Back in September 2021 we commented on CoYC proposals for active travel improvements along Tadcaster Road, that were being part-funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. This week a report has been released including revised proposals for certain aspects of the scheme, ahead of a Transport Executive meeting to be held on January 18th.
Segregated Lanes Added
Our response to the original consultation focused on the need for additional segregation measures along the route rather than just painted lanes, due to the heavy traffic and speeds reached along Tadcaster Road.
The report acknowledges that segregation could be used to improve the safety along the route, but caveats that ‘on Tadcaster Road the position is challenging in design terms’. Citing sub-standard widths, driveways, conservation areas, and junctions, it states that it would not be possible to apply segregation for the full section of the route. Instead recommending that it is applied to key points where additional protection is most required, such as points where cycle paths re-enter the carriageway or pinch points.
Two types of segregation are being put forward. For the majority, it is proposed to use a bolt-down type kerb barrier as shown in the example from the Great North Road in Newcastle below. Sections of plastic kerb are bolted along the edge of the cycle lane to prevent vehicles from moving across, with plastic wands at each end for increased visibility. Thirteen sections along the route are proposed. as indicated on the council’s plan in the areas highlighted with yellow squares.
An alternative method is proposed either side of the junction of Hunters Way, due less carriageway width being available. Giving the example of Huntington Road in Cambridge, the cycle lane will be raised slightly higher than the main carriageway with a kerbed edge – an arrangement common in the Netherlands.
The report recommends that further engagement takes place with ‘modal groups, residents and other interested parties’ on the style and location of segregation, a conversation the Campaign is keen to be a part of.
Pulleyn’s Drive to Nelson’s Lane
The report states that along this section of Tadcaster Road the carriageway narrows to around 8.3m wide, with mature trees either side preventing it from being widened. In order to provide LTN 1/20 compliant cycle lanes, at a minimum 1.5m, the overall carriageway would need to be 9m in width.
The recommended option being put forward by the report is to provide a 1.5m cycle lane in the northbound direction (towards the city centre), with on-carriageway cycling in the southbound section using cycle symbols painted on the road to denote the presence of cyclists. The northbound has been chosen for the cycle lane because of the presence of junctions on that side.
Alternative options are considered, including providing an off-road section of cycle path for southbound travel. This would be located on the other side of the tree line, moving the fence line into the Knavesmire to accommodate the additional path width needed. This option is the Campaign’s supported option, as it provides the suitable level of protection for cyclists on a busy 30mph road. The report, however, recommends against it due to estimated additional costs of £350,000.
Other options put forward are to have substandard cycle lanes (<1.5m) in both directions, a practice which whilst historically common is highly recommended against in best practice guidance. Or to operate the section as a one-way shuttle for other traffic, this is rejected on the basis of being unfeasible with the levels of traffic on Tadcaster Road.
Cycle Path Adjacent Knavesmire Road
A section of cycle/footpath close to the junction of the Knavesmire is significantly narrowed due to an existing mature tree. In order to provide a better width, the report recommends moving the boundary fence of the Knavesmire, and another small tree be removed and replaced like for like on the Knavesmire. The report states that further work is required to determine the final layout as well as investigation into the legal side due to the Knavesmire’s status as a city stray. The final decision will then be delegated to the Director of Transport Environment and Planning in consultation with the Executive Member for Transport.
Slingsby Road Shops
In last year’s consultation a question was asked about providing a short section of off-road cycle track outside the Slingsby Road shops. This would bypass the car parking, removing the potential for collisions when vehicles are pulling in/out of bays. For this reason the Campaign responded favourably to the inclusion of a bypass track.
Bypassses past on-street parking are recommended practice, with national design guide LTN 1/20 stating ‘Providing a cycle track between parked vehicles and the footway provides a much higher level of service in terms of safety and comfort than having a cycle lane on the offside of parking/loading areas; and requires no additional width.’
Despite this, the latest report puts forward a layout which has the cycle lane run between the parking and the carriageway. This would put cyclists in conflict with parked vehicles and also a bus-stop which would otherwise also be bypassed. The report states this is due to ‘concerns raised’ but doesn’t elaborate what these concerns are, and how they weigh up against best practice.
Moor Lane Roundabout
During the September consultation we said that the designs for Moor Lane Roundabout were a ‘proposal is a replication of the existing, with no ambition for improvement.’
The report prepared for the executive meeting recognises the roundabout ‘continues to be a substantial impediment to cyclists on Tadcaster Road’, and puts forward an alternative design providing a two-way by-pass around the roundabout and new crossings across the Tadcaster Road arms of the roundabout.
It estimates that the costs of the improvements could be in the region of £870,000 but also notes that £400,000 is available in the coming years for upgrades to the ageing traffic signals on the roundabout. It also notes that further funding could be available through the proposed development on the Moor Lane car park site, which is currently being used as the vaccination centre.
The report makes the recommendation that improvements for the roundabout are considered further, and not prioritised for delivery as part of the main Tadcaster Road scheme.
Moor Lane to Sim Balk Lane
Finally, the report notes that an optimal design on how to treat the southernmost section of the scheme has not yet been found, due to the complexity of resolving the pinch point at the corner of the cemetery, but solutions will continue to be sought.
The Campaign’s Response
We’re currently working on an official response to the revised proposals, which we hope to put forward during the public participation section of the executive meeting. We will be recognising that there are positive changes to the original plans, but that we also believe there is still room for improvement to make this the flagship scheme it deserves to be.
We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the scheme in the comments below.