Please respond to the Upper Bristol Road TRO Consultation

Walk Ride Bath has spent the last 4 days pouring over the Upper Bristol Road Consultation Technical Drawings (https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/a4-upper-bristol-road-traffic-regulation-order-tro-consultation/introduction-and-policy-background) and our detailed response will be emailed as a pdf to the council.

It should be noted that technical drawings include more detail than the consultation drawings but we (Adam Reynolds, Frank Thompson, Saskia Heijltjes) have done the detailed analysis for you.

Have your say

It is important that you respond here and do not just rely on what Walk Ride Bath is submitting: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/form/upper-bristol-road-tro-consult

We are asking people to “partially support” the scheme and to use a variation on the following text which is much more succinct and easy to understand. We ask that you personalise it to your circumstances but convey the five key points. Copy and past if that works for you but please do submit a response:

I recognise different users’ needs must be considered but am concerned that excessive space has been provided for movement and prioritisation of motorised vehicles that has unnecessarily made walking and, particularly, cycling unsafe. This includes:
1) Unnecessarily wide carriageways reducing the width of the cycle lanes to 1.5m.
2) Use of speed tables not continuous footways.
3) Installing a loading bay in the cycle lane with a shared path bypass.
4) Placement of wands at 15m intervals enabling opportunistic parking in the cycle lanes.
5) Using advisory cycle lanes along the floated parking.

Points 1, 4, and 5 particularly create unnecessary danger for cyclists. I am really unsure how a 12 year old on a bike would handle riding along a protected cycle lane to see a car, van, or HGV parked in the cycle lane and now has to swing out into busy fast 30mph traffic.

It is VITAL that you provide a response. It really will make a difference.

Walk Ride Bath Technical Response:

Upper Bristol Road TRO – Observations and Comments from Walk Ride Bath – Partially Support

General

Walk Ride Bath welcomes and thanks BathNES Council for the improvements made to this scheme following comments from ourselves and other interested parties. The design is now considered to incorporate many positive elements, including:

  •  The shared bus border and bus stop bypasses to prioritise the movement of buses over private vehicles, using in lane bus stops
  • The use of “floated” vehicle parking to protect the cycle lane
  • The principle of the continuous footways to emphasise pedestrian priority

We request that these elements be incorporated by the council into future main road schemes.

We note the following opportunity to strengthen the proposal to improve safety, convenience, and understanding by all road users:

Carriageway Widths

To comply with LTN 1/20 paragraph 7.2.10, the design should define the maximum carriageway width as 3m or less (6m for two lanes). Total carriageway width beyond 6m should be used to widen shared bus boarders, bus stop bypasses, and cycle lanes in that order of priority.

Cycle Lane Widths

LTN 1/20 Table 6-1 advises that 1.5m should only be used where absolutely necessary. Given the kerb the minimum width of cycle lanes should be 1.7m (Table 5-3), only reducing to 1.5m at pinch points. Ideally cycle lanes should be 2m+ wide to mitigate close passes, enable side by side cycling (parent + child), and easy overtaking. It is important that this scheme accommodates the space envelope for the Cycle Design Vehicle (LTN 1/20 Figure 5.2, Table 5-1; 2.8m long x 1.2m wide). 

Floating Parking – Safety

The technical drawings appear to indicate that the ‘mandatory’ cycle lanes used throughout the scheme become ‘advisory’ behind the floated parking, potentially permitting parking in the cycle lane and making ‘dooring’ (a cyclist being hit by an opening vehicle door) likely. However, it is recognised that space is tight and compromise is necessary. It is therefore proposed that a 0.5m ‘dooring zone’ (with chevrons) be incorporated within the width of the cycle lane with wands set every three metres to ensure no chance of any vehicle encroaching into the cycle lane.

Hop Pole Loading Bay

The shared path “bypass” when the loading bay is being used is a novel compromise. However, for the safety of both the delivery driver, sometimes moving large items such as beer barrels, and those continuing to use the cycle lane, a much safer solution would be to provide a loading bay on Midland Road, 80m away. Consideration of this proposal is requested.

Continuous Footways are Speed Tables

The use of speed tables as continuous footways is a poor compromise and access should look, to the pedestrian and drivers, as if the pavement is continuous, with ‘Dutch’ kerb stones to indicate a vehicle crossing point and yellow tactile blister paving should indicate the crossing point for visually Impaired. The aim is to communicate pedestrian priority at all times where the motorist is the guest. The entry point to Victoria Bridge is considered particularly ideal for this treatment and will provide a good example for future council schemes.

