Crap Cycle Lane V

On 15 November 2010, BBC News published the following..

A railway station in West Sussex is to benefit from improved transport links as part of a £5m scheme.

The work at Southwick railway station, which starts on Monday and is expected to last 11 weeks, will see improved access for pedestrians and cyclists.

Other improvements include a drop-off and pick-up area, and an improved cycle link from the South Coast Cycle Route.

Station Road will also be realigned so that it lines up more closely with the railway bridge.

‘Further improvements’

At the same time West Sussex County Council will resurface the whole length of Station Road, put in new dropped kerbs, road markings and paving.

Improvements will also be made to the area’s drainage.

Deputy leader Lionel Barnard, who has responsibility for highways and transport, said: “This scheme is part of an overall £5m investment in transport links along the A259 corridor and at local railway stations from Shoreham to Brighton and Hove.

“In addition further improvements are also being carried out at stations by Southern, including new cycle racks, platform waiting shelters and CCTV.”

The £5m was awarded by the government’s Homes and Communities Agency to support the Shoreham Harbour Regeneration Project.

And at last the work is finished! Let’s check it out…

The One Where NCN2 Meets The A259

The Lo Fidelity Bicycle Club is going to assume that you have already sampled the [slightly vague] delights of NCN2 and it’s circuitous tour of Shoreham by Sea. In the picture above you are now approaching the coast road (A259) where you are encouraged to join the new widened and resurfaced pavement….sorry, ‘Shared Use Facility’. At least, I think that’s what they want.

This photo is too boring to put a witty caption too

Here is a newly resurfaced and widened [and assumed] Shared Use Facility. Please note the very wide road that could have accomodated infrastructure based on the Netherlands model [or similar] as well as the HGV’s that use this road for Shoreham Port (which runs along the right of the picture above).

May the fun begin...

Further up the trail, we come to a Pelican Crossing where cyclists may cross to continue along NCN2 through the Port to Brighton. 

The Gateway to Brighton (and Hove actually)

 

Once you’ve navigated round the second set of bollards (because a piece of work is never actually finished in the UK as the workmen would already have been moved to the next job and the contractor would have already been paid the majority of the money so can afford to come back and complete the work only when the Client starts screaming), you will notice a bus stop.

Did we mention the wide road?

Of course you will have to cycle through the people that use the bus stop particularly at peak times. Please note the black bollard with the reflective ‘Shared Use’ roundel on it. Or not.

A new path has been created. Beside the by now incredibly wide road and junction that is supposed to be 30mph.

Here we are at the junction complete with sign and more incomplete works.

Nice isn't it? If that's your sort of thing. Look at the nice shiny wide road.

I’m afraid the Southwick cycle improvement gets even more vague here. Novice cyclists are left wondering whether to join the main carriageway where the T-Junction is, or dismount and walk the rest of the way or try and join the pavement on the other side of the T-Junction to keep cycling toward the Railway Station. The road has been changed into a slalom with double yellow lines, I assume to reduce speeds, with new car-parking alignments provided for the station with pick-up/drop-off point.

The little girl stood on the right is wondering what she did to annoy the Highways Engineers.

There is a chink of sunlight in this however. The new bicycle parking for the station is covered, in view of CCTV, and is convenient for the ticket machines.

Above is the view back down the slope to the road scheme. Wide enough to be convenient.

Anyway, let’s head back to main coast road. Please note that this road is also wide enough to take full properly designed infrastructure based on a continental model. Also please try not to note the old bunch of flowers tied to the traffic lights on the left – traffic speeds tend to get a little ‘enthusiastic’ through the night.

I think it’s pavement on the left and shared use on the right but West Sussex County Council are keeping its cards close its chest. According to Wikipedia, ‘Abstract art uses a visual language of form, colour and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.’ Which sums up the UK’s approach to designing and implementing cycle infrastructure too.

