York Cycle Campaign has welcomed proposed changes along the link between Scarborough Rail Bridge and Bootham Park that have been released by the council for consultation. Since the redevelopment of the bridge this route has become increasingly popular, despite the weaknesses in the link between the bridge and Bootham.
The Campaign believes the proposed interventions put forward in this consultation will make significant improvements to this route, especially for accessibility of pedestrians and cyclists travelling east-west across the north edge of the city including towards York Hospital and York St. John. The proposed interventions are:
- Widening of the shared path that runs alongside Marygate car park by rearranging the car park bays,
- Constructing a ramp to allow access the St. Mary’s Lane avoiding steps,
- Creating a traffic light controlled junction between St. Mary’s Lane, Bootham and Bootham Park.
A full description of the proposals can be found on the Council’s consultation page for the project.
Below is the Campaign’s response to each part of the proposal, you can submit your own response up to the 12th of October 2020 on the council’s website.
The widening of the path alongside Marygate Carpark is welcomed as any increase reduces the risk of conflict from shared use between modes, and the increased space that has been made available during the lockdown has been widely welcomed by users of this route.
We would suggest the regular inclusion of markings to indicate that the path is shared use, at least at every entry gap in the fence, to remind all users of the presence of other user types. Anecdotal evidence from members also points to the inclusion of ‘Keep Left’ signage along shared routes in the city during the COVID pandemic has had some benefit in allowing safer passing of pedestrians and other cyclists travelling slowly, and would be welcomed as a permanent fixture.
St. Mary’s Lane Ramp
The proposed ramp is a major improvement into the accessibility of the route, as the current wheeling ramps are inappropriate for use by many cyclists, wheelchair users and those with pushchairs.
Whilst we have not been able to measure from the drawings accurately, the turning radius at the top of the ramp looks to be very tight. The new LTN 1/20 gives the outside radius of a cycle design vehicle as 3.4m, and inner radius as 2.5m to allow 3 wheel cycles such as those used as a mobility aid which would ideally be accommodated. Given the tightness of the corner, it might also be useful to include signage giving priority to those already coming up the ramp.
The visibility leaving and entering the ramp looks like it could be limited due to the difference in level, existing vegetation, wall and angle of corner. To mitigate this the inclusion of convex mirrors to the top of the ramp might be useful, and would also help with increasing the sense of personal security of lone pedestrians/cyclists especially late at night.
There is currently no street lighting on the section of St. Mary’s Lane between the ramp and where it turns the corner towards Bootham. Effective lighting of cycle routes is important for the safety and security (both real and perceived) of users, so we would welcome the addition of some lighting along part of this route.
Again we would suggest the inclusion of shared path markings to the ramp.
The signalised crossing will make crossing and joining Bootham significantly easier, especially as the improved route via St. Mary’s Lane will undoubtedly increase in popularity.
We would like to know if an early release stage could be added to phase 1 of the traffic signals, this would allow cyclists travelling along Bootham wanting to turn right into the drive/St. Mary’s Lane the chance to do so and not get caught in the middle of the road.