Let’s be really clear. I went to the Enterprise Area Master plan presentation and was told in no uncertain terms by Cllr Ben Stevens that in the master plan, the river path was considered to be a walking and leisure cycling route. They would design in a ‘fast’ route for commuter cyclists. When pressed further, he confirmed those cyclists would share the road for parts of it. In other words, it would only be suitable for current confident cyclists.
This strategy of forcing cyclists to mix with road traffic WILL NOT get people cycling. It will not make Bath a cycling city. The council’s promise of providing cycling aged 8 to 80+ is a lie and this development clearly shows this. They really don’t care about making this city fit for cycling for ALL the family.
When looking at cycling infrastructure design, there is ONE, just ONE key thing the designer has to have in mind. You design for this person. I’m calling her Amelie.
So with Amelie in mind, lets look at this development
I mean, it looks ok. Until you start asking how Amelie would actually use this, because at some point, Amelie comes off the cycle lane and is dumped onto a very busy road on a fast corner
This isn’t even funny. This is downright negligent. The irony is, with a little thought you could have a wide segregated cycle path all the way up to Midland Bridge. Remember a network is only as strong as its weakest link.
Then there is the council’s arrogant resistance to the idea that people hate cycling in traffic. We’re designing for Amelie. So when you look at the river quay area, they’ve not thought of this. It’s a 4m wide path up until it connects to the river path. Then, apparently, the old narrow path is ok.
This part of the river path is heavily used and could do with being widened to stop the conflict between cyclists and pedestrians. The fact the provided cycle path tries to dump you on the road, Amelie will be riding down the cycle path, cutting onto the quay and then riding along the narrow river path.
There is a perfect opportunity to take the cycle path along the top of the embankment and then join a widened river path at the corner of Green Park. THIS STUFF IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE PEOPLE.
Look, that river path needs widening. It needs to be at least 3m wide all along the route, and if the council can spend millions on reinforcing river defences on the other side, widening the path and installing a railing for 200m does not seem unreasonable considering how vital this route is to people who want to cycle.
So where are we with this? I’m so disappointed with this. It’s pretty obvious they have not considered what is going on at Pines Way Gyratory as already discussed. We cannot look at this stuff in isolation. Bath is a network, and we need the ability for children to be able to cycle from Oldfield Park into the city and be safe doing it. Riding with traffic is NOT ACCEPTABLE in 2014. It’s a throwback to a bygone era and it is disgusting that the planners even consider this good design.
We need to council’s planners to really up their game. We need networks of protected segregated cycle paths and we cannot design parts of the city in isolation. This plan really does suck as somebody who wants persuade their family to cycle in Bath.
You can find planning information online.
And when you are ready email firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback.
More importantly, email your local councillor and tell them this lack of thought for cycling provision is unacceptable and that new cycling infrastructure must be designed for children whenever possible.
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