Monday, 1 August 2011

Charminster Rd/Richmond Park Rd/Alma Rd Junction 'Improvements'!

Over the first 6 months of this year, Bournemouth Council undertook a complete renovation and redesign of the junction where Charminster Rd meets Richmond Park Rd and Alma Rd. Part of the justification was that "Road safety for cyclists will also be improved with the installation of Advanced Stop Lines on all approaches to the junction."

I frequently pass this junction on my way to Boscombe and noticed that there was often no access to the ASL going north on Charminster Rd. So I decided to do a quick study. 

Today at about 12:30 I stopped at the King's Rd/Charminster Rd junction and waited for 5 minutes. This meant I witnessed 6 cycles of a red light for the traffic heading north along Charminster Rd. In those 6 cycles I saw the ASL being blocked twice...


In the second you can see the car has clearly entered the ASL as well as blocking access for cyclists.
Then I moved to the opposite corner looking at red light cycles for traffic heading south along Charminster Rd. In the 5 minutes timespan I saw the following on 4 of the 6 cycles...

 Twice access to the ASL has been blocked by buses, once by a car and in the last one we see a car that has entered the ASL after the light turned red.

No attempt has been made by the council to put in cycle lanes leading up to the ASLs. There's certainly room on the southbound road as things stand, on the northbound one the space has been used for right-turning cars. During my survey I saw no cyclists using these facilities.

Now, I understand we're not talking about a lot of data here, but I had defined my experiment beforehand and picked a random-ish time of day. It's not rush hour. It's not even 1300-1400 when most people take lunch. 

What people need to encourage them to start cycling in decent numbers is subjective safety and ease of use. The new junction layout achieves neither.