Council announce funding for new green and safety transport schemes

The council intends to spend £1.3m on improvements to cycleways and shared surface routes, better signage and more cycle racks.

cycle-rack-amandabhslater

This in from the council, in their own words. Ed


A list of schemes to improve accessibility, road safety and traffic management on the Isle of Wight’s transport network has been announced.

The Isle of Wight Council is looking to spend £1.3 on a raft of projects during the 2013/14 financial year including improvements to cycleways and shared surface routes, better signage and more cycle racks. The planned works also include £100,000 programme of schemes to improve the rights of way network.

The list of proposed work is outlined in a delegated decision report published today on the council’s planned integrated transport/local sustainable transport fund capital programme.

More being spent on schemes
Though the amount of grant available for work of this nature has been reduced by Government, the council has been able to increase spending having secured a near £4 million Government grant for green transport schemes – some of which are compatible with the programme.

“At a time when Government grant is being reduced in this area, it is very pleasing that through our successful application for substantial Local Sustainable Transport Grant funding we are able to actually increase our spending,” said councillor Edward Giles, Isle of Wight Council cabinet member responsible for transport.

“A truly accessible and integrated transport network is clearly a benefit to residents but it also helps the Island develop its already considerable appeal as a green travel destination.”

The delegated decision report is embedded below for your convenience.


Image: Amanda BH Slater under CC BY 2.0

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Tuesday, 12th March, 2013 10:48am

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Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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18 Comments

  1. Bystander's comment is rated -1 Vote +1 Vote -1

    12.Mar.2013 1:44pm

    The best way to improve the safety of pedestrians is to stop cyclists sharing paths. I fail to see how a Council, whose plans to reduce its adult social care budget ignored its own internal guidance and were unlawful, can consider itself in a position to judge the safety of anything.

    Reply
    • Steve Goodman's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

      12.Mar.2013 4:27pm

      Is “the best way to improve the safety of pedestrians to stop cyclists sharing paths”, or would it be to stop the sharing of highways with motor vehicles which kill and injure so many more people?

      Or for everybody to use shared spaces considerately? There are positive, inclusive signs to that effect on part of the National Cycle Network south of Newport; but now on the same shared path north of Newport the ‘keen to promote cycling’ council has just spent money installing negative, discriminatory and divisive signs discouraging cyclists. We are told pedestrians have priority and that our maximum speed should be (an unenforceable) 10mph.

      I am grateful to Mike Starke for contacting the council regarding this; many of us agree entirely with the points he makes. Read on if you are interested.

      Dear Kevin Burton,

      I am a keen and frequent cyclist, who enjoys the network of cycle routes on the Island for fitness and recreation in my retirement. I wrote with particular praise to the Isle of Wight council when the Cowes to Newport section of Sustrans National Cycle Route (NCN) 23 was upgraded to make the surface a pleasure to ride on after several years of decline, when -unacceptably – only off-road cycles were suitable for use there.

      Imagine my distress, then, when I was confronted by the recent new signage (see below). I am one of the 400 or so Island members of the national Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) and I ride on mainland routes as well as here.

      I have never come across signage with such a negative, discriminatory and divisive message in respect of myself and fellow cyclists. We are told pedestrians have priority and that our maximum speed should be 10mph.

      I would find it beyond belief if Sustrans approved of such a perversion of their positive and inclusive advisory notice, as displayed at the entrance to the Shide to Blackwater section of NCN 23, which states: “Traffic free sections (of NCN) are used by walkers, cyclists and sometimes horses. Please respect other users.”

      I am entirely comfortable with this sentiment and strive to emulate it when I am out riding on NCN or other shared routes. Sadly, I am aware a minority of fellow cyclists fall below this standard, as, also, do a large number of pedestrians, especially those who exercise uncontrolled dogs and allow them to defecate on the pathways, which I know to be a nuisance – and health hazard – to both cyclists and other, more responsible, pedestrians.

      However, there is no acknowledgment on the new council signs to advise pedestrians to show consideration. Far from it. The statement: “Pedestrians have priority” gives carte blanche to the sort of abuses I encounter on at least three occasions every time I use an Island cycle route, and in good weather this can be daily, seven days a week.

      As to the speed limit of 10mph. This is entirely unrealistic for cyclists enjoying the relatively flat and smooth surface of the Newport to Cowes section of NCN 23. I expect to reach speeds up to 20mph on this section, provided I do not have to slow out of courtesy to pedestrians. Or come to a dead stop, as is often the case as a safety measure when encountering excitable dogs off their leads, or groups of walkers insisting on occupying the entire width of the pathway, regardless of the timely ringing of a bicycle bell.

