Cycling on Swan Street
Following the traffic order excluding cyclists from the old A6 route at the bottom of Market Square, an explanation has been received from Infrastructure Planning of Leicestershire County Council which states:
“The County Council is very aware of the importance of providing adequate cycling facilities in Loughborough and the need to encourage safe and healthy transport solutions. Cycle facilities have been provided wherever possible as part of the project. Referring back to the early stages of the project in 2006, a transport proposal for the town centre was developed that would allow a limited amount of transport movement along Swan Street ie buses, service vehicles and cyclists. It was also agreed that this arrangement would be tested over a future 18 month trial period. Since several years have now elapsed since that time, Members decided in 2013 that further consultation was needed to reaffirm the position. As a consequence, further public consultation was undertaken last year to reconsider the best transport option for the town centre.
Based on the results of the consultation, the consensus amongst local elected representatives and local businesses, excluding bus companies, the County Cabinet resolved in April 2014, to adopt Option C ie full pedestrianisation of the Market Place. This prohibits all traffic including cyclists from using Swan Street at the Market Place at busy times, ie between 10am and 4pm. However, outside these hours loading and cycling only will be allowed into this area.
To pass through this part of Swan Street between 10 am and 4pm, cyclists will have to dismount. This is consistent with the current TRO for the remainder of the Market Place with the exception of the controls imposed during market days.
This transport arrangement will be implemented under an experimental traffic regulation order to come into effect during the 18 month trial period commencing in November 2014. The outcome of the trial will be reviewed at the appropriate time and where necessary changes to the order or road layout may be made.”
The previous suggestions, discussed with local cycling groups, for Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs), irrespective of whether or not buses were allowed through, all indicated unrestricted cycling along the route of the A6. An assurance was given that this was the intention when the latest consultation took place. There was no mention of restrictions on cycling in the consultation.
By a narrow majority the consultation was in favour of banning buses. Sixteen people commented on cycling, some for and some against. We now have cycling banned without consultation.
How can this fit with the stated ambition of both Charnwood and Leicestershire Councils to promote active travel?
The alternative cycling route is to use what is effectively "the ring road", incorporating the inner relief road (IRR). Where there are cycle lanes, these are often filled with (legally) parked vehicles. The routes along the pavement are disjointed to say the least.
Can the pinch point on Bridge Street at the exit from the Rushes car park be regarded as safe?
How do you get onto the contraflow cycle lane along Baxter Gate?
Is the drainage channel along the cycle lane in the Rushes after the Bridge Street junction regarded as acceptable?
Can Frederick Street and Browns Lane, which buses are now squeezing down much more frequently, regarded as “safe” routes for cyclists?
What about the shortage of cycle parking in the town centre?
Do these Councils really intend to promote cycling, or are they just making false promises to put themselves in a good light while doing very little?
Making Space for Cycling guide launched
Cyclenation have published “Making Space for Cycling”, a guide for new developments and street renewals. The guide is sponsored by the cycle industry through its Bike Hub funding scheme backed by the Bicycle Association and independent cycle dealers. The guide describes ways to achieve higher levels of cycling, for new developments and when redesigning streets, to create family-friendly healthy environments, productive employees and profitable shops, together with relaxed public spaces and attractive streetscapes making efficient use of space.
The guide has been endorsed by many leading cycling groups include British Cycling, CTC the national cycling charity, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, London Cycling Campaign, Cambridge Cycling Campaign, and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
The guide was launched at Cycle City in Leeds on May 1st. We are expecting to receive some paper copies and is also available at www.makingspaceforcycling.org. If you would like a paper copy (possibly to share with your councillor) please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Space for Cycling calls on councils to improve our streets so that anyone can cycle anywhere. But what does that mean in practice? CTC wants photos and examples of infrastructure that's good or bad to explain to councils what works, and what needs improvement.
If you've got photos of examples of infrastructure for cycling - whether good or bad - CTC wants to see them. Your photos can now be uploaded to a map with categories so that they will be easier to search in future.