A2 Blackheath - road will be narrowed and a grass shared-use path put in

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by John Hearns, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    There is a debate on the Lewisham cyclists list at the moment.
    There are plans by Transport for London to narrow the carriageway of the
    A2 crossing Blackheath, as the "guardians of the heath" wish to cut down
    the area of the heath encroached on by the road. The plan is a very narrow
    carriageway, a 7.2 metre wide carriageway.
    Separate from that will be a 2metre shared use path, covered with grass.

    Dangerous on two points - cyclists squeezed off the road,
    then being asked to ride on a grass surface shared with toddlers and
    babies in prams. This is a major commuter route in London.



    Also in the discussion, could someone please give me the Department for
    Transport figures which say that off-road paths are more dangerous than
    cycling on the road? I know this has been discussed here.
     
    Tags:


  2. John Hearns wrote:
    > There is a debate on the Lewisham cyclists list at the moment.
    > There are plans by Transport for London to narrow the carriageway of
    > the A2 crossing Blackheath, as the "guardians of the heath" wish to
    > cut down the area of the heath encroached on by the road. The plan is
    > a very narrow carriageway, a 7.2 metre wide carriageway.
    > Separate from that will be a 2metre shared use path, covered with
    > grass.
    >
    > Dangerous on two points - cyclists squeezed off the road,
    > then being asked to ride on a grass surface shared with toddlers and
    > babies in prams. This is a major commuter route in London.


    What kind of idiot would design a grass-covered cycle path? It'd be a
    mudbath following the first rainfall!
     
  3. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 09:05:34 +0000, Simon Bennett wrote:

    >
    > What kind of idiot would design a grass-covered cycle path? It'd be a
    > mudbath following the first rainfall!



    It has been discussed as part of the CRISP process.
    A pedesrian/cycleway composed of submerged pre-cast concrete hard standing
    blocks.


    BTW, if anyone wants to have some input into this, it is on the agenda at
    the Lewisham Cyclist meeting tonight.
    http://www.lewishamcyclists.net/images/Gallery/Monthly Meetings/MarMM.html
     
  4. John Hearns wrote:
    > On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 09:05:34 +0000, Simon Bennett wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > What kind of idiot would design a grass-covered cycle path? It'd be a
    > > mudbath following the first rainfall!

    >
    >
    > It has been discussed as part of the CRISP process.
    > A pedesrian/cycleway composed of submerged pre-cast concrete hard standing
    > blocks.
    >
    >
    > BTW, if anyone wants to have some input into this, it is on the agenda at
    > the Lewisham Cyclist meeting tonight.
    > http://www.lewishamcyclists.net/images/Gallery/Monthly Meetings/MarMM.html


    John

    Are there plan details online anywhere? Can you provide some evidence
    that the design is really talking about a grassed path. This is not my
    understanding from the correspondence that Roger has been posting to
    the LC list but I admit I am not fully clear on the plans. I am
    unlikely to be able to make the meeting tonight

    best wishes
    james
     
  5. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 01:50:22 -0800, [email protected] wrote:

    >
    >
    > John
    >
    > Are there plan details online anywhere? Can you provide some evidence
    > that the design is really talking about a grassed path. This is not my
    > understanding from the correspondence that Roger has been posting to the
    > LC list but I admit I am not fully clear on the plans.


    My wording was a direct quote from the Word document which David Mill sent
    to the group on Saturday 11th March. It is his response to the discussions
    of the CRISP meeting.

    I should make it clear that the grass covering is not TfLs policy.
     
  6. John Hearns wrote:
    > There is a debate on the Lewisham cyclists list at the moment.
    > There are plans by Transport for London to narrow the carriageway of the
    > A2 crossing Blackheath, as the "guardians of the heath" wish to cut down
    > the area of the heath encroached on by the road. The plan is a very narrow
    > carriageway, a 7.2 metre wide carriageway.
    > Separate from that will be a 2metre shared use path, covered with grass.
    >
    > Dangerous on two points - cyclists squeezed off the road,
    > then being asked to ride on a grass surface shared with toddlers and
    > babies in prams. This is a major commuter route in London.


    This is awful.
    How wide is the road now?
    What's the speed limit?
    Is it LCN+?

