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.
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.
Cycle parking provision at Lancaster railway station has been expanded and improved with no fewer than 25 new covered cycle stands (each with capacity for 2 bikes) having appeared at the station in recent days.
The racks are situated on Platform 5, the nearest to the booking office and “town side” entrance, and replace a much smaller number of uncovered stands.
At the same time the existing stands on Platform 3 (for north-bound trains) have been renewed and additional secure cycle-lockers have appeared on both platforms.
Virgin Trains, which manages the station, recently had its franchise to operate the West Coast Main Line extended for a further four years and in doing so had to commit to a number of improvements to services and facilities for passengers.
New cycle parking at Lancaster station. That lonely bicycle needs some company!
See here for Lancashire County Council’s draft Transport Masterplan for our district. We’ve yet to look at it in detail but once we’ve done that we’ll respond within the six-week deadline.
The county are holding public exhibitions as follows:
Carnforth Library – Monday 23 March, 2 – 6 p.m.
Morecambe Library – Tuesday 24 March 2 – 7 p.m.
Lancaster Library – Thursday 26 March, 12 noon – 7 p.m.
Dynamo has issued a press release about our efforts to try to get a “park and cycle” facility included at the park and ride site beside the M6 junction on Caton Road. Interestingly, the 2009 planning application for the park and ride site had high-quality park and cycle provision, but this later lapsed. We understand from Lancashire County Council that it is their aim to include park and cycle one day, but Dynamo’s view is that it should go in now rather than be a bolt-on extra at some unspecified future date.
Park and ride site, south side of Caton Road
Lancashire County Council is due to publish its Transport Masterplan for our district this month – perhaps even this week. This is the document on which Dynamo’s hopes for the Heysham off-road link, A6 cycle lanes, etc., etc., all rest. Of course, a guest appearance in the Masterplan is no guarantee that a scheme will ever get built – not unless funding can be found.
Once published, the Masterplan will be out to consultation for, we believe, 6 weeks. Lucky Dick is already down to attend two meetings on it w/c 23 March.
Watch this space.
Work has started on a new cycle-contraflow lane to permit eastbound cycling on Spring Garden Street, central Lancaster, up to its junction with Penny Street. Perhaps we’re being ungrateful, but Dynamo was less than enthusiastic about the scheme on the grounds that it wasn’t a priority and we thought the money could be better spent elsewhere rather than in this part of town, which already has cycle infrastructure in place. However, our understanding is that the funding comes from new development planning gain, so it either gets spent on this scheme or disappears altogether.
Spring Garden Street works, 13 March 2015