By Jim Rayner
I thought I would like to do an "occasional personal review" of the various recent cycle improvements in the town, plus some other bits and bobs from earlier times.
Many of us in Colchester Cycling Campaign may well know what has taken place, but some may not.
It would be good to know what people think who use these facilities every day.
I'll start with Ipswich Road, where the footway was widened in 2016 by taking about a metre of carriageway in a realignment scheme outside of the Rovers Tye pub.
|Apart from a simple kerb, there is no buffer between the cycle path and the road. Already you can see tyre marks and concrete clips caused by vehicles hitting the edge|
|I stopped at the one spot for about ten minutes. In this time three cyclists passed by, two of whom were cycling on the pedestrian side of the path. To me this indicated that many cyclists feel uncomfortable riding too close to the edge.|
With regard to the distance buffer between the road and the cycle path the Dutch CROW design manual recommends:
"The higher the speed of the traffic, the greater the separation should be between the tracks and the main carriageway although for safety, bikes should still be visible to car drivers.
"In built-up areas, the minimum width of the buffer between a cycle track and the road should be at least 0.35m for a one-way cycle path and 1m for a two-way, but usually the width will be greater depending on the barrier type."
Apart from the kerb itself on Ipswich Road, effectively there is no other barrier between the traffic and what is a two-way cycle path.
This seems crazy as there are plenty of examples elsewhere in Colchester of a 0.35m kerb markers / concrete strips to demarcate an extra edge between the road and the cycle path.
This example is at the Hythe:
|Yet another cyclist on the pedestrian side of the path. I reckon about half of all users do this. Is this because the demarcated section is too close to the road?|
|As an aside, this rider had a bag dangling from her handlebars, which I consider to be a dangerous practice because they can go into the front wheel and cause a spill — it is always best to get a rack and use pannier bags.|