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The Cycle Safety Fund and the Bedford 'turbo' roundabout: some facts

Chris Peck's picture
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Criticism of Bedford's design for a 'turbo' roundabout on a major junction needs to be placed in context. Here Chris Peck explains why the project was cleared by a panel involving CTC.
Bedford's turbo roundabout has proved controversial
Bedford's turbo roundabout has proved controversial

Bedford's design was funded by the Cycle Safety Fund at the beginning of 2013.

Using a Dutch 'turbo' design as a basis, the roundabout aims to slow traffic speeds, while allowing cyclists to use shared use footways and cross the roads using zebra crossings. 

Why this compromise solution came about (and was funded) is explained below.

The background

The money (£20m) for the fund was allocated in the summer of 2012, with local authorities given a very brief window to submit proposals to Sustrans. The criteria in the application form was that the submitted project should tackle actual and perceived safety concerns, and do so in ways that were innovative (for Britain!).

Sustrans ran the process: they processed local authority applications, and their officers prepared local feedback on each one. That feedback, and the often basic and early plans from local authorities, were circulated to the panel members which comprised representatives of Sustrans' technical team, Transport for London, British Cycling, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Cyclenation and CTC. There were 140 proposals in total (over 2,000 pages of material), ranging from one scheme worth over a million pounds, to a couple which were only a few thousand pounds in value.

We on the panel then had a few weeks to read through them and flag issues for discussion at a series of meetings with the Sustrans team running the process. Other than trying to ensure that local volunteers had been consulted, which they had been in approximately 75% of cases, we had grave concerns about the number of pavement conversions, and the inadequate treatment of many major roundabouts by the proposals.

Don’t forget that this process occurred (late 2012) before TfL began their trials of roundabouts or ways of planning segregated facilities. Even today, the regulations which might permit good segregation at junctions are at least a year off. Nevertheless, the level of ambition from local authorities was worryingly low, perhaps exacerbated by the very short deadlines and ludicrously short timeframe to spend it (having received funding, local authorities had about 15 months to spend it!). It also shows, unfortunately, the sheer lack of desire in local authorities to try anything really radical: although we in the panel advised Sustrans of what advice they should feedback to local authorities on their schemes, a full redesign wasn’t on the cards in most cases given the timescales.

Concerns about quality

At each of these meetings there was considerable concern expressed about the poor standards of design for cycling in the applications: most were not for high quality infrastructure and only a few were truly innovative. The available funding covered over half of the schemes submitted: it therefore wasn’t a particularly challenging funding process. We were faced with dozens of low quality pavement conversions and fiddly toucan crossings.

In our discussions, we gave thought to telling DfT, “sorry – too many of these schemes are not good enough, you’ll have to take the money back and sort out your regulations to permit better schemes to come forward.” However, we decided that this would be counterproductive: budget underspends are damaging for long term funding prospects, and we also wanted to make sure that more money would come for similar schemes in the future. This meant we knew that we should still put forward schemes for consideration even though they were below standard, on the basis that all of them were likely to make the situation better (even if only a little).

Instead, the panel fed back to the DfT that the timescales were far too short, that we were unhappy with the quality of the schemes, and that more flexibility needed to be given to local authorities to plan cycling infrastructure that works well and satisfies the needs of all users. It may well have been in part thanks to this message that the Department has rapidly improved the way it is approaching cycle infrastructure, with greater flexibility given to local authorities to trial new approaches.

Many of the schemes funded have been criticised as being below the ideal standard: these include a ‘continental’ roundabout in Abingdon (which also has an unsatisfactory off-carraigeway pavement conversion), the ‘Seven Dials’ roundabout in Brighton (now complete), the Catholic Church junction in Cambridge and the Perne Road Roundabout in Cambridge. The latter in particular we felt was a very good candidate for segregated cycle facilities with priority over side roads – but the local authority are proceeding with their existing, fairly weak plan to reduce the circulating width and make small changes to the design of entry and exit lane mouths.

