Cycle Routes – They are generally poor

The BBC has the article on its website – see link below

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46179270

As a cyclist, I find this article interesting and to the point. I’ve commented before along the similar lines by highlighting local cycle route inadequacies which I have encountered.

Often segregated cycle routes do not have logical ends and are in effect bits and pieces between destinations. The route from Switch Island to Ormskirk along the busy A59 is an example. From Switch Island to the Maghull boundary there’s a brand new cycle path but it stops well short of Liverpool Road South. Yes, I know that Sefton Council intends to address this but really it should have been done in tandem with Highways England doing the first stretch.

But then moving north through Maghull & Lydiate a safe cycle route has yet to be sorted out. It’s either the busy dual carriageway or pavement for cyclists.

A59 Cycle path becomes narrow pavement at Robins Island.

Then at Robins Island, a cycle path appears again, on both sides of the A59. Generally, it is in good condition but parts of it are not – patches of grass, poorly completed surface repairs & tree roots make the later stages of these cycle lanes poor. But then as you climb into Aughton the cycle route peters out altogether just like through Maghull & Lydiate. This makes the last mile or so into Ormskirk a cycling challenge.

This was the state of the Cheshire Lines Path through Great Altcar Civil Parish in the winter of 2017 – it’s not got any better.

I could illustrate other problem routes where cycling facilities in Sefton and West Lancashire are inadequate but will settle for just one. The Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail. This former railway track is in very poor condition through West Lancs because since it was created there has not been the regular maintenance that is clearly required. Some of the route is now really only suitable for mountain bikes and a once wide path where cyclists could pass each other is presently very narrow in places.

There is much to do to make our cycling routes safe, logical and well maintained.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

A59 Cycle Path – Switch Island to Robins Island

A59 Cycle path becomes narrow pavement at Robins Island.

I’ve mentioned before my desire to see a safe cycle route through Maghull and Lydiate from Switch Island to Robins Island and I took the matter up with Sefton Council Highways. This is what they had to say:-

‘We have actually identified this as an issue and are pursuing a proposal to develop a cycle route between Switch Island and Robbins Island as one of our priorities. We have secured funding for the initial section which will link Switch Island to the service roads to the north of the Dover Road/ Liverpool Rd junction through the local growth fund(LGF), this should be delivered over the next 18 months. We have a separate bid for funding which is currently on a reserve list for schemes to be funded through the LGF which would extend this further from Hall Lane to the Eastway/ Westway junction and once this has been secured will be seeking to extend the route up to Robbins Island, once funding opportunities arise.’

Cycle path under construction between Switch Island and the River Alt along the A59 – April 2018. This section now complete.

Some good news here and the first section, funded by Highways England (see second photo), is now complete but clearly it is likely to be some years before the whole missing section of cycle track alongside the A59/Northway through Maghull and Lydiate is completed. Let’s hope for as quick a construction period as possible in these most uncertain and cash strapped times.

Cyclists/Car Drivers – the best and the worst – Maghull and Netherton

I am both a car driver and a cyclist so I can see both points of view. The reality is that there are poor car drivers and poor cyclists.

A week last Sunday I cycled over the Hall Lane canal swing bridge in Maghull east to west and just as I left the bridge another cyclist came onto the bridge travelling west to east. The next I knew (behind me) was the other cyclist shouting at a car driver who had followed me onto the bridge and all but knocked the cyclist off his bike by trying to squeeze past him!

Clearly the car driver was in the wrong and should have apologised to the cyclist but no, he wound down his window and issued a hurl of verbal abuse aimed at the cyclist he had nearly collided with because of his impatience!

The following Tuesday I found myself almost colliding with a cyclist on Dunningsbridge Road at the traffic light by the Park Hotel. I was driving west to east towards the traffic lights and saw a cyclist on the adjacent cycle track travelling the same direction as I was. Trouble is the cycle track ends abruptly here and the cyclists are in effect forced into the road.

I expected the cyclist to slow down and watch for the traffic he was merging into but no he simply flew into the lane I was in cutting me up on his bike. I had to swerve to avoid hitting him and it was a close shave indeed. But what did the cyclist do but give me the two fingered salute! His only defence was that there are no ‘give way’ markings where the cycle track merges with the road but you would have thought self preservation would have made him look before he shot out into the traffic. He will not live long pulling such stunts on the busy Dunningsbridge Road. Next time it could be a huge lorry with him sadly underneath it!

Just goes to prove my point that there are poor drivers and poor cyclists.