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Murder strip cycle lane has been repainted without improvement

Reported via desktop in the Road Markings - Worn/Faded category anonymously at 22:56, Wednesday 13 July 2022

Sent to Northamptonshire Highways less than a minute later. ref: 3674928.

I notice that the "murder strip" of a cycle lane along Rowtree Road has been (mostly) repainted:

* The cycle lane is of inadequate size; even the cycle symbol won't fit in it fully, let alone an actual cycle. * I have been close-passed too many times on this road. One cannot use the cycle lane for fear of drivers considering passing me in the 'other lane' no matter how close. * The below minimum width standard lane is shared with detritus by the kerb and drains. * The cycle lane ends or narrows at pinch point junctions, roundabouts and bus stops. * The cycle lane markings disappear at some junctions. The faded green tarmac has not been refreshed or replaced with others markings either.

This is such a missed opportunity to have done it properly in accordance with guidelines such as in LTN1/20 (https://www.gov.uk/ government/ publications/ cycle-infrastructure-design-ltn-120)

I do hope a better standard is achieved when Penvale Road has some kind of scheme installed with the Vistry development funding.

Paint is not protection, but inadequate paint is suicidal.

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Updates

  • Thank you for reporting a fault. We will use the information you have provided to assess and prioritise this fault in accordance with our published response times for fault reports.

    State changed to: Investigating

    Posted by Northamptonshire Highways at 22:57, Wednesday 13 July 2022

  • Thank you for your enquiry. It is acknowledged that these particular lanes are relatively narrow and, indeed, if we were to install such a facility today we would endeavour to have them constructed to a standard minimum width of 1.5 metres. Although this is all dependant on the available road space concerning carriageway width and whether this could be safely achieved. However, It is considered that the presence of the existing lanes do confer some benefit. In the first instance, they provide a visible reminder to all road users that cyclists are likely to be present along the route. Additionally, it is generally recognised that cycle lanes, which effectively narrow the general traffic lanes, provide an element of traffic calming with expected lower vehicle speeds as a result. The lines have recently been refreshed as part of our routine maintenance programme, whereby works are undertaken under a separate budget with the intention of retaining the existing situation rather than designing new layouts which would form part of a design programme and funded from a separate revenue stream. With this in mind, there are no current proposals for the removal of the cycle lanes on Rowtree Road and in light of the above it would not be considered a priority to investigate the feasibility of this further at this point in time. Additionally, in order for the lanes to be removed, a high level of traffic management would be required. As such, the work would likely prove to be very costly and funding for such works is, unfortunately, not currently available. At such a time that Rowtree Road may be considered for future resurfacing works, the cycle lane markings would then be reviewed and reassessed as to whether they are suitable for re-instatement. In the meantime, we work closely with Northants Police in order to try to promote the close pass message. As part of Operation Close Pass, we have helped put together a leaflet, which is intended to give advice to drivers on how to pass cyclists safely. Within the leaflet we have specifically included wording (detailed below) around cycle lanes to address this issue and educate road users that minimum passing distances apply at all times, even with the presence of a cycle lane and that cyclists are not obliged to stay within them: • Some on-road cycle lanes are too narrow and at times it may be safer for a cyclist to ride outside of the lane, especially alongside parked cars or if there are potholes • Drivers are still required to give cyclists the minimum passing distance whether a cycle lane is present or not We have additionally included advice for cyclists to highlight why they should not ride too close to the gutter and also to promote the need for cyclists to take the centre of the lane where necessary. Moreover, new guidance has been set out in the Highway Code which offers more protection to vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists which has been supported with media coverage and advertisements nationwide to further reinforce these changes. Thank you once again for your enquiry, I trust that it explains out current position on this matter.

    State changed to: No further action

    Posted by Northamptonshire Highways at 10:10, Wednesday 20 July 2022

  • Thank you for your enquiry. It is acknowledged that these particular lanes are relatively narrow and, indeed, if we were to install such a facility today we would endeavour to have them constructed to a standard minimum width of 1.5 metres. Although this is all dependant on the available road space concerning carriageway width and whether this could be safely achieved. However, It is considered that the presence of the existing lanes do confer some benefit. In the first instance, they provide a visible reminder to all road users that cyclists are likely to be present along the route. Additionally, it is generally recognised that cycle lanes, which effectively narrow the general traffic lanes, provide an element of traffic calming with expected lower vehicle speeds as a result. The lines have recently been refreshed as part of our routine maintenance programme, whereby works are undertaken under a separate budget with the intention of retaining the existing situation rather than designing new layouts which would form part of a design programme and funded from a separate revenue stream. With this in mind, there are no current proposals for the removal / redesign of the cycle lanes on Rowtree Road and in light of the above it would not be considered a priority to investigate the feasibility of this further at this point in time. Additionally, in order for the lanes to be removed / redesigned, a high level of traffic management would be required. As such, the work would likely prove to be very costly and funding for such works is, unfortunately, not currently available. At such a time that Rowtree Road may be considered for future resurfacing works, the cycle lane markings would then be reviewed and reassessed as to whether they are suitable for re-instatement. In the meantime, we work closely with Northants Police in order to try to promote the close pass message. As part of Operation Close Pass, we have helped put together a leaflet, which is intended to give advice to drivers on how to pass cyclists safely. Within the leaflet we have specifically included wording (detailed below) around cycle lanes to address this issue and educate road users that minimum passing distances apply at all times, even with the presence of a cycle lane and that cyclists are not obliged to stay within them: • Some on-road cycle lanes are too narrow and at times it may be safer for a cyclist to ride outside of the lane, especially alongside parked cars or if there are potholes • Drivers are still required to give cyclists the minimum passing distance whether a cycle lane is present or not We have additionally included advice for cyclists to highlight why they should not ride too close to the gutter and also to promote the need for cyclists to take the centre of the lane where necessary. Moreover, new guidance has been set out in the Highway Code which offers more protection to vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists which has been supported with media coverage and advertisements nationwide to further reinforce these changes. Thank you once again for your enquiry, I trust that it explains out current position on this matter.

    Posted by Northamptonshire Highways at 10:14, Wednesday 20 July 2022

  • I disagree that the existing lanes provide any benefit whatsoever. The 'lanes' are too narrow to provide sufficient space in which to safely cycle. They are not "relatively narrow", they are a death trap. They are full of detritus by the kerb, and other street furniture such as drains regularly across half their width. It is encumbent on cyclists to deliberately ride outside of the lane (primarily position, or certainly extended secondary) to severely discourage drivers from squeezing through. They reduce the road space available for everyone with zero benefit.

    Further west on Rowtree Road, there is no centre line, yet similarly deficient advisory cycle lanes are indicated. These are of a similar poor standard, with no reason to be so narrow given there's only one central vehicle lane.

    Do you intend to: * clear the gutter of detritus? * fix the depressed drains, etc. encompassed entirely within the murder strip? * finish reinstating the existing paintjob where gaps now persist - many junctions were originally designed with green tarmac but this has faded so ought to be replaced by white lines. * think about dealing with the ends of the the cycle path that jsut finish into pinch points? The Butts Road roundabout being a case in point.

    Your current position is untenable and someone WILL be killed on this stretch of road. It is only a matter of time. I have personally had objects thrown at me from vehicles, been yelled at to 'get in the cycle lane', and been close passed too many times to count on this stretch. I refuse to cycle in the lane as it's not usable, but at some point someone will drive into me (again).

    A leaflet is going to have no effect whatsoever.

    State changed to: Open

    Posted anonymously at 23:17, Wednesday 20 July 2022

  • Still open, via questionnaire, 23:08, Wednesday 10 August 2022

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