Catton Grove Road bus gate

Bus gate on Catton Grove Road. Picture: Google.

To prevent rat-running and a danger to people at the two schools on Angel Road private motor vehicles aren’t allowed to travel south from Catton Grove Road to Angel Road between 7.30am and 9.00am.

For many years the sign on Catton Grove Road was motorised to show only during the restricted hours, but the sign was broken. The police refused to enforce the restriction.

As a result of prolonged badgering by Norwich Cycling Campaign the faulty sign was replaced by a fixed sign, see picture.

In December 2015 we counted 194 cars between 8.22am and 9.02am that were breaking the law. A few weeks ago, during the summer holidays, the number was around 100 per morning.

The broken bus gate sign was replaced in June 2016 so it is now enforceable and we think this should be done as part of improving the safety of this whole area and perhaps encouraging more of the journeys to the two schools in Angel Road to be made by foot or cycle in a quieter, safer environment.

Response to Angel Road/Waterloo Road junction

Our response to the consultation on Angel Road/Waterloo Road junction changes:

20 mph

We welcome the extensions of the 20mph limit throughout the area, making it easier for everyone to know the speed limit in any road.

Safety scheme for Waterloo Road

The provision of an advisory cycle lane in this stretch will not help cycling from St Augustines to Angel Road as we believe that the problem comes from the stretch of clear road and traffic accelerating away from the traffic lights towards the next one. The problem with an advisory cycle lane is that vehicles will either travel in it or unexpectedly move into it when another large vehicle is travelling in the opposite direction. Also experience shows (and there is some evidence) that cars travel closer to cyclists where there is a line in the road, also cyclists are more likely to travel closer to the kerb if there is a line and thereby inviting more risky overtaking by vehicles. Overall, we do not think that this will make cycling safer along this stretch of road, some traffic calming is needed.

Shipstone Road

We welcome the extension of yellow lines improving sight lines. We also welcome the two one way cycle lanes with a kerb separating the footpath and the cycle path. We would like to see the surface and ramps improved and some thought given to pedestrian desire lines, especially around the entrance to the park. Also the space between bollards should be at least 1.5m.

Crossings

We support the raised platform and two zebra crossings, because while a signalised toucan crossing has the advantage of compelling vehicles to stop by traffic lights, we think that the option of two crossings will work better within the new 20mph limit, to improve the safety of the whole junction, instead of drivers concentrating on the toucan lights. This should provide an incentive to slow down coming from St Augustines, in the stretch where there have been cycling casualties as well as offering some protection for pedestrians and cyclists crossing Waterloo Road into Shipstone Road. This option also keeps cyclists and pedestrians from being in conflict, both using narrow pavements with tight corners.

Because this crossing for cycles is on road, benefitting from the raised table, but crossing the main route for vehicles along Waterloo Road, we think that a ‘cycle path’ should be painted across the junction to Shipstone Road to alert drivers to crossing cyclists.

Angel Road

We welcome the replacement of the speed cushions with much more cycle-friendly sinusoidal humps and the extension of the 20mph limit. We also welcome the speed table at the junction with Elm Grove Lane and Philadelphia Lane especially as the speed humps in Catton Grove Road near these junction are too near the kerb and too steep for comfortable cycling.

We also think that there maybe a problem with commuter parking near the Angel Road junction with Waterloo Road.

City centre access for cycling and loading

Should cycling be allowed in Norwich city centre during the daytime? Norwich City Council is consulting on changes to the confusing regulations in the city centre. The different restrictions on different streets with unclear signage means that no-one is clear where cycling is and isn’t allowed.

The Council is consulting on two options. Norwich Cycling Campaign supports option 2 for the following reasons:

  • Considerate cyclists will not cycle through pedestrian areas at busy times and there is no plan to change the pedalways map to advertise these as cycle routes.
  • We do understand the fears of people with disabilities and we strongly argue against shared space when it is designed and advertised as cycling provision but there is not space in central streets for segregation, pedestrians would still dominate the space and the experience of St Georges Street suggests that it will work.
  • Inconsiderate people cycle through these areas now and there is no enforcement, it will still be possible to enforce other laws against reckless cycling, if needs be.
  • We are very keen to see the city centre more accessible to cross city cycling, as at the moment it is very difficult and must reduce the number of journeys people plan to make.
  • The rules for cycling, one way routes and loading are unclear and inconsistent now and often rules are broken because of this. It would be better for pedestrians and cyclists if the rules were as clear as possible and so we think it is more straightforward not have time restrictions for cycling. Most people will make a reasonable decision on whether to cycle, based on how crowded it is at the time. It has worked well in Cambridge city centre and it works well in St Georges St.
  • Bedford Street could be advertised as a cycling route but the stone setts are slippery in the wet and the wide gaps in the grouting especially given the incline near London Street make it too dangerous in our opinion to advertise it as a cycling route. If a ‘smooth path’ was created as there is along most of Pottergate, it would be better. If the surface was improved, it would be used much more frequently for cycling now.
  • In the city centre the main problem is too many vehicles flouting the ‘access’ rules in Bedford Street and the city part of Pottergate, hopefully these proposals will make it more straightforward to enforce this.