Improved Cycling facilities: Birstall entrance to Watermead Park

Fantastic. A new entrance has been installed between Birstall and Watermewad Park (the entrance off Whites Lane).

It is now passable by bike and even by my Bullitt cargobike. Not easily passable as the gap narrows to less than the width of my handlebars so it takes a bit of manhandling to get through. Still that is a lot better than what we had before. I wonder if the designers of these barriers have actually seen many bikes? Do they test these barriers with many bikes (Jane’s very ordinary town bike also has handlebars wider than the gap). What about families with children on childseats, in trailers, on tag-a-long bikes or tandems?

However, I am not going to complain as it makes a nice change as this is the first piece of infrastructure change in this area that I have seen since September that has not actively made things worse for cyclists.

So many thanks to whoever it is in Birstall, Charnwood or Leicestershire that got this sorted. I am pleased that I now have an alternative to cycling through Thurmaston when going from Syston to Birstall or Leicester City Centre.

Meanwhile to those who plan cycling facilities I would urge you to visit the Netherlands or read up on Dutch standards for cycle infrastructure and start working on providing us with facilities of that standard (see this paper on  making cycling irresistable in several countries) . With the prospect of fuel rationing within 10 years, continuing fuel price rises, the obesity problem and the senseless deaths of so many children you need to really get a move on in rapidly providing the sort of facility that will make people feel safe so they are willing to get out of their cars.

Car centric planning is killing our Children and destroying our hope of a good future.


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