Below are quotes from the comments of 17 September that Lancashire County Council’s Highways Department sent to the City Council on their plans for flood management works along the River Lune (and closure of the shared-use path):
Afore-mentioned notes indicate a requirement to review the potential for increased pedestrian/vulnerable road user movements along a heavily used primary distributor route providing the principal means of access from the M6 junction 34 as well as established business & residential development north of the River Lune. Without further thought and consideration given to issues outlined I would wish to raise an objection to applicant proposals as submitted though I would be open to further discussions as to how issues outlined could be overcome.
That aside, should the city council be mindful of granting planning approval, I would ask that the following conditions and advice notes be appended to any associated consent.
1. Flood defence footpath / cycleway and its associated infrastructure shall be constructed in accordance with the requirements of Lancashire County Council’s document “Specification for Construction of Estate Roads (2011)” to at least base course level prior first use of any of the reconstructed lengths of the route. Reason: In the interest of highway safety, to ensure a satisfactory appearance, safety of highway infrastructure along the route as well as the provision of a suitable highway surface.
2. No part of the development hereby approved shall commence until:
a. A scheme for the conversion of grass verge (adjacent McDonalds / Holiday Inn) into a hard-surfaced 2m wide length of pedestrian footway.
b. Developer to meet all of the costs associated with the provision of temporary informative pedestrian / cycle route diversion signage for the duration of scheme work activities.
Further news is that the slopes on the rebuilt path should be DDA-compliant – i.e. with a gradient of no more than 1:21.
On the bridlepath from Lawson’s Bridge to Ashford Road
On 26 September, under grey skies, Matt Hodges and Tim Dant from Dynamo did some blue skies thinking with a team of planners, consultants and engineers from Lancashire County Council, Lancaster City and Lancaster University. Eight of us set off from the Millennium Bridge on bikes (with a further two in a car) to ride through Lancaster and scope out cycle routes from the University and the proposed Bailrigg Garden Village into the city. We had a thoughtfully planned route that included stops to look at and discuss the possibilities at key points. Penny Street Bridge, the Pointer Roundabout, the ‘Monkey Rack’ of Belle Vue terrace, Addle Street, Bailrigg Lane, Burrow Bridge, Lawson’s Bridge, Dorrington Road, Beeching Close, Deep Cutting and Aldcliffe Triangle were all stopping points where there was much looking, talking and pointing. The highways engineers had large scale maps showing the existing cycle routes that were pored over to see where possible new ways through could be found. Particular attention was paid to the Dynamo proposal for a shared-use path along the east side of the railway line from the new Health Innovation Campus entrance to Ashford Road. It seems that planning permission has been granted for a new student block that would interrupt this route – but sending it down the west side of the railway looks doable, as a link to Ashford Road. From there, there was no feasible direct route other than going down to Ashton Road (and the canal).
The ongoing conversation between everyone was friendly and the professionals were keen to hear from and work with Dynamo. Many of the stopping points were on routes already used by cyclists but the idea was to think of new ways to join them up that would attract more cyclists and reduce the burden of motor traffic on Lancaster’s crowded roads. The group were encouraged to consider everything: building bridges, compulsory purchases, bans on street-parking, cycle and bus only routes and so on. It is intended that the moving site visit will inform the emerging LCWIP for Lancaster which should lead to improvements to existing cycle routes and may propose a route for a ‘cycling superhighway’.
It will be interesting to see how the blue skies thinking gets translated into an Infrastructure Plan that stands some chance of political and financial approval.
[PS Dynamo had prepared a background document for the visit.]
Maximum 12 bicycles. Twelve!
Spotted today in Frankfurt: the bicycle carriage on a regional train. The kind of train that might carry you from – oooh, I don’t know – say, Lancaster to Leeds.
Long Marsh Lane in Lancaster is to become a no-through road as part of the conditions of planning permission 17/00203 for 149 new houses on St George’s Quay. At the moment it is becoming more and more hazardous crossing from the shared-use paths on Vicarage Fields to Giant Axe.
This is scheduled to happen when the 30th new dwelling is occupied; since the planning permission was only signed last month, this is going to be a while yet.
With regard to the planning application for flood management works beside the River Lune between Skerton Bridge and the Holiday Inn, Dynamo has learned from the City Council that consultants are working up the design of the diversion route but are still a few weeks off anything definite.
Thank you to everyone who has written to stress the importance of keeping a safe route open during the construction phase.
Dynamo has objected to the latest planning application in Hornby – 76 houses plus a medical practice, reference number 18/01165/HYB. This is a revamp of planning application 17/01142/FUL. Dynamo’s response remains the same:
This appears to be application 17/01142 re-submitted with the sweetener of a proposed medical practice included. Even if this medical practice building is guaranteed and viable, Dynamo’s response would be the same as last time, namely:
Dynamo objects to this planning application because there is no provision for safe cycle access to the development. Section 3.3 of the Transport Statement states the “The site can . . . be considered as being accessible by cycle” because you can cycle to Grimsby on National Cycle route 69. It gives no thought to where people might NEED to cycle to; this is most likely going to be Lancaster or Kirkby Lonsdale. You have the option of the fast and busy A683 or the scenic but decidedly challenging road through Gressingham and Aughton.
Policy DM 20 of Lancaster City Council’s Development Plan (Sept 2015) states: “Proposals should minimise the need to travel, particularly by private car and maximise the opportunities for the use of walking, cycling and public transport.”
Any development in Hornby or Wray should there provide funding for the extension of the Lune shared-use path from Lancaster, which currently ends at Bull Beck. It’s direct, it’s flat, it takes people somewhere with employment, shops and schools . . . and it’s a good deal closer than “Grimsby, via Settle, Skipton, Cullingworth, Huddersfield, Horbury, Pontefract, Althorpe and Caistor” (section 3.3.3).