76cm Cycle Lane in Haxby
The cycle lanes in Haxby are 76cm wide.
That’s being generous to them, and measuring from the middle of the white line to the kerb. If you exclude the paving by the kerb – that you wouldn’t want to ride on – the width reduces to 52cm.
How Wide Should Cycle Lanes Be?
Cycle lanes should be 2m20 – a Desirable Minimum of 2m (Table 5-2 of LTN 1/20) plus 20cm additional width next to a kerb (Table 5-3). 76cm is woefully inadequate; my mountain bike handlebars are 67cm wide.
Are these Cycle Lanes Safe?
Even full-width cycle lanes without physical protection are of doubtful value. LTN 1/20 notes (para 6.1.6) that most people will perceive cycle lanes to unacceptable for safe cycling on busy roads.
LTN 1/20 (para 6.4.3) is also clear that cycle lanes less than 1.5m wide should not be used because they can encourage close passing of cyclists.
The Haxby cycle lanes do encourage close passes. Sarcastic thanks to the man with a Norwegian flag on his rear parcel shelf for proving that, and to a dangerous DPD driver for confirming it.
Cycle infrastructure is supposed to be safe for 8 to 80 year olds. How many parents would be happy for their 8 year olds to be in the cycle lane when this enormous tractor comes along?
Or for this truck to pass a few centimetres from them?
How Would You Make Haxby Safe for Cycling?
Ideally the main roads (Mill Lane, The Village, and York Road) need physically-protected cycle infrastructure.
The only way to create enough space is to make a one-way circuit for motor vehicles, including buses. The B1363 could be the way into Wigginton/Haxby, and York Road the way out. Then there would be room for a bi-directional cycle track.
Any other solution would be distinctly less effective. The 20mph zone could be extended to the whole of Haxby from the B1363 to the A1237, but I doubt that would make cycling safe. It would need as many traffic-calming measures as could be fitted in, and even then cycling would feel perilous.
The residential roads in Haxby are already 20mph with traffic-calming – speed cushions and chicanes/buildouts.
It’s an attempt to do something at least, but I was surprised by how little effect it had on drivers’ speed and driving style.
Good Bits of Cycle Infrastructure Design in Haxby
There are a couple of bits of good cycle infrastructure design in Haxby. The protected straight-on cycle lane at the mini-roundabout is good. It needs sweeping.
(I’m trying to be positive, so I’ll ignore the abomination of a cycle right-turn lane in the picture).
The other really good feature is a grade-separated crossing (underpass) of the A1237. It’s exactly the right solution, and it even has a separate footpath and cycle track.
Does it herald the start of a top-quality route from Haxby to the city centre? That’s a topic for another post.