Bedford’s roundabout

As it happened, the Bedford roundabout was one of the few schemes that proposes something truly new. Of course this isn’t how the Dutch use this design of roundabouts – everyone, including the scheme designer, knew this at the time. Turbo roundabouts like this are generally only used on very busy rural routes, although a few are now being used on suburban distributor (‘A’ roads) in the Netherlands, as in the photo to the right.

However, compared to the current design (a massive, flared acre of tarmac), a turbo roundabout in this location would mean reduced speeds of traffic at the junction, which improves safety for those crossing at the side roads.

In the application, the designer submitted a mocked up version of what the roundabout could look like with a ‘proper’ Dutch design, including side road priority for cyclists on fully segregated cycle tracks and tight curve radii to slow vehicles. However, and this is crucial: he couldn’t get this accepted by the authority, because the local authority felt that the roundabout capacity isn’t sufficient to deal with current traffic volumes with only one approach lane. This is why – even when dealing with individual junctions, steps must be taken to reduce overall traffic volumes across the network as a whole, to ensure that adequate capacity is released to allow space for cycling. The problem is that this turbo roundabout is likely to increase capacity.

In addition, this particular design is still not permitted by regulations which rule out placing a cycle track next to a zebra crossing, and do not permit priority crossings which aren’t on road humps (road humps would be a political challenge on the main road into Bedford). Although those regulations are likely to change, they will come too soon for the timescales for this design.

Using zebras to allow cyclists to cross is far from ideal. Again, DfT are working on an alternative approach (a segregated pedestrian/cyclist priority crossing) which may also be deeply flawed, but that isn't available to use at the moment.

The criticism of the designer of the scheme is not entirely justified: he at least had imagination, and, although he explored the other options, couldn’t pursue the best one because of poor regulations, a lack of political commitment, and the need to obey the traffic carrying capacities of the network.

The officer who designed the scheme, Patrick Lingwood, is one of the most experienced and sensible cycle planners in the country. He spent several years seconded to the Department for Transport. He explains his approach here

Ultimately, this is the sort of compromise solution that we end up with when there is insufficient political will to reduce traffic, and a lack of adequate regulations to permit the approach that would be taken as standard in the Netherlands. Along with other groups, we in CTC are lobbying to change that. Attacking those who are trying to muddle through under current conditions isn't particularly helpful.

Two files from the original application are available for download below.

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Dave42W's picture

Please never allow money for Cycle Safety to be spent in this way again.

This design should have been rejected as unsafe and inadequate.

What a tragedy that you did not have the courage to actually do what you considered:

In our discussions, we gave thought to telling DfT, “sorry – too many of these schemes are not good enough, you’ll have to take the money back and sort out your regulations to permit better schemes to come forward.”

What a different place we might be in now if the money had instead been spent on sorting out regulations and design standards.

Failed again by the CTC, by Sustrans and by Cyclenation.

Chris Peck's picture

"What a different place we might be in now if the money had instead been spent on sorting out regulations and design standards."

We're trying to do that as well, but as you probably know, the DfT has been incredibly slow in making these changes.

In any case, you can't take money out of a capital fund and spend it instead on 'sorting out regulations'. We may all know what is best, but it doesn't mean that it always happens - have you never made a compromise in life?

Dave42W's picture

Chris,

"We're trying to do that as well, but as you probably know, the DfT has been incredibly slow in making these change"

That is hardly a surprise because they have not had to make the changes in order to get CTC, Sustrans and Cyclenation fall into line and allow Cycle Safety money to be spent on improvements for drivers that do not help people on bikes.

If you had all stood firm and not agreed to any substandard designs when the criteria was that they be innovative for cycle safety then it would have been far more powerful.

"have you never made a compromise in life?"

Ridiculous. There are times where compromise is required, this wasn't one of them. This was a new opportunity to make it absolutely clear that for money to be spent on Cycle Safety it had to be on a design that helped with Cycle Safety. This was a classic time to stand by principles and you failed us.

The problem with compromising on principles over decisions like this is that the consequences will far outlive this particular junction.

Chris Peck's picture

I think you misunderstand how DfT works.