    2.0 metres is described as 'absolute minimum width' for a shared path
    in the London Cycling Design Standards - it should be 3.0m unless
    there's a very good reason (e.g. to get between two houses or across a
    n existing narrow bridge).

    The guardians of the heath should be persuaded that their only options
    are 3.0m of tarmac on the heath or leaving the carriageway width at
    9.0 to 9.5m. Probably it would be a mistake to ask for a wider
    carriageway, or someone will try to squeeze in a bus lane.

    Reducing the speed limit to 30, if it's more now, would improve the
    heath by reducing traffic noise, and would encourage cyclists onto the
    road.

    Colin McKenzie
     
  7. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 10:41:18 +0000, Colin McKenzie wrote:

    >
    > This is awful.

    Yup.
    > How wide is the road now?

    Two lanes, plus a painted-on cycle lane either side. I think 9 metres or
    more.

    > What's the speed limit?

    30 mph
    > Is it LCN+?

    Good question - I think so. There was a CRISP meeting last week.
     
  8. Tim Binns

    Tim Binns Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 09:30:09 +0000, John Hearns <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 09:05:34 +0000, Simon Bennett wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> What kind of idiot would design a grass-covered cycle path? It'd be a
    >> mudbath following the first rainfall!

    >
    >
    >It has been discussed as part of the CRISP process.
    >A pedesrian/cycleway composed of submerged pre-cast concrete hard standing
    >blocks.
    >
    >
    >BTW, if anyone wants to have some input into this, it is on the agenda at
    >the Lewisham Cyclist meeting tonight.
    >http://www.lewishamcyclists.net/images/Gallery/Monthly Meetings/MarMM.html


    Are these the things that have soil-filled through holes in 'em to
    allow grass to grow within, such as:

    http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/4921/highwaylayby1jpg4lo.jpg

    If so, it's an utterly shite idea. I've ridden on such blocks - the
    vibration is appalling. Proposing these things as a surface for
    utility cycling is an act of weapons-grade idiocy.

    Anything other than an MTB with lowish-pressure 2.1" tyres would be
    insufferable on such a surface.

    A commuter on 27mm slicks or less would be endangering their rims
    unless they proceed at a walking pace.
     
  9. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Tim Binns wrote:
    >
    > Are these the things that have soil-filled through holes in 'em to
    > allow grass to grow within, such as:
    >
    > http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/4921/highwaylayby1jpg4lo.jpg
    >
    > If so, it's an utterly shite idea. I've ridden on such blocks - the
    > vibration is appalling. Proposing these things as a surface for
    > utility cycling is an act of weapons-grade idiocy.
    >
    > Anything other than an MTB with lowish-pressure 2.1" tyres would be
    > insufferable on such a surface.
    >
    > A commuter on 27mm slicks or less would be endangering their rims
    > unless they proceed at a walking pace.


    They have them on the cyclepath across the end of Rutland Water dam and
    they are bad. Bad on a mountain bike, as you say, even worse on a
    commuter bike and sheer hell I would think on a Brompton.

    --
    Tony

    "The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
    right."
    - Lord Hailsham
     
  10. John Hearns wrote:

    > There is a debate on the Lewisham cyclists list at the moment.
    > There are plans by Transport for London to narrow the carriageway of the
    > A2 crossing Blackheath, as the "guardians of the heath" wish to cut down
    > the area of the heath encroached on by the road. The plan is a very narrow
    > carriageway, a 7.2 metre wide carriageway.
    > Separate from that will be a 2metre shared use path, covered with grass.
    >
    > Dangerous on two points - cyclists squeezed off the road,
    > then being asked to ride on a grass surface shared with toddlers and
    > babies in prams. This is a major commuter route in London.


    Ride on the road then! A grass path is a bad joke.
     
  11. John

    John Guest

    "John Hearns" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]
    > There is a debate on the Lewisham cyclists list at the moment.
    > There are plans by Transport for London to narrow the carriageway of the
    > A2 crossing Blackheath, as the "guardians of the heath" wish to cut down
    > the area of the heath encroached on by the road. The plan is a very narrow
    > carriageway, a 7.2 metre wide carriageway.
    > Separate from that will be a 2metre shared use path, covered with grass.
    >
    > Dangerous on two points - cyclists squeezed off the road,
    > then being asked to ride on a grass surface shared with toddlers and
    > babies in prams. This is a major commuter route in London.
    >
    >
    >
    > Also in the discussion, could someone please give me the Department for
    > Transport figures which say that off-road paths are more dangerous than
    > cycling on the road? I know this has been discussed here.
    >


    I must admit it has been years since I cycled along this road, as opposed to
    across, but I'm not convinced it is as bad as you make out.

