Unlike its county council neighbour, Nottingham City Council has been one of the better local authorities when it comes to cycling provisions. But even it can get things wrong.
We were recently contacted by CW reader David Easley of Wollaton, Nottingham, who had noticed a worrying trend in the city.
“Some of my local cycling friends and I are concerned about a number of highway ‘improvements’ being funded by Nottingham City Council that involve installing Pelican crossings with build-outs in the vicinity of cycle lanes,” Mr Easley said.
“I’m sure the pelican crossing build-outs are installed with the best of intentions, but they create a hazard for cyclists, particularly when the build-outs clash with cycle lanes.
“Very often the width of the build-outs is similar to the width of the cycle lane they interrupt. In this situation motorists can all too easily get used to thinking that cyclists are safely out of the way in the cycle lane.
As a motor vehicle approaches the pinch point, the lane they are in remains unchanged. They might not be aware that a cyclist just ahead of them is about to veer out into what they have come to think of as ‘their lane’,” Mr Easley said
“Before the construction of the Pelican crossing and build-outs on Trowell Road, there was a simple pedestrian refuge in the centre of the carriageway at the same spot.
This also narrowed the road, but in this case, because the narrowing was from the middle of the carriageway rather than the sides, cyclists didn’t have to move out.
The onus was more on the motor traffic to slow down and alter course if a cyclist happened to be passing the refuge at the same time.”
Nottingham City Council has bid for a £6.1 million share of the £30 million Cycling City budget the government has made available (the winning councils were due to be announced after CW went to press). If successful, perhaps it’ll consider diverting some funds to rethink the design of its Pelican crossings.
This article was first published in the June 20 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!