Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => On The Road => Topic started by: nuttycyclist on January 16, 2010, 09:34:17 pm

Title: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 16, 2010, 09:34:17 pm
Calling all Southenders, and any interested parties.

I know this is a long post., but please try to read through.  

As you know Southend was awarded funding to become a cycling town, we're now about to enter the final third financial year of this matched funding project.

At bid time when, as CTC rep for the area, I was approached for support I was in two minds.  On one hand it would be good for cycling, but historically I had been given the impression that Southend Council pursued their own agenda and just claimed to consult stakeholders – no actual action actually being taken on the stakeholder's responses.  

The majority of the focus of schemes in the past seems to have been on installing off carriageway paths where possible, and downright ignoring cyclists at all other times. Twice in meetings regarding the LTP (Local Transport Plan) I asked the council what their plans were for cycle route S1 (the length of the A13 from Hadleigh to centre Southend).  Their responses were unanimous and consistent, “we expect you to use the Prittle Brook Greenway and not the A13”.This greenway was a longer ride for most A13 users and in one two mile section had nineteen road crossings to negotiate!  Not a suitable alternative.

In the initial meetings of the cycle town I was encouraged at the promised level of communication and stakeholder involvement.  In front of John Grimshaw I asked Anna Waite for assurance that cycling would be considered in all road schemes and not just the cycle network.  I felt that we had turned a corner from the ways of the past.

To date though I'm feeling that they haven't changed their ways at all.  It seems to me that stakeholders are being ignored still, and road schemes aren't necessarily cycle friendly.

The groups that supposed to communicate together (listed in Appendix B of agenda item 591 here (http://minutes.southend.gov.uk/akssouthend/users/public/admin/kab12.pl?cmte=CAB&meet=64&arc=71#egenkabid37) ) still haven't been set up.  Myself, Wowbagger and Fatbloke go along to the Cycle Group metings.  At the last one it was confirmed that there is no feed between the Programme Board and ourselves.  Our terms of reference are
Quote
The Cycling Group is open to organisations, groups and individuals that wish to become involved in the Cycling Southend Programme to promote Southend as a Cycling Town. The Group will appoint two representatives to the Cycling Southend Stakeholder Group to represent the views of the cycle user particularly in matters of design and cycling promotion.

Primarily the Group will offer sound practical advice to the Project Board and harness the experience and enthusiasm of Southend cyclists, particularly in relation to:-

Receiving reports and updates from the Borough Council on the progress of schemes and future plans;
Commenting on proposals and offering constructive advice working with the Project Board;
Bringing ideas and proposals forward that support the aims and objectives of the Cycling Southend Programme via their representation on the Stakeholder Group
Helping with awareness raising promotions and events;
Participating in road safety events to raise the profile of safer cycling;
Working with the Council`s “Bike Squad” to promote cycling to employers, schools, public etc.
The proposals aren't really being shown to us, and our feedback does not seem to have been heard.  The only reason we seem to go there is to listen to an update form the council as to what they've been up to, and then to vent our spleens at deaf ears.

The first scheme I questioned the council over was the junction of London Road and West Road (http://streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=586795&y=186230&z=120&sv=586795,186230&st=4&ar=y&mapp=map.srf&searchp=ids.srf&dn=833&ax=586795&ay=186230&lm=0).  I presume that in order to slow down traffic forking left into West Road the kerbline was built out. And central islands realigned.

The whole of the snowy triangle that the pedestrian is standing on is the new construction, which is in the carriageway of the old road line.
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/WestRd2.jpg)

The problem with that is that a car having approached in the left hand lane and turning left follows a natural convex curve, but that takes it well away from the kerbline since the road is concave in layout.
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/WestRd5.jpg)
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/WestRd3.jpg)
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/WestRd4.jpg)

I witnessed a cyclist here who was stopped at the red light in primary position, and when the lights went green she cycled left through that junction.  Although she stayed in what appeared to be a primary position there was ample room for a van to overtake her.  Unfortunately the kerb and central island come together to form a pinch point, bringing these two road users into conflict.

Coming the other way, following the A13 from Southend to Hadleigh, at the approach to this junction there are two lanes (straight ahead and dedicated turn right).  After the junction is a tight pinch point as again the kerb and island come together.  It is impossible to protect your road space by holding primary since drivers use the right turn lane to overtake the cyclist. The black car here is just entering the funnel that squeezes cyclists and drivers together.
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/WestRd1.jpg)

I raised this danger with the Council and they put up CCTV cameras, to monitor the path cyclists took through the junction.  I chased often for the results, none came.  Finally I managed to get a response!  It contained just the volumes of cyclists using the juntion in certain time slots, broken down by pavement/red light jumping/etc.  I chased again for the line the cyclists took, only to find out that the cameras didn't actually capture the Hadleigh Bound pinch point.  They would realign the camera and start again....  the cameras still haven't moved.





The traffic calming scheme for North Road was interesting.  It wasn't brought to the cycle group, but I did find out about the public consultation so went along.  Of the discussions I had and the comments I submitted, I recall two.  
1) When the cobbled gateway features were installed to ensure that there were not grooves running in the cyclist line of travel that would cause them to lose balance.
2) That when they narrowed the road to install a raised zebra crossing that they cater for cyclists needing to take primary instead of being pushed to the kerb, and that they were not to install a speed cushion in the cyclist's path.


This is how they constructed that zebra crossing.   The cyclist has to pass the cushion before swinging out more sharply to avoid the new build out.
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/NorthRdBump.jpg)

This is how they constructed the gateway features.
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/KIF_5670.jpg)

On the 4th Jan (so before this latest round of snow) there was ice built up in these dangerous ruts.
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/NorthRdIce.jpg)  At the forum meetings we'd raised warnings of this, yet the design engineers failed to spot it.

Since day one I have had a major fear re the gateway feature pictured.  In order to pass it a cyclist needs to slow and pull into the gutter.  In doing so it encourages the motorist to overtake and left hook.  I have had several meetings with the council over this  At one of them at the roadside a passerby stopped to ask who in the council he could complain to regarding the dangerous features.

At the first cycling group following the installation of these gateway features, many of the members were up in arms at how dangerous these were.

I was assured that they were progressing three options and that I'd be kept up to date with costs and options.  Finally I received an email with attached PDF scan of a letter to me.
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/letter.jpg)

Now although they say that the cycle bypasses are fine, those white granite surrounds are the only thing my studded tyres have slipped on in the recent weather.  Slowing to use the bypass also increases the risk of a left hook, one of which I have now suffered.   With respect to the zebra crossing, that advisory lane hasn't appeared in the last two months.

