Cycling facilities on the cheap, number 2

This article was published in 2005, in Newsletter 62.

Leys Avenue – Arbury Court – Alex Wood Road

There is a cut-through between Leys Avenue and the back of Arbury Court, and then through to Alex Wood Road. This is a useful route for cyclists from Arbury and Kings Hedges to get into town without having to ride on Arbury Road, which is relatively busy and can be unpleasant.

There are a few problems:

Image as described adjacent

The entrance to the path from Leys Avenue. This has a completely separate path for pedestrians shown to the right in the photo, yet it still also has a nasty set of railings which makes it very difficult to navigate with a child trailer or a tandem. Most people have to dismount to use this with a single bike.
Image as described adjacent
At the end of this path is a treacherous unmarked cycle route to Arbury Court: sharp left turn, no dropped kerb, car park, bad sight lines and delivery vans to contend with. Nearby, a potentially useful cut-through to Redfern Close is prohibited for cycling.
Image as described adjacent
Next an unofficial-looking sign asking for cyclists to look out for ‘small children and pedestrians’, blocks the narrow cycle path. A further set of barriers prevents cycling through to Alex Wood Road and the cycle parking for Arbury Court.
Image as described adjacent

Because the barriers to cycling are so great around the back of the shops, it is actually rather easier to cycle through the pedestrian area in front of the shops. This is also a much more pleasant and safer place to be, given that it avoids both the vehicles around the back, and that it’s a busier and better-lit place to be after dark. It also could then link with the short shared use paths which link Arbury Court’s Arbury Road entrance with Campkin Road and homes in Kings Hedges.

For the minimal cost of removal of the railings and erecting a couple of signs we could have a very nice cycle facility at this point.

David Hembrow