Please respond to the Beckford Road TRO Consultation

Walk Ride Bath has spent the last week pouring over the Upper Bristol Road and Beckford Road Consultation Technical Drawings and our detailed responses 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 to the consultation and do not just rely on what Walk Ride Bath is submitting: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/form/beckford-road-tro-consultation

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 four 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 1.7m.
2) Use of speed tables not continuous footways.
3) Placement of wands at 15m intervals enabling opportunistic parking in the cycle lanes.
4) No dropped kerb access to new Sydney Gardens entrance.

Points 1 and 3 particularly create unnecessary danger for cyclists.

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

Walk Ride Bath Technical Response:

Beckford 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 positive elements, including:

  • The shared bus border to prioritise the movement of buses over private vehicles, using in lane bus stops
  • 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 (6/9m for two/three lanes). Total carriageway width beyond 6/9m should be used to widen shared bus borders 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 has been designed as 1.7m (Table 5-3). 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). 

We are concerned that the 400mm wide Traffic island set within the 1.7m cycle lane narrows the cycle lane to 1.3m wide which is below the absolute minimum 1.5m.

Continuous Footways are Speed Tables

The wide splay into Beckford Gardens and the design being a speed table not a continuous footway should be reconsidered. There is an opportunity here for a pocket park and a much more inclusive design that does not allow a vehicle to take this junction at speed.

The Darlington Road speed table should be made into a continuous footway to clearly communicate that cars are guests in this space. 

Typical Continuous Footway using “dutch kerbs”
(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 section by the section below Darlington Road where there are no residential buildings. This indicates a general council design decision has been taken and not one on a section by section basis.

No dropped kerb to access new Sydney Gardens entrance

The current design would require a cyclist to ride along the footway from the Warminster Road junction which is illegal. A dropped kerb is required to enable easy access to the new Sydney Gardens entrance. 

Upper Bristol Road Consultation

We’ve also done a detailed response to the Upper Bristol Road consultation: https://walkridebath.org.uk/2021/12/08/please-respond-to-the-upper-bristol-road-tro-consultation/

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