In late 2020 City of York Council held a consultation on introducing a low traffic neighbourhood around Navigation Road to the east of the city centre. We wrote about the proposals in an earlier blog, below is our official response submitted to the council.
York Cycle Campaign broadly welcomes the proposals for conducting a trial low traffic neighbourhood on Navigation Road. Navigation Road. Navigation Road forms part of NCN Route 658, better known as the Foss Islands Route, which provides a connection to shops and workplaces in the city centre from areas to the east of the city such as Tang Hall, Derwenthorpe, Osbaldwick, and Heworth. The short section of road being considered for the LTN is often complained about by members as a weak point in the Foss Islands Route, which is mostly quietways through the city centre and greenway to the east.
Many members tell us that they are reluctant to cycle into the city centre with their families along this stretch, instead having to walk in or drive elsewhere. It is hoped in rerouting those cars that use this neighbourhood as a shortcut heading north such issues will be reduced and the route made attractive for families to travel into the city centre safely. However, as the restrictions only apply in one direction there is unlikely to be any improvement seen relating to people short cutting south-bound, and there are concerns that people will continue to travel north ignoring the restrictions.
One Way Plug
Numerous members have expressed their surprise that the plug isn’t being implemented in both directions, and are concerned that the overall effect on traffic reduction and improving safety won’t be effective as it could be.
The Campaign has received the proposed layout for the plug as shown in revision P02 of drawing HW-0005, and believes that some alterations could be made to remove potential conflict points between cyclists and road users. The largest planter pinches the traffic lane down to 1.5m which means any traffic using the lane will have to cross over into the cycle lane. The continued cycle lane markings imply a priority onto cyclists, however it can not be relied upon that this will be observed in a situation in which a cyclist and motor vehicle reach the pinch point at the same time. We would like to know if an alternative layout could be considered, possibly reducing the size of the planter or splitting it to create a gateway, in order to eliminate the pinch point with the potential to endanger cyclists.
As the traffic lane and cycle lane meet the minimum widths in LTN 1/20, and double yellow line parking restrictions are proposed, the Campaign would like to know if there is a reason a mandatory cycle lane can’t be implemented along this stretch. The row of planters on the offside of the traffic lane will prevent drivers moving out too far when passing cyclists. A mandatory lane reinforces that separation should be given and for drivers to hold back if a safe pass can’t be made. Recent research has shown this, with advisory lanes shown to increase the risk of collision by over 30%.
The Campaign has not seen any proposals to date for the changes to Hungate Bridge, however our members tell us that this location is a conflict point with pedestrians and motorists.
The bollards at the foot of the bridge create a pinch point for users of the bridge, but also push southbound cyclists over to the left where visibility of pedestrians approaching from the Navigation Road pavement is limited due to the wall of Travis Perkins.
The conflict with motorists arises from a lack of clear priority over motorists leaving the car park, and lack of visibility for motorists leaving the car park of cyclists approaching from the bridge. A revised junction of the car park exit should make priorities clearer and improve visibility.
Members tell us that the section of Navigation Road between Hungate Bridge and the Foss Islands Road junction is notorious for close passes. Map data indicates that this section of road is around 6.0m wide, leaving around 4.2m of carriageway once the parking has been allowed for, which doesn’t allow enough room for a safe overtake of a cyclist in secondary position or for a cyclist to confidently maintain primary position.
Reduction of the carriageway width alongside the parking in line with recommendations in chapter 7 of LTN 1/20 could help reduce close passes along this section, in allowing cyclists to confidently take primary position along the road. This could be achieved by the introduction of a marked buffer alongside the parking bays, which would also have the benefit of reducing the risk of dooring. A reduction in traffic and speeds along the route fits with the recommendations in the chapter.
Foss Islands Road Junction
The Campaign has received the proposed layout for the plug as shown in revision A of drawing TP/190028/GA/01 and welcomes the increased width available to cycling and enhanced priorities at the junctions – collision data shows the entrances to these junctions to be a black spot for incidents.
It has been raised by members that a rearrangement of the build-out on Navigation Road could improve usability for cyclists leaving the carriageway. Currently to leave the carriageway cyclists will need to make a 90° left turn immediately followed by a right turn, which will require moving out onto the opposite side of the carriageway for many larger cycles when the radii in table 5-1 of LTN 1/20 are referenced. There will also be added complications if cyclists are already on the build-out waiting to turn right. The question asked is if a shallower entry to the cycle track could be accommodated through the removal of an additional parking space and introduction of a short length of marked cycle lane leading onto the build-out, such as that shown in figure 9.6 of LTN 1/20.
Foss Islands Road
We welcome the measures to change the driver perception of priority at the entrances to Travis Perkins and Majestic Wine, but we’d like clarification over whether this section alongside Foss Islands Road is intended to be a segregated cycle path or a ‘shared use’ path with pedestrians? LTN1/20 recommends that cycle infrastructure is segregated, to avoid conflict between pedestrians and cyclists, and to increase comfort of both types of user. The campaign would like to see a segregated cycle path along this stretch.