Typical Continuous Footway using “dutch kerbs” Note cycle track is on the main road in the UBR scheme. (https://www.aggregate.com/products-and-services/commercial-landscaping/kerbs/dutch-kerb)
Attribution: @rantyhighwayman

Wands Spacing

Our understanding is that the fire service has raised concerns about the placement of plastic flexible wands every 5m potentially preventing access in an emergency. However, light plastic wands are designed to be driven over by fire appliances which are invariably large, heavy and resilient. Wands have been shown to:

  • discourage “driving to the line” thereby creating cyclist ‘close passes’
  • provide subjective safety that unconfident cyclists welcome
  • prevent drivers, particularly delivery drivers, from parking in the cycle lane forcing unconfident cyclist into 30mph traffic

In many schemes nationally they are used at 5m intervals or less with no concerns raised by emergency services. The proposal creates very significant risk to cyclists as it does not manage motor vehicles effectively. A safe solution must have the wands no more than 5m apart for the entire length of the cycle lanes. This is especially the case on the north side (Victoria Park) of the road where there are no residential buildings and indicates a general council design decision has been taken and not one on a section by section basis.

Where is the Beckford Road Consultation?

Beckford Road consultation (https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/beckford-road-traffic-regulation-order-tro-consultation/introduction-and-policy-background) response will be published in the coming days but is a much simpler scheme and the initial review indicates a “support” with a request to make Beckford Gardens and Darlington Road entrances into proper continuous footways with a potential legal experimental improvement to the Advanced Stop Line.

10 comments

  1. The proposed ATS will severely impact residents- please have some consideration for your fellow Bath residents. A 20mph speed limit will make the road safer for all. As pointed out this badly thought through scheme is going to endanger lives. Please object and ask for a better scheme to be implemented. Take care and have a thought for my nearly blind neighbour and the impact this will have on her.

    • Hi Alistair, One of the key reasons we are asking for continuous footways and not speed tables is that it much better supports Visually Impaired People and wheelchair users. It should be noted that the volume of traffic as well as the speed of the road is a factor in determining required infrastructure to make the road safe so 20mph speed limit is not enough. See LTN 1/20 Page 33 Figure 4.1 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycle-infrastructure-design-ltn-120

      All Active Travel Fund schemes must conform to LTN 1/20 as these are nationally set down standards.

      • I support the walkways but how does moving all parking to approx 1/4mile away from her property help her maintain some form of independence and access to her property . As Andrew says we don’t want people to pull in to the cycleway and so she will need to cross the cycleway to get to a taxi/car. The cycleway are I think 1.5m as otherwise it would not be possible to get out of cars safely that are on the road.

        We need a better scheme NOT this scheme.

  2. Hi Adam

    Done.

    This is my response:

    It seems to me that excessive space and opportunities for parking of cars are included in this scheme. Cycle lanes should be 2m not 1.5m. Cycle lanes should be free of all obstructions, and without question should not be available for parking. NB the part of the cycle lane on the A4 that goes next to the pavement for pedestrians is often used for parking which makes the whole point of the cycle lane moot. And you never know when it is going to be occupied in that manner. There should be no floated parking.

    Best regards

    Andrew Soltau

  3. Time to light a fire under the bus companies, revisit Park & Ride sites, create a city welcoming to cyclists & pedestrians – furthermore restrict vehicular access to hours of darkness, with far greater presence of traffic wardens, and stringent penalties for illegal parking et. Am not anti-cat, merely pro-life, and the one Bath that we must protect

  4. Many thanks for highlighting & summarising re these Proposal Schemes. As a result, my response is done ! Key is increasing safety for the most vulnerable – walkers & cyclists, and so improving this scheme.

    • Thank you as assume the disabled/elderly residents as well – must be included in your “most vulnerable” and your comments have considered those that are impacted.

      • Yes. We’ve specifically raised the need to use continuous footways not speed tables which support Visually Impaired better, the use of narrower entrances that help reduce vehicle sped while reducing crossing times, and the need for wide cycle lanes to accommodate non-standard cycles.

  5. Hi Adam

    I have a major problem I would very much appreciate your help with. I have not taken the train to London for a long time. But when I did I recall that on the 125 I have to leave the bike in a special compartment, and it is not allowed to be locked. But, of course, my insurance only covers the bike when it is properly locked to a steel stanchion of some kind. Now that I have an expensive ebike this is a major problem. Any way round this?

    Best regards

    Andrew Soltau

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