Carlton and Gedling Cycle Network: Pedals Comments to Via-EM, July 2018

Introduction

 

We generally welcome these proposals, and appreciate that achieving a really high standard of cycling provision in this area is made much more difficult by the often very steep terrain and the intensely built up nature of the area, with many relatively narrow roads and streets

Having said that we also think that many of the proposed improvements could achieve significant local benefits and that their potential will be expanded by increased use of e-bikes over the next few years.

It is also important that great care is taken with the details of the proposed changes to help maximise their potential benefits, e.g.:-

  • Ensuring that all routes, of whatever type of facility, are clearly and consistently and coherently signed, both in terms of making clear their cycle or shared facility status, and in terms of their direction signing, and that all signs are securely fixed and well-maintained.
  • Ensuring that cycle lanes are not obstructed by parked motor vehicles. This is particularly annoying near junctions and near schools, especially around the start and finish of the school day.
  • Ensuring that shared paths created by the widening of footways on verges are also not obstructed by parked motor vehicles. This is particularly annoying near junctions and near schools, especially around the start and finish of the school day.
  • Ensuring that cycle routes created simply by the inclusion of cycle direction signs, using quieter roads, do not suffer from worse maintenance standards as can often be the case in such roads, with particularly serious consequences for passing cyclists, especially if they do not know the area well.
  • Ensuring that any speed limits, including 20mph zones, are well-respected and enforced, both on roads with cycle facilities and without.
  • Ensuring that shared paths have priority at road crossings, to help make them safer and attractive. These should have raised surfaces and be clearly marked, to encourage driver respect.
  • Ensuring that all facilities are well-maintained, to encourage safe usage, and with regard to the clearing of broken glass and other debris, as well as surfaces.
  • Ensuring careful attention to detailed design, including ensuring that any traffic-calming schemes are cycle-friendly

 Detailed comments:

  1. Spring Lane: Coherent plan and likely to be used by families with cycles accessing the Country Park. Potential for conflict at house driveways.
  2. Mapperley Plains (beyond Spring Lane): More questionable as also has side streets, might be better a cycle lane on the carriageway. Many cyclists will probably prefer to use the road.
  3. Darlton Drive: Needs looking at – could be an opportunity to preserve a route while available – and links to Spring Lane (1).
  4. Mapperley Plains to Arno Vale – as with (3) a good opportunity to preserve and improve an unofficial route – also good links to GAR. Is there any way to reduce gradient by putting in more bends?
  5. Mapperley Plains to Carlton via Digby Ave and Cavendish Road. A potentially important route for access to schools – worth getting the schools on board if this goes ahead… Consider different crossing point on Westdale Lane with use of Unity Crescent in preference to Hollyoake Avenue. Improvements at Conningswath Road worth doing even if rest of scheme is not implemented, as this is close to Carlton Academy School. What will be the design at side streets such as Heather Road? At the end of the off road shared use path, it is not clear how cyclists travelling north will cross the road safely. Improvements to traffic calming should also be implemented even if the rest of the scheme is not. Currently, cyclists can pass most bollards on the kerb side, but some are too constrained in width and many collect grit and broken glass.
  6. Conway Road to Burton Road. A useful linking route, if provision at junction allows easy crossing for cyclists. Constraining width of Railway Bridge needs careful design. Unclear how crossing of Stoke Lane will be designed – ideally should also be with raised entry and clear priority for cycles and pedestrians.
  7. Southdale Drive. The main problem on this route is the traffic speed and poor road surface. Most cars ignore the 20 mph limit. Putting in a cycle lane will not solve these problems.
  8. Foxhill/Prospect Road. A useful link using the least steep gradient to Porchester Road. Downhill cycle lane on Prospect Road is not needed, but uphill it is, because traffic is going much faster than cyclists. Good to re-engineer the traffic calming to allow easier throughflow for cyclists (should happen in both directions). Lower parts of route will be useful for access to Carlton Central School.
  9. Kendrick Road. This route is not high priority due to the steep gradient. However, measures to make the traffic calming more cycle friendly would be welcome!
  10. Gedling Road, Arnold. A useful connecting route. As with 8, more important to have cycle facility on the uphill side of the road, due to larger speed difference between motorised traffic and cyclists. Consider cycle lane on one side only where widths are a constraint. Improvement of treatment at side streets/entrances will be important to make this a safe and useable facility, as well as improving the very poor road surface.
  11. Shelford Road. For cyclist safety, consider using double yellow lines and cycle lanes on uphill sections.

Concluding comments:

 We note that the proposals map includes 2 further schemes, outside of the present proposals, which are likely to be of particular benefit, particularly if they include easier gradients, provided they are well-designed, well-built and well-implemented. These are:-

  • The new cycling provision in the Gedling Access Road
  • The former mineral railway connecting at Netherfield to other existing and proposed routes, including those in Nottingham City, and to and from the proposed new foot-cycle bridge over the River Trent between Trent Basin and Lady Bay, as well as to and from Gedling Country Park, and connecting also to the attractive riverside area between Colwick Park, Stoke Bardolph and Gunthorpe, etc.

We would also welcome an opportunity in due course to discuss these proposals in more detail.

Hugh McClintock
for Pedals
26.7.18