Fringe Box



Letter: We Do Need to Make Our Roads Safer for Cycling

Published on: 17 Oct, 2023
Updated on: 18 Oct, 2023

From: J Dickinson

In response to: My Response to Niels Laub’s Letter on the London Road Scheme

Well said, Matt Furniss. I thank him for taking the time to respond so comprehensively.

I attended one of the drop-in sessions, which was very well organised and the engineers present answered all of my questions.

To Niels Laub, who makes it clear he is dead set against making room for cyclists and pedestrians, I remind him that cyclists are traffic.

When most Dragon readers were children, we got ourselves around on foot, by bike or on public transport because our parents were confident about our safety.

These days, children are ferried to and from school and to and from their clubs in cars because their parents don’t think the roads are safe. That’s a lot of extra traffic at the times when London Road is busy.

This scheme will provide would be cyclists with protected space on which to ride. Nowadays, when the typical mix of vehicles (in terms of size, weight and design) is more damaging in collisions, that’s what is needed to encourage parents to stop using cars and let their children back on their bikes.

We didn’t “need” to be ferried in cars, and with this investment, in the future neither will children at local schools.

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Responses to Letter: We Do Need to Make Our Roads Safer for Cycling

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    October 17, 2023 at 6:36 pm

    I would suggest that you take very great care in believing what you are being told and shown at these drop ins.

    For example the letter says the roads remain the same width as current, I can prove this is categorically not the case, what the displayed drawings are showing is width loss over half a metre in excess of current cycle lanes.

    Reduced capacity is expected to be up to 300 vph the expected diversion from the M25 is via the A3 A320 which is currently 200vph over capacity.

    The journey New Inn Lane to London Road Station new route will be 9 minutes before the changes with no right turn at York road not 6 minutes as current.

    New Inn Lane is expected to be part of a rat run through the estates. Bringing more cars to estate roads which are play areas for the very children for whom the council is making the main road ‘safe’ for!

    Multiple cyclist have said in the survey they will not use the joint footpath cycle way as it is too dangerous!

  2. Frank Emery Reply

    October 18, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    Saw a miracle today! A cyclist in the cycle lane on Aldershot Road. Amazing. Also saw about a dozen cars parked in the cycle lane as well.

  3. John Lomas Reply

    October 18, 2023 at 7:19 pm

    There are some apparent contradictions in the Highway Code.

    I have looked at Aldershot Road on Streetview and unless it has been changed the cycle lane markings are broken lines, NOT solid lines, so there are no times of operation and except at bus stops and near the junctions where yellow lines apply there seem to be no restrictions to parking along there.

    Highway Code
    Rule 61
    Cycle Routes and Other Facilities. Cycle lanes are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). Use facilities such as cycle lanes and tracks, advanced stop lines and toucan crossings (see Rules 62 and 73) where they make your journey safer and easier. This will depend on your experience and skills and the situation at the time. While such facilities are provided for reasons of safety, cyclists may exercise their judgement and are not obliged to use them.

    Rule 140
    Cycle lanes and cycle tracks. Cycle lanes are shown by road markings and signs. You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation. Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable. You MUST NOT park in any cycle lane whilst waiting restrictions apply.

    Rule 240
    You MUST NOT stop or park on………
    a tram or cycle lane during its period of operation

    Rule 243 (a cycle track)
    DO NOT stop or park:……..
    where you would obstruct cyclists’ use of cycle facilities.

    I know you have active cyclists who contribute in the Dragon periodically so their input might be useful as they probably know the area in detail.

    It is worth remembering all of the above when considering the proposals for London Road as well.

    • Simon Firth Reply

      October 21, 2023 at 12:24 am

      I am ever hopeful once London Road is completed, it becomes the de facto standard and soon after Aldershot Road and Worplesdon Road will get the same makeover.

      The painted dotted white line bike lanes have cars almost permanently parked on them on Aldershot Road and frustratingly, as you stated by John Lomas, it is also legal to park on a dotted cycle lane too, Further, a painted cycle lane just encourage close passes which happens a lot on such a busy road with impatient or inconsiderate overtaking cars not wanting to cross into the oncoming lane. I do wonder if we are actually better off without them.

      Worplesdon/Stoughton is a big community in an high pollution area and also often gridlocked, it desperately needs a safe passageway to cross the A3 into town, as do pedestrians, it is not ideal to share the narrow Woodbridge foot bridge with a cyclist. To which by the way, like cars, modern push bike handlebars are also getting wider. And yes they should not be riding here, but most do and a cyclist is narrower riding, than pushing.

      I notice on the Surrey Council Council active travel LCWIP, web site, there are many comments along the length of Aldershot Road and the route getting into town. It really is very poor today.

  4. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    October 24, 2023 at 9:34 am

    Codes of Practice and Design Standards are there to guide designers to produce safe designs. On existing roads and structures it may not always be possible to comply with the requirements laid down in these documents. However, this does not mean the designer can simply ignore them.

    Departures from standards and guidance documents need to be addressed by taking measures to attain roughly the same degree of safety. How this is done depends on particular issues and ameliorative actions and measures taken to justify departures.

    For example, where safe distance would not be available to motorists when passing cyclists at 30 mph, the measure could be to reduce the speed limit to 20 mph. Or by controlling speed with the aid of traffic calming measures like road humps and raised boxes.

    When a cycle lane faces an oncoming traffic, there should be a raised separation of at least 500mm.

    I am no lawyer but I believe to carry out alterations and modifications on the basis that non-compliant designs are better than nothing would be any defence if an accident occurs and deficiencies are attributable to faulty designs.

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