To the south end of this scheme in Brighten Road is an amusing cycle lane.  It just stops at a dead end.  I have taken engineers to this site who agree it is wrong, yet nothing has happened to rectify it. I believe that wowbagger brought this one to the attention of the cycle forum.
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/NorthRdDeadEnd1.jpg)
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/NorthRdDeadEnd2.jpg)

The contraflow lane in the other direction is more amusing.  Note how they had to divert the lane dividers into the cycle lane, narrowing it, to cater for the bollard that has a no-entry sign on it...
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/BrightenRd1.jpg)



In Bournemouth Park Road a similar issue is seen with regards speed cushions installed on the approach to a bollard.
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/BournemthPk.jpg)

Once again I saw this scheme at public consultation.  It seemed a great scheme.  Moving the parking to be “two wheel up on verge” to gain road space, and also burning off the central hatched area to replace it with a centre line.  This allowed space for the cyclists to be overtaken, and speed cushions were placed at each side road to slow traffic and reduce the risk of collision.

I had one feedback item on my form though, which I discussed at length with the scheme designer.   I was not happy with cushion on the approach to the existing bollards at Royston Avenue.  I felt that the cyclist was being forced to ride in the kerb and then get squeezed by the driver.  Once again the scheme was apparently constructed to the draft plans displayed at the consultation instead of the amended plans taking into account feedback.





Hamlet Court Road.  Oh Dear.
We were told at the last cycle group that following a meeting with Cycling England the council had decided to focus on painting ASLs.  I don't like these but we'll leave my prejudices out of here for now.

Approaching from the north.  No room for a feeder lane?  Doesn't matter.  Just paint the lane where the drivers will occupy it.
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/Hamlet1.jpg)

Approaching from the west.  No room for a feeder lane?  Doesn't matter.  Just paint the lane where the drivers will occupy it.   (I cut this junction out of my commute years ago because I got fed up with the obstruction.)
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/Hamlet3.jpg)
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/Hamlet4.jpg)
 
Approaching from the East.  Dedicated left turn lane.  All cyclists going straight ahead have ridden between these lanes for years.  So what do the council do?  Paint the lane to the left of the turn left lane!!!!
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/Hamlet2.jpg)

At the initial meetings it was explained that the schemes would be generally based on-road, now the interest I've noted around town seems to be for dedicated infrastructure.

The original cycling strategy is shown in section 3.2.1 of Appendix A  here (http://minutes.southend.gov.uk/akssouthend/users/public/admin/kab12.pl?cmte=CAB&meet=64&arc=71#egenkabid37)

The summary as explained to us was “fast roads will be considered for dedicated paths, busy distributor roads will be considered for cycle lanes, but in general we'll try to manage all routes by soft measures and have cycling safe anywhere on the carriageway.  In areas such as Pall Mall in Leigh I have no objection to the speed cushions that have appeared, but I'm struggling to think of anywhere else that shared space for cyclists has appeared.  Homezones were to be created so that the traffic flowed slower and cycling was safer.  I have not seen any.


The new Victoria Gateway project, turning the Victoria Circus roundabout into “shared Space” still includes cycle lanes to keep us out of the traffic flow.  Fortunately this was a scheme that was brought to the cycle group, and we spotted lots of planned examples of
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/NorthRdDeadEnd1.jpg)
, which now seem to have been removed from the latest plans.  Although now unobstructed the cycle lanes remain though.

The Progress Road junction has plans for being improved.  (link (http://www.southend.gov.uk/resources/progressroad1.pdf)
Note how the cycle path now has three signalised crossings instead of one.  Again at the cycle forum the first we knew about this and complained was after the plans were published in the local press.

It's interesting to look at the massive planned schemes for “Congestion Busting” in the area.   Transport and Roads :: Southend-on-Sea Borough Council (http://www.southend.gov.uk/content.asp?content=12366.) The FAQ (http://www.southend.gov.uk/faq/default.asp?topic=194) comments that thanks to the Southend Cycle Town funding cycle routes can be incorporated into these schemes.  The cynic in me wonders how much of the cycle funding is being diverted towards getting the traffic flowing again?  I have also heard a rumour that the reason no cycle routes have been created on the quiet roads is that the council intend that rat running traffic will reduce the congestion during these works.

Finally, I have heard rumour that the path alongside the Royal Artillery Way was constructed at 2m wide.  I fully support a path here, but have now heard that the council are widening it to 3m.  The rumour goes that they are simply spending the funding in order to not lose it.



So, why am I posting?  What's the way forward?  

I need your help and thoughts.  What have you seen on the ground that I have missed?  What are we going to do here, and how are we going to improve cycling in Southend?

Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 17, 2010, 12:38:34 am
For general information the next meeting of the Cycle Group is this Monday evening, 18th Jan.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Adam on January 17, 2010, 08:14:36 am
You seem to be trying to do all the right things Nutty.  All you can hope is that if enough local people complain, something might be done.  :-\

However, just as a general observation on your comments, for the marked cycle lane along Brighten Road, it seems as though the lane carries on again after the zebra crossing.  I'd think for the bit before then, possibly due to the effect of the cut-out on the other side for the cycle lane, the cycle path doesn't come out further on the left, due to it then restricting the road width excessively.

In addition, I shouldn't think legally they can carry the cycle path marking across the zig zags for the zebra crossing.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Domestique on January 17, 2010, 08:43:05 am
What a detailed post, as always!
I will reserve judgement on the ASL's until the road markings/lanes are repainted, assuming that is going to happen. But I am not very optimistic.
I am shocked about the A13 not being used for cycling.
Also, immediately after the West Road - London Road junction, heading towards the town, there is another very dangerous feature. The 'No Right Turn' except cyclists into Valkyrie Road.
You have a pm
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Wowbagger on January 17, 2010, 08:50:45 am
The problem with this forum is that it's merely a talking shop.

Even though we had a senior councillor turn up to one a few months ago, promising me in front of a room full of people that he would deal with an email I'd sent to the Council Leader last June asking about the lack of progress on the Cycling Town front (I'm nominally a member of the Stakeholder Committee, which has not yet met) not a thing has happened.

We had a similar experience when we started attending the Transport forum 9 years ago at the start of our Priory Crescent campaign. We would attend, make suggestions, were ignored and finally stopped going.

