We have a new bypass in the area, linking the M6 with Heysham, called the Bay Gateway. I’m not going to write about that road, even though it has a good quality separated cycle path along the whole length of the new section.
I’m going to talk about a section of the A6 heading towards Lancaster which crosses over the new link road, and in particular the traffic lights shown below.
Smooth road surface and a cycle lane that is not too narrow. What could be wrong with this? With a little more thought this could have been much better. There is no good reason why cyclists should have to stop at this junction, when heading south. Pedestrians will never cross here, and the reason for the lights is to allow traffic from the right to join the A6. If the cycle lane had been raised, as a pavement, or a kerb, then cyclists would be physically separate from the traffic. I’ve tried to show what I mean on the photo below.
If this section of cycle lane was raised, and carried on a little further, beyond the car, then there could be a permanent green light for cyclists. There is still plenty of room for traffic to join the road from the right without impinging upon the cycle lane, as long as there was, as I have stated, a physical barrier. In Holland and Germany this junction, even with my recommendation, would still be classed as very poor for cyclists. This junction as it is, is good for Lancaster, which shows just how far we still have to go, especially as less than a mile down this road it narrows with cars parked all over the place. I won’t even mention that the A6 from Galgate to Lancaster is in the top ten most dangerous roads in the country, and nothing has been done to improve it by the local council since this was announced over two years ago.