Caton Road cycle diversion – not exactly an update

Dynamo is still not sure exactly what is happening with the Caton Road diversion while the Millennium path is closed for flood defence works, but we’ve noticed that the pelican crossing outside Diamond Resorts has disappeared and will hopefully re-appear as a toucan crossing.  (Hands up everyone who assumed that it always was a toucan!)  According to the Lancashire County Council roadworks bulletin, the work is taking place this week.

Some “street furniture” has already been moved to make the pavement less of an obstacle course . . . and some hasn’t.

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Posted in City and County Councils, Cycling, River Lune, shared-use paths | Leave a comment

Notes of bike theft meeting

Notes of our meeting with Police Community Support Officers to discuss bike theft are available.  Do keep an eye open for details of free bike-coding events; there are Facebook pages for Lancaster Area Police and Morecambe Area Police, and we will post any times and venues on this blog.

Incidentally, Dynamo notes that Morecambe PCSOs occasionally go out on Community Roadwatch speed checks in 20mph areas.  Perhaps one to follow up . . .

Posted in Bike theft, Cycling, Police | Leave a comment

Planning application for energy recovery facility at Imperial Road, Heysham

Veolia have finally put in a planning application to Lancashire County Council* (ref LCC/2019/0021) for their energy recovery facility.  There seems to be nothing in it about sustainable transport (despite Veolia’s email to Dynamo in January), so we have objected as follows:

Dynamo Cycle Campaign objects to this application as there is no mention by Veolia of promoting sustainable transport to the new site. This contravenes:

1.   Lancaster City Council’s Policy DM 20 (Sept 2015) which states: “Proposals should minimise the need to travel, particularly by private car, and maximise the opportunities for the use of walking, cycling and public transport”, and

2.   Section 9 of the National Planning Policy Framework (June 2018), which states that “Transport Issues should be considered from the earliest stages of plan-making and development proposals” and that “Planning policies should . . . provide for high quality walking and cycling networks”.

Please note the work NETWORK. The applicant’s transport assessment only looks at cycling along Imperial Way – ignoring the fact that cyclists would need to use the A683 bypass road just to get to Imperial Way.

A good-quality cycle lane, separated from the A683 bypass road by a decent margin, leading to this facility should be the least that is demanded to mitigate the impact of the extra traffic – both staff vehicles and frequent HGVs – that this facility will generate.

* We’ve also made the same objection to Lancaster City Council – reference 19/00567/CCC.

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Planning application for 250 houses at Carnforth

32D60B92-585A-46D4-A74C-91A28BD799ADThere is currently a planning application (ref 19/00541/OUT) for 250 houses south of Carnforth at Lundsfield quarries.  This is one of the areas designated for new housing in the Local Plan, so the chances are that it will go ahead.  For background, Matt and Patricia met a City Council officer back in December to look at these areas.

The important thing, from Dynamo’s point of view, is to get good-quality, joined-up cycle infrastructure built from the very beginning so that the very first residents have a safe, sustainable way to get from their houses to shops, schools and railway station.  We have objected to the current planning application as follows:

Dynamo Cycle Campaign objects to this planning application as it currently stands because there is – as yet – no definite commitment or plan for safe cycle access between the development and the shops, schools and railway station that residents will use. Policy DM 20 of Lancaster City Council’s Development Plan (Sept 2015) states: “Proposals should minimise the need to travel, particularly by private car, and maximise the opportunities for the use of walking, cycling and public transport”

Moreover Carnforth is an Air Quality Management Area, and extra motorised traffic is the last thing it needs.

The Transport Assessment is includes a letter from WSP dated 31 October 2017 to David Bloomer of the County Council which says:

“In respect of pedestrian and cycle accessibility, our client is currently investigating the feasibility of providing access to the east (towards Dunkirk Avenue and Highfield Road) and to the west (via a pedestrian bridge across the Lancaster Canal). Delivery of either of these access points is dependent on the extent of land ownership, and we hope to be in a position to further update you on this at our meeting on 9th November.”

and section 6.6 of the Design & Access Statement refers to

“There are two options under consideration for a potential new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Lancaster Canal, to better link the proposed development to the town centre to the north. One link is to the west where the bridge would land adjacent to the Canal Turn pub, and the other link option is to the north where the bridge would land within the North Road school playing fields, and a new footpath connection created across the school land (separated by a continuous fence) to Oxford Street. Discussions have taken place with all relevant landowners, including the Canal & River Trust and subject to the outcome of these negotiations and viability considerations a preferred route is to be identified.”

