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Newsletter December 2019

Welcome to the December newsletter

We've had a very busy year and it looks like 2020 will be even busier for cycling infrastructure in Southampton! Read this to find out what’s coming up, and get the latest on changes in the city. 

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What’s on?

Monthly Campaign Meetings – 2nd Monday of the month | St Denys Community Centre | 7:15pm

Have your say on the future of the campaign, dig into the detail of riding in the city, and enjoy a cuppa with Southampton’s cycling community of lycra lovers, occasional commuters, and everything in between:

  • 9th December – Christmas social special
  • 13th January – 2020 kick off meeting
  • 10th February – Q and A with Wade Holmes (questions given in advance), Southampton City Council Transport Delivery Team Leader

View all upcoming meetings on Facebook | View previous meeting minutes

More dates for your diary
  • Christmas Glow Ride – Details at Facebook Glow Ride
  • North Baddesley bike ride, led by Lindsi Bluemel: Sunday 15 December (meet at 10am, Hawthorns Café, The Common)
  • Southampton Cycling Forum, your chance to have your say on the council’s plans: Tuesday 14 January (time and venue TBC)
  • Regular Campaign Easy Paced Bike Rides
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Southampton’s Cycling Scene: news and updates from campaigners

1 – The Avenue Cycle Scheme, Lyn Brayshaw

You’ve no doubt seen that there’s a lot of work going on. It’s all linked to Southampton Cycle Network (SCN) route 5, and stages 1 and 2 are almost complete. 

We’re still awaiting a few key components, including the link between the top of London Road and Royal South Hants. Next week, we get to comment on the plans for stage 3, next to The Common. We’re holding our breath for great things … !

We have an active working group on this. If you’d like to have your say on these major developments in Southampton’s cycling infrastructure – come along to a meeting and join the gang!

View proposal from Southampton City Council 

2 – Transforming Cities Fund bid deadline closes, Chris Brown

12 cities and regions had until 6pm on Tuesday 28 November to apply for their share of £1.2bn to spend on active travel and sustainable mobility developments.

Whatever you think of the funding process (one could question whether it’s helpful to ask local cities to fight against each other, force planners across the country to pour weeks into plans which may or may not be realised, and squeeze the infrastructure delivery period into a short time window), Southampton City Council’s cycling-focused bid has the capacity to fundamentally shift how we move around this city. The Southampton Cycling Campaign has greatly valued being brought in shape the plans, and appreciation is due to everyone at Civic Centre who’s put the hours in.

Like other applicants, Southampton has submitted a ‘high-package ambition’, alongside smaller-scale plans. The Department for Transport are due to release their decision during Spring 2020 – a moment that will be eagerly awaited by cycling campaigners, transport planners, and public transport advocates in Southampton and across the country.

Read summary

3 – Salisbury Road, Highfield,  Peter Davis and Chris Brown

Works to transform Salisbury Road,  in the north western corner of the University of Southampton’s Highfield Campus were completed recently (instead of taking a few months, it was closed for well over a year which was a great inconvenience to local cyclists).

The University sought to create a landscaped shared space outside its major new teaching centre, The Centenary Building. Kerbs, carriages and pavements have been removed and all traffic flows are accommodated on one level thoroughfare. Shared space schemes aim to promote walkability, cycling and ‘sense of place’ at the expense of vehicle speed by removing the design features which make drivers feel confident about putting their foot down through well walked areas.

However, it appears the project owners have lost their nerve. During a recent walk past the site, builders were in the process of adding bollards into the mix, and thus reintroducing the delineation between carriageway and pavement. One might’ve hoped for a little more patience, to allow time for everyone to get used to the new road layout.

Regardless of street design, we’re concerned about the status of the thoroughfare now this work is done. We still lack clarity on the legal mechanism used by the University to take over this public highway and make the changes. In normal circumstances they would have to take over the maintenance of such an expensively re-surfaced carriageway from the local authority via a Section 106 agreement, which do not provide the security of a permanent public right of way (section 106s can be easily be undone by simple agreement between the City and the developers/owners). 

While we’ve had limited re-assurance from city highways that "it is recorded as a public right of way as a highway – for the time being" and that the University has no intention to change this, our concern remains that they could possibly close it at any time in the future.

View on map

4 – Ride Audits, Johnnie Dellow

This year, we’ve been invited by the council to contribute to the preliminary planning for more routes which Transforming Cities might fund. This has come in the form of three audit rides of the areas where we have been able to comment on what is there, what might be planned and any thoughts on alternatives. Recently, we’ve looked at three routes with them: 

  • An alternative/quiet route parallel to Portsmouth Road from Woolston Station to Botley Road

  • A Hospital Orbital Route from Redbridge to The Common via the General and Western Hospitals

  • Bitterne Road East to Kanes Hill

Although these routes are only in the preliminary stages we do get to discuss problem junctions, existing infrastructure, critique ideas at an early stage and tell the council what we’d like to see. 

Anyone is welcome to join a working group and the audit ride. We report back to the campaign at monthly meetings, monitor the development of the plans, and attend council design hub meetings to comment before plans are implemented.

Quayside Rd to the Bitterne Centre, from Lindsi Bluemel

The purpose of this scheme is to provide a safe and relatively pollution-free route from the cycle provision on Northam Bridge to the Bitterne Centre and also a safe route to Bitterne Primary School from the roads south of Bitterne Rd West.  This was a fairly safe route before the scheme was started, so most of the work carried out has been minor – eg improving the link over the railway line from Quayside Rd to Athelstan Rd and a wide shared-use path on Angel Cres providing access to the school and the Bitterne Centre. The major part of the scheme is provision for cyclists on the west side of  Peartree Ave from the Chessel Ave junction to opposite Angel Cres and a toucan crossing to take cyclists across Peartree Ave into Angel Cres. The scheme is still under construction.

When finished it will form part of a continuous route to the Bitterne Centre from the city centre via the NCN route through the stadium and Radcliffe Rd onto Northam Bridge, then Quayside Rd, Athelstan Rd, Cross Rd, Chessel Ave, Peartree Ave  and Angel Cres. It also links via the path alongside the Meridian development (accessed at Coalporters Rowing Club) and the Boardwalk to St Denys and Portswood.

5 – City Centre Update and News, Lindsi Bluemel

At this point in time there’s no scheme to improve cycling provision in the city centre, but we’re pushing for one. Our working group have looked at provision in the west and east of the city. We’ve identified where improvements are needed, and shared our suggested improvements with the Cycling Officer, Transport Councillor and others.

Two areas stood out as requiring very urgent attention. First, the section of highway between Asda and the Polygon, including the very dangerous junction with Civic Centre Rd. Second, the route from the south side of the station to the Civic Centre. We’re glad this busy dual carriage-way, with no cycle provision at all, is now being considered as part of the redevelopment of the station south forecourt.

We were also disappointed to see that some recent highway upgrades are not cycle-friendly. Most obvious is Back of the Walls between East St and Bernard St, a historic part of the city that’s frequented by visitors, where sustainable travel provision is poor. While the street has become one way, there’s no cycle contra-flow and it’s become a rat run. We’d love to see shared space here, or at least a 10mph limit.

We would love to see you at a meeting soon so come along  and see you all all in 2020

Happy Christmas
Southampton Cycling Campaign

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