Cycling the Bay Gateway: a user’s guide

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The new Bay Gateway from the new A6 bridge, looking towards the Morecambe end. The shared-use path is on the south/east side of the road.

From the Dynamo inbox:

“I’ve had two trips down this since it opened, once by bike and another in my car.

“Monday pm had a few curious pedestrians and a significant number of bikes, but I saw one cyclist on the main carriageway heading towards Morecambe. That’s not clever when the cycle track has plenty of width, and an excellent surface.

“Worse on Friday midday was a cyclist heading from Morecambe in an easterly direction. I saw him trying to stay between the kerb and white line on the main carriageway, a narrow strip perhaps 600mm wide. When he reached the roundabout at Slyne, the white line is angled into the kerb and the space disappears, he got cut up by a big truck. The intended cycle route is on the south side, which leads you onto the A6 and over the Bay Gateway if you want to head north.

“We have to get the message out that the cycle provision is separate from the cars, but is continuous even if a few bits are not finished. It is surfaced well and even those with skinny tyres can use it.”

The field trip:

So Patricia pedalled out of her comfort zone and headed for the M6 link road/Bay Gateway to ride from the River Lune to Lancaster & Morecambe College. Here is her report:

“The two-way shared-use path is good – smooth, easy to get to and separated from the carriageway by a thick white line and a decent kerb. You might want to keep away from the edge in wet weather – the spray from fast-moving lorries will be filthy.  I saw only one pedestrian and two cyclists on the path, but I’ve also heard a report of a cyclist having to brake hard for an extendable dog lead – so there are still the usual hazards of shared-use paths.

“I approached the Bay Gateway from the Lune path; there is a spur from the path up to the new bridge:

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Lune Millennium path from the new bridge, showing the spur leading up to the bridge.

which takes you straight up to the new road.  New access points have also been built to take you to/from the Bay Gateway from the new A6 bridge (which has a new bit of cycle lane), the green lane, the canal towpath and the Vale of Lune Rugby Club.

“Note that you need to be on the shared-use path to access these routes; there is a waist-high wall dividing the carriageways, so if you’re on the “wrong” side of the road you can’t get across to the “right” side.

“The Bay Gateway ends/begins at Lancaster & Morecambe College. If you want to stick to cycle paths to get to Morecambe, you need to cross diagonally to McDonalds. This may involve a lot of button-pressing to wait for the green man/cycle – but in my case I pressed one button and then sailed over 6 crossings on a green wave.

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With my back to McDonalds, looking at Lancaster & Morecambe College. To get to the Bay Gateway cycle path, you need to be diagonally opposite. If you don’t cross the road, you will be mixing it with fast-moving cars and lorries on the carriageway.

“To get to the Lancaster-Morecambe path from McDonalds, you follow the new path (ignoring the minor residential road) and will come to the main path at the low bridge on White Lund.”

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Looking at the new path to McDonalds and the end/start of the Bay Gateway.

More from the Dynamo inbox:

There have been reports that the new path from White Lund to McDonalds can be very slippery in frosty conditions. The City Council are aware of this.  Meanwhile . . . take care.

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About lancasterdynamo

Dynamo is a cycling group, established in 1994, to work with official bodies, other cycling organisations and interested individuals to promote cycling as a safe, enjoyable and healthy means of transport.
This entry was posted in City and County Councils, Cycle Infrastructure, M6 link road/Bay Gateway, shared-use paths and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Cycling the Bay Gateway: a user’s guide

  1. Martin winning says:

    It may be a wide path, but I find it ludicrous that to use it towards caton road, i am cycling in the opposite direction to vehicles driving at over 40mph, with no barrier. Poor decision to appease people, should be a separated path on each side. Hope I don’t skid! For that reason I will never use it.

  2. I see what you mean. If you’re going to have a two-way path beside a busy road, it’s much better if there’s a decent space between cyclists and lorries. See https://lancasterdynamo.wordpress.com/2016/07/04/how-to-build-a-cycle-path/

  3. john hardiman says:

    As much as I agree the use of the provided cycle path is preferable in terms of safety, especially as the speed limit is 70mph in some areas (and doubtless some vehicles are travelling faster).
    Cyclists mentioned in the email [received in the Dynamo inbox] are well within their rights to use the main carriageway and I feel this should be supported even if not heavily.
    They likely have their own reasons and frankly if you’re travelling at full knock on a road bike (not recommended on shared paths I might add) and a dog strikes you headlong off into a truck you may have been better off between the 600mm disappearing line and kerb where the lorry likely more predictable!
    Personally I’m looking forward to inspecting the cycleway from my bike soon as so far have only seen it from my van and car. I’m also looking forward to adding the cycle route to Google maps as I have done with much of the prom and some other areas in Lancaster and Morecambe.
    Quotes for completeness below.
    “I saw one cyclist on the main carriageway heading towards Morecambe. That’s not clever”
    “Worse on Friday midday was a cyclist heading from Morecambe in an easterly direction. I saw him trying to stay between the kerb and white line on the main carriageway, a narrow strip perhaps 600mm wide. When he reached the roundabout at Slyne, the white line is angled into the kerb and the space disappears, he got cut up by a big truck.”

    • Cycling is not prohibited on the carriageway, so cyclists have a right to use it. Those who are already used to cycling on dual carriageways like the Bay Gateway will probably see it as just another main road. Other cyclists will undoubtedly prefer the shared-use path – which, as we have pointed out, is good, but not as good as it could have been. The point of the photos and the Dynamo text was to make it clear where the shared-use path is, what it’s like and how to get to it.

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