Archive | December, 2013

Draft plan for the Solihull Strategic Cycle Network

22 Dec

Solihull Strategic Cycle Network Draft
(my proposal for a cycle network)

Image

The Solihull Strategic Cycle Network (SCN) intends to deliver a series of safe, direct, continuous and high quality cycle routes, connecting all of the major business, retail, leisure, education and population centres of the borough. Thereby enabling cycling as a viable alternative to motor transport; relieving pressure on the road network, increasing physical activity levels and improving the sustainability of the transport network as a whole.

Design Criteria:

  • Routes to be physically separated from both pedestrians and motor traffic.
  • Priority to be preserved past driveways and minor roads.
  • High quality surfacing and track width to be considered a priority (45 degree kerbs can help increase usable width). Paths to be wide enough to allow overtaking.
  • Safe, Dutch style design to be used to design out conflict areas and provide safe routes through junctions.
  • Routes will need to be maintained with regularity to provide a safe surface that is free of ice and debris (leaves, branches, broken glass, etc…).
  • Enforcement will need to be in place to prevent obstructions that endanger bicycle users, such as parked vehicles and building skips.
  • Routes through parks need to be well lit to provide social safety, and paths will have to be clearly marked through paint and/or physical separation to prevent pedestrian-cyclist conflict.

SCN1– Sears Retail Park → Solihull College Woodlands Campus.

Flagship route: route to run through the centre of the borough connecting the south to the north through a safe, high quality, and direct cycle route. The route connects many major leisure and business centres. Including: Sears retail park, Solihull College (Blossomfield Campus), Tudor Grange Park and leisure centre, Solihull Town Centre, Solihull Hospital, Jaguar Landrover Factory, Hobs Moat shops, Sheldon Park, Marston Green Station, Chelmsley Wood Centre and Solihull College (Woodlands Campus).

Route

  • Full segregation along Blossomfield Road, may require the removal of centre turning lane.
  • At the end of Blossomfield Road, bicycle track to be diverted around the outside of the roundabout with dedicated crossings. Emphasis on low wait times and single stage crossings; separated from both pedestrians and motorists.
  • Fully segregated track to be provided through Station Road to minimize conflict with the large numbers of buses in the area.
  • Route crosses the Warwick road using dedicated signals and runs down service road before joining Lode Lane near the hospital (therefore eliminating the major roundabout from the route).
  • Questionable area for cycle provision as ambulance access needs to be preserved; possibly divert track through hospital car park?
  • Cycle track to then continue along Lode Lane, making use of service roads where possible. Filtered permeability and 20mph limits should be installed to lower motorised traffic levels.
  • Section along Sheaf Lane and Sheldon park requires co-operation from Birmingham City Council.
  • Park and stream-side paths to either be enlarged and clearly marked with paint, or completely separated from pedestrian path.
  • Removal of barriers on cycle path north of Chelmsley Wood centre. However route may need to be diverted along Chester road to provide greater social safety.
  • Route to end at Solihull College: linking up with the shared use paths on Auckland drive.

SCN2– Chester Road → Bradford Road.

Route to run along the Chester Road; providing a key connection to SCN1, as well as serving the local shops along the route. Possibility of a connecting route to the Fort and Star City retail parks; by Birmingham City Council.

Route

  • Route to follow the Bradford Road, due to space requirements.

SCN3- Monkspath → Solihull.

Monkspath as a whole offers few attractive and cycle friendly routes. The majority of the area is made up of cul-de-sac s and dead-ends linked to fast flowing and busy main roads. By focusing on upgrading the existing route along Monkspath Hall Road, a sizeable portion of Monkspath can be linked to the Solihull Town Centre and SCN1 (as well as providing access to Hillfield Park).

Route

  • Upgrade of existing paths to more clearly separate pedestrians from cyclists and provide more appropriate priority through junctions and across minor roads.
  • Route to be diverted through Tudor Grange Park with similar pedestrian-cyclist separation.
  • Crossing of Homer road to be upgraded to provide better segregation and space for increased volume of cyclists.

SCN4– Knowle → Solihull.

An upgrade of existing cycle route, to provide access to both the Solihull and Knowle centres.

Route

  • Route to begin just outside Knowle centre (possible location for sheltered bicycle parking), due to space constraints along the high street.
  • Upgrading of route towards the motorway; in line with the rest of the SCN network.
  • Bridge over the motorway is the weak link in the route. Increasing the length and radius of the spiral (to provide a more gradual incline which can then be cycled up) and raising the height of the rails, should be considered as a minimum measure. With the possibility of a separate bridge/ widening of existing bridge as a long-term measure.
  • On road cycle lanes may be provided along the Warwick Road section, as traffic density is very low.
  • Park paths to either be enlarged and clearly marked with paint, or completely separated from pedestrian path to prevent conflict.
  • Removal of one traffic lane and installation of a one way system with bi-directional cycle paths, required due to space constraints.
  • Due to high pedestrian levels on the high street itself, the connection to SCN1 must be, by necessity, disconnected through this section.

SCN5– Monkspath → Shirley Shops.

Provides a safe and continuous route along the Stratford road, running from Monkspath to the Shirley high street and linking up with StrN1 at the Sears Retail Park. Also running via the Green Business Park. Extension of the route by Birmingham City Council, could provide a cycle route into the city centre.

Route

  • Route to be completely off carriageway, clearly separated from pedestrian areas and with appropriate priority across side roads and junctions.

Route Review 3: Sheldon to Solihull

2 Dec

One of the comments I received regarding the first review was: ‘Too Long; Didn’t Read’, so I gave it a go with different format this time round. The results:

This post took quite long to get out as I’ve been occupied with University work and, if you missed it, the launch of the Solihull Bicycle Campaign. At the moment it is just the bare bones of the structure including; a forum, a webpage and a newsletter. The basic campaign goals are; high quality cycle infrastructure and safer streets for all ages. I also hope to develop a community on the forum, based around cycling in Solihull. If you’re at all interested in any aspect of cycling, or safer streets (well you’re reading this blog…) I woud very much appreciate it if you took a look.

http://solihullbicyclecampa.wix.com/home

Thanks for stopping by,

B