Yate to Bristol cycle route could be diverted in Coalpit Heath
CHANGES to make the main road linking Yate to Bristol more cycle-friendly could meet a sticking point in Coalpit Heath.
The Voice reported last month on South Gloucestershire Council plans that would see the A432 Badminton Road get new cycle tracks, improved junctions and crossings fro Yate to the Wick Wick roundabout, where it meets the A4174 Avon Ring Road.
The council says the proposals will "build upon the Coalpit Heath to Nibley Lane cycleway", which is currently under construction.
They include changes to the road's junctions with Park Lane and Beesmoor Road, the Kendleshire junction and the Wick Wick roundabout where it meets the A4174, which will also have new cycle facilities, bus stops and reduced speed limits under the plans.
The council announced the "preliminary proposals" in March, having been allocated £105 million in Government funding for transport infrastructure investments through the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement, and held consultations in April.
There will be additional traffic lanes, better facilities for cyclists and pedestrians and improvements to bus stops all the way from the ring road to Yate.
A two-way cycle track with separate footway is planned along the eastern side of the A432 between Coalpit Heath and the Kendleshire junction.
But an online consultation meeting held in April heard that one of the sticking points in the plans was what to do about improving cycle routes through Coalpit Heath, as Badminton Road was not wide enough to accommodate a two-way cycle track with separate footway alongside the road as well as the right-turn lanes needed by vehicles.
This meant the council was looking at both ‘on-line’ cycle tracks, next to Badminton Road, or an ‘offline’ option, diverting cyclists away from the road through the village.
The council will investigate the possibility of finding an alternative cycle route in the area to the east of the A432 marked in yellow on the map above.
However one cyclist attending the online meeting said an 'offline' route that meant it took longer for cyclists to get from A to B would be "unfair".
Cyclists might also avoid the route and travel on the road if the route was diverted to meet the council's aim of delivering "high-quality cycling infrastructure suitable for ages 8-80".
Council transport policy manager Andy Whitehead told the meeting: "The devil will be in the detail."
He said more information would emerge when a business case is submitted to the West of England Combined Authority, which is in charge of the funding, in June, and there would be consultations on more detailed plans next year.
More details of the plans can be found here.