Thursday, 15 September 2011

Barriers needed to separate cyclists and pedestrians from motorised traffic - updated opinion on Old Shoreham Road Cycle Lane Consultation

Aerial view of the OSR bridge pinchpoint - Google
I already signalled my support for this cycle route along the Old Shoreham Road (OSR) - it was intended to be the backbone of the city's cycle network and we need safer cycling along this road.

However, I'm concerned by the 'pinch point' of the railway bridge between Wilbury Crescent and Silverdale Road, where road width is narrows and the cycle lane will become a mixed cycle and pedestrian lane. In the original vision for the OSR cycle route it would carry up to 7,000 school children.

View while traveling on the bridge - Google
In my opinion the council should consider a barrier (or other safety measure) on the railway bridge to separate the mixed cycle-pedestrian lane from motorised traffic.  The planners might get expert advice on this. If they have considered the detail of this it should be discussed/shown on the proposal.

Another solution is to make the pinch point a single lane for motorised traffic, with traffic lights to control who goes first. Then we could have lanes for cyclists cars and pedestrians. Would this slow traffic? I don't think so - this is not the limiting point of the OSR.

In any event, if we look at the big picture, don't we want to discourage short hop commutes along this road - preferring commuters to use the bus, train or if they must travel 2 miles by car to use the A27 bypass. Of course, we have not yet made public transport the 'option of choice' - but if we introduced priority for Rapid Bus Transport links along Old Shoreham Road, and into the suburbs maybe people would decide to leave their cars at home.

If we can't reduce car traffic, one solution would be to construct a separate bridge for cyclists and pedestrians. This might cost money but would be a high profile icon of this city's commitment to sustainable transport, since this route was intended to be the backbone of the cycle network and this pinch point always was its weakest link. Central Government has a program for capital spending on sustainable transport (LSTF) - application deadline has passed for now, but maybe we can apply for this in future.

As shown the proposal lacks detail. What will the junctions look like? The lack of these details in previous proposals has caused concern. Also I would like to to see the cycle route rationale - ie, is it still intended to carry a certain number of cyclists?

So I think we could ask for more from the proposal. But even as it stands, it will be an improvement over the existing situation where school children are resorting to cycling along the pavement at various points along this road during during rush hour. Once we implement this proposal, they need only do this along the pinch point, and maybe in the future we can apply for funding for a foot and cycle traffic bridge.

To see full story and for link to B&H Council consultation portal

1 comment:

  1. Brighton Road User20 March 2012 at 23:53

    What are the chances of two cyclists travelling in opposite directions ever meeting each other at the railway bridge? Somewhat slimmer than the chance of two buses or cars passing. If it were a real issue, you could implement alternate direction cycle lane controls, but when did anyone last see a cyclist stop at a red light in Brighton & Hove?