Council to make changes to Keynsham High Street’s controversial new cycle lane

Changes are going to be made to Keynsham High Street’s controversial cycle lane next week.

Bath & North East Somerset Council announced today that it will be carrying out the works following a road safety audit (stage 3) of the £1.5m public realm improvements.

It said the review found no fundamental issues with the design or construction but took into account data including trips and falls and, following a further design, a number of enhancements that could be made to improve the visibility of the cycle lane.

The council will carry out overnight works on next Tuesday and Wednesday (2nd and 3rd August).

As we reported in Issue 736 the recommendations did not include the removal of the controversial stepped kerb between the cycle lane and the road.

The changes happening next week are:

   Installing red Tarmac through the length of cycle lane to enhance demarcation.

  Reducing the width of the solid white line marking the edge of the cycle lane, in line with Department for Transport standards.

   Increasing the number of cycle symbol markings along the cycle lane.

The works will be carried out between 7pm and 7am and will mean the High Street will be closed to traffic while the works take place. The cycle lane will also be closed during the daytime on 3rd August.

Cllr Manda Rigby, Cabinet member for Transport, said: “People’s safety is our first priority we have listened to concerns from residents and sought advice to solve the issues that have been raised.

“We are acting on both recommendations from the audit and the design exercise. We will also add some extra planters in the forthcoming months, which we hope will further improve safety by directing people more clearly towards the pedestrian crossings. We are sorry for any inconvenience while the improvement works are carried out next week, we are working hard to minimise disruption to the High Street.

“We are keeping the High Street under close review and will be meeting on a quarterly basis with the Highway Authority to ensure safety is maintained.”

A total of 15 recommendations were made in the audit. The statement released today does not mention replacing the “incorrect” tactile paving arrangements that do not guide users to the beacon at the zebra crossing in the High Street, nor the “incorrect and lifting tactile paving could cause confusion and result in trips or falls” at the uncontrolled Bath Hill pedestrian crossing,

The list of recommendations also included reinstating the dashed white line at the Charlton Road junction and changing the “confusing” map-type direction sign at the northern end of the High Street which could result in rear-shunt collisions.

Today Keynsham councillor Alan Hale , who is B&NES Council’s member advocate for road safety, said the statement “pays scant regard” to the numbers of casualties there have been – in the order of 40 people, some of whom have received very serious injuries including broken bones.

He said he had just spoken to one woman from Bristol who lost six teeth when she fell and needed stitches in her head.

And Keynsham councillor Andy Wait said:  “Following the safety audit, B&NES have taken some of our concerns into account. This isn’t a full solution but should make the High Street safer none the less”.