The Council is this year, after a huge waste of time and money, intending to implement a scheme which I suggested in one of these meetings in 2002, for which our group drew up detailed plans at the Public Enquiry in 2004, and which received full council rebuttal. It's actually a silly scheme, but is nothing like so silly as the Council's preferred option.

The difference this time is that the people who run the forum are actually quite nice, being mostly cyclists, but what they say carries no weight with the People with the Power.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: FatBloke on January 17, 2010, 09:21:22 am
I think we've been wasting our time.

After the last meeting where it became obvious that nothing raised at the forum was ever acted upon I was seriously contemplating resigning.

I shall wait until after the local elections in May. If the Conservatives lose control of the council I shall give the forum another chance. If they remain in majority I cannot see that it's worth wasting any more time on this and will resign.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: FatBloke on January 17, 2010, 09:24:51 am
Incidentally, there is a new cycle lane that is going to get someone killed fairly soon. I recommend you take a look at the new lane through the bus station travel centre at the back of M&S.  I very nearly was the filling in a bus sandwich a few days ago.   >:(

Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Gandalf on January 17, 2010, 10:08:03 am
I think we've been wasting our time.

After the last meeting where it became obvious that nothing raised at the forum was ever acted upon I was seriously contemplating resigning.

I shall wait until after the local elections in May. If the Conservatives lose control of the council I shall give the forum another chance. If they remain in majority I cannot see that it's worth wasting any more time on this and will resign.

If you have local elections in May, why not approach the leading opposition party?

For sure it's a bit of a Faustian pact and they will inevitably promise to do wonders and shit miracles, but it just might be worth a go, will certainly generate loads of publicity IME.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Hummers on January 17, 2010, 10:29:40 am
Forums are a talking shop but the situation you are in makes  Portsmoith City Council look positively enlightened.

I don't think for one minute that the Executive on Portsmouth Cycling Forum found it easy to get the communication two-way; hoewever there was definitely an impression of the local authority and the Forum working together.

I am still not 100% sure of what the makeup of the Executive is but they do seem to be able to influence what happens on the ground.

Are Southend in any consultation with anyone or body that represents the interest of local cyclists? If not, surely they are in breach of any conditions surrounding the award of their bid and I would be tempted to get in touch with the funding body.

Nutty, if it helps I can find out who might be able to give you some ideas/help from PCF. Let me know if you are interested.

H

Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 17, 2010, 12:31:22 pm
...
However, just as a general observation on your comments, for the marked cycle lane along Brighten Road, it seems as though the lane carries on again after the zebra crossing.  I'd think for the bit before then, possibly due to the effect of the cut-out on the other side for the cycle lane, the cycle path doesn't come out further on the left, due to it then restricting the road width excessively.

In addition, I shouldn't think legally they can carry the cycle path marking across the zig zags for the zebra crossing.

The lane in Brighten Road after the zebra crossing is in contravention of the strategy posted above.  It is a wide, one way road with low traffic volumes.  It does not require a cycle lane.  (The one coming through the no-entry sign with the bollard intruding into it  :facepalm: is required as it is a contraflow.)

The fault there is that the short lane pictured used to exist.  They widened the footway into it.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 17, 2010, 12:34:00 pm
...
The difference this time is that the people who run the forum are actually quite nice, being mostly cyclists, but what they say carries no weight with the People with the Power.

Agreed.  But this does not excuse the farce that we seem to be getting on the ground. 

Just because the people are nice does not make it excusable for the powers that be to progress their own agenda.




Wowbagger, have you got a link to your post & photo re the Prittlewell Chase lane?  Somebody commented that it needed to be submitted to Warrington's Farcility of the Month site.  I couldn't find it with a quick search.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 17, 2010, 12:37:52 pm
...
Are Southend in any consultation with anyone or body that represents the interest of local cyclists? If not, surely they are in breach of any conditions surrounding the award of their bid and I would be tempted to get in touch with the funding body.

Nutty, if it helps I can find out who might be able to give you some ideas/help from PCF. Let me know if you are interested.

I'm the CTC rep and sit on the cycling group.  I'm almost at the point of walking out.
The local CTC group is represented  - also complaining re lack of action
Southend and Surrounds Cycling Campaign is there - also complaining re lack of action
Sustrans / Bikeability person is there - at the last meeting he called for a quick win, "let's just paint cycle lanes on every pavement wide enough, oh and as my road is now one way only please can we trial bicycles being allowed to go two ways along it".


Hummers, I'm very interested in any help I can get.  PM/Email if more suitable.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 17, 2010, 12:44:20 pm
Something else I missed from last night's post.

Southend is a cycling town.  They do not appear to be making the roads safer but focussing on creating lanes and paths if possible.  As usual these were not gritted last December, or this month.

I complained in December, because I had had assurances last winter that these would be added to the maintenance schedule.

The pertinent paragraph in the holding reply that came back, prior to the full reply which I hope to receive tomorrow night at the cycling forum, was as follows.

Quote
> I would however like to point out that whilst it is true that most of
        > the cycle network was not gritted, neither were most of the residential
        > streets or footways and footpaths gritted. During such heavy snowfall
        > the primary concern must be to get the primary road network up a running
        > to ensure that essential emergency services, doctors, essential carers
        > of elderly
        > etc are able to reach destinations safely, most bulletins during this
        > time would have advised against all travel except essential trips. As
        > required of other road users cyclists would be required to take the
        > safest course of action during this time, which would mean staying on
        > the primary road network for essential trips.

Now I am not in objection to that.  I am not a Daily Wail reader that expects all traces of snow to be removed the instant that it falls.  HOWEVER - if the roads are safe enough for cyclists in bad weather, then they must also be safe enough during good weather which negates the requirement for any cycle path or cycle lane.  Or, put another way, if the roads are too dangerous to cycle on and a primary cycle network is created then it must be gritted in accordance with the primary road network.

It really doesn't seem to me that Southend understand anything to do with cyclist's needs.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 17, 2010, 12:47:20 pm
This is the agenda for tomorrow night's forum (presenter names removed).

Quote
Exclusive glimpse of the way forward

Engineering - building the communications gap

How you can help

Any other business

Sounds riveting doesn't it  ::-)

Just starting the third and final year, and we get an exclusive glimpse of the way forward - errrrr shouldn't that be to complete anything thus far planned?

Does this read to you too as though it's just "let's give the little cyclists a presentation and hope they go away"?
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Adam on January 17, 2010, 02:23:52 pm
...
However, just as a general observation on your comments, for the marked cycle lane along Brighten Road, it seems as though the lane carries on again after the zebra crossing.  I'd think for the bit before then, possibly due to the effect of the cut-out on the other side for the cycle lane, the cycle path doesn't come out further on the left, due to it then restricting the road width excessively.

