November 15, 2005

Kenilworth Road Cycle Track – Coventry Council Consultation

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Coventry City Council is proposing an extension to the existing cycle track on Kenilworth Road, including a link on Gibbet Hill Road to the Gibbet Hill Campus.

Further details are provided here.

Please email any comments by 24 November to or print out the form and return it by post.

One issue for me is how/where are cyclists to cross Gibbet Hill Road?

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  1. Steve Rumsby

    As I read the proposal, they are intending that the cycle track will have priority when it crosses side roads. That is, cyclists should expect to be able to cycle straight across without stopping, and vehicle coming out of the side road, or turning into it from Kenilworth Road, should expect to give way to such cyclists. Is that right?

    I've not come across such an arrangement before. Has anybody else? Does it work? I can't help feeling that motorists won't realise that's what they are supposed to do, and they won't stop, with the obvious unfortunate consequences. Am I just being pessimistic?

    16 Nov 2005, 10:43

  2. Unfortunately many cycle tracks in the UK give priority to cars in such situations

    Although even in the UK there are places where priority is given to the traffic (i.e. the cyclists) on the major road. Signage and humps help to enforce this. I expect I can find a picture somewhere.

    In the Netherlands it's standard practice to give priority to traffic going straight on (i.e. the cyclists). But then a lot more people cycle in the Netherlands. It's a vicious circle, low cycling numbers let the authorities get away with treating cyclists as 2nd class road users, being treated as second class road users leads to less people cycling.

    16 Nov 2005, 11:11

  3. Steve Rumsby

    I can imagine signage and humps would help with traffic coming from the side road onto Kenilworth Road. But traffic turning into a side road is going to be braking from 50mph and not particularly paying attention to any signs. And what would happen if two cars try to make the same turn when there's a bike on the crossing? I don't expect there'd be room for both of them between the main road and the crossing, and so the second would have to stop on Kenilworth Road itself. It all sounds like an accident waiting to happen…

    You are right, of course, that this is a catch-22 situation If there were more of them around, drivers would be expecting them and there'd be no problem. But because there aren't, they don't, so introducing them is problematic. I guess somebody has to be first, though, but it has to be done very carefully. I'll stick to cycling on the road until I'm sure drivers know how these things work…:-)

    16 Nov 2005, 12:59

  4. A concern I have is if the cyclists' crossing of Gibbet Hill Road is close to the junction with Kenilworth Road, the morning peak will see a queue of traffic destined for campus extending far enough to impact flow on Kenilworth Road. If the crossing is far from the junction, cyclists who don't want to travel along Gibbet Hill Road will be inconvenienced.

    16 Nov 2005, 14:41

  5. Steve Rumsby

    That's true – I hadn't got as far as thinking about cyclists crossing Gibbet Hill Road. The document gives no details of how that junction might work. The only mechanism I can think of is a separate traffic light phase for cyclists, probably on request (i.e. push a button to cross).

    16 Nov 2005, 15:05

  6. Cyclists northbound for Coventry could re-join the carriageway for a short stretch, cyclists to/from campus could be catered for by a crossing some way away from Kenilworth Road. But what about southbound cyclists from Coventry?

    This does illustrate the problems of having a cycle track on only one side of the road. Thus the reason why cycles should be integrated with the other traffic where it is politically possible to have speed limits of 30 (40?) mph or less.

    Ask any cyclist about the junction of Kenilworth Road with A45.

    16 Nov 2005, 15:56

  7. Steve Rumsby

    what about southbound cyclists from Coventry?

    They are what I had in mind when thinking about the third phase of the traffic lights.

    Turning right from Gibbet Hill Road onto the Kenilworth Road cycle path towards Kenilworth could be interesting too if there's lots of oncoming traffic from Stoneleigh Road. A cyclist would be stopping much sooner that a motorist making the same right hand turn, leaving room for confusion and encouraging motorists to try squeezing past. I suppose turning right from Stoneleigh Road onto the cycle path heading into Coventry could be interesting too, if the layout isn't thought through carefully. A cyclist could be stationery making the turn at a point where following motorists don't expect, and where the road starts to narrow again.

    Ask any cyclist about the junction of Kenilworth Road with A45.

    Whenever I approach that along Kenilworth Road from Kenilworth, and intend to turn left, I always use the cycle path and avoid the junction. I can't think of a good reason why I do that, but I always do. If I was to be heading on into Coventry (never have, but if…) I would stay on the road with the traffic I think.

    I've approached it a few times on the A45 headng West (from Baginton) and always stayed on the road, with the traffic. Not had a problem yet, although the road surface is not great around there – you have to claim a fair chunk of the inside lane to make sure you got room to weave around a few dodgy bits

    Turning right from Kenilworth road (either direction) onto the A45 could be interesting as there's no dedicated filter. I've never had the pleasure.

    16 Nov 2005, 16:54

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