      Nor do I believe the speed limit is enforceable in law. Neither, I guess, would there be staff available to monitor it. This makes the considerable expenditure the signage has incurred to be an irresponsible waste of our dwindling council tax cash. Incidentally, I would be obliged if you could tell me just how much this fruitless and counter-productive exercise has cost in public funds.

      I will gladly provide a detailed account of my experiences, daily if necessary, to counter what I gather from cycling campaigning groups on the Island to have been “two or three” complaints about cyclists, possibly only from one individual, it has been suggested.

      I am further concerned that the cherished “Cycle Island” tourist selling point, enhanced in great measure by the annual CTC Wayfarers’ Randonnee and other cycling events throughout the year, will be damaged by the negative effect of the ill-conceived signage.

      I have consulted representatives of CTC, CYCLEWight and Sustrans on this issue and their input has informed some of my comments and conclusions above.

      As you may gather, I feel very strongly about this subject. It strikes at the heart of the healthy outdoor pastime I most enjoy while I still have the time and fitness to continue to do so. I would therefore urge you to reconsider what is demonstrably the negative effect of the entirely inappropriate NCN 23 signage and remove it.

      Existing signs fill the bill satisfactorily, as I have shown. Knee-jerk reaction to placate what I am led to believe is, at most, a vociferous minority would seem to be an inappropriate reaction from a responsible local authority dedicated to acting on behalf of all its residents.”

      My thanks again to Mike, who, like me, is still a pedestrian, cyclist, & user of cars & public transport (it’s been a while since frequent horseriding days).

      Reply
      • Bystander's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

        12.Mar.2013 5:01pm

        I saw a friend of mine hit by a cycle doing 20 mph on a shared path, she lay unconscious in a puddle of her own urine after that. Bikes are a menace because of the number of irresponsible cyclists, on paths and on roads.

        Reply
      • a person's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

        12.Mar.2013 6:07pm

        Well said Steve Goodman.

        I am often amazed at the level of abuse I receive when on cycle paths. It astounds me that pedestrians feel that they can block the entire pathway and not give any courtesy to bike users. I have been sworn at and told to “get off the f***ing bike” on more than one occasion. When I politely point out that it is actually a cycle path, people often argue that it is a footpath, and on one occasion refused to let me pass until I threatened to contact the police.
        Yes, there are idiots on bikes who cause accidents, but much more often it is the idiots walking who think that they should have priority.
        Whether on roads, or on cycle paths, bike users obey the rules just as much as any user. Yes, there are some who jump on and off pavements, ride on footpaths and are generally dangerous, but then pedestrians blocking a designated cycle path are just as dangerous, and car drivers breaking the speed limit and scraping past bikes with minimum clearance are just as dangerous if not more.
        Bystander, perhaps some more details of the accident you mention are in order. Was there space for the cyclist to get past safely, and if not why hadnt you and your group, as pedestrians, ensured that you left enough space out of consideration for other users of the pathway?

        Reply
        • Bystander's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

          12.Mar.2013 6:36pm

          To be fair the people swearing at you might well have had nothing to do with you being a cyclist.
          The ‘idiots walking’, as you describe them, just happen to have priority on a shared path if it is a public right of way.

          Reply
          • a person's comment is rated +1 Vote +1 Vote -1

            12.Mar.2013 7:20pm

            so someone telling me to “get off the f***ing bike” on a cycle path is not swearing at me because Im a cyclist then? How do you work that one out?
            And quite how pedestrians can have right of way on a designated cycle path NOT a shared path is beyond me.

            It is incumbent on BOTH cyclists and pedestrians to know what is going on at all times and plan for the unexpected. Your friend should have looked before bending down to pick the item up, and the bike should have made sure she was aware of his presence and slowed down somewhat. If he was passing with only a foot clearance though, I have to wonder WHY there was only a foot clearance? Were you and your group taking up most of the path?

            On a genuine footpath, bikes should not be an issue at all as they are not allowed on footpaths. However on a shared path, EVERYONE should be aware of what is going on around them and make sure they take extra care to avoid accidents. Cyclists, Pedestrians, EVERYONE.

          • tryme's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

            12.Mar.2013 7:31pm

            Enjoy your right of way, mowing people down, ‘a person’ – good luck with that.

            The rest of us live in the real world where neither pedestrian nor cyclist can be relied upon to behave perfectly, & we think we should plan for that.