In addition, I shouldn't think legally they can carry the cycle path marking across the zig zags for the zebra crossing.

The lane in Brighten Road after the zebra crossing is in contravention of the strategy posted above.  It is a wide, one way road with low traffic volumes.  It does not require a cycle lane.  (The one coming through the no-entry sign with the bollard intruding into it  :facepalm: is required as it is a contraflow.)

The fault there is that the short lane pictured used to exist.  They widened the footway into it.

Ah - that makes sense then and also explains the confusing road sign in the second photo of that road.

Looking at your other pictures and your other comments, it does seem the case that what they do build isn't actually done with reference to how a real world cyclist would actually cycle. 

As I see the Conservatives already have a majority of seats on the council, realistically, courting the opposition isn't going to have much of an impact.  All you can really do is continue to press to get on road facilities designed from a cyclists point of view, rather than what someone sat on a chair in a planning department thinks is appropriate.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: fred the great on January 17, 2010, 03:43:11 pm
Nutty,
If Southend is to be a cycling town and provided with funding are they not obliged to obtain expert guidance in order to comply with the rules?

The mistakes you have outlined so far suggest there is no expertise in the decision making process.

Perhaps you could obtain Council Membership to guide them ;)
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 17, 2010, 03:48:44 pm
....  All you can really do is continue to press to get on road facilities designed from a cyclists point of view, rather than what someone sat on a chair in a planning department thinks is appropriate.

And therein lies the frustration.  Who do they claim to consult and refer to in order to gain that expertise?  The Cycling Group.  Where do we sit and get ignored?  The cycling group.


Even more frustratingly in November 2008 they started inviting us out to ride proposed routes and see what we would suggest to the planners.  i.e. we would ride the route with the council in order to set the scope for the designers.

These rides went well, although I have seen no output from them.  We put forwards three options for the seafront, and two for Hamstel Road.  

Hamstel Road was a good example of the value of these.  One rider said it was too dangerous and so wanted a pavement based route, but couldn't work out how to achieve a pavement based route at the south end of that road where it is narrow.  The other rider identified the "danger" as being caused by the parked cars so suggested moving the parking in order to make the road safer to share; much as is now being constructed in Bournemouth Park Road.

The council however stated that these rides had to stop until all involved had passed their bikeability level three.  I agreed with this, since it meant that suggestions put forward really would be put forward by cyclists and not by "pedestrians on wheels".  I duly passed my bikeability level three.  These rides have never been continued as apparently it is too staff intensive at the council.


The irony of this?  I went through the Hamlet Court Road junction on my test.  Neither myself nor the examiner rode where they have now painted the lane.  We filtered to the front of the queue along the lane divider, ensuring we did not use the left turn lane to go straight ahead.
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/Hamlet2.jpg)
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: FatBloke on January 17, 2010, 04:02:41 pm
Forums are a talking shop but the situation you are in makes  Portsmoith City Council look positively enlightened.
Is that how the locals say it?   ;D
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: spesh on January 17, 2010, 04:12:44 pm
Forums are a talking shop but the situation you are in makes  Portsmoith City Council look positively enlightened.
Is that how the locals say it?   ;D

<Monty Python>

It may be spelt "Portsmouth", but it's pronounced "a wretched hive of scum and villainy"

</Monty Python>

 :demon: ;) :demon:
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Speshact on January 17, 2010, 04:27:21 pm
The examples of 'improvements' to date you have illustrated don't look good.

For the remainder of the cycling town initiative I think you should demand an immediate change of council policy that all council employees, plus councillors, (or at the very least those involved with tranportation issues) are required to make ALL work trips under 5 miles on foot or by bicycle.

If carrying equipment too substantial to fit safely on a cycle trailer then a van may be used. Those who have a letter from a doctor saying they can't walk or cycle (and why not) should be allowed to use the bus, taxi or exceptionally car. Free cycle training etc. to be provided quickly on request.

The same should be demanded of the local NHS as we all know that prevention is better than cure (diabetes, obesity, heart disease etc. etc.).*

Since many more people will then be cycling, benefits such as provision of road space etc. for cyclists will immediately result.

If this isn't agreed to, call a press conference and resign en mass in front of it.

*The only hazard with this scheme I can think of, if the NHS are forced on board, is a great number of sick notes prohibiting cycling may be issued! However, independent auditing of such sick notes by members of Spokes, the NHS Bicycle User groups, should alleviate this concern.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: FatBloke on January 17, 2010, 04:45:16 pm
This is the new cycle lane & ASL I have serious issues with.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2430/4281682335_f6fc2e16ed_o.jpg)

It's in Southend's bus station. Usually (this photo was taken on a Sunday) there are 4 or 5 buses at the stops on the left.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4027/4281413301_3b5f5f5cc2_o.jpg)

Buses destined for other stops drive past here and when they get stopped by the lights it leaves the cycle lane between two queues of buses.


(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2768/4282157164_7b7d1c362d_o.jpg)

The buses will only ever go straight on at these lights. Other traffic should only turn left. Cyclists can turn left or go straight on to the right of the bus station.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2789/4282157050_c34e710cf8_o.jpg)

Cyclists are tempted by the green paint to cycle between the stopped buses and the buses queueing for the lights to get to the ASL. While they are doing that the buses stopped at the side of the road will invariably pull out in an attempt to get their bus within an inch of their colleagues to force their way out into the traffic. They don't look for cyclists only other buses or on occasion cars. This was where I nearly got squished.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Moloko on January 17, 2010, 04:58:04 pm
Forums are a talking shop but the situation you are in makes  Portsmoith City Council look positively enlightened.
Is that how the locals say it?   ;D

Freudian slip:  Moist! It's moist, isn't it?
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Hummers on January 17, 2010, 06:36:43 pm
Forums are a talking shop but the situation you are in makes  Portsmoith City Council look positively enlightened.
Is that how the locals say it?   ;D

I may have been in this town for too long.

Back on topic, one thing I am not clear about with Saaarfend is whether the Council are not consulting the Cycling Group, not taking on board your objections to their plans, or both.

H
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: FatBloke on January 17, 2010, 08:02:20 pm
Forums are a talking shop but the situation you are in makes  Portsmoith City Council look positively enlightened.
Is that how the locals say it?   ;D

I may have been in this town for too long.

Back on topic, one thing I am not clear about with Saaarfend is whether the Council are not consulting the Cycling Group, not taking on board your objections to their plans, or both.

