drossall wrote:I think it's an interesting example. I'm still wondering about it. As I understand it, at some overbridges, the cycle route, on a lesser surface, rises to meet (and probably give way at) the side road, while the road passes underneath.
I'm not anti-cycle-facility in principle. On some rides, I'll use one facility and not another. And sometimes there's a swings and (sorry) roundabouts effect, where cyclists sail through some other junction in an underpass while motorists have to give way. But I don't think we'll ever get anywhere (literally) while facilities expect cyclists, who, as above, are travellers on the main route with notional priority to match, to give way at every minor road.
- As a matter of principle, traffic on the main route has priority at junctions, and bikes are being asked to make an "unnecessary" climb in order to cede that priority
- More important is practicality. It's a major route, likely to be sought by those trying to travel distances. If I'm trying to get somewhere, and therefore at the limit of what I can manage owing to either fitness or time, repeatedly encountering that kind of thing makes a real difference.
- It's also a statement of priorities. Roads are for people, and what they use to travel on them is secondary. That doesn't rule out cycle facilities any more than it does motorways, but try building a motorway that gave way at every B road while the parallel A road sailed through.
- What happens where the main road does have a turning? Do cyclists have to give way there as well?
I haven't quite worked out what they have done with the A4226 road / cycle route combo, but I think the cycle route rising up to the level of the bridge that crosses the A4226 may be a good news story. The A4226 was a horrible road with a terrible safety record and cyclists avoided it. There was a place, and I think the bridge may be at that place, where there were attractive quiet lanes on either side of the main road, but the cross roads was staggered with perhaps 100 metres of nasty road to deal with to get from one side to the other. I think the bridge may be linking those two lanes without the need to go onto the dangerous road. If so, that will be great news for those who ride the lanes in that area. Cars accessing those lanes from the main road will have a longer and less convenient way of getting to them. When does that ever happen?
I am also guessing that the cycle route uses the surviving sections of the old road, with new tarmac path where that does not exist. All the cycle surfaces are tarmac. The rough surface in the pic is work in progress, just before the compacted stone and tarmac went in.