If this development – along with others planned for this site – is to be sustainable, these proposals should be firmed up (rather than merely remaining “under consideration”) before building begins. Building additional canal bridges and making Dunkirk Avenue and/or Windermere Road into safe cycle routes requires careful planning. It is essential that such a large development promotes sustainable transport from the very start.

Posted in Carnforth, Cycle Infrastructure, Cycling, planning applications | Leave a comment

Meeting about bike theft

John and Patricia met two Police Community Support Officers yesterday to discuss bike theft.  The focus was on coding bikes so that they are identifiable if stolen and later retrieved.  The days of scratching a number under your bottom bracket are over; today’s coding is done with a resin that’s hard to remove.  You can then register your bike and upload photos on Bike Register.  (More about preventing your bike from being stolen is on Cycling UK’s website.)

The PCSOs were keen to learn of groups/events/places where they can usefully have a bike-coding stall.  Dynamo made some suggestions, but please get in touch if you have any bright ideas.

As an aside, bike theft is the reason given for the side gate at Lancaster railway station being permanently locked.  It’s also worth knowing that many of the 25 recorded bike thefts in Lancaster city centre in the first few months of this year were from bike racks located in car parks.  Unfortunately, not all bike racks are covered by CCTV.

It was good to meet the PCSOs and to gain some understanding of what they do and their priorities.  Their commitment to their duties and their areas was impressive.

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Objection to enlarged car park at Lancaster Leisure Park

Lancaster Leisure Park has applied for planning permission to enlarge its current car park by 124 spaces (reference 19/00522/FUL).  It’s a backward-looking move, and Dynamo has objected as follows:

Dynamo Cycle Campaign objects to this planning application on the grounds that an increase from 300 to 424 car parking spaces on this site will just encourage more car use and discourage more sustainable forms of transport. This contradicts Policy DM 20 of Lancaster City Council’s Development Plan (Sept 2015), which states: “Proposals should minimise the need to travel, particularly by private car, and maximise the opportunities for the use of walking, cycling and public transport.”

The City Council has already approved applications for 27 houses off Wyresdale Road and is currently considering another application for 11 houses on Fenham Carr Lane. Together with an almost 50%-larger car park at the Leisure Park, these developments will inevitably increase traffic on local roads and impact on cyclists who currently cycle on them. At the same time, there is nothing to improve cycle infrastructure or any other kind of sustainable transport.

It is only a few months since city councillors voted to declare a climate emergency, and we must think long term. What is needed is for the existing no. 18 bus service, which runs between the city centre and Lancaster Leisure Park, to be funded after developer contributions run out in March 2020. Any redundant land at the Leisure Park could be used for a dedicated turning area for buses to allow them to enter the site rather than stopping on Wyresdale Road some distance away from the entrance as they do now. This is more in keeping with Policy DM 20 where it states: “Development proposals will be supported where they seek to: (i) Make the best use of existing public transport services and where appropriate provide opportunities for improving and sustaining the viability of those services”.

Posted in Cycling, planning applications | 2 Comments

Objection to planning application on Wyresdale Road

There is a planning application (ref 09/00529/OUT) for 11 houses on Fenham Carr Lane/Wyresdale Road in Lancaster.  Dynamo has objected on the usual grounds, as follows:

Dynamo (Lancaster & District Cycle Campaign) objects to this application as there is no provision in the plans to encourage cycling to/from this new development. Indeed, given that the development will increase motorised traffic along Wyresdale Road, it may even deter current cyclists from using it.  Moreover, Fenham Carr Lane – the alternative route – is in a poor state of repair.

Disappointingly, the City Council continues to approve small-scale developments throughout the district without insisting on essential infrastructure links and improvements to promote cycling.

Posted in Cycling, planning applications | 2 Comments