H
They certainly don't consult us. We meet, make recommendations and suggestions in the hope that they are passed on to the relevant departments, and sit back and wait.
There is no feedback, and it appears that our comments either are not reaching those for whom they are intended or that we are just being ignored.   :-\
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 17, 2010, 08:19:16 pm
Fatbloke, thanks for the photos of the bus station.    I'm glad I haven't had a lunch break in the last two months, if I had then I think I'd have blown a fuse when I spotted that.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Hummers on January 17, 2010, 08:52:48 pm
They certainly don't consult us. We meet, make recommendations and suggestions in the hope that they are passed on to the relevant departments, and sit back and wait.
There is no feedback, and it appears that our comments either are not reaching those for whom they are intended or that we are just being ignored.   :-\

Do you know who 'those for whom they are intended ' actualy are and have you or any one else from the Cycling Group challenged them directly?

H
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: FatBloke on January 17, 2010, 08:54:05 pm
One of the items on tomorrow's agenda seems to sum it up:-

Quote
Engineering - building the communications gap
Tim Totten

 :-\
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Wowbagger on January 17, 2010, 09:00:35 pm
They certainly don't consult us. We meet, make recommendations and suggestions in the hope that they are passed on to the relevant departments, and sit back and wait.
There is no feedback, and it appears that our comments either are not reaching those for whom they are intended or that we are just being ignored.   :-\

Do you know who 'those for whom they are intended ' actualy are and have you or any one else from the Cycling Group challenged them directly?

H

Constantly.

The Southend Council Cabinet constitute a cabal of tory councillors who are totally impervious to any public opinion.

I could provide you with a lot of reading material by suggesting

Priory Park Preservation Society (http://www.ppps.org.uk)

or

 SAEN:  (http://www.saen.org.uk)

From one of the websites above (this event was in 2003):
Quote from: Private Eye
JOLLY ROGER

FOLLOWING the last Eye's account of the sophisticated debating skills displayed by local Tories in Romford, there is more news of the enthusiasm of IDS's Essex boys.
Just after 1am on polling day, 1 May, Southend's Tory deputy mayor-elect Roger Weaver found himself in a tussle in a suburban garden with a local environmental campaigner, Chris Ford, a leading light in protests against a road scheme which will involve the felling of 120 trees in and near the town's Priory Park, was checking on posters displayed on the properties of fellow campaigners after reports that some had been removed and others defaced with "Vote Conservative" stickers.
The originals read: "Don't Vote Conservative. Save Priory Park. Don't vote Weaver", in reference to Weaver's former council role as cabinet member for planning and transport. Ford tells the Eye he saw Weaver, who was acompanied by his wife, fellow Tory councillor Verina Wilson, enter the garden of a house displaying a "Save Priory Park" board and fix a "Vote Conservative" sticker to it. Whereupon Ford walked up, took a photo of the couple with his digital camera and declared: "I've got you now!"
After a full and frank exchange of views, says Ford, the pair engaged in a struggle for possession of the board, during which it struck him in the face, splitting his lip, cutting his nose and grazing his hand. Ford has complained to the police. Weaver tells the Eye: "Mr Ford's accusations are not true. Other than that I have nothing to say."

Weaver was cleared after an investigation by the Standards Board for England and went on to become Mayor of Southend.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Fixedwheelnut on January 17, 2010, 09:18:54 pm
 I feel for you Nutty, my missus and I dealt with our local council in a group they asked to be started to enable parents of disabled kids to have their say and in three years they made all the right noises but nothing changed any points we put forward all happened to miss the deadline for implementation despite being voiced long before that point.
 I wouldn't trust any council official as far as I could throw one.  >:(
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Hummers on January 17, 2010, 10:15:11 pm
So if you are being stonewalled by the local authority, what is the next step?

H
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 17, 2010, 11:46:44 pm
So if you are being stonewalled by the local authority, what is the next step?

H

This is my question.


I emailed Cycling England recently asking for details of the Management Agreement that Southend Council signed before being accepted for funding. I had been led to believe that it includes a statement regarding cycling being a core to the agenda and that they have to consider it in all activities that they perform; certainly not something in evidence on the ground.

The response last week was that the relevant person was on leave, and I'd have to wait until she is back since the original person was not aware of which documentation is publicly available.  I shall chase this week (btw, does anybody know the rules as to FOI?  If the information isn't publically available can I set about requesting it?  And how?)

I responded politely, and included the following paragraph.
Quote
Out of interest, are you able to say what Cycling England's opinion is as to the progress made so far by Southend?  From my limited view here I am getting disappointed at a seeming lack of progress, coupled with some bizarre infrastructure changes - such as the new cycle lane I discovered last month which is painted to the left of a turn left traffic lane!

The response commented on the fact they couldn't comment on specific towns (understandable) and also that Southend has had a change of program manager recently, so some of the program for this financial year might be rescheduled.

The new program manager is the specific individual I questioned twice in public meetings regarding action being taken on cycle route S1 (The A13), and who responded "we will not be touching the A13 as we intend all cyclists to use the Prittle Brook Greenway"*.  Why label a cycle route on the cycle network map and in the LTP if you don't intend to construct it?  The Prittle Brook Greenway is not only not yet under construction, it is specifically EXCLUDED from the cycle town budget.

If there is to be any change, and I'm expecting any announcement tomorrow, it'll be that the cycle town project will be to get cyclists off of the roads and onto a few disjointed cycle paths that might be painted around inconvenient areas of town.





*As mentioned above the Prittle Brook Greenway is nothing more than an upgraded footpath which crosses 19 side roads in under 2 miles, and provides a longer and slower route for cycling than cycle route S1.  The greenway runs from here (http://streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=587335&y=187009&z=115&sv=587335,187009&st=4&ar=y&mapp=map.srf&searchp=ids.srf&dn=834&ax=587335&ay=187009&lm=0) to here (http://streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=583685&y=186879&z=115&sv=583685,186879&st=4&ar=y&mapp=map.srf&searchp=ids.srf&dn=834&ax=583685&ay=186879&lm=0) via the dotted green public footpath line.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Hummers on January 18, 2010, 12:00:37 am
Have sent a message to two contacts in PCF to see if they are able you offer any advice.

H
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Regulator on January 18, 2010, 08:02:58 am
(btw, does anybody know the rules as to FOI?  If the information isn't publically available can I set about requesting it?  And how?)


You simply write and tell them what you want, indicating* that you are making the request under the Freedom of Information Act.  They have 20 days to respond and supply the info or give you reasons why not.

