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Newark gains funding for new cycle routes

Newark have identified a series of desired cycle routes throughout the town and have obtained funding to build some of the proposed routes. They have been collecting feedback on which should be the priorities.

Funding for the work has come from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) which can also provides funds for Derby and Derbyshire.

The Newark plans have the goals of:

  • make cycling to work a viable choice for a significant proportion of local residents
  • greatly improve the cycle infrastructure network by addressing gaps in the network which are a major barrier to accessing large employment and housing sites
  • create safe, direct, convenient, attractive and continuous cycle routes.

The proposals will also deliver other key benefits such as:

  • positive public health (more people exercising)
  • environmental – emissions and air quality reduced
  • reduce traffic congestion – modal shift to cycling.

It is accepted that not all the desired routes can be built immediately but the town has managed to put in place a long term strategy and this has directly led to some initial funding.

Let’s see Derby create a similar long term plan of what a future network should look like.

Details and maps of the Newark plans here

Lorry blind spots

None of the cyclists shown are directly visible to the driver

It was an interesting experience to sit in the cab of a HGV and see how the driver’s visibilty is so restricted. In particular, whilst I was aware of being very careful on the left hand side of the vehicle, I hadn’t appreciated how vulnerable cyclists could be in front of the vehicle (in, for instance, the cycling area created by an advanced stop line).

Loughborough University have done a lot of research on behalf of the DfT (see this link for full details) including the chart on the left showing the areas that drivers can see directly, those they can see in their mirrors, and those that are invisible.

Derby cycle improvement plans

Derby City Council (together with funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership) plan to make improvements to cycling provision in the city centre over the next two years. Improvements will include the legalisation of cycling through the city centre via St Peters Street, before 10am and after 5pm.

The plans should be formally approved by the Council next week. More information here

 

Midlands Connect Strategy

The 72 page Midlands Connect Strategy: Powering the Midlands Engine has recently been published. This document sets out a 25 year plan to improve transport links and reduce transport delays in the Midlands region.

Nowhere is cycling mentioned! The closest is on the final page of the report where it says “Local projects will not appear in the Midlands Connect strategy, but the partners in Midlands Connect do recognise their significance and urge the Government to maintain a significant flow of funding for local transport schemes.”

The focus is on large scale trunk road improvements and improved rail links and speeds. Whilst appreciating that the focus of the report is on long distance connectivity (trunk roads, HS2, etc.) it is disappointing that an emphasis on reducing localised road transport (e.g. by encouraging cycling and public transport) is not seen as part of the solution for long distance travel.

Duffield Road Cycle lane unusable at school closing time

Shows the line of parked cars from the bus stop to the school entrance
Parked cars obstructing the cycle lane

The cycle lane on Duffield Road is unusable around 3pm each day as cars gather to pick up children from the school. Cars park up with drivers still inside (reading papers, using phones) for up to half an hour before the school finishes. The photos show the extent of the problem. As all the parked cars fill the cycle lane, any cyclists are forced towards the middle of the road and the overall effect isn’t encouraging students / parents / teachers to cycle to school.

The local councillors are aware of the problem but there seems to be little that can be done as the cars are legally “picking up or setting down” rather than “parking” even though any reasonable person would assume being stopped for 15-30 minutes counts as parking!

Proposed Darley Park multi-user path – Please give your views

image005The Derby City Parks department are presenting proposals for the construction of a multi-user path through Darley Park on the west side of the River Derwent (joining the Abbey pub with the rowing clubs).

The Parks department are holding a consultation session on both Friday 12th and Saturday 13th (10am to 2pm) by the Darley Park cafe and it would be very useful for interested individuals to provide their input and to complete the consultation forms. The poster about the consultation can be found here

3 options for the route are under consideration and can be seen on the map here

Visitors will be asked to provide their views by completing the form here and by discussion. If people are unable to attend the organised times they can provide input by emailing parks@derby.gov.uk

The planned path will provide many benefits to walkers, disabled users, and cyclists and we hope as many people as possible are able to provide positive feedback on the plans. The route will form a useful addition to the existing cycle route on the east side of the river and will also link well with the plans for the Derwent Valley Cycleway.

Please attend the consultation or, if not possible, then please provide your input by email.