Give us your thoughts on ‘quick win’ schemes for cyclists

Cheap Street, Newbury - cyclists exempt from banned right turn

Often, little changes can make a big difference for cyclists – for example, exempting them from a banned right turn, or providing a contra-flow in a one-way street.  These schemes can create useful short-cuts and help to make cycling safer and more attractive for local journeys.

West Berkshire Council has told us that there is money available in this year’s budget for small schemes like these and has asked us for suggestions. Ideas so far include:

  1. In Newbury, allow cyclists to turn right into Cheap Street from Market Street.  This would help cyclists travelling from West Fields to Sainsbury’s and Hambridge Road.
  2. Formally designate Newbury Town Centre as a ‘Pedestrian and Cycle Zone’. Although cycling is already allowed in Bartholomew Street and Northbrook Street, existing signs are confusing.
  3. Where possible, exempt cyclists from one-way restrictions on roads in and around Newbury town centre.
  4. Put direction arrows in each lane on the St John’s Road approach to the Burger King roundabout in Newbury. This would reinforce that the middle lane is for straight ahead movements only. Increasingly, motorists are turning left from the middle lane, which goes against Rule 186 of the Highway Code. This results in cyclists being cut up when they are travelling from St Johns Road to Greenham Road.

If you can think of a small change that would make a big difference to your journey, then please let us know. We can’t promise that they will all see the light of day, since each scheme will be subject to a safety audit and appropriate consultation, but we’re happy to pass on ideas for consideration.

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Spokes campaign success

Earlier this year, West Berkshire Council asked Spokes for their priorities for cycle schemes and other transport improvements that would deliver benefits for cyclists.

We’re delighted to say that the Council has responded positively on many of these and will even be constructing some of them in the current financial year, including the extension of the Newbury town centre 20mph zone.

Other schemes require further investigation such as:

  • Exempting cyclists from one-way restrictions, e.g. Mansion House Street and Wharf Street.
  • Giving cyclists priority over side roads, e.g. on the Thatcham Northern Distributor Road and on the A4 at B&Q
  • Widening the southern footway of the A4 opposite Martingale Chase and converting it to shared use

However, some of our biggest priorities were knocked back, including:

  • Provision of a cycle route on the A4 between Lower Way and Turnpike Road
  • Improving the canal towpath between Hambridge Road and Thatcham Station.

These are really important links in the cycle route network, so we will keep up the pressure and push for these to be reconsidered.

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