If you PM with the details of what you are after, I'll even draft a letter/email for you, Nutty my dear, and I can take a look at any response they send you.

I shall be spending this morning giving an FoI workshop to a bunch of people from the SHA... ;D


*You don't even need to mention the FoI - they should automatically consider any request for information as an FoI request.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: clarion on January 18, 2010, 10:05:23 am
Ah.  You don't have to mention the FoI, but it could well be slower if you don't, as they may have to consideer whether it's covered by the DPA (it isn't, but passing files between Depts always causes delays/loss).

I would mention the Act, to keep things moving.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 18, 2010, 11:00:28 am
...
*You don't even need to mention the FoI - they should automatically consider any request for information as an FoI request.

Ho hum.   I've mentioned the act, and not, many times in the past in communication with Southend Borough Council.

For example, email sent 15/12/08 regarding the muddy track cycle route through Belfairs woods contained the paragraph
Quote
> > Please can you respond to this email with the full details of how
much
> > money has been spent to date on this farcility.  Consider this a
> > Freedom of Information request.  If you can break the total
> > expenditure down by consultancy, design, construction and materials
I
> > would appreciate it.

The reply (17/12/08) contained
Quote
> > In terms of cost and a breakdown this can of course be provided

I replied on 27/01/09.
Quote
> When can I expect to see the costs?

I have heard nothing since.  I presumed because I'd not fulfilled some form of magic documentation incantation relevant to the FOI.

Does this mean they've failed the FOI act?   How can I complain?
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: clarion on January 18, 2010, 11:03:51 am
The Information Commissioner might be interested.  There are certain exemptions to FoI requirements, but the one most usually cited is prohibitive cost, which is a bit of a cop out.  They've acknowledged they'll be able to provide the info in this case, though, so that's out.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: clarion on January 18, 2010, 11:08:26 am
This (http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/freedom_of_information/detailed_specialist_guides/timeforcompliance.pdf) deals with the timescale.  Twenty working days for most requests.

ICO homepage (http://www.ico.gov.uk/)

How to complain about FoI non-compliance (http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/freedom_of_information.aspx)

Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Wowbagger on January 18, 2010, 11:17:38 am
Southend Council are just shit. See Login (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=28562.0)
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 18, 2010, 11:23:32 am
ok I DESPAIR.

To all those who might be attending tonight's cycle group meeting, can I draw your attention to page 15 of today's Echo.

Quote
£229k cycle boost
  More cycle lanes will be created in Southend as part of a £2million plan by the council to improve transport in the town.
  At a cabinet meeting, members approved £2.2million oto be spent on transport in 2010/11.
  Among the improvements will be £370,000 spent on the South Essex Rapid Transit bus system and £229,000 on creating more cycle lanes and routes as part of the Southend cycle town project.
  The spending includes creating a route between Leigh and Thorpe Bay running along the seafront.

Now we already have the NCN16 running along the seafront from Chalkwell to Thorpe Bay, so all that is needed is a tiny extension to get from Leigh to Chalkwell...

But why are they spending this money on cycle lanes?  This goes directly in opposition to the strategy that the cabinet signed off on the 4th November 2008, and explained to the cycle group; namely that they would mostly be focussing on on-road shared routes, without the need for cycle lanes.  i.e. making Southend a safe place to cycle, rather than pushing cyclists off the carriageway and making Southend a great place to drive sit in gridlock.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 18, 2010, 03:56:07 pm
I've just been out for a lunch break.   Fatters was understating the danger here!!!!!!

This is the new cycle lane & ASL I have serious issues with.

....

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2768/4282157164_7b7d1c362d_o.jpg)

...

Cyclists are tempted by the green paint to cycle between the stopped buses and the buses queueing for the lights to get to the ASL. While they are doing that the buses stopped at the side of the road will invariably pull out in an attempt to get their bus within an inch of their colleagues to force their way out into the traffic. They don't look for cyclists only other buses or on occasion cars. This was where I nearly got squished.

That photographed bus is good, it is in the bus stop.  Today there were three busses there, two had obviously pulled in around a parked bus and so their back ends were obstructing the lane  >:( >:( >:(






The short cul-de-sac of York Road (alongside M&S as pictured) is, as all locals know, just a place to park temporarily and pick up passengers.  That too has an ASL and feeder lane.  What benefits will that provide any cyclist?   There's so little car traffic there that there will never really be any need for a cyclist to filter past a queue.




Worse than Fatter's pictures was if the cyclist does go to the right of the bus station then as they approach the T junction with Alexandra Street/Heygate Avenue the road there is "Left Turn Only".  Yup they've painted another cycle lane up the inside of that  >:( >:( >:(



Worse, much much much worse is for any cyclist cycling east on Alexandra Street.  Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Southend-on-Sea,+Essex,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.535428,0.714621&spn=0.000602,0.001206&t=k&z=20) clearly shows that this one way road has two lanes.  One for "turn left only" and one for "straight ahead".  The Southend Cycle Map (http://minutes.southend.gov.uk/akssouthend/images/att13944.pdf) shows that the cycle route goes straight ahead at this point.   Guess where the council have painted a cycle lane leading to the ASL?   Yup, to the left of the turn left lane.

WHAT A FRIGGIN LETHAL CYCLE LANE LAYOUT!!!!!!!!    I AM FUMING!!!!
 >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

and for good measure ->  >:( >:(
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Moloko on January 18, 2010, 04:01:32 pm
WHERE'S MAI BUKKIT?   :D
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: teethgrinder on January 18, 2010, 06:00:05 pm
ok I DESPAIR.

To all those who might be attending tonight's cycle group meeting, can I draw your attention to page 15 of today's Echo.

Quote
£229k cycle boost
  More cycle lanes will be created in Southend as part of a £2million plan by the council to improve transport in the town.
  At a cabinet meeting, members approved £2.2million oto be spent on transport in 2010/11.
  Among the improvements will be £370,000 spent on the South Essex Rapid Transit bus system and £229,000 on creating more cycle lanes and routes as part of the Southend cycle town project.
  The spending includes creating a route between Leigh and Thorpe Bay running along the seafront.


Maybe you and Wowbagger should go to the local rag and tell them what you've told us?
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 18, 2010, 06:13:21 pm
I considered pointing the Echo at this publicly available thread this morning.

I'm going to wait until after tonight's meeting and then consider my options.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Wowbagger on January 18, 2010, 06:17:14 pm
ok I DESPAIR.