          • a person's comment is rated -1 Vote +1 Vote -1

            12.Mar.2013 7:46pm

            Im sorry, that is EXACTLY what I have just said.
            “EVERYONE should be aware of what is going on around them and make sure they take extra care to avoid accidents. Cyclists, Pedestrians, EVERYONE.”

            NOWHERE did I mention mowing down pedestrians.

            Perhaps you should read what people actually write instead of just trying to rile them. Grow up.

          • a person's comment is rated +1 Vote +1 Vote -1

            12.Mar.2013 7:50pm

            and the right of way – you seem to be under the illusion that I am talking about an IOW shared path. when I mention a right of way for cyclists, I am talking about a path on the mainland with a sign that SPECIFICALLY says cyclists have the right of way. It is NOT a shared path, yet pedestrians use it and seem to think they can get away with the most outrageous abuse of the cyclists who do have the right of way.

          • Bystander's comment is rated -2 Vote +1 Vote -1

            12.Mar.2013 7:54pm

            So it was my friends fault? You are a typical cyclist John and I’m not going to waste any further time on your childish comments

          • tryme's comment is rated -1 Vote +1 Vote -1

            12.Mar.2013 7:56pm

            If you ride anything like you post, ‘a person’, you are one scary cyclist!

          • a person's comment is rated +1 Vote +1 Vote -1

            12.Mar.2013 8:36pm

            where did i say it was your friends fault?

            YOU have blamed the cyclist throughout. I have said that both your friend and the cyclist could have done things differently and been more aware on a shared path. I really dont see what is “childish” about suggesting that people using a shared path should make sure that they are aware of what is going on around them at all times.

          • a person's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

            12.Mar.2013 8:42pm

            I also notice that 3 times now you have not answered the question: where you and your group taking up the entire SHARED path, leaving no room for cyclists to pass safely?

            I think perhaps your lack of response on that is telling. Whilst I have the utmost sympathy for your friend, it is a SHARED path, and ALL parties should be aware of that. Too often pedestrians wander along chatting without being aware of the bikes in front of them let alone those behind. I find your eagerness to blame the cyclist and to tar all cyclists with the same brush deeply disturbing.

      • DH's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

        12.Mar.2013 7:43pm

  2. tryme's comment is rated -1 Vote +1 Vote -1

    12.Mar.2013 6:43pm

    It seems common sense to me.

    If you compare the effect of a nuisance pedestrian on a cyclist, with the effect of a nuisance cyclist on a pedestrian, it is the cyclist who has the ‘weapon’ of the bike & can usually do far more damage. Bikes can whip round at you out of the blue, as seems to have happened in Bystander’s example. Never mind the detail: trying to apportion blame is neither here nor there – if bikes & pedestrians are sharing the same space there’s no doubt in my mind that it is the cyclist who needs to give way.

    Reply
    • tryme's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

      12.Mar.2013 6:58pm

      I agree that on general roads the boot is on the other foot, & it is incumbent for cars to be thoughtful towards cyclists & give them priority. This is what I do with cyclists & horses, giving them masses of room & not behaving in a hassling way.

      Reply
    • Bystander's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

      12.Mar.2013 7:02pm

      In the instance I was referring to my friend was walking along talking to her companion when she dropped something, she stooped down to her left side to pick it up as a bike approached her from behind. He had intended to pass her at speed with less than a foot clearance. This happens to me regularly on footpaths, you dont even know they are coming until they whisk past you. Any deviation from walking in a straight line is likely to end up with a collision.

      Reply
  3. playingthenumbers's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

    12.Mar.2013 11:07pm

    Being a multimodal traveller, I’ve learnt to suspect other users of the road, path, whatever as potential pillocks. Never underestimating the stupidity, ignorance & foolhardiness of some people.

    Whether they are walking their dogs along the Cowes – Newport cycle path with their iPods turned up to max, unhearing of warning bells while their dogs gamble freely & unleashed wherever the scent takes them, unaware that although they have priority they don’t actually own the entire path. Or the 4×4 drivers executing high speed turning manoeuvres to just ‘make the lights’, mounting the kerb & scaring little old ladies. Or car drivers flicking their fag butts out the window as I pass, on one occasion, when my visor was raised. Or the jay walkers, ever so keen to meet their makers.

    I’ve been for a ‘trip down the road’ it isn’t pleasant. My theory is that those with transport slow down, use the bell & make yourself visible; pedestrians remember you’re not at home, indoors, you’re using a prepared path that vehicles use, sometimes at speed.

    BTW, the Cowes – Newport path was beautiful this week with its light dusting of snow, I’m pleased to have chosen to walk it twice. Pleased too that the cyclists who risked it, ALL sounded their bells in good time as they passed me.

    Reply

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