Belgian Roundabout at Heworth Green
City of York Council (CYC) are lucky that there is an ongoing cycling culture in York, and people keep riding bikes in spite of the poor facilities.
To give them credit, CYC make an effort to do something for cycling almost everywhere. The problem is that the something they do is often really low-quality infrastructure of doubtful benefit to people on two (or three) wheels.
The roundabout at the junction of Malton Road, Stockton Lane, Heworth Road and the A1036 Heworth Green is an attempt at a Dutch roundabout, but badly executed.
You could call it a homeopathic version of a Dutch roundabout, or a Belgian roundabout (sorry Belgium).
What Does LTN 1/20 Say About Roundabouts?
Cycle Infrastructure Design LTN 1/20 specifically says that cycle lanes on the outside of the circulatory carriageway should not be used.
At busy junctions, protected space for cycling is required.
‘Roundabouts with higher traffic flows and speeds should have protected space for cycling, both around the junction and on all approaches an exits, so that cyclists do not need to cycle in mixed traffic.’para. 10.7.8 LTN 1/20
LTN 1/20 gives an example of a roundabout with protected space for cycling in Figure 10.37.
How does the roundabout at Heworth Green measure up to the LTN 1/20 design?
Heworth Green Roundabout: the Good
If you’re travelling ENE on Heworth Green and you want to take the first exit, Malton Road, you’re in luck. There’s a protected cycle-only left turn lane.
Ok, it’s rather narrow, but that doesn’t matter too much.
Another positive is the width of the cycle lane around the roundabout – 2m20. According to LTN 1/20, it’s the wrong infrastructure, but at least it’s the right width.
Heworth Green Roundabout: the Bad
Again I’m approaching the roundabout travelling ENE on Heworth Green, but this time I want to go straight on or right. I’m given an unprotected cycle lane up in the inside of the motor vehicle lane. This is very bad design because:
- there isn’t enough space for car + cyclist side by side
- if the cyclist is turning right and the motorist going straight on, there will be a conflict
- taking the lane is the correct thing to do here, and CYC’s paint is telling cyclists to do the wrong thing
Also filed under The Bad are uncontrolled crossings for people on foot, where they should have zebras.
Heworth Green Roundabout: the Ugly
The cycle lanes on the exit from the roundabout are really abysmal. Exiting onto Heworth Green, the lane is only 1m10 wide – way below the Absolute Minimum of 1m50.
Even worse is the exit onto Stockton Lane (pictured above), where the cycle lane disappears rapidly. Presumably anyone on a bike is supposed to evaporate, or pour themselves down the drain.
Stockton Lane is one of the arms of the roundabout, and it merits a mention.
It has a lot of potential for cycling because it runs parallel to the A1036, then the A64, all the way to and through Stockton-on-the-Forest. This means that most motor vehicles use the A-roads, and Stockton Lane is relatively quiet. It is a bus route, but when bus drivers overtook me, they left plenty of space.
Anyway, the potential for cycling is there because there’s no reason for anyone other than residents to drive along Stockton Lane. You could have some reasonably ambitious cycle infrastructure on it. I suggest:
- reduce the 40mph sections to 30mph
- no parking all the way along; all the houses have driveways
- 2m mandatory cycle lanes either side of the road
- light segregation to protect the cycle lanes
At the moment there are advisory cycle lanes in some places, but not everywere. The lane pictured above is around 1m70 wide, and may be of some small benefit – but not if it is always blocked by parked cars.
There’s a 20mph limit past the school but it is not respected, so enforcement is needed and perhaps traffic calming measures.
If you leave the roundabout heading WSW on Heworth Green, there’s a door zone cycle lane next to parked cars – obviously not a good idea.
LTN 1/20 has a design for a cycle track on the insde of parking, with a buffer zone to prevent ‘dooring’.
Do you regularly ride across the roundabout at Heworth Green, and what do you think of it?