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Green Transport Recovery Plan: Avenue Cycle Lanes

Pete Thomas

Committee
Conservation
You all may have got the letter from SCC/Balfour Beatty

Work is starting immediately (tonight) at the Avenue for the next three nights. Cycle lanes will be marked out along the Avenue from the Cowherds to Chilworth roundabout. The two-lane sections of the Avenue will be reduced to one lane. This is in line with government recommendations to encourage safe travel with social distancing.

The work is scheduled for 3 nights, whether that means the changes will actually take effect from the weekend is not made clear in the letter but as this is work taken out as part of a national emergency we could assume that is the intention.

Shared footways will now be pedestrian only to support social distancing. It is not entirely clear whether that means all shared paths adjacent or near to the avenue (ie Lovers walk as well as the Avenue pavement) but I am hoping that this will be made clear via signage.
 

Lyn B

Resident
https://transport.southampton.gov.uk/keepactive is the 26 page Green Transport Recovery Plan that SCC launched today.
--The DfT (Dept for Transport) has given clear direction to Councils to use experimental order powers to install schemes, and use the experimental period to monitor and consult. Schemes under an experimental order can be made permanent after six months.
-- The first scheme is happening tonight: Bassett Avenue and The Avenue will be going down to one lane in each direction to enable a pop up cycle lane. Over the coming weeks, they plan to introduce cycle lanes on parts of Portswood Road, Hill Lane, and a bus / cycle lane on A3024 Bitterne Road West.
-- Work will also be occurring in the city centre on schemes.
 

shaf

Committee
As a cyclist I pray the experiment works. However i do feel we will be at the thick end of car drivers frustrations.
 

RichardSharman

Resident
drove up the Avenue, and Bassett Avenue, to Chilworth roundabout today ()on my way to/from golf exercise). The entire length is coned off both sides to allow a pop-up cycle lane between the pavement and the carriage way (which is now one lane only in each direction). There was considerable driver frustration coming south from Chilworth roundabout about both speed and space. Elsewhere it seemed to be working, except possibly going northwards at the Burgess Road crossroads, where the right hand turn was causing big holdups. Perhaps this is just the first stage. There was some signage in place, but more is needed.
 

Pete Thomas

Committee
Conservation
Perhaps this is just the first stage. There was some signage in place, but more is needed.
I agree, but I think we do need to wait until it is completed (which hopefully may be as soon as a couple of days time). No doubt we can expect some initial teething issues given the speed with which this is being initiated (and I think our health is the priority here over some slight inconveniences)

Have they stopped the right turn at Burgess Road? The obvious thing (to me) is that they would have a filter light there. If they do stop the right turn I hope they have thought through the potential knock on to Portswood.
 

Josie Brown

Secretary
Committee
Conservation
This is an extract from some communication to HRA (I just copied the most relevant bit). So you can see that there will be no right turn into Burgess Road when travelling northward. As you say, Pete, there will be a knock on effect on Portswood, and possibly Brookvale Road and Highfield Lane. The extent of it we will have to wait and see. And there will be a 30mph speed limit on The Avenue and Bassett Avenue (to be welcomed in my opinion).

"As part of this plan, it has been agreed to deliver a series of 'pop-up' facilities for people walking and cycling by reallocating road space on some corridors and in busy retail areas such as the City Centre and District Centres. These 'pop-up' facilities will deliver new mandatory cycle lanes with and without light segregation (such as temporary barriers), shared bus and cycle lanes, modal filters and signs highlighting new road layouts and promoting social distancing. These facilities have the potential to evolve into permanent facilities, subject to future consultation and monitoring if they are considered successful.



The delivery of cycle lanes along The Avenue (between Winn Road and Burgess Road) and temporary ones on Bassett Avenue (from Burgess Road to Chilworth Roundabout) has been identified as the first GTRP scheme. These roads will initially see one lane in each direction being re-designated as a cycle lane whilst traffic levels remain lower than pre-COVID. As part of the scheme there will also be a temporary ban of the right turn from The Avenue northbound to Burgess Road (towards the University). The scheme will be delivered through overnight working starting 27th May.