The people writing the regulations have nothing to do with the people distributing the funds.

As I mentioned, we did contemplate saying, "actually of these 140 schemes, only 5 really met the criteria, and only they should be funded." In all likelihood many of the schemes would have been built anyway, and DfT would simply have seen cycling as an unreliable place to spend cash and that "those cyclists don't know what they want".

We know what we (as in - what is best for all users) want, but it is the combination of regulations and local political will (after a lack of funds!) that holds things back. Should we not spend anything, nor build anything, until all those obstacles have been overcome? Or should we take a more gradualist approach, experimenting with approaches which may not be perfect, but which can help some?

Dave42W's picture

Chris,

"I think you misunderstand how DfT works.

The people writing the regulations have nothing to do with the people distributing the funds."

I would remind you of one of the great quotes from The West Wing Series 1:
"CJ: Okay. A couple things for you to bear in mind. None of that matters on Hard Copy!" http://homepage.eircom.net/~odyssey/Quotes/Popular/TV/Westwing1.html

That is an irrelevant point. The point is that next time Leicestershire County Council come up with a rubbish scheme they will be able to find similar rubbish schemes and say "Ah but the CTC approved this". They have form on this. They don't take a nuanced view and say they realise the CTC only approved this because otherwise the money would have been lost and that the CTC approving a design does not mean it is good. They simply offer rubbish and claim it is CTC approved and so won't listen to anyone else.

By all means let the schemes be built anyway BUT without CTC approval and without Cycle Safety money being used for them. That would be a great result for everywhere else because we can clearly show that substandard schemes won't be signed off and these councils who don't understand what infrastructure should be like put a lot of credence in CTC and Sustrans signoffs as a way of protecting their backs.

"We know what we (as in - what is best for all users) want"

Really? So where is the evidence of that! You claim to be pragmatic, so let's be pragmatic. What is best for all users and where have you got that built?

Show us some evidence that your gradualist approach has actually worked. Where are all these people now cycling because of the rubbish infrastructure you have allowed the Cycle Safety money to be spent on?

Chris Peck's picture

"They have form on this. They don't take a nuanced view and say they realise the CTC only approved this because otherwise the money would have been lost and that the CTC approving a design does not mean it is good. They simply offer rubbish and claim it is CTC approved and so won't listen to anyone else."

I'm astonished that CTC's views hold such sway in local authority offices. I suspect that they pay greater adherence to DfT guidance and regulations (both of which we are trying to influence), as well as the awful DMRB (which the HA has agreed to revise).

"Really? So where is the evidence of that! You claim to be pragmatic, so let's be pragmatic. What is best for all users and where have you got that built?

Show us some evidence that your gradualist approach has actually worked. Where are all these people now cycling because of the rubbish infrastructure you have allowed the Cycle Safety money to be spent on?"

My point is that we know what the best infrastructure is, but in general (and particularly on busy roundabouts) it can't presently be built in this country under the current regulations, and by officials who are under a political leadership which, in general, doesn't think too kindly about removing traffic capacity to give it to cyclists.

Once again, you seem to bless CTC with a degree of power and influence which isn't by any stretch of the imagination accurate. But don't let that stop you from joining in having a fun bashing session.

Dave42W's picture

Chris,

"I'm astonished that CTC's views hold such sway in local authority offices."

So was I and so disappointed to find that designs from Leicestershire County Council simultaneously appear as CTC approved and on those website collections of crap cycle infrastructure (Loughborough Railway Station entrance for example - although the local CTC support was later denied the problem was that it was never unequivocal rejection which ended up being publicised as approval).

"My point is that we know what the best infrastructure is, but in general (and particularly on busy roundabouts) it can't presently be built in this country under the current regulations"

Wrong, wrong, wrong!!!!

The best infrastructure at busy roundabouts and the normal Dutch solution at busy roundabouts is grade segregation and this is already completely possible under current regulations in the UK. What is more that solution would have increased motor traffic capacity even further.

