times going on a long way out of towns - maybe thats what many of these really are or were


FatBat
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Re: Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

Postby FatBat » 9 May 2017, 1:47pm

I remember seeing one on Harpfield Road in Stoke-on-Trent (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Harpfield+Rd,+Stoke-on-Trent+ST4+5LT,+UK/@52.994729,-2.2058205,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x487a6868b9fd4987:0x9e3ba3405aa2a247!8m2!3d52.994729!4d-2.2036318) when I was a kid - we used to pass it in the coach on our way to school swimming lessons. It always looked like it was surfaced with broken glass and, as such, we never took a ride on it.

More recently, when we had a clear-out at our office a few years ago, I found a highway design guide from, I think, the 1930s which showed details of these new fangled autobahns and autostradas that were being built in Germany and Italy. The book advocated incorporating cycle tracks into the designs and to get round the problem of crossing the slip-roads at junctions, it suggested that the cycle track should tunnel under the carriageway before the junction and continue in the central reservation until past the junction, then it would tunnel under again to pop out on the nearside.

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mjr
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Re: Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

Postby mjr » 9 May 2017, 2:50pm

Also being discussed at https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/lost- ... ys.218097/

The three in MK either still exist or have been replaced by Redways. The Wymondham bypass one still exists and now only needs 2km more to connect it to the Norwich Pedalways network (the west end of the blue pedalway). The A47 Swaffham-Dereham one is overgrown with parts stolen by laybys, straightenings and junction layout changes.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Postboxer
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Re: Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

Postby Postboxer » 9 May 2017, 7:15pm

I had noticed this one, wasn't certain it was a cycle path, which seems to be used as a car park, no reason it can't be a cycle path, think I'd favour having give way markings alongside it at all the driveways, rather than alongside the driveways. With the mature trees lining the verge between pavement and cycleway, visibility wouldn't be too clear for cars pulling out of driveways.

https://goo.gl/maps/bPyWBV9Zwns

Looking closely, the give way markings do appear to give priority to the 'cycleway', although I'm not sure there are any signs or markings designating it as such.

mercalia
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Re: Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

Postby mercalia » 9 May 2017, 7:58pm

Postboxer wrote:I had noticed this one, wasn't certain it was a cycle path, which seems to be used as a car park, no reason it can't be a cycle path, think I'd favour having give way markings alongside it at all the driveways, rather than alongside the driveways. With the mature trees lining the verge between pavement and cycleway, visibility wouldn't be too clear for cars pulling out of driveways.

https://goo.gl/maps/bPyWBV9Zwns

Looking closely, the give way markings do appear to give priority to the 'cycleway', although I'm not sure there are any signs or markings designating it as such.


yes looks like one. I followed it up the road and clearly but faint cycle icon on it. must say they did know how to make then all those years ago, not the Borris Blue Lanes in London which are so pathetic?

https://www.google.com/maps/@53.4574747,-2.3528088,3a,17.9y,286.92h,72.53t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sPoaxvoAc6U4ZN1n15Pj5cg!2e0!3e11!7i13312!8i6656

The may not be forgotten but it is really nice to know their historical origins that went back now 70+ years?

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Re: Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

Postby AdamS » 9 May 2017, 11:17pm

They built semi-decent cycle paths alongside new bypasses. By and large they do the same thing now. Most of the real rubbish comes when they convert existing pavements into sub-standard cycle paths.

One of the local bypasses was designed in the 1930s with full cycle paths either side. The war got in the way and it was eventually built to amended plans (ditching the cycle paths) in the 1950s. The footway on one side was converted to dual use in the 1990s. I wonder if the planners of the 90s had any idea of the short sightedness of their forbears.

thirdcrank
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Re: Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

Postby thirdcrank » 10 May 2017, 8:13am

My only experience of these pre-war cycle tracks are those alongside parts of the A64 as in my earlier post.

Originally, they were treated as part of the main drag to the extent that the HALT and SLOW signs (predecessors of STOP and GIVE WAY) protected the cycle tracks from side roads. That was certainly the case when I first rode on there in 1958 and my memory is that they ere more or less OK to use although they were often ignored by riders.

In the following years they were pretty much abandoned in that lay-bys, especially for bus stops were cut into them, and obstructions, such as road repairing materials were dumped in piles on a semi-permanent basis. When the Tadcaster, York and Malton bypasses were built, no cycle tracks were included. Where there is cycling provision, it's limited to signed cut-throughs at slip roads. The absence of cycle tracks on the bypasses probably wouldn't matter if a rider using the tracks and reaching a bypass met a proper signs for their onward route on the original road but they don't. eg There are direction signs into York, but nothing indicating that the signs will take you through the city and beyond.

More recently, along with a lot of safety installations particularly the closure of gaps in the central reservation, works has been done on the cycle tracks to make them continuous around places like bus stops but most obviously painting GIVE WAY triangles on the tracks at almost every access point, including some private entrances and at least one which now appears unused.

I characterise it as a grudging acceptance of what's already there aimed at keeping riders off the main carriageway, but which provides nothing extra for cyclists: controlling cycling rather than facilitating it.

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Mick F
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Re: Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

Postby Mick F » 10 May 2017, 8:39am

I used to ride on them on the way to Southport.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.62366 ... 312!8i6656

Changed a bit these days, as it was back in the mid 60s when I last rode on them. I hardly recognise the place now.
Mick F. Cornwall

Postboxer
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Re: Forgotten Cycleways from the 1930's

Postby Postboxer » 10 May 2017, 9:29am

Wouldn't it be great if Google Streetview could be magically backdated. So we could see how things had changed everywhere.

http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/

This is good though.