This way, that way, both ways

This article was published in 2002, in Newsletter 42.

Thank you!

Our aspirations to open up more one-way streets to cycles in both directions took a big step forward in April when councillors agreed to make the experimental one-way relaxations in Burleigh Street, Bene’t Street and Hope Street permanent. They also approved moving to the next stage of considering, in conjunction with the Campaign, more streets for two-way use by cyclists.

This is an excellent outcome. Establishing practical policies like this is a significant achievement and has more effect than consultations on any individual scheme or junction.

Officers had actually recommended that Hope Street not be approved. However, there was a good response from residents supporting it, and Councillor Smart, who represents Romsey, said the same thing. So councillors approved all three, but will look again at Hope Street in another year.

Image as described adjacent
Sheffield: We thought this way of signing was more effective than ‘No Motor Vehicles’ signs. But officers told the committee that they were ‘concerned that this type of signing is as likely to be abused as prohibition of motor vehicle signs. Such signs would require special authorisation from DTLR’ (did Sheffield really get special approval?).
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The conventional way of allowing cyclists past No Entry signs, now to be used at Bene’t Street. This example is at St Barnabas Road.

The authors of the report to councillors were concerned about motorists driving the wrong way, especially in Hope Street. We share this concern. On the whole, drivers respect No Entry signs much more than the low-flying motorcycle sign. The Department of Transport seems adamant that it won’t allow ‘Except Cyclists’ underneath No Entry signs. We have seen other arrangements elsewhere (as in the picture). There is certainly a need for a better way to sign these streets that doesn’t involve expensive and space-limited islands.

In Bene’t Street, the blocked end will be rearranged to make a proper entrance for cyclists complete with island. This will make the position clearer for everyone and will mean the No Entry signs can be reinstated. It is the conventional treatment for such locations where there is space, and already used extensively in Cambridge. We advocated properly marked out entrances in all such schemes, even if there was only width to use white lines.

Burleigh Street will also be rearranged slightly when a very welcome toucan (cycle and pedestrian) crossing to replace the pelican crossing is installed there soon.

For the future, we went back to our original list when we wrote our response for the committee. The streets included this time were not our first choices.

  • Kingston Street, off Mill Road, is an obvious choice.
  • Panton Street and Union Road (between Lensfield Road and Hills Road) were not considered last time because of a theoretical area-wide traffic scheme that was on the cards. That proved to be a damp squib: changes are now planned only in Bateman Street.
  • Some of the narrower streets in Romsey are inconvenient for residents especially (cyclists travelling through the area can pick and choose which streets to use).

Several of you provided additional suggestions:

  • Mawson Road (near Tenison Road).
  • Corn Exchange Street and Wheeler Street (depends very much on the Silver Street scheme and the Grand Arcade shopping development).
  • Green Street (City Centre).
  • Mercers Row and Garlic Row (off Newmarket Road near the railway bridge).

We will follow these up with the County Council in the near future.

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No Entry Except Cyclists is not an authorised sign. Well, only sometimes – two local examples.

David Earl