When cycling across (special) zebra crossings is allowed in the UK this Bedford design will still be rubbish because there is not proper segregation to and from the Zebras. Shared space footways are supposed to be a last resort yet thanks to Sustrans and CTC they are the only cycle infrastructure that our County Council will approve and they know that when they do so they will get your approval.

When/if the zebras at this junction are upgraded to ones that allow cycling you will still have poor quality, slow, inconvenient and not very safe infrastructure for "nervous" cyclists and fast no infrastructure that is very dangerous for "fast cyclists".

"Once again, you seem to bless CTC with a degree of power and influence which isn't by any stretch of the imagination accurate."

No. I just want the CTC to act for cyclists. I would much much prefer you to be able to say "We said this was rubbish, we refused to sign off on it and you ignored us". That has integrity and gives us huge leverage for the future.

Instead when some people get injured or killed on this junction and we say why we will be ignored because they will simply say "but the CTC and Sustrans" approved spending Cycle Safety money to make it like this.

I don't want to bash the CTC, I want you to be brave, bold, have integrity and stand up for safe cycling for all people. When you do that I'll be the first in line cheering you on.

Chris Peck's picture

"The best infrastructure at busy roundabouts and the normal Dutch solution at busy roundabouts is grade segregation and this is already completely possible under current regulations in the UK. "

No - the Dutch design guide permits cycle priority across roundabouts (even, in a few cases, two lane entry ones) up to 25,000 pcu/day intensity, which is approximately the volume on this roundabout.

Grade separation is suggested for 70km/h roads, but even then "there will often not be enough space for a grade-separated solution." (Dutch CROW guidance, p 210). There certainly is not enough room for grade separation here, or, at least, grade separation that is in any way pleasant or usable for cyclists and pedestrians.

Another option would have been to remove the roundabout and signalise, but as you will have read in the accompanying downloads, the designer considered this and decided against it.

Dave42W's picture

Chris,

Now you are playing silly with what the Dutch do.

"No - the Dutch design guide permits cycle priority across roundabouts (even, in a few cases, two lane entry ones) up to 25,000 pcu/day intensity, which is approximately the volume on this roundabout."

So more accurately this roundabout is completely extreme compared to the Dutch model:

a) current traffic levels are at the maximum for cycle priority (yet there seems to be an assumption of increasing traffic flows, certainly nothing being done according to the hierarchy of provision to reduce traffic levels).

b) You admit yourself that 2 lane entry roundabouts with cycle priority are very rare in the Netherlands, so it can hardly be considered their normal practice.

c) As the report admits the Dutch normally use Turbo roundabouts in rural locations, not in urban areas. In all the images in the report they are shown with fully segregated cycle facilities. Nobody ever cycles through a turbo roundabout in the Netherlands because they are designed to maximise traffic flow after making sure there are no cyclists on the road.

d) When I look at the innovative solutions that Mark Wagenbuur shows it seems to me that more and more the Dutch are using grade separation in urban settings to maximise safety and convenience. Yet anything that might work well and is used in the Netherlands is simply dismissed by the designer and you. Notice how attractive their solutions look.

I despair for the future of the CTC and our cycling infrastructure when all you can do is
- be negative about what is working in the Netherlands
- be dismissive of every single suggestion
- not offer any suggestions as to what could be done

and then endorse something that just won't work.

Simon_Katie's picture

This is terrible. Yet again the CTC is lending it's name to support something that is manifestly sub-standard.

CTC proposal for this junction - "while allowing cyclists to use shared use footways and cross the roads using zebra crossings"

So the CTC is putting its name to Cycle Facilities that require cyclists to dismount and proceed on foot? Are you really arguing that this is in ANY way acceptable?

Highway Code - "79 Do not ride across a pelican, puffin or zebra crossing. Dismount and wheel your cycle across."

TFL paper "It is not illegal to cycle across a Zebra crossing if there is shared-use to either side, but it is contrary to Rule 64 of the Highway Code which states that cyclists should dismount and walk across Zebra crossings. Breach of the highway code could be used as evidence of an offence, eg cycling dangerously, or of evidence of negligence in the event of a collision. "

Chris Peck's picture

Using zebras as crossings is indeed, substandard, however, it is presently the only option if you want to allow cyclists to cross from one shared use footway to another and either don't want to (or can't) signalise.

