Upgrade Kennet & Avon Tow Path (NCN4) to improve access from the East of Bath to the City Centre and Enterprise Area. Also to improve access to Grosvenor Bridge for residents of Lambridge and the London Road area of the city.
With the Cycle Forum tomorrow (Tuesday the 10th of March 2015) and with a budget of £675,000 that needs to be spent in the 2015/2016 financial year we need to get a move on! There are aspects of this project that were not clearly defined as part of the Cycle City Ambition Grant Bid. This is my proposal. Please feel free to rip it apart. In fact it’s your duty to do so.
The principle objectives I am trying to achieve are:
- A child safe route from Lambridge into the city centre.
- A future proof solution in line with a long-term objective to have protected cycle lanes on London Road to provide a direct route into the city from the east.
What I am not trying to do is:
- Deliver the perfect solution. We have a budget and a hell of a lot to get into the budget. I am assuming it is ‘acceptable’ to have for a child to ride with parents on 20MPH zoned roads.
- It will not be the most direct route. The focus is on Grosvenor Bridge.
Lambridge Street to Grosvenor Bridge Road
- Yellow- Provide a cycle contraflow on Lambridge Street and Upper Lambridge Street.
- Remove bus lane on London Road and start it after Grosvenor Bridge Road (GBR)
- Red- Provide protected cycle lanes between GBR and Lambridge Street.
- Black- Convert pedestrian lights to toucan.
- Blue- Widen pavements and make into shared path to create a child friendly route across London road to GBR from Lambridge St.
- Extend protected cycle lane up to Gloucester Road junction. Would require movement of traffic lights.
- Close off Lambridge Street exit creating a quiet way up to St Saviours Road.
St Saviours Road to Grosvenor Bridge
Initial post of this raised a point that I had not considered. That inherently St Saviour’s Road to Grosvenor Bridge is a far superior route for people living in Larkhall.
Transition Larkhall want St Saviours to be a good cycle route and I think this just simply works, is cost effective and does not require major works.
This is 590 metres of path which will cost you 60k to do. It’s nonsensical not to do this and I’m wondering if Morrisons would be interested in sponsoring this one.
Kennet And Avon Canal to Sydney Gardens
This one is relatively complicated because you need a child safe route. My gut feel here is that confident cyclists will just pile out onto the road but my god is it unpleasant.
As we can’t get a protected lane all the way down to Bathwick Street junction I don’t see anything can be gained from this so we simply install a toucan (or just a zebra crossing), widen the path into a shared path and create a traffic free route into the city that takes you through Sydney Gardens expanding the current gate entrance you can see in the picture below.
As you can see by the above picture, a protected cycle lane up to the canal entrance would also be good here.
Note that I have discounted the route that gets you into Sydney Gardens at the back of it as it requires you to cycle on the narrow canal path under the bridge and this cannot be widened.
Bathampton To Batheaston
Now we’ve sorted out the city end, it’s time to connect the network at the other end. For children, we literally have a bridge to nowhere in Batheaston. It is not safe to cycle from Batheaston to Bathampton and as we are tarmacing up to Bathampton then this really is the last bit of the puzzle. The bit that connects the network.
This one is simple. 300m of widened shared path.
This railway bridge forces the idea of a shared use path.
Removal of this wall enables shared path to connect to the K&A path successfully.
Note this ties in with the Batheaston plans to convert the toilets into a cycling/walking community hub which you should go and visit on the 14th of March.
Bath to Batheaston
The canal is considered one of the busiest walking and cycling towpaths in the country. The Canal and River Trust Towpath design guidance allows the width of the path to be increased dependent upon the traffic upon it. There has been a discussion where the path width was to be set at 2.5m, however given the immense amount of footfall, and based upon the experience of the Two Tunnels, I would suggest an attempt is made to make it at least 3m wide and where the path is obviously worn even wider. The visual clues that the path width is 4m worn wide should be used as a guidance. The CRT Towpath design (PDF) guidance does advocate 4m wide paths in places of high footfall.
I also feel the CRT’s guidance that people can ‘step off’ the path and give way provides a hostile environment and puts people who cycle in a bad light. It is our duty to minimise conflict on the towpath and this can only be achieved designing out conflict. A 2.5m path is unsuitable along this route.
Note that I expect the Canal and River Trust to require this to be bitmac spray and chip to keep it in keeping with the surroundings.
When it comes to London Road I’ve taken the approach that segregated cycle lanes are key to the future of delivering direct routes into the city centre. However that in the meantime we need to provide traffic free routes to families to get over to Grosvenor Bridge from Lambridge.
In a similar vein I’ve tried to address the route from the K&A canal into the city at Sydney gardens in terms of a child cycling into the city. I have not addressed how you get through Sydney Gardens. I expect parks to object to any idea that creating a healthy travel route through the gardens is in anyway possible.
There are also quick wins (Kensington Meadows 60k, Batheaston to Bathampton 30k) that simply should be done.
This ‘finalises’ my plan for CCAG Year 1 spend. You can comment here but please please PLEASE turn up to tomorrows (10th of March 2015) Cycle Forum meeting at the Guildhall with any objections/ideas. The detailed plan will be ‘solidified’ within the month and things will progress really quickly to delivering this. £675k must be spent this financial year.