In order to support the delivery of the cycle lane along The Avenue and Bassett Avenue, a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order will also be advertised to reduce the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph. This has been discussed with, and is supported by, Hampshire Constabulary. The impact of the temporary facilities and changes to traffic levels will be monitored throughout the life of the scheme. "
 

Lyn B

Resident
Hopefully it will have desired effect - encouraging more active travel and cleaner air in the city, so less obesity and less people needing NHS in the long run. If drivers are getting frustrated then that's a shame. Maybe people with working legs will decide to walk or cycle if less than a 5 mile journey, or invest in a power-assist cycle. Up to now, on Bassett Ave cyclists have had to risk the road or shared pavement (which is too narrow to be shared anyway). Injury levels are drastically better if 30mph, which The Avenue should be anyway. (If hit by a vehicle at 30mph, 5/10 survive. If hit at 40mph 1/10 survive. If hit at 20mph, 9/10 survive.) We need to look after our planet and hopefully every little step will make our world slightly better for future generations. Just my thoughts!
 
Just popped on to report that from the Avenue side of Westbourne this change is fantastic! We have been plagued by road noise, including large bangs from lorries hitting a sunken manhole cover at all times of the day and night. This has now stopped as the traffic is not hitting the manhole, and the overall road noise is much less. Along with a reduction of the speed limit this is a very positive change, and I have emailed the Highways team to say so!
 

shaf

Committee
Yes so far it's looking and sounding much better. Prefer the painted lines than the concrete kerb dividers.
 
Yes, much better to look at, but if the kerbs and bollards are safer then maybe that’s for the best?! I don’t know, all I know is I want this cycle lane to stay...
 

Lyn B

Resident
Mmmmm. Did you need to write that? Let's all just be the considerate people. [ I could say ....as long as arrogant vehicle drivers keep to the speed limits and drive safely and don't leave their engines idling and don't block the end of Oakmount Ave (happened today), as long as arrogant dog owners keep their leads from making invisible barriers or who think it's ok for dogs to sniff bikes, as long as people they don't walk with headphones ...... basically there are arrogant people, some drive (dangerous) , some cycle (still dangerous, but usually not as dangerous), some walk dogs, some walk.] Maybe remember that nobody is perfect. Let's just be the considerate people. Please.
 

Victoria

Resident
It would be great if they could something about bike theft. The thing that has always stopped me cycling in to town is the risk of coming back to find my bike gone.

Sadly I think there will still be many barriers to people cycle commuting - largely the lack of safe bike storage and lack of showering/changing facilities at their destination. So much more is needed than just a few bike lanes.

But in general I welcome anything that encourages people out of their cars!
 

shaf

Committee
I agree totally. The plan from what I've seen makes no mention of bike thefts. Many people I know have stopped cycling including me because of this very important issue. We need safe secure places in the city centre. I've suggested back rooms of charity shops where you know you would return to collect your bike. I'm even happy to pay a small fee for this service. I hope the council is listening and may spend some of the millions they are receiving to address this issue.
 

Pete Thomas

Committee
Conservation
There was considerable driver frustration coming south from Chilworth roundabout about both speed and space. Elsewhere it seemed to be working, except possibly going northwards at the Burgess Road crossroads,

I agree for the main part that this is good. There is a bit of an issue though regarding the southbound traffic (especially) between Chilworth roundabout and the Winchester Road roundabout. It was a bottleneck before and more of a bottleneck now.

Obviously it would work better IF more people were commuting on bikes, but maybe that is not happening to the extent that was hoped for. So while people might try to avoid buses due to infection concerns, they aren't all going green and getting on their bike but using cars. For pour area if the Basset Avenue gets clogged then the obvious thing is to turn off down Glen Eyre - so making it worse for those residents.

Little bit more research and thought needed I think.
 
The traffic lights from Highfield lane onto the avenue are a pain but I wonder if that could be fixed by altering the phasing.

the upper section of the avenue through Bassett also appears to be problematic, but the road noise from the lower section of the avenue is greatly improved and I don’t think the traffic on that section is too badly affected. I’d like them to keep that bit for sure!
 
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