As I refer to in the piece, the DfT are currently looking at designs for cycle priority crossings, a facility we have been urging them to allow to be used for many, many years. This is likely to be available in the next year or so, we hope.

Simon_Katie's picture

It's more than "substandard" - it's not a facility suitable for cyclists. Funding has been spent from a 'cycle safety fund' which makes cycling safe by effectively removing it as an option.

No-one would ever put in a road junction that required motorists to stop and get out and push, or to turn off their engine and coast across, but you think that a facility that requires people travelling by bike to stop using their bike for part of their journey is merely sub-standard?

Simon_Katie's picture

I don't think that was strong enough.

You're supposed to be fighting for better conditions for cyclists. You're funded by our contributions.

Shame on you for lending your name to this and for trying to defend it.

Chris Peck's picture

I'm trying to explain the context for our involvement and the wider issues - such as why it isn't sensible to reject Government money, why the schemes that came forward were generally so poor (as in, why this scheme couldn't have been substituted for one that was top-quality) and the problems with the regulations which could have made this better.

I'm sorry you feel so strongly about it.

Simon_Katie's picture

I do feel strongly about it. We all cheer when money is allocated for "cycling" but it's no good if it's actually spent on other things.

This is more of the same crap infrastructure that we already know does nothing to improve subjective or objective safety. Cyclists will come into conflict on the road, there will be more accidents, and they'll be blamed for not using the adjacent cycle facilities which, as in the past, are not fit for purpose.

In London Boris and Andrew Gilligan have promised 'We'll do it properly or not at all". I have severe doubts that they'll live up to that but as a policy it's the least we should expect from the CTC.

Merseymouth's picture

While people who should know better kowtow to so called experts who offer illegal strategies for their best efforts we will keep being abused! The planners should actually read and understand properly the regulations which frame the duties which they are supposed to carry out, before coming up with stupid plans! If they propose a system which means that cyclists have to break the law then they should be sacked. The same goes for Ministers of State who propose likewise, and even Police Officers who follow such practice! It would appear that we must all give in to unlawful actions which make it easier for us to be driven over! There is already too much substandard infrastructure on our roads, try "Pinch Points on a Tricycle? Cyclists use the roads by "Right", motor traffic by "Conditional Licence"! Thank you.

bertbeerpot's picture

Would it be possible to explain in the simplest possible terms how a cyclist is supposed to use this roundabout? I'm not being sarcastic here, I really would like to see explained.

I can see two methods:

1. (my preference) ride across it as if I were a car (actually it isn't even obvious how to do that, since there seem to be a lot of confusing lines all over the place, but I'll ignore that for the moment). I can still do that, right?

2. Use the shared pavement - so here's my problem - how do I cross the road? What do I do to make the traffic stop?

I'm particularly concerned about this quote from https://www.transportxtra.com/magazines/local_transport_today/news/?id=3... :

" Lingwood explained that, whereas pedestrians have priority over vehicles on a zebra crossing, vehicles have priority over cyclists."

Surely that can't be right - it would mean cyclists had no right to cross at all?

Chris Peck's picture

1. You can - since there is not a ban on cyclists on the road, you can still use it. The idea of the 'turbo' design (which isn't about speed - just the design of it) is to slow down the traffic, which *may* make it safer for those wishing to share the road. Lowering the speed will also improve the safety of those crossing.

2. Presently, cyclists would be expected to either wait for traffic to give way (as pedestrians have to) or dismount and cross as a pedestrian. Far, far from adequate. However, TfL's experience is that most drivers do give way on zebras even where they don't have to (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/shared-zebra-crossing-study.pdf). We would still prefer to see the Department provide a solution that allows a cycle track to run parallel to a zebra, something that is far from straightforward under current regs, but which was trialled by TRL recently (https://www.ctc.org.uk/news/dutch-style-roundabouts-and-low-level-signal...)

