Category Archives: Advocacy

Road Alteration Plans in Nuneaton

It’s been reported that as part of the Transforming Nuneaton project, ideas are afoot to make significant changes to the town’s ring-road (part of the A444), including the branch of the road passing the station. While changes do consider improvements for bus services and make mention of cycling access to the station, in general they concern me.

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Small Changes for Notable Improvements

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.

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Planned Bedworth Cycle Link

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.

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Improving Air Quality on Congested Roads and Induced Demand

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.

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K-Frame Barrier

K-Frame Barriers – Part 4: A Director Responds

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

Photo: Alan Stanton (CC BY-SA 2.0) - https://flic.kr/p/F9V3LS

Government choosing motoring over active travel, public transport

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

Shared Use Paths: Unacceptable Infrastructure

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.

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K-Frame Barrier

K-Frame Barriers – Part 3: Information Not Held

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

Improving Cycle/Pedestrian Crossing Points – Part 2

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