The Walks and Cycling
Biking to Bristol
I commented on planning application 06/P/1285/F for National Cycling Network Route 33 from Backwell towards Bristol. I'm surprised they don't seem to have involved the communities before filing and that the Ramblers Association are objecting.
Bike Week Event
13 July: Finally got round to finding the Lynn News coverage.
I was the first bike in from the Norfolk Arena, reaching the post office in under 8 minutes. I was brought to a stop by the high volume of schoolchildren at one point on the route! The other cyclists who started with me arrived just 40 seconds later. The lead car arrived after 11 minutes 30 seconds. We were surprised it was so fast, but others reported that the roads were surprisingly clear. Cycles also beat cars by about a minute from the QE Hospital, while the car was a bit faster from Reffley Rainbow. There's some EDP coverage of the event online.
On Tuesday, 20 June 2006, I took part in the Bike To Work event in King's Lynn. Groups met up at 8am at: the Norfolk Arena, Saddlebow Road; the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gayton Road; and the Co-op Rainbow, Langley Road. At 8.30am, riders set off for the main Post Office, Baxter's Plain. There were also cars driving in from the same starts at the same time, for comparison.
For other Bike Week events, please see:
Town Centre Cycle Parks
The Bridge to St Germans
The last time I visited the beer shop, I stopped on the return leg to take these pictures from the bridge to St Germans. [pictures on my site only]
The first shows the view north, with the bridge railings in the foreground, the fairly nondescript power station along the drain and you can just about see the docks tower between it and the right-hand pylon, which was where I had ridden from. Above it all, you can see the famous "fen wide skies". Just to show there wasn't a mountain hiding behind me, the second shows the view south, which looks nicer, but has less to describe.
This mind-bogglingly sparse landscape is only a few miles south, not much fun to ride across in rain or a strong wind, but fantastic in springtime. Bring your bike up on the train and either head to the Queen's house at Sandringham (hillier), the beach at Snettisham or ride out southwards near the railway and catch the return train from a station further down.
Walks Management Forum March 2006
On 9 March 2006, the Walks Management Forum discussed:
- Gaywood River works;
- Resurfacing of Broad Walk and Extension Walk;
- Management building;
- Basketball court and new playground.
If you have comments on these or wish any other issue to be raised, please email me. As far as I know, the public can't speak at these meetings.
Walks Cycling Policy
This section needs updating following the meeting. See theWalks front page for a short note.
The Walks Management Forum meets on Thursday 12th January at 6pm at the council's main offices meeting room 1. I think it's open to public viewing (like most council meetings), but the public can't speak (like most council meetings - grrr), only members. Send me any comments that you have on: Internal Drainage Board works on the Gaywood River; landscaping works in St James Park; bat "mitigation" measures; or foundation design for the new kiosk and footbridge; and I'll pass them on.
As part of the Walks project, I'm trying to get the potholed, overgrown and sometimes awkward cycleways brought up to standard. The Walks has three long off-road paths which offer vital "greenway" connections from residential and industrial areas to parts of the town centre, including the rail and bus stations, cinema and library. Here's the last draft I have for a current tricky junction:
The "mini-roundabout" effect will probably be lost, to use the effect of missing markings to make people slow down. If you have comments on this, especially if it links to Sustrans advice, please email it to me (follow permalink for address).
Tour of Britain 2006 Route Announced
The 2006 Tour of Britain will be calling at Glasgow (29 August), Castle Douglas, Blackpool, Liverpool, Yorkshire, West Midlands, Rochester, Canterbury, Greenwich and central London (3 September). This year, the tour takes the chance to road-test some of the Tour de France and Olympic routes, so the London stage is a bit more than a tiny circuit in Westminster.
Tour de France 2007 in London
I've been watching cycle racing for years, most recently via satellite, and it will be interesting to see whether another visit to England and the new itv 4 means that there will be better coverage in the UK. The last few years, I think there's been a one-hour highlights show on itv2 repeated late night on most itv1s and live coverage of weekend stages. Not great, but even that beat the half-hour we used to get. Sadly, no other cycle races get much coverage, not even the Tour of Britain. Frustrating.
Naughty EDF leaves a man-trap for cyclists
When returning home after shopping today, I nearly fell down an open pit which covered more than half the width of the cycle track. WTF? Aren't open roadworks meant to have hi-vis barriers, warning signs and so on?
I called Norfolk CC Highways when I got home and they replied a bit later: the hole is the work of EDF Energy Networks, NCC didn't know they were digging up the byway, NCC have done basic safety repairs and told EDF to clean up the mess, one way or another.
Extons Road Gate Problem
The Council has replaced the three-quarter width gate at the southern entrance to the Walks with a full-width one. I was away, so haven't yet seen this gate myself, but it has been a worry of mine since the plans including a full-width gate were first published. I was told that this wouldn't happen and now it has. As well as cycles and wheelchairs, it may also block pushchairs and prams on the diversion route to Greyfriars School while their bridge is closed.
I called the Walks project manager Richard Hales (616284 email@example.com) this morning and he says this was not done by the project, but as part of the Great East Anglian Run preparation. A low concrete bollard in a crowd of runners is an unacceptable hazard, so they replaced it with removable bollards and a full-width gate. I don't understand why they couldn't have strapped a flagpole to it or placed a marshal in front of it during the run, similar to cycle races.
Richard Hales immediately realised the accessibility problem and will raise it with the person responsible (Nathan ?) in a meeting at 10am today. I've asked him to call me with news. I'll let you know as soon as I know more.
Update: The kerb has gone and there's a temporary patch there now. (12 May)
Update: The temporary patch has gone and there's a nearly-flat path there now. (19 May)
Cyclists Dismount - Inflammation of the Bladder Return!
South Wales Echo: Road sign leaves Welsh-speakers bewildered tells how council roadmenders near Cardiff put up a sign saying "Inflammation of the Bladder Return" instead of "Cyclists Dismount". A local Welsh-speaker said mistranslations were common 'but we don't often get them quite as insane as this.' (seen via Wheelism).
King's Lynn Cycling Forum
Please email me any comments on the items Lynn Cycling Forum will discuss on Fri 21 Apr:
- Town routes where car is slower than bike
- Dropped kerbs
- Railway station parking
- Hospital parking
- Tower Street reopening to cycling
- Eastern Electricity site plans
- Any other developments in pipeline
- Questions for our MP
- Signposting - wish list
- HGV weight restrictions being lifted
- Town centre lights and parking
- Hardwick railway bridge and Hansa Road scheme
- A10 shared path
- Representation on KL Transport Strategy Working Group
Lynn Cycling Forum meets on Fri 18 August. There's a draft agenda including the old favourites of parking and ongoing council works but should something else should be discussed too?
October Forum: North Somerset
New town, so new cycle forum. I'll be going along to the Weston-super-Mare cycling forum in the evening of Wed 25 October, which apparently will be seeing proposals for cycle route signing. I'm a big fan of "Cambridge-style" rectangular destination+arrows route signing on the approach to junctions. "Finger" post signs are not much good: they encourage cyclists to be looking up and away from the junction right at a critical moment.
If you know of any good cycle route signs and general design principles, please leave a comment today and I'll pass it on.
Comments are moderated (damn spammers) but almost anything sensible gets approved (albeit eventually). If you give a web address, I'll link it. I won't publish your email address unless you ask me to, but I'll email you a link when the comment is posted, or the reason why it's not posted.