    Most serious cyclist can ride with the traffic as it is flat, lesser cyclist
    will already be detered going east by Blackheath hill, which is a b#tch.

    So is it really worth worrying about?
     
  12. Tony Raven wrote:
    > They have them on the cyclepath across the end of Rutland Water dam and
    > they are bad. Bad on a mountain bike, as you say, even worse on a
    > commuter bike and sheer hell I would think on a Brompton.


    We went on an off road 'mountain bike trail' around Alton Water in
    Suffolk (owned by Anglian Water). They had some of the best quality
    grasscrete I've seen on the top of the dam and it was still the most
    physically demanding part of the circuit!

    peter
     
  13. Ian Smith

    Ian Smith Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 09:30:09 +0000, John Hearns <[email protected]> wrote:

    > A pedesrian/cycleway composed of submerged pre-cast concrete hard standing
    > blocks.


    Ah. Grass crossed with drain-covers and a hint of cobblestones. I'm
    sure that will be lovely to cycle on.

    regards, Ian SMith
    --
    |\ /| no .sig
    |o o|
    |/ \|
     
  14. Tom Crispin

    Tom Crispin Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 08:17:24 +0000, John Hearns <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >There is a debate on the Lewisham cyclists list at the moment.
    >There are plans by Transport for London to narrow the carriageway of the
    >A2 crossing Blackheath, as the "guardians of the heath" wish to cut down
    >the area of the heath encroached on by the road. The plan is a very narrow
    >carriageway, a 7.2 metre wide carriageway.
    >Separate from that will be a 2metre shared use path, covered with grass.
    >
    >Dangerous on two points - cyclists squeezed off the road,
    >then being asked to ride on a grass surface shared with toddlers and
    >babies in prams. This is a major commuter route in London.
    >
    >
    >
    >Also in the discussion, could someone please give me the Department for
    >Transport figures which say that off-road paths are more dangerous than
    >cycling on the road? I know this has been discussed here.


    John,

    My father is/was chair of the Friends of Blackheath, I will ask him
    about the scheme when I next see him. I wonder if he's the "guardian
    of the Heath" to which you refer!? "Encroached" is just his sort of
    word, and I know he's been on about the A2 for many years. At one
    time he suggested putting it in a tunnel - until he discovered that
    the ventalation shaft needed would be a blot on the landscape. I know
    he had a lot to do with the closure to motor traffic of several roads
    across Blackheath, and the grassing over of others.

    Personally, I'd have no objection to a segreagted cycle lane alongside
    the A2, so long as it had a good surface and the juctions with Goffers
    Road and Watt Tyler road westbound and with Hyde Vale, General Wolfe
    Road, and Charlton Road eastbound were inteligently designed, with
    priority for *all* A2 traffic.

    A grass cycle path sounds particularly loony, but a narrowing of the
    A2 resulting in a slowing of the traffic may well be good news. The
    section between Hyde Vale and General Wolfe Road is particularly wide
    with the pedestrian footway used as a police lorry check area on
    occasion!
    --
    Let us have a moment of silence for all Americans who
    are now stuck in traffic on their way to a health club
    to ride a stationary bicycle. -
    Congressman Earl Blumenauer (Oregon)
     
  15. Tom Crispin

    Tom Crispin Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 09:05:34 -0000, "Simon Bennett"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >What kind of idiot would design a grass-covered cycle path? It'd be a
    >mudbath following the first rainfall!


