Dynamo are still waiting for the Jacobs Engineering report on re-engineering the A6 between Lancaster and Galgate, but in the meantime disturbing reports of the need for dedicated cycle lanes continue to come in. Dr Hugh Tuffen’s recent letter to Dynamo (below) shows the real need for action in this area.
Following Hugh’s terrible experiences Dynamo have again sent out letters to Cllr Michael Green, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Economic Development and Planning member for Lancashire County Council, and the three county councillors whose wards include this route: Cllr Susie Charles, Cllr Chris Coates, and Cllr Joan Jackson.
We have asked the councillors to state their current position on this plan, and to scrutinise the Jacobs report for its implications for cycling, not just for motorised vehicles, as we fear it might limit its focus on. We’ll let you know how we get on…
A copy of the letter to Cllr Michael Green:
Dear Councillor Green,
I am writing to you as a member of Lancaster and Morecambe Dynamo
https://lancasterdynamo.wordpress.com/ . Dynamo is the grassroots
organisation that has campaigned since 1994 in Lancaster, Morecambe
and district to increase the role of cycling in our transport system,
especially through infrastructure and other measures that make cycling
pleasanter, safer and more attractive to all.
We have been in regular contact with your predecessor, Cllr Ashton,
regarding the need to support cycling between Lancaster and Galgate on
the A6 and he has been supportive of this. Dedicated cycle lanes
on this critical transport link would do much to reduce traffic
congestion and help the County meet most of the seven transport
priorities it sets out in the 2011 Local Transport Plan: i.e. to meet
its carbon emissions targets, improve access to education and
employment, improve safety, and provide safe, reliable, convenient and
affordable transport alternatives to the car – and of course promote
the health of local citizens.
The much anticipated report on this section of the road by Lancashire
County Council contractors Jacobs Engineering has not yet been
received, and Dynamo has never received a response to the letters it
has sent to Jacobs
however the problem remains as great as ever, and the everyday
experience of residents of Lancaster and Galgate is being damaged by
inactivity on this pressing need. In recent days Dynamo have been
contacted by local residents sharing their experience of the dangers
of the traffic routes between town, Lancaster University and Galgate,
and their stories suggest that the lack of provision for cyclists is
risking serious injury or fatality on this route.
Dynamo have recently been contacted by local resident Dr Hugh Tuffen,
whose personal stories show the dire need for a dedicated cycle route
to be provided along this route. In his letter he describes two recent
incidents that have put himself , his partner and their baby at serious
risk. We have included a copy of his letter to us, as we feel it is
essential that you see the personal dangers currently being incurred
by cyclists on this major route in your ward.
We hope that when reading the severity of these cases, (and since Dr
Tuffen has contacted us we have been receiving more stories of a
similar kind, many of which never make it as far as the official
statistics lists), you will recognise the serious concerns we have.
We ask you whether you will support Dynamo in its campaign for a
better provision for cyclists along the A6 south. We also ask you to
confirm that when the Jacobs consultancy report is finally published
you will scrutinise it for its significance for cyclists along this
route, and ensure that the document is not accepted if it fails in
considering all road users of the A6, not just motorised vehicles.
Robert Lowe on behalf of Lancaster and Morecambe Dynamo.
A copy of Dr Tuffen’s letter:
A message from a keen urban cyclist (I have commuted to work at
Lancaster University by bike for 12 years). My family have been
involved in two accidents on the A6 south:
1. November 7th 2007, 6.30pm. I was knocked from my bike on Greaves
Road, as I cycled north past Spar. I had taken the lane and was
cycling at the same speed as the traffic (20 mph), wearing a
reflective jacket and with two front lights and one back light; there
was a car about 30 m behind me. A driver parked outside Spar pulled
out directly into my path, I collided with her rear driver-side door
and landed on the opposite side on the road close to an oncoming
Parcelforce lorry, which was able to stop metres before running me
over. I sustained injuries to my hip and knee that still require
physiotherapy and was awarded £3500 compensation for my injuries and
bike damage. The driver failed to properly look before pulling out, as
testified by the driver behind me who gave a witness statement, and
had to take a driving course as well as receiving a fine. She had
fabricated a story that I suddenly appeared from behind a parked lorry
and cycled into her, which was refuted by other witnesses.
2. 24th October 2012, 5.45 pm. My partner (carrying our baby son) was
knocked from her bike at the junction between Greaves Road and Greaves
Drive as she cycled north, with front and back lights and reflective
stickers. Northbound traffic was at a standstill and drivers had left
a narrow gap to allow southbound traffic to turn into Greaves Drive.
My partner slowly and carefully cycled across this gap on the curb
side, with space limited by the parked cars on the northbound side,
and a car turning rapidly into Greaves Drive drove straight into her,
throwing her onto the bonnet. The bike with the baby fell to the
ground. Police and ambulance were called, it was established that my
partner had right of way, but no further action was taken at the
request of my partner (I would have done things differently!). The
baby was checked for potential head injury in hospital but was
discharged that evening, both baby and mother suffered minor bruising.
The driver paid for the costs of repair to the bike.
I consider that in both cases we were lucky to have escaped with minor
injuries. If a proper bike lane had been created neither of these
accidents would have occurred.
All the best,
Dr Hugh Tuffen