Lancaster city centre road closures on Friday 29 May

NOTICE OF ROAD CLOSURES RECEIVED FROM LANCASTER CITY COUNCIL.

“For your information, please be aware that due to the visit by the Queen on Friday (May 29) there will be a number of road closures in Lancaster which will affect cyclists. The roads to be closed are as follows:

Friday, 29th May – 00:00 – 12:00

Station Road

Friday, 29th May 06:00 – 14:00

Meeting House Lane

Castle Hill

St. Mary’s Parade

St. Mary’s Gate

Castle Park

Long Marsh Lane (Hasgill Court to Castle Park)

Rolling road closure

There will also be a rolling closure on the following roads as the Queen exits the castle:

King Street (Market Street to Penny Street)

Penny Street (King Street to South Road)

Common Garden Street, Brock Street and Thurnham Street

Barriers will also be erected along these roads from the previous evening (Thursday May 28) until around 2pm on Friday May 29. Due to the narrow pavements on the A6 the barriers will be erected in the cycle lane.”

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Proposed cycle infrastructure schemes

The schemes below are proposed:

  • Newquay Road, Lancaster – a proposal to extend the cycle path on St George’s Quay to the new Riverside Meadows development using developer funding.  In practice, this means that the pavement beside the river (which everybody cycles on anyway) will be upgraded to a shared-use path.
  • Lancaster-Morecambe Greenway links – a link to Bartholomew Road from  the Greenway and a link to Cartmel Place.  The latter will take you along Christie Avenue to a new shared-use path along Lancaster Road to Sainsburys.  Again, this is being built with developer funding.
  • Work on Scale Hall corner to improve access to the Greenway from the north.  This will include toucan crossings.

A short stretch of cyclepath at Burrow Beck in south Lancaster has also been completed recently.

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New road markings on the A6

As has been documented, the A6 south of Lancaster is a particularly dangerous stretch of road for cyclists and pedestrians.  A large proportion of cyclist casualties in the past 5 years have occurred outside the BP garage near the Boot & Shoe, resulting from motorists turning into the garage forecourt across the path of cyclists.  Lancashire County Council have amended the road markings so that the entrance is kept clear and cyclists are urged to slow down.

Time will tell how if this has an impact.  Feel free to leave a comment below so that we can share experiences of the new markings.

Road markings by BP garage on the A6 by the Boot & Shoe (looking south).

Road markings by BP garage on the A6 by the Boot & Shoe (looking south).

(Between 2010 and 2014 there were 29 cycle casualties – i.e. ones that were reported to the police – on the A6 between the Pointer roundabout and Lancaster University entrance.  Nine of them took place here.)

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The mysterious case of the disappearing Lancaster-Morecambe cycle route

The County Council’s Transport Masterplan contains an inspiring vision of the district in 2031, where “walking and cycling are now the norm for many local journeys”, where air quality and traffic congestion are no longer problems, and where Lancaster city centre gyratory is largely free of through traffic.

This is good news.  Some of us will be in our 70s and 80s by then, but hopefully still cycling.  It sounds as if the County Council has finally got the message.

BUT where is the Lancaster-Morecambe greenway?  From the maps on page 34 and 40 of the document it seems to have been replaced by the Lancaster Reach rapid transit service (a tram?).  Instead of the Lancaster-Morecambe greenway, there is a Lancaster-Heysham greenway.  One in, one out.  No overall addition to the strategic cycle network.

So instead of reallocating road space and really making a move to sustainable travel, the County Council sets up a battle between the solutions –  cycling and walking vs high quality public transport.  Has it really got the message?  Or is this just an oversight?

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A6 road safety survey

Paul and Patricia met Paul Binks, the Road and Transport Safety Manager from Lancashire County Council, yesterday to look at the worst road junctions on the A6 and Barton/Bowerham Road for cyclist casualties (i.e. ones reported to the police).  The County has funding for road safety measures such as changes to road markings, signage and possibly road layouts.

In the case of the A6, most crashes occurred at junctions where cars turned into the path of a cyclist.  The top of Bridge Street and the Bowerham/Barton Road junction were bad, but the worst is the entrance to the BP garage in Scotforth (where changes have already been made – see forthcoming post).

These are reactive measures rather than a strategic plan, but Paul made the case for a cycle route along Belle Vue Terrace as an interim measure to turn the A6 into a cycle corridor.

Paul on Bowerham Road with Paul Binks and Patricia's bicycle.

Paul on Bowerham Road with Paul Binks and Patricia’s bicycle.

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Morecambe Bay Cycle Way

Dynamo member, John, attended the information event at the Storey on 11 March and reports back:

I went to the meeting, which was to prepare us for the official launch of the Bay Cycleway on 11th – 14th June.

There were two representatives of Morecambe Bay Partnership (Susannah and Janet) and two of Sustrans and about 15 others.

The proposed route runs between Glasson Dock and Walney and follows existing cycle routes where possible (for example the start of Walney to Wear) and elsewhere the least-worst existing solutions. There was a lot of enthusiasm but perhaps the proposers could have benefited from more input from local, experienced cyclists, though the whole route has been ridden by a party of MBP and Sustrans. Awkward parts, as I see it, include the area of Levens Bridge and also the Canal Towpath between Hest Bank and Carnforth, which requires too much patience and one is tempted to use the A6.

The vision of the proposers is to provide a leisurely ride, taking about 3 days from end to end and visiting places like Humphrey Head and the Silverdale beaches.

The route is to be launched in June 2015, and Morecambe Bay Partnership are keen to hear from anyone who wishes to be involved with that or to help promote and maintain the cycleway generally.

Click here for their website.

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Transport Masterplan update

This week’s Lancaster Guardian carried Dynamo’s initial response to the district’s draft Transport Masterplan.  The good news is that the Heysham offroad route is in the document, but sadly there are no specific measures for cycle lanes on the A6 south.  From Dynamo’s point of view, it is particularly galling that – once again – expensive and highly disruptive big road schemes (a new junction 33, remodelling Caton Road and the Lancaster one-way system) dominate the County’s thinking.

Dynamo will be drafting a full reply to the County, but in the meantime we have been attending discussions with County officers and others.

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