    Blackheath is never a mudbath. The chalk soil is well drained.
    --
    Let us have a moment of silence for all Americans who
    are now stuck in traffic on their way to a health club
    to ride a stationary bicycle. -
    Congressman Earl Blumenauer (Oregon)
     
  16. Tom Crispin

    Tom Crispin Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 18:57:49 +0000, Tom Crispin
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >My father is/was chair of the Friends of Blackheath


    It seems that he has been renegated to 'licensing', whatever that is!

    http://www.blackheath.org/home3.htm
    --
    Let us have a moment of silence for all Americans who
    are now stuck in traffic on their way to a health club
    to ride a stationary bicycle. -
    Congressman Earl Blumenauer (Oregon)
     
  17. Tom Crispin

    Tom Crispin Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 08:17:24 +0000, John Hearns <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >There is a debate on the Lewisham cyclists list at the moment.
    >There are plans by Transport for London to narrow the carriageway of the
    >A2 crossing Blackheath, as the "guardians of the heath" wish to cut down
    >the area of the heath encroached on by the road. The plan is a very narrow
    >carriageway, a 7.2 metre wide carriageway.
    >Separate from that will be a 2metre shared use path, covered with grass.
    >
    >Dangerous on two points - cyclists squeezed off the road,
    >then being asked to ride on a grass surface shared with toddlers and
    >babies in prams. This is a major commuter route in London.
    >
    >
    >
    >Also in the discussion, could someone please give me the Department for
    >Transport figures which say that off-road paths are more dangerous than
    >cycling on the road? I know this has been discussed here.


    I've been on the phone to a couple of people about this proposal.

    A couple of points:

    1. No one I spoke to knows of any plans to grass the cycle path.
    2. Reducing the speed of the motor traffic on the A2 across
    Blackheath is a good idea.
    3. The number of pedestrians using the path would be tiny; the number
    of toddlers and babies in prams on the path would be miniscule (even
    if measured per decade).
    4. No one I spoke to was aware of the safety issues when a segregated
    cycle lane crosses a side road, making a 5-way junction with priority
    to motor traffic from any direction.
    5. The perception of inexperienced and some leisure cyclists would be
    that cycling along the A2 would be safer with a segregated path, and
    threfore increase cycle traffic.
    6. The current cycle lane from the roundabout to the toucan crossing
    is clearly inadequate.

    Several years ago the plans were drawn up. At a meeting on Monday the
    proposals were thrown into confusion by TFL's Centre for Cycling
    Excellence who said they'd prefer an on-road cycle lane. They have a
    direct line to Ken Livingstone (spoken in a scornful voice by one of
    the people I spoke to).

    Tomorrow evening I'll know more when the person who put forward the
    proposal for a segregated cycle lane will phone me.
    --
    Let us have a moment of silence for all Americans who
    are now stuck in traffic on their way to a health club
    to ride a stationary bicycle. -
    Congressman Earl Blumenauer (Oregon)
     
  18. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 21:56:19 +0000, Tom Crispin wrote:

    > I've been on the phone to a couple of people about this proposal.
    >
    > A couple of points:
    >
    > 1. No one I spoke to knows of any plans to grass the cycle path.

    I'm banged to rights here. This was a proposal floated on the Lewisham
    cyclists list. I am stirring it a bit here, sorry.

    2.
    > Reducing the speed of the motor traffic on the A2 across Blackheath is a
    > good idea.

    Yes, but narrowing the road and getting cyclists off the road isn't going
    to do this. Again sorry if this is being put strongly - but I really fail
    to see how this road narrowing will either cut the amount of motor traffic
    using the road, or slow it down.
     
  19. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 18:27:41 +0000, John wrote:

    >>

    > I must admit it has been years since I cycled along this road, as opposed
    > to across, but I'm not convinced it is as bad as you make out.
    >
    > Most serious cyclist can ride with the traffic as it is flat, lesser
    > cyclist will already be detered going east by Blackheath hill, which is a
    > b#tch.
    >
    > So is it really worth worrying about?

    Yes. The proposal is to narrow the carriageway to the width where two
    buses or lorries can pass each other, something like 7.2 metres wide,
    down from the current 9 metres.
     
  20. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 18:57:49 +0000, Tom Crispin wrote:

    >
    > Personally, I'd have no objection to a segreagted cycle lane alongside the
    > A2, so long as it had a good surface and the juctions with Goffers Road
    > and Watt Tyler road westbound and with Hyde Vale, General Wolfe Road, and
    > Charlton Road eastbound were inteligently designed, with priority for
    > *all* A2 traffic.

    Point taken.
     
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