To all those who might be attending tonight's cycle group meeting, can I draw your attention to page 15 of today's Echo.

Quote
£229k cycle boost
  More cycle lanes will be created in Southend as part of a £2million plan by the council to improve transport in the town.
  At a cabinet meeting, members approved £2.2million oto be spent on transport in 2010/11.
  Among the improvements will be £370,000 spent on the South Essex Rapid Transit bus system and £229,000 on creating more cycle lanes and routes as part of the Southend cycle town project.
  The spending includes creating a route between Leigh and Thorpe Bay running along the seafront.


Maybe you and Wowbagger should go to the local rag and tell them what you've told us?

The Editor of the Local Rag hates me - and his rag acts almost totally uncritically as the Council's mouthpiece.

Having said that, I think we should issue a press release after tonight's meeting saying how dissatisfied we are. Perhaps Jon Steer will agree for it to be issued under the CTC header? Anna Waite (Transport portfolio holder) is justifying all kinds of rubbish at the moment, including last week's tree massacre, saying that "pedestrians & cyclists like it" when I doubt that any pedestrians or cyclists have been consulted.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: teethgrinder on January 18, 2010, 06:25:26 pm
How about organising a big (charity?) cycling event in Southend, which after all, is a cycling town. Get lots of people on bikes. But don't use the cycle facilities that aren't any good.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 18, 2010, 06:32:41 pm
How about organising a big (charity?) cycling event in Southend, which after all, is a cycling town. Get lots of people on bikes. But don't use the cycle facilities that aren't any good.

They tried closing the seafront last summer for a ride during bike week.

They forgot to advertise it, very few people turned up, the traders complained at loss of business, they caved in and re-opened the seafront.

Apparently there were free wristbands for Peter Pans playground for the first 50 or 100 riders to turn up, but in order to claim them you needed to know about them and track down the council employee who had them in a pocket.  (I know this because I got tipped off and so did go and track down that pocket.)
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: teethgrinder on January 18, 2010, 06:46:58 pm
They tried closing the seafront last summer for a ride during bike week.

They forgot to advertise it, very few people turned up, the traders complained at loss of business, they caved in and re-opened the seafront.


Looks like they made a mess of it, but I was saying that you should do it.
No need to close roads. Southend is a cycling town after all.
What I'm saying is go along with the council and revel in the cycling townness of Southend. Because the council have made Southend safe for cycling on the road, as their bumf says, then you can run your event on roads that are now safe for cycling. Being a cycling town, the council shouldn't object to people cycling. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: FatBloke on January 18, 2010, 10:59:57 pm
Being a cycling town, the council shouldn't object to people cycling. :thumbsup:
You'd like to think that, but I have been threatened with arrest for cycling around Southend with 25 other like-minded souls.   :-\
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Speshact on January 18, 2010, 11:26:01 pm
Media-wise, can you get a statement supporting your concerns from those employed by the council to teach cycle training to school children? Ensure whoever the quote comes from is a fully accredited National Standards trainer.

Perhaps a couple of local councillors and a journalist or two (eg one press, one radio) would relish the chance of a lesson in how to use the new facilities...until the councillors are told to avoid them!

Should make a good story since the lanes and the cycling instructors are both 'part' of Southend Council it would have to imply the Council is inept one way or the other.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 19, 2010, 12:12:53 am
I've been to the cycle group meeting.

I've cycled home, cooked a meal, and am now going to retire to bed.  I'm too fed up really to write more.



The meeting was the usual.  Very enthusiastic from the council, acknowledging all the errors of the past, outlining the new strategy for the final year and promising all will be wonderful.  Unfortunately that's almost the entire same format we've had at every meeting so far.  Oh yes there could be considered more work done by them this time in the background and more staff...  but after ten years of this, do I really believe them?


Speshact, I showed one bikeability trainer there the photo of Bournemouth Park Road and asked her how she'd train people to negotiate the pinch point.  She looked embarrassed, said she agreed with me completely, and admitted she didn't know how to negotiate it other than to ride over the hump.  I don't want to put her on the spot as she is one of the "nice people" as mentioned above...  but it does show how the various streams of work (training/engineering) don't seem to be talking.
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/BournemthPk.jpg)


Emails will continue between myself and various parties when I get up in the morning (having slept on it).
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Wowbagger on January 19, 2010, 01:13:22 am
Nutty, are you still the Right to Ride Officer?

I think you should do a press release. I would, except I represent FoE and Martin McNeill would butcher or censor anything I wrote. He and I go back a long way.

The point that needs to be made is that Anna Waite cannot keep going around telling the untruth that the Council's schemes are supported by cyclists and that £3million, which could have been spent on something useful, has just been pissed up the wall..

If you like, I could write something and pass it to you for approval. :demon:
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 19, 2010, 01:51:15 am
Yes I am still the insomniac suffering RTR.  I am considering my options.

One thing is bugging me.  They said tonight that in consultation with John Grimshaw of Cycling England they had changed strategy and were pursuing the Prittle Brook Greenway starting next month.  (This is the nightmare route mentioned above with 19 road crossings in 2 miles, but much beloved of ex sustrans founder John Grimshaw and the new Program Director in Southend Council who was previously involved in pursuing this, to the extent of taking it though Public Enquiry.)

Now if you look at the Cabinet minutes I linked to in the OP there was a scrutiny comment (http://minutes.southend.gov.uk/akssouthend/users/public/admin/kab12.pl?cmte=CAB&meet=64&arc=71#egenkabid38) on there.
Quote
3. That it be noted that there are two other major cycling infrastructure projects (NCN Route 16 link (Cinder Path) and Prittle Brook Greenway) which are not part of the Cycling Demonstration Town project and are being pursued in parallel to this initiative.


I'm going though the Council Cabinet minutes at the moment, and have found this, with item 566 (http://minutes.southend.gov.uk/akssouthend/users/public/admin/kab12.pl?cmte=CAC&meet=58&arc=71)

The attached report states
Quote
3.1 A report was presented to Cabinet on 4th November 2008, setting out the Cycling Strategy for Southend. The implementation of cycle routes is now proceeding apace and there is a need to consider adjustments to traffic regulations including footpath conversion orders (including Prittle Brook Greenway, Cinder Path, FP111 Hospital path link and FP46 Station Road to Elmsleigh Drive link) in order to meet the construction and funding deadlines up to March 2011.

