This article was published in 2005, in Newsletter 63.
A consultation document has been circulated and staffed exhibitions have been held about proposed changes in Milton Road between Mitcham’s Corner and Arbury Road. One change which affects cyclists is that between Ascham Road and Elizabeth Way, the bus lane on the south-east side will be replaced by an advisory cycle lane (but with double yellow lines and no more pavement parking). A bus lane will be installed on the opposite side of the road along which, of course, cyclists will be allowed to go.
The most contentious part of the proposals is at the junction with Arbury Road and Union Lane where they include a right turn ban from Milton Road into Arbury Road or a left turn out of Union Lane onto Milton Road. There will, however, be a cycle bypass to enable cyclists to turn left from Union Lane.
However, as well as increasing journey times, we believe that the right turn prohibition will cause difficulties for cyclists and only serve to create equally severe congestion for motor vehicles at other junctions along Milton Road.
Motorists wishing to go up Arbury Road are likely to use the roundabout at Elizabeth Way to U-turn and make their way back, making the roundabout more dangerous for cyclists. Motorists are likely also to rat-run through Hurst Park Avenue and Orchard Avenue. This will create a situation where motorists wishing to go straight on will undertake those turning right and will encroach into the new advisory cycle lane.
At present there is a slightly difficult situation for cyclists at the southbound Arbury Road approach on Milton Road. A red-coloured bus lane stops a little way from the junction. There is then a large white arrow on the ground pointing buses and taxis to the outside lane. This is immediately followed by a red cycle lane leading to a forward stop box at the junction.
It looks as if this short cycle lane is mandatory, but the line on the outside is so worn away that it is difficult to tell. When vehicles are waiting to turn right into Arbury Road, the vehicles behind tend to cut into the cycle lane and cross the inside of the advanced stop box in order to undertake the right-turning vehicle. This would not happen if the right turn were prohibited. However, the difficulties created elsewhere by the prohibition are probably more serious. It is important that, if the right turn remains, the white line outside the cycle approach lane is kept in good condition. There is much opposition by local residents and others to the proposed changes at this junction.
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