Salvador Dali. Could have been a UK Highways Engineer if he'd done more Acid and White Spirit
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12 thoughts on “Crap Cycle Lane V”

  1. I love the way that when “they” crow about what “they” are doing for us, it’s always described as “part of an £x-million scheme”, but “they” never actually admit how much (little!) of that £x-million the farcility actually cost.
    I’m assuming the lions share of that £5 million will be spent on improving things for the motorists, which usually results in making things less good for cyclists and pedestrians, and this shared-use wonder will have a few tens of thousands spent on it (if we’re lucky).

    1. It is certainly everything that a piece of cycling infrastructure shouldn’t be. I suppose that’s what you get when you become a hated, specialist activity that’s a hindrance to progress. What’s worrying is that little nuggets like this are cropping up all the way along the A259 with ‘junction improvements’ and ‘railway links’. All they have to do is join the dots in an equally shambolic way….

  2. I was told that early plans actually had cycle lanes on the road between NCN2 and the A259 and the station: hence “an improved cycle link from the South Coast Cycle Route” and “improved access for pedestrians and cyclists”, and “an improved cycle link from the South Coast Cycle Route”. But the cycle facilities on this important transport link were dropped because of lack of space.

    Lack of space! This is a road that narrows to one lane under the railway bridge, and yet is three lanes wide at the south end, with wide pavements on both sides too. Three lanes for cars, of course, so no space spare at all for cyclists.

    Note that, according to the last plans I saw, the pavements in Station Road are NOT shared use: cyclists are required to rejoin the main carriageway. I expect WSCC are hoping that accident statistics are kept low by cyclists riding illegally on the pavement, as WSCC seem keen to encourage them to do.

    So the “improved access for cyclists” and “an improved cycle link from the South Coast Cycle Route” consists of…. some widened pavements on the A259, and absolutely nothing useful at all on the short link to the station.

    Oh, I think someone mumbled about cycle parking stands (all five of them, providing spaces for ten bikes), but I can’t see how they improve access.

    I have made strong comments that the “improved access for cyclists” bit was rubbish, and should be dropped from statements concerning this scheme.

    At least West Sussex’s LTP3 document hardly even mentions cycling (subject to funding being available) which is much more honest than the fanfare that accompanied this “cycle” scheme. There is nothing here that will encourage people to switch from car to bicycle.

    This could have been a fantastic opportunity to provide a genuinely useful cycle link: there’s lots of space, apparently plenty of money, it’s only a short stretch of road, and big engineering works were happening. The cost of proper Dutch-style facilities here would have been little more than what has been spent. And it needn’t have cost WSCC a penny!

    1. “This could have been a fantastic opportunity to provide a genuinely useful cycle link: there’s lots of space, apparently plenty of money, it’s only a short stretch of road, and big engineering works were happening. The cost of proper Dutch-style facilities here would have been little more than what has been spent. And it needn’t have cost WSCC a penny!”

      The trouble is, WSCC evidently just don’t care. They don’t give a toss about the bicycle. The use of it as a transport mode figures nowhere in their planning, beyond being a nice ‘leisure’ activity, and something they can talk about ‘encouraging’ to make themselves feel nice and green.

      1. “The trouble is, WSCC evidently just don’t care. They don’t give a toss about the bicycle.”

        I think you’re wrong. WSCC actively hate people who ride bicycles. It’s the only rational explanation.

  3. An excellent set of photos.

    Describing it as “part of a 5 million pound scheme” thing is of course a serious case of taking the mick.

    €200K worth of cycle path looks like this, while €10 million of cycle parking looks like this.

    So what do you have there ? 1/415th of the cycle parking and I’m not sure what percentage of the cycle path. What’s been spent on the cycling part of this project ? About €100K ?

  4. I fear that David Hembrow is confusing Dutch planning with the British concept. Don’t forget David that it is easier to plan for cyclists in the Netherlands because you use the other side of the road (well can anybody think of a more realistic excuse?).

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