Any experiences cycling in this "scheme" in Ipswich



M

Matt B

Guest
According to this US report Ipswich is the latest place to "to test a
novel theory" (a shared space scheme).[1]

The report states: "On Handford Road in Ipswich, England, there are no
stop signs, no posted speed limits, no lane lines, and hardly any
traffic lights. Yet drivers politely edge aside to make room for other
drivers, they slow down, and they yield to bikers and pedestrians."

Does anybody here have any experience of cycling in this scheme? Is it
as good as it sounds?

[1] http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/070318/26traffic.htm

--
Matt B
 
N

Nigel Cliffe

Guest
Matt B" <"matt.bourke wrote:
> According to this US report Ipswich is the latest place to "to test a
> novel theory" (a shared space scheme).[1]
>
> The report states: "On Handford Road in Ipswich, England, there are no
> stop signs, no posted speed limits, no lane lines, and hardly any
> traffic lights. Yet drivers politely edge aside to make room for other
> drivers, they slow down, and they yield to bikers and pedestrians."
>
> Does anybody here have any experience of cycling in this scheme? Is
> it as good as it sounds?


Its OK. Its an experiment worth continuing and monitoring. Its better than
it was. I think the white line removal had the largest impact.


Hanford Road is not particularly long, nor is it a prime route. I'd suggest
its a secondary route into the town, in practice much traffic turns it at
each end (even though on a map it looks like the straight line from the SW,
connecting the A12 trunk road to the town centre).
Its not a perfect cycle route as the SW end puts you into a very busy double
cross roads (one set each side of a river bridge) with two sets of lights, 4
lanes, etc. You need to be a confident/assertive cyclist to ride the
junction by grabbing the primary position in your lane and not releasing it
until clear of the junction (or ride on the pavement, waiting at multiple
independent pedestrian crossings, some of which are permitted cycle paths,
some not).


Politically it goes almost straight to the town council offices (across the
roundabout at the NE end). I wonder if that influenced the choice of
experiment ?

The new stuff has no white lines, but there are colours in the road surface
(subtle, not strong ones).

"No stop signs". The main line of Handford Road never had any stops or
give-way (except the lights at one end, and the roundabout at the other).
I'll have to look at all the side junctions to see if those were removed.

"Hardly any traffic lights" = "the same number of sets of traffic lights
before the changes".



I live a few miles out of Ipswich, and cycling to town via Hanford Road is a
clear option for me at weekends. I don't use it, preferring the quieter
London Road (only services a few streets, not a through route for cars)
which is almost parallel; that may be habit of many years, and it may be the
angle of the slight climb into town.


- Nigel



>
> [1] http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/070318/26traffic.htm


--
Nigel Cliffe,
Webmaster at http://www.2mm.org.uk/
 
B

bobrayner

Guest
On 26 Mar, 13:16, Matt B <"matt.bourke"@nospam.london.com> wrote:
> According to this US report Ipswich is the latest place to "to test a
> novel theory" (a shared space scheme).[1]
>
> The report states: "On Handford Road in Ipswich, England, there are no
> stop signs, no posted speed limits, no lane lines, and hardly any
> traffic lights. Yet drivers politely edge aside to make room for other
> drivers, they slow down, and they yield to bikers and pedestrians."
>
> Does anybody here have any experience of cycling in this scheme? Is it
> as good as it sounds?
>
> [1]http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/070318/26traffic.htm


It goes past my office. I haven't noticed much difference.

I doubt that it offers much safety/usability improvement beyond
"novelty" - that road users accustomed to getting lots of hints and
tips about what to do will suddenly find they have to think for
themselves slightly more on this road. Novelty is not something that
scales well to every road in the country. :)

There's a bit where the road widens to accommodate right-turns from
Handford Rd into two very quiet little roads on either side. This
would usually have a hatched area, arrows, &c. Part of me wonders
whether there's a bigger risk of a head-on collision here...

I'm surprised that anybody thought traffic had much improved. Queues
and slow traffic aren't caused by zombie drivers going slowly through
a complex forest of, err, central white lines and visible kerbs.
Queues and slow traffic are caused by the traffic lights at either
end, pedestrian crossings, and poorly-laid-out junctions (or the
people who use them poorly). I don't think the "naked road" has dealt
with any of those problems.

I noticed a lot more congestion in the evenings, after the terrible
incidents late last year. Perhaps a few extra people started driving
home from work (or, twice as bad for congestion, getting somebody to
drive into town to pick them up), and a couple of junctions couldn't
really cope with the extra traffic. Congestion has improved
significantly since then, but that can't really be attributed to the
paintless roads.