Mega Broadmarsh Update – New Protected Cycle Route Coming to Nottingham

In July 2019 we found out that plans for the Broadmarsh redevelopment didn’t include any protected cycling routes. We encouraged supporters to contact their local councillors to make sure this flagship city centre scheme was cycle-friendly.

Thanks to everyone who did this as it has resulted significant improvements to the plans.

They include a high quality protected route along most of Canal Street, the kind of thing we really need in order to enable cycling for everyone.

The Plans: What You Need To Know

What’s Good?

1. Along Canal Street (from Wilford Street junction to Carrington Street junction)

  • A 2-way protected track running along the south side of Canal Street (see sketch).
  • There will be separate, designated space for both people walking and people cycling, protected from motor traffic (buses and black cabs) using the road.
  • Looks brill to us!

2. Canal Street Junction with Carrington Street

  • What we’ve seen of the revised plans for this junction is really good.
  • The cycle path will continue across the junction on the south side of the road (a signalised junction like the one crossing Castle Bridge Road along the Western Cycle Corridor). People will be able to cycle straight over, taking a direct, flowing route and have a safe and direct route route across the junction, separate from people walking.

3. Along Canal Street (from Carrington Street Junction to Middle Hill Junction)

  • As per 1. More good stuff!

4. Reclaiming Loads of Space from Private Cars

  • As we said in our original response, we love that Canal Street will become free of private motor traffic, becoming bus only and go down from between 3 and 6 traffic lanes to just the 2.
  • Collin Street will also be fully pedestrianised, expanding the car-free city centre further.
  • This goes a long way to reconnecting the train station to the city centre. The walking route is currently severed by massive mega-roads.
  • This removal of access to private motor traffic is much-needed action in the face of a Climate Emergency and Nottingham City Council’s carbon reduction targets.

What we’ve talked about so far is world class design which should be applauded. Just as we’ve seen with the Western Cycle Corridor, streets designed with cycle paths will enable more people to cycle for everyday journeys. We need to design our streets so that everyone feels safe cycling on them – especially the vast majority of the population who *currently don’t cycle*, largely because they don’t feel safe riding with motor traffic. These designs will achieve this.

What Needs Improving?

Connection Between End of Western Cycle Corridor to Wilford Street Junction

  • ‘Shared use’ footways.
  • The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that work around Wilford Street junction has been going on for around 6-8 weeks already. The pavement has already been widened slightly so we *don’t think* it will be getting any wider along here than it is now. The plans are for the pavement will be made ‘shared use’ so that people are allowed to cycle on it.
  • There will not be any markings to designate areas for people walking and people cycling as far as we know.
  • There are a lot of obstructions along this short stretch, including a bus stop, two beautiful trees (obviously non-moveable!) and various lamp posts and poles. We don’t know whether any of these will be moved.
  • The carriageway is wide here, and the motor traffic lanes are still wide.

Where to go next? Looking towards Wilford St junction from end of Western Cycle Corridor on Castle Boulevard)

Wilford Street Junction

  • The desire to keep high volume motor traffic flowing freely through this junction means that people walking and people cycling are squeezed in around the edges, onto ‘shared use’ paths and using multi-stage toucan crossings.
  • These designs may be better than nothing, but they are not of a high enough standard to cope with any significant increase in the number of people cycling, and increasing the number of people cycling for everyday journeys is the goal.

We’ve asked for the designed of Middle Hill Junction to be reconsidered

  • ‘Shared use’ areas around the junction are proposed.
  • Along with a toucan crossing to cross Canal Street.
  • Given the number of people who will walk and cycle in this area (to and from the station, to and from the new college, to and from the new bus station etc.), we think this design will lead to confusion and conflict between people walking and cycling in the same, ambiguous space.
  • We think that people walking and people cycling need to each have their own space, clearly-defined and their own separate routes to follow when crossing Canal Street.
  • This may be possible with something like a parallel crossing with separate footway and cycleway continuing throughout, like this one on Charter Row/Rockingham Street in Sheffield.

In Summary

  • The plans are a million miles better than when we originally saw them but we hope that the weaker sections can be improved to make the most of this opportunity.
  • If you received a helpful response from your councillors then it’d be great if you could thank them taking steps to make this scheme better (I’m sure they’d love to hear some good feedback).

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