Is the proposed funding spend on Prittle Brook Greenway in opposition to the Scrutiny Comment of 4/11/08, or have the cabinet agreed to fund this, in opposition to those scrutiny comments?  I can't find any minuted items stating that the scrutiny comments have been withdrawn and the Cycling Town budget is to pay for the greenway...
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 19, 2010, 01:06:09 pm
I've just been out for a lunch break.   Fatters was understating the danger here!!!!!!

This is the new cycle lane & ASL I have serious issues with.
<snip>

<snip>

I stopped with a camera on my way in to work this morning.

View along the one way Alexandra Street.
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/141_1637.jpg)

That's not just a feeder lane to the ASL, it's a full blown cycle lane running from the pedestrianised precinct to the junction.  Look at it close up, note how it's to the LEFT of the turn left lane even though the mapped cycle route goes straight ahead.  Also look at how it intrudes into the door zone of the taxi rank...  taxi passengers being even more likely to just throw the door open after paying and without looking  >:( >:(
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/141_1638.jpg)




And heading south towards the junction?   It's a tight t-junction with only a left turn option.  No cyclist should be to the left of traffic here as there is a real risk of collision on the apex of the bend.  

Note where they've painted a cycle lane  >:(
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/141_1639.jpg)
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nicknack on January 19, 2010, 01:42:51 pm
That should have a sign in it, "Suicidal Cyclists Queue Here".
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: woollypigs on January 19, 2010, 02:21:09 pm
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/BournemthPk.jpg)
I train my trainees to take the lane and go over the bumps. Yes they are annoying to cycle over but I would rather have that than a bus/car/van/etc squeezing by.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Wowbagger on January 19, 2010, 02:22:02 pm
I generally cycle to the right of of the bump.

(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/NorthRdBump.jpg)

On this one I always do.

(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/NorthRdDeadEnd2.jpg)

And on this one I keep to the right of the bollard.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 19, 2010, 02:34:05 pm
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/cycling/Southend%20Cycle%20Town/BournemthPk.jpg)
I train my trainees to take the lane and go over the bumps. Yes they are annoying to cycle over but I would rather have that than a bus/car/van/etc squeezing by.

If you'd seen the plans for this hump, and the whole of the road, at consultation time would you have been happy for the hump to have been sited there, or would you have commented that it prevented the cyclist from taking the lane and requesting that a different solution be found. 
1) re-site the bump further away from the bollard.
2) remove the bollard (it was put there as part of a previous, not fully successful, accident reduction scheme at that junction)
3) other.



If you had responded with 1, 2 or 3, would you have been happy to see the final construction matched the draft consultation plans?
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Domestique on January 20, 2010, 06:34:40 pm
I have just been out for a ride along the seafront Westcliff-Shoebury direction with my other half to test out his new IQ cyo light. We stayed off the cycle path and rode on the road.
I have to say that in Southend it seems to me you always get one comment or toot from a box driver, but tonight in three miles of riding we had two blasts of the horn, one passenger leaning out of window to tell us where the cycle path was and one driver who did the same after lowering the passenger side window.
Is there an anti cycling culture brewing in Southend, Tbh tonight has shocked me a bit.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: delthebike on January 20, 2010, 06:36:14 pm
Is there an anti cycling culture brewing in Southend, Tbh tonight has shocked me a bit.
Yes there is. It starts in the Civic Centre!
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: Domestique on January 20, 2010, 06:50:33 pm
Is there an anti cycling culture brewing in Southend, Tbh tonight has shocked me a bit.
Yes there is. It starts in the Civic Centre!

Errrm, apart from them that is  ::-)  ;)
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 20, 2010, 11:23:06 pm
...
Is there an anti cycling culture brewing in Southend, Tbh tonight has shocked me a bit.

I've found it seems to ebb and wane, and I don't know why.

If I get a comment from a car, I know it's a bad week.   I've had stuff shouted at me Monday night (and the back seat passenger take a photo), and another passenger shouted out of the window last night (Tuesday).  I also got hit later on Tuesday night*.  I didn't ride home tonight as I got the train** to Basildon for a cycle meeting with Essex County Council.  I've had a couple of bad morning commutes too.

On the positive side this pretty much means that they're getting it out of their system and I'll have a few good weeks.  Unless the gridlock from all the roadworks gets to them...







*
Actually I got bumped tonight, I forgot about that.  Side road on the right, car turning right out of it (so going in my direction) ignored my two front lights and hi-viz and pulled out into my path.  I didn't unclip but there was quite a loud BANG as the back passenger door contacted my foot.  It's a shame that I was on fixed as it meant a few pedal revolutions of scuffs followed the impact.   But never mind, the muppet driver decided not to stop and exchange details, so if there was any damage he's definitely got to pay for it, instead of chasing my insurers who'll put him back in his box  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


** Southend to Basildon cost me £5.20.  It saved me 9 minutes on a door to door cycle journey.  I think I should have cycled the whole way as that's not value for money.  The only good thing amongst the misbehaving school yobs was the girl fooling around trying to make me laugh who said "look, you're getting on this man's nerves and all I'm trying to do is give him a good time" - and then who went absolutely bright red as she realised the innuendo behind her comment.
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 20, 2010, 11:31:47 pm
I have just been out for a ride along the seafront Westcliff-Shoebury direction with my other half to test out his new IQ cyo light. We stayed off the cycle path and rode on the road.
....

That's one of the worst sections of road in town to ignore the farcilities.    If you're not on that cycle path* then you will get abuse.   

I get it every time I'm down there, and now almost go out of my way to avoid the area.  A colleague also avoids that area now as he's fed up with
1) abuse
2) not being able to use the path as it's always dug up for gas works
3) not being able to use the path as it's used as a service road by the council bin emptying vans.

I agree with him on all these points.


The best time I had down there was a summer's lunchbreak with a tail wind.  The path was full of kids on stabilisers.  Even though I'd caught the queue up and was looking for the overtake the passengers in the car were angrily gesturing at the path.  i shook my head, overtook, and left them for dust stuck behind the learner.

That was 5 years ago.  The only way we'll improve matters is to get rid of dedicated paths alongside 30mph roads and head back towards a shared space.   Unfortunately it seems to me that the local council are once again pursuing a regime of getting cyclists off of the carriageway and away from anywhere that they might cause delay to the motor car.









* for non locals this is what it looks like ----> Daft cycle paths at nuttycyclist.co.uk (http://nuttycyclist.co.uk/cycling/farcilities-ncn16.htm)
Title: Re: Southend Cycle Town
Post by: nuttycyclist on March 20, 2010, 12:28:07 am
Part 2
Southend Cycle Town - part 2 (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=31115.0)