XAPBob's picture

The unfortunately named duo Crank and Brooks lend a huge weight to the fact that the only possible conclusion to a cyclist being run down on a zebra crossing is that they will be deemed at fault.

The decision that a cyclist pushing their bike (not scooting, but two feet on the floor) was a pedestrian was even taken to appeal - someone on a bike has no protection therefore.

It's a combination of the worst forms of cycle provision, and will surely be seen on the Warrington cycle campaign "facility of the month": http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.meg/wcc/facility-of-the-month/book.htm

XAPBob's picture

This just looks disastrous...
Take the extra-urban "cyclists excluded" design by the Dutch and ignore the cycle facilities that would be provided, transpose it into an urban setting and then what? Pray?

There is no realistic approach to cycling around this roundabout for any but the most traffic hardened vehicular cyclists...

http://cycle.travel/by/mjray/bedford_turbogate
http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/a-modern-amsterdam-roundabo...

Interestingly the designer (in a comment on that second link) explicitly declares that cyclists were the last category of user to be considered.

AdamSemy's picture

What's the point? The UK has been dragging it's heels for decades, and now the CTC is defending these dribbling, over priced, low aspirations.

Regulations don't seem to stop Bristol planning to build non-standard junctions.

Chris Peck's picture

"Regulations don't seem to stop Bristol planning to build non-standard junctions."

I'm interested: which junctions are these?

AdamSemy's picture

https://www.citizenspace.com/bristol/city-development/baldwin-street-cyc...

It's my understanding that special cases can be signed off as trials, with no strict need to follow standards or guidelines.

Chris Peck's picture

Thanks for pointing me to that: yes, it's another Cycle Safety Fund scheme.

Yes, special dispensation can be sought from DfT for trials, but DfT don't just allow these willy-nilly. This particular case isn't a DfT trial, as far as I know - it follows the current regs.

As you can see from the drawings, cyclists are also being urged to use a zebra crossing, albeit one that is on a hump, and therefore they could just as well provide a cycle priority crossing running parallel to a zebra.

AdamSemy's picture

No Chris, they don't provide them willy nilly, certainly not to members like us who are at odds to the organisation they belong to. For heaven's sake, look at the roundabout. You're saying better designs couldn't have come to pass because they didn't meet regs. The whole point of this bloody turboroundabout is that it doesn't meet regs.

This constant defence is pathetic. The CTC is saying it wants better infrastructure, but where the hell is the conviction?

Chris Peck's picture

"For heaven's sake, look at the roundabout. You're saying better designs couldn't have come to pass because they didn't meet regs. The whole point of this bloody turboroundabout is that it doesn't meet regs."

It DOES meet the regulations as they stand presently, but it could be much better with better regs, most of which are on the way in the next 12-15 months time (fingers and toes crossed). Should we always be holding out for the future, when everything is perfect, before we get on with marginal improvements, which I still believe this will be?

The Baldwin Street cycle track also meets the regs, but also isn't perfect: the original designs showed it would be just 2.7m wide (too narrow for 2-way use). Would you have liked us to have recommended that one be scrapped?

Furthermore the Baldwin scheme is far, far easier than the Union Street one: Baldwin Street isn't even on the primary network, cyclists already make up 10% of traffic and the scheme doesn't even include any major junctions, just side-road crossovers.

AdamSemy's picture

Do we judge where bridges are built by the number of people swimming?

A cycle track being 30cm narrower than the Dutch minimum is slightly different from an entire roundabout, funded almost exclusively from cycling money, designed to exclude cycling.

Your defence over this is embarrassing. We've had bad schemes, like this, or half-arsed schemes, like Baldwin Street, for 40 years. I imagine every year it's been the same. "It's beyond our control. It'll be better next year." What's the point. Cycling in this country is pathetic.

Chris Peck's picture

I'm now confused, are you for, or against, the Baldwin Street scheme?

"A cycle track being 30cm narrower than the Dutch minimum is slightly different from an entire roundabout, funded almost exclusively from cycling money, designed to exclude cycling."

