Hounslow Road Hanworth gets a safety makeover!

Update: Routes north of the A312 have been completed however, despite the southbound lane being set back from the road, motorists are still able to drive over the cycle lane which is not even lined by a curb.

At the Feltham Area Forum on 17 November 2016, details were circulated of the next stage of works south of the A312. Construction is planned Spring -Autumn 2017.

In April 2014, Hounslow Cycling took part in the Space for Cycling campaign. Across the borough we asked for different things to improve cycling. Hounslow Road is in Hanworth Ward and here we asked for Protected Space for Cycling, especially to provide a safe route for anyone cycling to Oriel Academy.

It is great that the council listened and that they are now consulting on plans to provide some protected space for cycling on Hounslow Road (A314) from the River Crane bridge near Middlesex Crematorium all the way to Bear Road flyover.

Problems with existing cycle lane

There are a range of obstacles in the existing cycle lane, including signs, lamp posts and cars parked on top of it.

There are a range of obstacles in the existing cycle lane, including signs, lamp posts and cars parked on top of it.

Unusually for this bit of London, there is a cycle lane marked along some of this route already that is separate from both the road and the pavement. The existing cycle lane is however substandard as it is very narrow and is blocked by vehicles that get parked on top of it and by poorly positioned road signs and lamp posts. There is also poor drainage a various places on the pavement and cycle lane that need to be addressed.

Hounslow Road is a key route for getting to Oriel Academy, so it is vital that this new cycle route is safe enough and good enough for everyone, including small children. Interestingly this scheme includes both cycle lanes and, in places, reduction of speed limit to 20mph.

How do the new designs stack up?
The council presents two options: A and B.
Option B is our favorite as it has bike lanes more clearly separated from cars.
(However, we’re not sure about the removal of traffic lights underneath Bear Rd flyover)

Full details of the consultation can be seen here. Please email your response to transportplanning@hounslow.gov.uk

There is one place where in both plan A and B, the northbound cycle lane cannot be described as protected space for cycling as it has car parking where motorists have to drive across the cycle lane to reach the parking bays. This place is the curb opposite Tescos. Do people really need car parking there? The design could be improved by installing armadillos to separate the cycle lane from the motor traffic outside Little Park Drive Doctors surgery.

In both option A and B, drivers will need to drive over the cycle lane leading north towards the Doctors surgery in order to use the car parking bays.

In both option A and B, drivers will need to drive over the cycle lane leading north (on the left side of the road) towards the Doctors surgery in order to use the car parking bays. (In option A, all those parking bays marked by grey boxes will have to be accessed by people driving over the cycle lane)

Option A

In general, more car and van drivers have to cross cycle lanes in order to reach parking than in option B. In the central section, the cycle lanes cross junctions right at the mouth of minor roads (eg Winslow Way), putting people traveling by bike in the near impossible of having to predict whether a vehicle overtaking them will suddenly turn left.

In Option A, people travelling by bike are thrust onto the road at junctions with minor roads, just when they need more protection.

In Option A, people travelling by bike are thrust onto the road at junctions with minor roads, just when they need more protection.

What layout would you prefer where the cycle lane crosses a side-road?

What layout would you prefer where the cycle lane crosses a side-road?

If a shared use pavement is marked outside Oriel Academy it will most likely look  as though the cycle lane has disappeared just when it is needed. Shared pavements carry the risk of conflicts with pedestrians and people waiting for the bus.

In option A, it also looks like the car parking bays could block people cycling into Hanworth Park on the new greenway cycle route.

Option B

In this option, most parking bays do not require motorists to drive on the cycle lane.

With the close proximity of the cycle lane to parked cars and vans, it is important that there is a boundary between them so that vehicles are not parked on the cycle lane and so that vehicle doors cannot be opened across the cycle lane. Such separation is typically done with bollards or with planting and we would like to see one of these options used on Hounslow Road.

bollards or planting

There will need to be clear separation between parking bays and the cycle lane. This could use bollards or a planting scheme.

In the central section of Option B, the cycle lanes are set back at the junctions of minor roads and cross these junctions on top of raised speed bumps.

Option B: the cycle lane crosses the minor roads on top of a raised table

Option B: the cycle lane crosses the minor roads on top of a raised table

With the cycle lane at the edge of the pedestrian pavement, in Option B it will be easier to access the Hanworth Park Greenway cycle route.
Despite the road speed limit being adjusted to 20mph, removal of traffic lights for motorists leaving the motorway style A316 seems a bad idea when the speed with which people drive here is considered.

Option B: Good to see 20mph being proposed but the proposal of removing traffic lights at the Bear Road flyover seems to put cyclists at threat of cars pulling out.

Option B: Good to see 20mph being proposed but the proposal of removing traffic lights at the Bear Road flyover seems to put cyclists at threat of cars pulling out.

Please take a moment to email transportplanning@hounslow.gov.uk in support of better cycle lanes in Hanworth, connecting to Oriel Academy.

Option A plan of north section
Option A plan of central section (near Oriel Academy)
Option A plan of south section

Option B plan of north section
Option B plan of central section (near Oriel Academy)
Option B plan of south section

Would you like the Hounslow Road cycle lane to look like this?

Would you like the Hounslow Road cycle lane to look like this?

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