Lincoln bypass rejected on cycling safety grounds
In 2013 CTC Lincolnshire objected to the road on the basis that it would sever existing cycle routes, and that the standard of the parallel cycle track was poor.
Earlier this year the plans were amended to include a pedestrian/cycle bridge where one minor road was to be severed.
Although this was an improvement, the Inspector felt that the cycle track joined the minor road too close to the junction with the bypass, with poor sightlines. Her report, which has been accepted by the Secretary of State for Transport, recommended that the road not be permitted under its current design.
Hopefully with this judgement the needs of vulnerable users is now being taken seriously
Secretary, CTC Lincolnshire
Support for the bypass was strong amongst many in the area, so it is pleasing that the Department has used its powers to force the local authority to improve the standard of design of the road for cycling, even if the only change suggested is one of a large number that need to be made to really make the new road better for cycling.
Cycle proofing in action?
CTC had suggested that the road might be a first test of the Department's commitment to 'cycle proof' new roads. Although a cycle track was planned to run along the length of the road, access across side roads and the route itself remained well below standard.
Further south, the road will form large roundabout junctions with two side roads: Greetwell Road, and Washingborough Road. In both of these cases, early designs suggest that cyclists on the parallel facility will be diverted significantly and will no doubt be forced to stop and wait for a gap in traffic, with all responsibility placed on them, rather than motorists, to give way. CTC believes that these are the sort of locations where local authorities should be considering installing priority crossings for cyclists.
It's pleasing that the Department has used its powers to block the scheme on the basis on this one, unsatisfactory junction. CTC challenged the Department to make this a test case of whether 'cycle proofing' has any meaning. However, this scheme still expects cyclists to stop and crossing at many busy side roads without any indication of priority.
Lincolnshire have already responded to the decision by agreeing to move the cycle track 4 metres further back. Lincolnshire had designed the junction with a much large curve radius than that set out in early drawings. This meant that approach speeds to the cycle track crossing would be higher than first thought. CTC assessment of the problem is below.
As can be seen, initial plans suggested a tight junction with the LEB. Later revisions have increased the size of the junction - instead of traffic having to slow down to 10-15 mph, the new plans would likely permit speeds of 30+ mph, which gives drivers little time to slow down if cyclists are crossing the road ahead. There is no need for such a flared exit: a deceleration lane is required, but the junction could remain tight (as it is for those entering the road).
CTC hopes that going back to the drawing board gives Lincolnshire the opportunity to really make this road into a exemplar, 'cycle proofed' scheme that will make it easier and safer for people to get to and from Lincoln and the villages outside by bike.
CTC Lincolnshire has written to Lincolnshire CC arguing that the new route at this point will still not give cyclists priority and that a proper crossing is required here if we expect children to be able to use the route safely.
A copy of the Inspector's report can be downloaded below.