Fourways Roundabout Shared Use Cycleway Works - NCN 765

Stirling Council is working to improve the opportunities for active travel across the Council area. As part of that work, the Council is working to complete National Cycle Network route 765 (Stirling to Callander)(NCN765) as it passes through Dunblane. Primarily this will involve sign the route along existing roads and paths. However, there will be works at Fourways roundabout to make the existing footway and junction crossing shared use.

At Fourways NCN765 comes from the Glen Road, crosses the roundabout and heads down the High Street. The work here will involve widening some of the footways to 3m, moving, widening some of the traffic islands and formalising the entrance into the India Gate.

It is hoped to start carrying out the works towards the end of February and have them finished by April. More information and the accompanying map can be found at: http://www.stirling.gov.uk/services/planning-and-the-environment/ro...

If you have any feedback regarding these proposals, positive or negative, then please respond to Richard Barron, barronr@stirling.gov.uk, with any comments by Friday 31 January 2014.

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Comment by Andrew Abbess on January 21, 2014 at 11:52

Stirling Council & Sustrans are to be commended for this proposed work, however I do have an objection to some of the detail shown on the plan of the proposed Fourways roundabout works.

1. There is an existing sign post  in the middle of the pavement conversion to the north of High Street - this will need to be relocated so that it does not cause a hazard to cyclists. see:-

https://www.dropbox.com/s/13en9yy4vhdze2l/Screenshot%202014-01-21%2011.08.22.png

 

 

2. The on road Cycle Lane shown on the south side of high Street is labelled on the diagram as being 1m wide. This is unacceptable for the safety of cyclists riding on the road.  Transport Scotland "Cycling by Design" manual section 5.1.3 states Cycle Lane widths:-

Desirable minimum 2.0 m
Absolute minimum width 1.5m

It goes on to explain that:-

 "Lane widths narrower than 1.5m can present a hazard to cyclists and motor vehicle drivers. Only in exceptional circumstances should widths down to 1.0m be considered where it is safe to do so – for example where stationary traffic blocks the route to an advance stop line and the proposed lane is safe from obstructions such as gullies.

Sub-standard width or poorly located cycle lanes can provide a false sense of security for both cyclists and motor vehicle drivers and encourage poor lane discipline from both. In many cases, a narrow cycle lane can encourage close proximity overtaking by motor vehicles (Parkin, J and Meyers, C (2009)). Limited space alone is not a reason for providing sub-standard width cycle lanes. Alternative solutions should be sought at such locations."

This is not an "exceptional situation" so a 1m wide lane is not acceptable. It is possible to include an advisory lane of the desirable minimum of 2m. The use of a dashed line will indicated that motor vehicles may legally enter the cycle lane and they will probably do so if there is on coming traffic and no cyclist in the lane, but they will be encouraged to wait behind the cyclist until it is safe to overtake staying outwith the cycle lane  if there is on coming traffic. 

3. Although the on road cycle lane widths are not indicated on the diagram for the other arms of the roundabout the principle is the same - The on road sections of the Cycle Lane need to be advisory and 2m wide to provide the minimum adequate space from overtaking vehicles.

It is worth remembering the advice to drivers in the Highway Code rule 163

1m wide cycle lanes encourage drivers to dangerously overtake,  passing an inch or two from the cyclists elbow, rather than give them the space that rule 163 says they should.

4. It is not clear from the diagram that the cycle lane heading south down B8033 will continue past the parked cars as it does currently (including the hashed door zone protection area between the parked cars and the cycle lane) . If it does continue as present then that is good.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/56fernx4azmm1s0/Screenshot%202014-01-21%2011.31.13.png

 

5. It would be excellent if during these work the opportunity was taken to add in the hashed protection zone/ clearance strip between the parked cars and the cycle lane for the section of the B8033 between the police office and the traffic lights. At the moment cyclists are directed into the Door Danger Zone, a place that on average one or two cyclists are killed (and many more seriously injured)  in the UK every year.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kqjwne9a9nzxmd6/Screenshot%202014-01-21%2011.35.28.png

 

The current Cycle Lane here is contrary to the advice in Transport Scotland "Cycling by Design" manual section 5.1.4 & 5.4.

Should a cyclist using this cycle lane (with out the recommended minimum clearance strip) be killed by a car door being opened I would suggest that Stirling Council (being aware of the hazard they directed cyclist into) may face a prosecution for Corporate Manslaughter. 

6. Please ensure the bollards on the path by the Fairy Bridge have reflective material so that are visible at night.

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