Prioritising cycling: roundabouts

As the penny slowly drops and the various benefits of cycling begin to be recognised at national government and local authority level, there are simple ways in which cycling can begin to be prioritised in NE Lincs. It’s not rocket science and by progressively improving the cycling infrastructure the message that cycling is being taken seriously will come across and more people will feel it’s safe to cycle.
The crossing at Hewitts Circus on Taylors Ave.

The crossing at Hewitts Circus on Taylors Ave.

Look at roundabouts. This is a photo of Hewitt’s Circus near Tesco’s, on the Humberston Pedalway. The pedalway (actually a shared walkway and cycleway) meets the roundabout with a pair of painted broken lines. What do these mean? Who has right of way? It’s not clear. The usual practise is they are ignored by motorists, and cyclists and pedestrians have to wait for a gap and take their chance to cross. The car has priority and everyone else has to wait.

These are dangerous places for cyclists and pedestrians, as the tragic death of Lynne Dring, who was killed at this very roundabout whilst trying to cross in January this year, so sadly demonstrates. These crossings are examples of bad design and it’s past time they were changed!
Bad design creates unnecessary danger.

Bad design creates unnecessary danger.

My suggestion therefore is this:
  • Make these clearly inadequate painted lines a raised crossing, at the same height as the pedalway that leads to and away from them. This would effectively make it a ‘sleeping policeman’,  a speed hump, forcing the approaching motor traffic to slow down;
  • Give priority to cyclists and pedestrians by making the approaching motor traffic give way on these crossings;
  • Make the speed limit on larger roundabouts 20mph, and on smaller roundabouts such as Hewitts Circus a maximum 15mph.

These simple measures will help to save lives, reduce casulaties and make cycling on the pedalway safer, smoother and quicker. It will also send the message that people walking and cycling (ie. those who are vunerable to being injured or killed when hit by a vehicle) take priority over cars and trucks.

I’ve used Hewitts Circus as the example, but this can be applied to all roundabouts where there is a cycle lane. Toll Bar roundabout between Waltham and New Waltham is another prime example. Have you tried getting across there on your bike? It’s extremely busy and dangerous. Replace the painted broken lines with raised crossings prioritised for cyclists and pedestrians, and slow the traffic. Please. It won’t cost much but it will speak volumes and make a huge difference!

No doubt some will object: “You can’t do that, it will slow the traffic and have cars backing up around the roundabout!” Well, what is so bad about that? Drivers driving more slowly at busy junctions? Sounds like a safer situation to me! I’m sure the delay would be minimal, and as these changes become more widespread and familiar, they would simply be accepted, accommodated, and I believe, appreciated for the benefits they bring!

Update: To see how the world leaders in cycling infrastructure do roundabouts, click here!

Circular cycleway around NE Lincs

By Simon Ostler.

By making improvements along the whole river front between Grimsby and Cleethorpes, and by linking up the Healing and Humberston Pedalways, a circular route could be created which would come near to all the population of NE Lincs.

Circular Pedalway

Circular Pedalway

Improvements required to achieve this: At present many people enjoy the cycle route from Humberston along the Seawall to Cleethorpes but stop at Wonderland as the path peters out. This path could be extended with an improvement to the current seawall path so that it goes as far as Youngs Seafood Offices on the sea wall at the Fish Dock.

The path would then come off here and follow existing roads, some of which are already bicycle friendly roads as such untill it reached Westgate:

image006Some sort of crossing of the Freshney would have to be made here maybe using the existing Westgate bridge on Alexander Dock side, as I believe the path is wide enough to accommodate this.

A separate cycle lane would then be constructed along the verge on the A180 between Westgate and Moody lane linking it up to the bike path which already exists down Moody Lane. An improvement to cycle access to the sea wall could then be made which would connect all to off road cycling all the way to where the sea wall meets South Marsh Road.

The exit from the sea wall and South Marsh Road itself would need to be improved but this could then be followed all the way to Stallingborough.

image008 (2)

In Stallingborough follow Station Road then turn right down Healing Road. The end of this would need improving into a bike path along the edge, improving the existing footpath, of the B1210 till Wisteria Drive Healing, follow this and Low Road through Healing until you connect up with the Healing Cycle Way.

Follow the Healing Cycle way all the way to ‘The Trawl’ then turn right down and then left (making both roundabouts cycle friendly)down Cambridge Road as this is wide and can accommodate an on road cycle path then along Westward Ho and onto Bargate, incorporating existing bike paths and improving where necessary.

The route would then go left down Weelsby Road, once again incorporating existing bike paths all the way to Love Lane where it would joint the Humberston Pedal Way till it got to the roundabout at the far end of North sea Lane. The route would then follow the path next to  Pleasure Island to the sea front, so completing the 22 mile Circular Route of NE Lincs.

The main reason for this route would be recreational but by extending the Healing Pedalway to Stallingborough and creating a safe crossing over the Freshney along the A180 to Moody Lane this would be hugely increase the safety for many commuters.

This route would link the following areas in a safe circuit:

·         Grimsby

·         Cleethorpes

·         Humberston

·         Stallingborough

·         Healing

·         Little Coates

·         Great Coates

·         Wybers Wood

It would also make it a three hour circuit with lots of stops on the way.

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