The recent student development in Green Park Road opposite Green Park saw a short length of cycle lane and an advanced stop line (ASL) for bikes removed during the development. Even this I thought was unnecessary, but if you ride a bike in Bath you are used to being bottom of the heap.
This small cycling facility, although not thought much of by some people on bikes, used to allow riders to get through on the inside to the ASL, and as a result giving drivers a clear sight of bike riders at this busy junction. My partner and I used to find this really useful in getting to the front of the traffic, without resorting to the pavement or riding in the middle of the road.
I have seen many more people on bikes using it in the past. In fact some vehicles still think it is a cycle lane and leave a gap on the inside, such is the poor rubbing out of the line markings (see photo).
As the photos show the lines were rubbed out during the development and new lines have been redrawn making this lane wider for motor traffic and the cycle lines have not been repainted, so it appears that this little cycle lane has been removed.
This is so disappointing and unnecessary. It was after all only “crumbs from the captain’s” table in the first place.
What is so annoying is that the pathway for the student housing on the other side of the road is so wide that a full width, longer cycle lane could easily have been installed, making this road much safer for people on bikes.
This is just one more example of how the Council have made conditions worse for people riding bikes rather, than when the opportunity presents itself, making conditions safer and easier. Normally, when there is a planning application through a 106 agreement or through Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) an amount is agreed by council officers and developers to make improvements.
Here it would have been simple enough to agree an amount in this high value development as a minimum, to reduce the width of the pavement and to put in a longer, wider, more effective cycle lane painted in a different colour. It is difficult to understand why this was not done, as there is likely to be a high demand for safe cycling from students living in the development and given the high priority of cycling in the Council’s Transport Strategy.
Add this to the attempt by the Council to remove the much more useful London Road bike lane and you have clear evidence of a determination to put motor vehicles before bike riders.
Recent high national figures for obesity and diabetes reflect our sedentary life style, so it is surprising that the Council does not appear to see the advantages of safer cycling to encourage more people to exercise in this way.