Walkden Road Shared Pavement consultation response

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I don’t live in Salford anymore but when I see a consultation in an area I’m familiar with, I’m certainly still going to put in my ten cents, especially when they represent tokenistic thinking towards cycling. This proposal for shared pavements to  be built next year is a perfectly ordinary road with one lane in either direction. Making cycling in the road safe is perfectly possible, and there’s no need or benefit to pushing cycling to the side. Here is a picture of the plans and below my response, I encourage you to make your own response if you know the area or anybody who lives or works there.

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  • Do you support the proposals?

No. Encouraging pavement cycling on a road of this size, even an a-road, is a backwards step. Shared pavement signs where for many the main carriageway is a more suitable place to cycle leads to abuse and threatening driving towards when they choose to do so.

Shared pavements are a good option where there are few side roads to cross, and the prospect of conflict with pedestrians outweigh the safety improvements. On the basis of similar shared pavement projects, such as Broadway in mediacity, they have not led to increases in numbers or a widening of the demographics of people cycling regularly, because they are an outward demonstration that cycling is considered to be exceptional, not an everyday form of transport, in part because legally dismount signs are required.

  • What do you like about the proposals?

Removal of guardrails is a positive change, removing the impression that the onus is on pedestrians to keep themselves safe from motor traffic.

  • Is there anything you don’t like?

I do not like that the opportunity has not been taken to provide clear, safe dedicated space to cycle in the plans.

  • Do you support the reduction in car parking spaces?

No. A reduction in parking spaces is absolutely acceptable for improvements to cycling, but I do not find there to be any in widening the footway. A more successful option to make cycling more attractive would be to move the parking spaces out from the kerb 2m, creating a parking protected cycle lane on the nearside, ideally also bollarded.

  • Are there any specific issues you would like to be considered?

It would be good to consider blind users of the pavements to be converted to shared use, and that they will be unable to anticipate people cycling towards or around them. Segregating the pavement with some tactile paving is not a good option either, involving a severe reduction of space for pedestrians and inevitable encroachment from all users. Primarily revisions should look at including protected or mandatory cycle lanes achieved by reducing the width of the main carriageways.

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