Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A217 Reigate Ave, St Dunstan's Hill

Now here's a real find. A segregated cycle path, and one that runs for a considerable distance!

The A217 is a busy road with dual carriageways, four lanes and a 40MPH speed limit. In short, not the kind of road that you would cycle on unless you were brave.

Luckily, there's a segregated cycle path that runs more or less continuously from the St Helier Roundabout to the Cheam Road junction.

Here's the start looking south from the St Helier Roundabout. A reasonable width, segregated from both pedestrians and motor vehicles, and relatively free of obstructions (although there was one woman dozily walking along the cycle path, texting). The only thing that's missing is cyclists...

Here (above) is the side-road junction with Glastonbury Road. The engineers have set the give-way line back so that the cycle path at least notionally has priority. However they've not followed this through by correctly marking the cycle path through the junction. Perhaps that's because motorists are so unused to giving way to cycle paths that to mark the cycle path as having priority would be inviting crashes.

Above: Cycling is allowed through this park if you can get your bike down the steps...

Above: A rather confusing marking at Kimpton Park Way junction...

...because the path needs to avoid the bus shelter (above).
Above, as we approach Gander Green Lane, we have a shared path...
...which quickly becomes a marked cycle path again. After Gander Green Lane, it's back to a good segregated path, below:

Unfortunately, the cycle path seems to end at Cheam Road. If you continue along the A217, called Belmont Rise at this point, there seem to be odd fragments of segregated cycle path, but it's not clear what you're supposed to do between the fragments.

As I said earlier, it's a shame cyclists aren't more in evidence on this route. I took these pics on a weekday lunchtime, so it could be that during commuting hours the route is better-used. But this is a rare gem in cycle infrastructure. Cycling has the same woefully-low modal share in Sutton as most of the rest of outer London, because the safe infrastructure you see here isn't in evidence on 99% of routes. This is despite the efforts of Smarter Travel Sutton, which I've blogged about already here .

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