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Letter: Safety Issues Related to Active Travel Schemes

Published on: 12 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 13 Jan, 2024

Image of London Road taken in August 2022. Google Street View

From: Niels Laub

See: Many Residents Want the London Road Scheme to Go Ahead

Surrey County Council’s main justification for the Active Travel Scheme proposed for the London Road is “to provide a safer route for children and adults walking and cycling”.

Consider this: Dutch-style roundabouts, like the one now proposed for the Boxgrove roundabout, incorporate a segregated orbital cycle path and pavement, giving priority to cyclists and pedestrians at the entry and exits of the junction.

According to an article the BBC published in April 2023, evidence suggests that the Dutch-style roundabout, which was introduced in Cambridge in 2020, has seen an increase in accidents. There have been ten collisions in the three years since the new roundabout was opened in 2020, three of them serious and eight involving cyclists, compared to only six minor incidents between 2017-2019.

New research from the Netherlands has found that roundabouts in general, and not just ones designed specifically for cyclists, are becoming increasingly unsafe for people on bikes, with a rise in collisions attributed to their greater complexity, particularly where cyclists have right of way, as is the case in Dutch style roundabouts.

There are many occasions where, in contravention of the recommendations of Local Transport Note 1/20 (which all new Active Travel Scheme are required to comply with), pedestrians and cyclists share the same pavement, most notably outside the High School and also for about 100 metres in both directions outside the Emporia.

This would seem very unsafe when you consider the increasing use of e-bikes, electric scooters, and cargo bikes.

Floating bus stops, similar to the type of bus stops proposed for London Road, have a cycle lane which passes between the bus shelter and the pavement forcing passengers to venture through incoming bike traffic to reach the bus stop.

According to a recent article in the Sunday Telegraph, documents show that more than half of cyclists in London do not stop at floating bus stops, prompting the London mayor’s cycling commissioner to admit they “feel dangerous”.

Finally, Surrey County Council’s own Traffic Modelling Report concedes that the increased traffic congestion on London Road will inevitably divert traffic onto adjoining residential roads such as Nightingale Road, Tormead and Winterhillwhich cannot be safe for local residents, or for children living in those streets.

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Responses to Letter: Safety Issues Related to Active Travel Schemes

  1. Alan Judge Reply

    January 13, 2024 at 9:27 am

    Does anyone actually believe these changes are going to result in pelotons of school children using the cycle lanes, making it impossible to get on or off a bus?

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