Leicester City Council cause outrage in our home
February 9, 2011
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I have been writing to Leicester City Council about the total lack of any provision for pedestrians or cyclists at a major junction (Melton Rd/Troon Way). For background see Cyclists and Pedestrians failed by Leicester City Council « 42 Bikes.
Today I got a response to my last email (and my thanks to John Dowson for replying in about two weeks):
We have looked at whether low cost improvements can be made, but the length of crossing distances and hence the time a pedestrian would be crossing the highway are outside of standard design requirements. This means that simply putting in a pedestrian/cycle facility on a junction a junction without intervening islands to segregate the lanes, which would also be necessary to keep traffic moving, would be inherently unsafe. As the lane widths have to be maintained, this also means widening the junction, which increases the costs significantly. The junction has a high accident record, generally of shunts, red light infringements and turning movement errors, which means that we need to be thorough in designing a safer, better junction. The simple solutions you suggest are regretfully not practical and this remains a junction that we have been unable to improve at a reasonable cost.
I have replied with some detailed questions.
However, when I showed this email to Jane she was reduced to spluttering outrage.
Our understanding of the junction of Melton Road and Troon Way can be summarised as:
- The Council knows this junction has a high accident rate
- There are no signals to indicate to pedestrians or cyclists when it is safe to cross because the distance is too far to cross safely
- Travelling to and from Leicester a pedestrian needs to cross a minimum of 5 lanes of traffic.
- Travelling to and from Leicester a cyclist has separated cycle paths that end before this junction and start after it
- There are no alternative options for pedestrians or cyclists (other than a long detour on unlit paths through Watermead Park)
- There is a secondary school less than 1/3 of a mile away
- The Council are unwilling to make the junction safe for pedestrians and cyclists because they believe it is too expensive to make it safe for pedestrians and cyclists while maintaining the flow of traffic (note how they exclude pedestrians and cyclists from their definition of traffic, it does not matter if their flow is destroyed and their safety is a lower priority than the flow of cars).
Is this legal?
How can a Council provide footpaths and cycle paths that lead to a junction that they know is unsafe?
Shouldn’t there be signs up saying:
“Leicester City Council know that this junction is unsafe:
- there are no lights to tell you when to cross,
- the light sequence does not give you time to cross,
- there are no safe refuges,
- vehicles frequently crash here.
Therefore do not try to use this pavement or cyclepath as it does not go anywhere and we should never have built it.
We apologise that this means you cannot get into or out of Leicester by walking or cycling.
Have a nice day!”