Friday, 5 March 2010

The wonderful Plymouth City Council

I have an on-going disagreement with Plymouth City Council. It started after some blasted idiot nearly killed me at a then brand-new build-out on Ham drive.

I enquired why no cycle by-pass was included in the design and received the following as reply: "
Due to lane widths available on Ham Drive and Fore Street it was not possible to include cycle by-passes.

Now let me show you the locations. Unfortunately Google maps doesn't have an updated image showing the build-out on Ham drive, but it clearly shows both build-outs on Fore street.

Ham Drive: 


Fore Street (I've circled the build-outs):

Now kindly explain to me how the nice lady from Plymouth City Council could possibly state the reason cycle bypasses weren't included was lack of lane width!

In the UK, road design is the responsibility of the Department for Transport (DfT). Local councils are supposed to follow DfT guidelines when building things like build-outs.

So let us then see what the DfT suggests Plymouth City Council could and should have done. They published a document entitled Local Transport Note 2/08, Cycle Infrastructure Design, and you can find it here.

At the top of page 28 you will see this image, which shows the right way of doing things:

  
Compare the road layout and the by-pass to those in Plymouth and what do you notice? Yes, that's right! There IS space for cycle bypasses to have been included!
The obvious question then must be this - why did the lady from the council tell me there was insufficient lane widths? 
She couldn't possibly have twisted the truth somewhat in an attempt to shut me up, could she now? No, of course not!