In response to Lancashire County Council’s consultation on their HGV Movement Strategy for Lancaster, Dynamo has sent the following comments:
We are pleased to see that the Council proposes to limit through routes for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes, and we fully support the fourth primary objective of the M6 link (page 2) to “create opportunities for the enhancement of alternative travel modes by relieving the current traffic conditions”.
Dynamo believes that the HGV restrictions need to be complemented by high quality cycle and pedestrian facilities along these principal routes, which will remain very busy with possibly faster motor traffic. This needs to be done before the space freed up by reducing HGVs is wiped out by increases in people deciding to drive into town.
It is difficult to say more in the absence of the final version of the Travel Masterplan for this district, but we would focus on the following:
Section 4.2.1 Eliminating congestion from Lancaster city centre is highly desirable – not just to enable easier travel but also to improve air quality. However, we would ask the Council to ensure that eliminating congestion does not turn the one-way system and other major roads into fast through-routes. A race-track around the perimeter of the city centre would be very undesirable.
Dynamo would also like to see city-centre rat-runs closed to through traffic as part of a focus on “alternative travel modes”. In particular, the end of Queen Street where it joins King Street, and the eastern side of Dalton Square opposite the Town Hall should be made no-through roads so as to reduce potential conflict between motorists and cyclists/pedestrians.
Section 4.3.3 Carnforth certainly needs some respite from heavy traffic. From a cyclist’s perspective, there is no alternative to the A6 to reach the supermarkets, shops and library.
More generally, we would make the point once again that a direct Heysham-Lancaster off-road cycle and pedestrian route is needed (see https://lancasterdynamo.wordpress.com/campaigns/). The old bypass beyond Snatchems is dreadful to cycle on, and any increase in HGV traffic will make it worse. It is disappointing that improvements of this nature have to wait on road building.
Dynamo is disappointed that the link road scheme has actually taken away the footway along the south east side of the A683 from Morecambe Road into White Lund. The cycle path along the new road has been abandoned when it gets to Morecambe Road, and pedestrians and cyclists using it are expected to make a SIX stage crossing of this enormous junction to the diagonally opposite corner in order to proceed to the Greenway or into White Lund Industrial Estate. This strongly undermines the claimed objective of creating opportunities for the enhancement of alternative travel modes. There was an opportunity here for the shared path to be continued on the south east side of the A683 through White Lund to Mellishaw Lane but cyclists and pedestrians have been sacrificed to provide a SEVENTH lane for motors. A proper path could still be provided along the bottom of the embankment to Northgate, which would also give access to the Greenway.
Moreover, with a reduction in the number of HGVs using the A6 between Galgate and the Pointer roundabout, it becomes more feasible to include cycle lanes along this stretch of the road, as Dynamo has campaigned for (see https://lancasterdynamo.wordpress.com/campaigns/).