It’s so easy to get caught up in the demand for long, protected cycleways and high quality infrastructure (a worthy goal, of course), that it’s easy to overlook how making relatively small adjustments can make a notable difference for cycling.
One such location occurred to me today as I was cycling to the neighbouring town of Bedworth. My most direct route which also avoids the worst of the hills is obstructed at one point, where a cyclist is presented with two options: 1) dismount, walk a short distance along the footpath, use a pedestrian, walk a further short distance on the footpath before joining the next road to continue ahead, or 2) follow the road on a diversion that loops around to the destination and also includes hills on a busy main road.
A plan exists in Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough to create a new cycle and walking link adjacent to the route of a now disused railway line – from ‘The Nook’, a small nature reserve on the western edge of Bedworth, down to the corner of Heath Road and Smorrall Lane.
This scheme is an interesting one because, in my opinion, it shows the problems that can occur when only considering infrastructure as its own little project and not part of a wider network, and perhaps not properly considering cycling as an alternative means of transport to the car.
On 13 December, at a County Council session, the issue of excessive traffic causing unsafe levels of pollutants in the air was raised by Cllr Caroline Phillips. This was in specific relation to the ring-road in Nuneaton, where a bottleneck in the short route causes surrounding major roads towards the town to seize up.
You can watch Councillor Phillips raise the matter in the following video, which starts from the appropriate point.
I received a letter through my door on Monday morning from my MP, Mr Marcus Jones, in response to the letter I sent earlier this month regarding the government’s prioritisation of motor vehicles over active and public transport options. Continue reading
The ongoing saga relating to access restrictions on cycle paths, specifically Nuneaton’s Weddington Walk (part of National Cycle Network Route 52) continues following receipt of a response to my questions, this time from a Council director. The contents of that reply are copied below. I was a little disappointed that the email was headed ‘Draft’ in the subject, almost like it wasn’t ready to be sent out or hadn’t been checked, but since I have it, I’m taking it as the Council’s official response. Continue reading
Following the recent announcements by the Government that it will be increasing funding on roads, maintaining the fuel duty freeze and neglecting to provide for active travel in any meaningful way – policies that are in complete contrast to the increasing urgent need to tackle climate change and the UK’s toxic air pollution problem – I’ve taken it upon myself to write to my Member of Parliament Marcus Jones (Conservative) urging him to do what he can, working with other MPs from across the political spectrum, to bring about a change in direction by the Government. Continue reading
I took a short ride around Nuneaton yesterday on a route that takes me around part of the small ring-road on a shared-use path.
This is one of those routes where pedestrians are meant to keep to one side (left, in this case), and cyclists the other, with a solid line down the centre of the path indicating that division, with stencilled decals marking the intent. However, there is no physical restriction and pedestrians (and indeed cyclists) can easily cross to the ‘wrong’ side.
Yesterday, I receive my long-awaited reply to last month’s follow up request for information relating to the use of K-frame barriers, specifically on Weddington Walk. The full allowance of twenty working days was used to provide me with the responses of either ‘we do not hold that information’ or ‘this is not a request for information.’ Continue reading
A couple of weeks back, I compiled a number of what I considered to be small suggestions on how a small section of road, and in particular the pedestrian and cycling crossing points, could be improved. This I sent through to Warwickshire County Council Highways, and today I received a response. The general message seems pretty positive on the surface. Although, perhaps unsurprisngly, the majority of my suggestions are not necessarily ones that they’ll take forward, the Council has acknowledged that improvements on that corridor (or route) to Nuneaton are needed to improve cycling, and that improvements and new links have been identified with assistance from Sustrans. Continue reading
In Nuneaton, there is an advisory cycle lane that runs on the Weddington Road/A444 southbound towards the town. The lane is far from perfect – it’s advisory only, frequently has cars parked in it and is only paint not affording cyclists any real protection from motor traffic. In an ideal world, I’d see the whole route upgraded but I’ve decided to write to Warwickshire CC Highways regarding the upgrade of smaller sections to make the route easier and safer to use – improvements to two road crossing points which can currently be tricky, and a better connection between the on-road advisory lane on Weddington Road and the on-road advisory lane on Leicester Road as it goes over the railway. Continue reading