That's your view. Mine is that the roundabout will cater better for pedestrians, pavement cyclists (40% of current users) and those who prefer to use the road (60%). I agree that a 30 cm too narrow cycle track isn't something to get all that worried about, but there are some commenting who feel that any measure that falls microscopically below standard must be rejected.

AdamSemy's picture

The Baldwin Street will be improved by the scheme, but it's not perfect. I would expect the CTC to use it's say to demand the best rather than just continue to muddle on like the UK has done for decades. What's the point otherwise?

You're mad. Here's a roundabout designed for increase motor traffic volumes at high speeds and you're saying it's better for cycling because now people are actually allowed to cycle on the pavement. We'll catch up with the Dutch in no time.

Look at all this emotion, negativity, and criticism. You and the CTC are a lightning rod to it because you're trying to defend what is blatantly bad for cycling, not necessarily because of the implementation but in the typical misuse and waste of cycling funds. The CTC is apparently quite willing to approve a junction primarily designed around motor traffic, leaving cycling as an after thought. It's crazy that the scant money for cycle schemes is treated so callously.

Imagine how you could have turned this against those who's responsibility it actually is. Stand up for what cycling needs, not "what it can get away with maybe oh please we're good give us more scraps from the table". Publicise schemes like this and stand for your convictions by rejecting them.

oldstrath's picture

"Should we alaways be holding out"?

Yes, because if you don't the motor lobby will argue that the changes are not needed, the cyclists accepted the current situation, so why do things that make life harder for drivers. Anyway, why "better regulations in 12-15 months"? We can see better regulations elsewhere - why the delay, except to givevthe motor lobby chance to kil them.

How many times have you believed in jam tomorrow? Because that's all you've got, again.

AdamSemy's picture

Additionally, Baldwin Street doesn't meet regulations (I've spoken with the scheme designer).

biguana's picture

It seems to be key to the design of this facility that cyclists are expected, more often than not, to cycle across the zebra-crossings, and that drivers are expected to to wait for them (because they "usually" do).

A design which is dependent on people behaving counter to the current legislation, paid for using cycling money. Can we not see how much is wrong with this picture? Like many others here I feel let down by the CTC, which I am a member of.

Of course the way this funding was made available, with stupid deadlines, speaks volumes. Where is the regular consistent annual cycling funding? But I imagine we can agree on this, and I do appreciate the attempt to explain the background.

Chris Peck's picture

No, the designer expects that most of the users will cycle through the roundabout, as they currently do. This is likely to be easier than at present, because traffic speeds will be lower, owing to change from a wide open space to a more tightly controlled geometry. For those who do want to use the footway, the crossings will make it easier. When regulations are changed, the crossings can be altered to allow cyclists to cross formally.

oldstrath's picture

Chris
You keep saying 'the speeds will be lower', but I struggle to see the evidence for this. The 'tight control' you claim will achieve this is supplied not by solid dividers, but by bits of plastic, that may be a hazard to bikes but can be driven over easily by cars and other vehicles. I suspect they will be, that motorists in their usual desperate life-saving dashes will simply straight-line, and that any improvements over the current situation will be marginal at best. I think you've been sold a pup. I understand why you think you had to accept it, but I still believe it woukd have been preferable to make a public stand against this abuse of the money.

Chris Peck's picture

"I understand why you think you had to accept it, but I still believe it woukd have been preferable to make a public stand against this abuse of the money."

That's fine - it's your opinion, but by the same token, if you lobby for funding for cycling, and then, when you get it, turn it down, you don't cover yourself in glory.

AdamSemy's picture

Effective campaigning by a motorcycle group has resulted in the removal of the lane dividers. http://www.ridermagazine.co.uk/the-bedford-turbo-roundabout/

Why do the motor cycle groups look out for the safety of their members, but not the CTC?

Will the CTC continue to support this roundabout designed around motorised traffic, yet is funded by a supposed 'cycle safety' fund?

Will the CTC continue to describe this as a Dutch turbo roundabout, despite it bearing even less resemblance than ever?

When will the CTC support a single 8 to 80 cycling network, or will it continue to focus on the "right to ride" on the road?

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