Below is what Dynamo emailed to Lancaster City Council about their (so far vague) cycle plans for the proposed Bailrigg development. You still have until 11 July to make your own comments on any aspect.
I write on behalf of Dynamo (Lancaster & District Cycle Campaign) purely on the matter of proposed cycle infrastructure for the planned new housing development around Bailrigg.
We are heartened to see all the general nice stuff about “network of green corridors” and “good local accessibility by walking and cycling”, and we sincerely hope that the Council’s plans will live up to this.
We have 3 points to make:
1. Include a route parallel to the railway line
2. Choose at least two options and build both
3. Get the infrastructure in place and discourage car use before the first houses are occupied
1. A ROUTE PARALLEL TO THE RAILWAY LINE
Having looked at the proposals for a cycle superhighway in the Options Paper, we were very disappointed that there is no mention of the possibility of a cycle route parallel to the railway line from Galgate to the outskirts of south Lancaster, at least as far as Cinder Lane. The land for the proposed housing estates extends right up to the western edge of the railway line, so surely the Council could include such a route, which would be by far the flattest and most direct one. It would also be more attractive to pedestrians who are walking into town for utility rather than recreation.
2. CHOOSE AT LEAST TWO OPTIONS
We would also urge the Council not to limit itself to just one route from the new development to Lancaster city centre/railway station. Some cyclists would prefer to go straight down the A6, others do not mind taking a longer, hillier and more circuitous route. This is not just Dynamo being greedy: if you build good cycle provision and discourage car use for short journeys, cycling/walking routes will be so popular that a single route would be overcrowded. Only consider the Lancaster-Morecambe path, which at times is so busy that it really needs to be twice as wide.
One other reason to have at least two routes is if you intend to focus on the canal towpath. This is perhaps the pleasantest route, but, according to County Council and Sustrans recommendations, it is not wide enough for a proper shared-use path. Three metres is the recommended minimum for a path with side restrictions.
3. BUILD THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND DISCOURAGE CAR USE FROM THE START
If transport to/from this new development is to be sustainable, you need to discourage car use from the very start and have excellent new cycling and walking routes ready and waiting for the first new homeowners to use them.
We hope you will include these points in future plans.