Monday, January 26, 2015

McDonalds danger on Boris superhighway

Fast-food chain McDonald's planned drive-through restaurant on the A40 at Gypsy Corner will create an unnecessary and dangerous crossing for cyclists. The proposal includes a turning from the A40 across the Mayor's planned East-West Cycling Superhighway despite Highways Agency standards stating that turnings to and from trunk roads must be limited as they can give rise to accidents. The proposed turning also fails to meet the requirements of the London Cycling Design Standards published in draft form last year. These state that "Cycle Tracks should enjoy priority over turning traffic. This is essential not just for directness and continuity, but also safety." The current layout fails to make it clear whether vehicles travelling on the cycle track or on the highway have priority. To avoid doubt, the cycling standards recommend bending the cycle path 5 metres in from the highway and installing a stop line for vehicles turning off the main road. A third problem with the design, as it stands, is that it only proposes a 3.5m wide shared-use path. This is inadequate for a Cycling Superhighway which will be carrying cyclists travelling in both directions. A better option would be to install a two-way cycle path with a recommended width of 4 metres, and a separate footpath alongside. Luckily there is a simpler solution to all three problems. Ealing Cycling Campaign have written to the council suggesting that the access road to the site be relocated so it runs from Leamington Park. We should hear their response before the planning meeting next week. The plans are on the council website here.