Road narrowing

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Awyr
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Joined: 14 Sep 2018, 4:09pm

Road narrowing

Postby Awyr » 14 Sep 2018, 4:33pm

I have raised concerns with our local council about changes to a busy A road. There is a new housing estate being built and the road is being narrowed in association with this. The reply I got is that this makes the road safer as motorists will be discouraged from making close passes. The section in question is on a hill and as the road is quite busy most of the cyclists using it are sporty types on road bikes. The council also assure me there will be a section of raised kirb cycle path - this will not currently join up with anything and you would have to cross the road to join it. (Also stop to give way on the entrance to the estate, and watch out for faster cyclists on in the downhill direction.) It seems to have been planned to beautify the houses. Apparently the changes conform to standards. Can anybody advise is anything can be done? As things stand the changes seem to be engineering in potential conflict as motorist are delayed by cyclists. I feel it is also increasing risk of accident. Any thoughts?

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: Road narrowing

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 14 Sep 2018, 5:12pm

Ask them for the evidence to support their claim that narrowing roads makes them safer.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Road narrowing

Postby [XAP]Bob » 14 Sep 2018, 5:12pm

Nothing can be done since councils don't actually listen to feedback IME.

The only thing to do is to arrange for a few friends to do some laps of the area soon after the change is made - using the road, and taking the lane since it isn't safe to suggest to the following vehicle that there is space to overtake.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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mjr
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Re: Road narrowing

Postby mjr » 14 Sep 2018, 5:52pm

If they're going to narrow the road, they should reallocate 2m each way (or at least 3m two-way) to cycling. Providing no space for cycling and deliberately causing conflict with the increased number of motorists resulting from the new development seems clearly harmful. At the very least, I feel they should make it a 20mph bicycle street.

Get in touch with any cycling campaign local to the area, any Cycling UK campaigns contact there, Sustrans (who probably won't have any resources to do anything, but you never know) and see if you can present a unified front in a media campaign. Also contact the council's cycling and walking champion and make sure they're aware of it - strangely, highways departments often don't seem to tell them of the anti-cycling schemes.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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thirdcrank
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Re: Road narrowing

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Sep 2018, 6:11pm

... Apparently the changes conform to standards. ...


You might ask them to say which standards they are talking about. Most (all?) local authorities are very departmental so the planning people won't regard cycling as any part of their remit. All they will be interested in is an easy manoeuvre for in/out of the development and around here at least, that means traffic islands. There are recommended widths of remaining carriageway but unless there's been a change there's an exception where pedestrians cross so they just build substandard widths with textured paving at the kerbs.

Lip service is an expression that comes to mind.

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mjr
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Re: Road narrowing

Postby mjr » 14 Sep 2018, 6:28pm

thirdcrank wrote:
... Apparently the changes conform to standards. ...


You might ask them to say which standards they are talking about. [...]

Actually, that's a very good point. The key words in the opening post are "busy A road" so ask them if they follow the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges?

If so the standards are www.standardsforhighways.co.uk/ha/stand ... /index.htm and in particular for cycling see the IAN tab in the side bar and IAN 195/16. I wouldn't even ask them how narrow lanes conform to that - I'd simply insist that they don't and keep pressuring them to fix it.
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.

brooksby
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Location: Bristol

Re: Road narrowing

Postby brooksby » 15 Sep 2018, 7:05am

Is your council working from the theory of cyclists as moving speedbumps?

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Cunobelin
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Re: Road narrowing

Postby Cunobelin » 15 Sep 2018, 7:25am

This is also a useful reference

We had great fun wit this when the local Councils were designing a Light Rapid Transport Scheme. There were a number of significant changes made to designs once the regulations ere quoted.

If they do not comply then the local press is always happy with a "Council road design fails safety standards" story

JimL
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Re: Road narrowing

Postby JimL » 15 Sep 2018, 9:04am

Get your local councillor onboard or if there is council commitee with an active travel or environmental remit get one of their members onboard. I suspect you will get nowhere on you own.

Awyr
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Re: Road narrowing

Postby Awyr » 15 Sep 2018, 11:04am

Thank you for your replys. There are some good suggestions here.

thirdcrank
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Re: Road narrowing

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Sep 2018, 11:07am

The introduction of the cabinet system in many local authorities has greatly reduced the influence of individual councillors if they have no cabinet portfolio. The days of committees are largely gone. That's always assuming that there are individual councillors with a real interest in promoting cycling. Although many if not most see cycling in general as "a good thing" in individual cases they aren't going to do anything which upsets their electorate and resident drivers have more votes than passing cyclists.
======================================================
PS to AWYR

I don't think anybody has mentioned checking out if there's any local cycling campaign already working in your area. It's always best to co-operate because highwaymen love to crow that cyclists don't know what they want.