Churchill Bridge Turbo Roundabout Proposal

I think when looking at road systems it can be hard to create something that is great for maximising vehicular traffic flow and keeps cyclists safe. Roundabouts fall into the keeping traffic flowing while making cycling unsafe category.

Bring in spatial constraints and you can end up with something horrible that is extremely hostile to people wanting to cycle.

As an exercise in rethinking Churchill Bridge Roundabout I began looking at turbo roundabouts. Something highways engineers use to create a high volume vehicular throughput.

Turbo roundabout

A specific form of roundabout for motorists, with a spiral pattern that commits motorists to choosing the correct lane before entering the roundabout. Lane changes on the roundabout itself are eliminated

And I came up with this:

Churchhill Bridge Turbo Roundabout Proposal (2)

The Churchhill Bridge Turbo Roundabout Proposal (3) pdf is probably clearer.

I’m really uncomfortable with creating a Wellsway cycle lane to the right which ‘forces’ somebody cycling to take a primary position to then access the new cycle crossings. So for people that are uncomfortable with roundabouts, it’s a big ask to get them to do this just to access a traffic free way to negotiate the roundabout.

I did try and have a west crossing point, but the sight lines make it phenomenally dangerous and even the east crossing point is probably inadvisable.

For people comfortable with cycling, the roundabout now offers a lot more ‘control’ as taking the lane controls the traffic around you. No longer will you be under/over taken

Comments welcome. I have submitted it to Highways for consideration, particularly as the layout fixes the accident blackspot which is the Wellsway leg of the current roundabout.

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  1. I think the introduction of build-outs would be useful from a traffic point of view at west, east and south (there is already a build out on the north). At Rossister Road there is white line hatching rather then a build-out which I suspect may be to allow for long vehicles.

    The barrier to cyclists heading up the hill while trying to avoid Wellsway is literally the barrier which fences pedestrians off from the road in the SE quarter (Rossiter westbound to Wellsway).

    Cyclists should not use the underpass beneath Rossiter Way as it is not shared use. But if you do push your bike through it the only way onwards is up towards Holloway but the path is narrow and steep and has a handrail down the middle as an aid to pedestrians. I feel sure that this route could be improved to make it more cycle friendly Presently, as a cyclist on the Churchill roundabout you are denied access to Holloway because of the pedestrian barrier. That said, you can get to Holloway but you have to cycle up first part of the Wellsway to reach the western end of the retaining wall. From here there is a flat overgrown path eastwards along the top of the retaining wall which meets the steep handrailed path. But if you continue east the route is not cycle friendly as it was designed as a footpath. This could be improved / made shared use easily.

    The need is to allow cyclists to bypass the steep handrailed footpath.

    If Fox Hill linking down to Perrymead can be (and is) a cycle path then cyclists in Bath are expected to be climbers but I have always thought that something could be done to ease the connection to Holloway for cyclists. Of course Holloway itself is a climb in itself.

    I have previously thought there might be scope to do something behind the retaining wall but Wellsway (southbound) in front the retaining wall is two lanes. Surely one is enough? Installing a kerbed off separate cycle lane in front of the wall linking to a cycle path along the top of the wall, back eastwards might be the answer. Couple this with making the underpass shared use and removing the pedestrian fence and it opens the way to enabling access to Holloway.

    It needs a good look on site to see what might be possible.

    • Have to agree. Fixing the roundabout for cars seems to be pretty ‘easy’ while removing some of the ambiguity. If you are in the left lane you are turning left at the next leg.

      The only thing I can see that makes it work better for cycling is that this enables people to take the lane and prevent overtaking/undertaking. This is a particular problem when passing the west leg (LBR) as people carry on round to the north leg in both lanes. It’s really unpleasant. So in principle this redesign ‘fixes’ the roundabout for Vehicular Cycling.

      However creating a good cycle route that connects to Holloway is probably going to need some sort of foot bridge onto/over the roundabout and railway connecting Holloway to the city centre avoiding interaction completely with the roundabout. That isn’t particularly cheap!

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