Issues

This section lists issues - problems on the street network and related matters.

Issues always relate to some geographical location, whether very local or perhaps city-wide.

You can create a new issue using the button on the right.

Listed issues, most recent first, limited to the area of Trust Pathways:

  • Slow progress on the Belmont Viaduct link.

    Created by Kester // 1 thread

    The Belmont Viaduct is an essential sustainable transport link for the North Durham area. Trees were allowed to grow on it which would have eventually torn the structure apart. These trees have now been removed. More work needs to be done before it is suitable for general use.

    Opening this route will be a life saver for commuting cyclists.

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  • DfT Policy Paper - Inclusive Transport Strategy

    Created by Matthew // 1 thread

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/inclusive-transport-strategy

    Lots of interesting stuff about inclusive transport regarding trains, buses, cars, public realm, streets and yes a bit about cycling too. Quotes:

    Shared Space:

    8.11 While we consider CIHT and DPTAC’s recommendations and how to take them
    forward, we are requesting that local authorities pause any shared space schemes
    incorporating a level surface they are considering, and which are at the design stage.
    We are also temporarily suspending Local Transport Note 1/11. This pause will allow
    us to carry out research and produce updated guidance.

    Objectives regarding Cycling:

    • Update Local Transport Note 2/08, which sets out the Department’s guidance to
    local authorities on designing safe and inclusive infrastructure for cyclists, to take
    account of developments in cycling infrastructure since its publication in 2008 and
    the responses to the draft AAP consultation and publish a revised version by early
    2019;
    • By 2020, explore the feasibility of amending legislation to recognise the use of
    cycles as a mobility aid71 in order to increase the number of disabled people
    cycling.

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  • North Road - narrow passes

    F. A. // 1 thread

    North Road is too narrow for both cycles and buses/lorries to circulate side-by-side when there are cars parked on both sides. As it is an uphill route cyclists travel fairly slowly and both buses and cars try to overtake passing very closely to the cyclists.

    It is not possible to dismount and walk on the pavement as there are some sections without pavement.

    Perhaps the City could remove a lane of parking and use that space to make a bike lane.

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  • Sniperley roundabout - danger crossing Southfield Way

    F. A. // 1 thread

    When Crossing Southfield Way in NE direction (from Whitesmocks towards
    Dryburn Park) pedestrians are unable to see if there are any vehicles approaching the roundabout because the crossing is located after a bend and the foliage on the SW side of Southfield Way blocks the view. It is equally worryingly that it is not possible for drivers approaching the roundabout to see if there are any pedestrians attempting to cross the road until only a few metres before the crossing, therefore
    giving drivers very little time to stop.

    Crossing Southfield Way in a SW direction towards Whitesmocks is also difficult for pedestrians and cyclists because the road markings allow two lanes of traffic to enter Southfield Way from the roundabout and there are vehicles that enter Southfield Way from the inner lane of the roundabout. Sometimes a lane can be stationary while the other lane can be moving. This is a busy junction in the
    morning and evening.

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  • B6532 roundabout - difficult to negotiate for cyclists

    F. A. // 1 thread

    Cyclists trying to cross the B6532 from either Dryburn Park or the Front Street are forced to enter the inner lane exposing them to passing cars on the outer lane at different speeds. Once they enter the roundabout there are cars coming from the B6532 at fairly high speed.
    It would be much better for cyclists if there could be a painted dash bike lane that would allow cyclist enter the roundabout from the outer lane - at least they would be protected on one side from moving cars!

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  • Durham Road - hazardous access to Aykley Head roundabout for cyclists

    F. A. // 1 thread

    Cyclists can face different problems when entering the roundabout.
    1) Cars do not leave enough room on the left for cyclists to enter the roundabout in parallel with motorised traffic. This forces cyclists to merge with all other vehicles and most of the times this results in a loss of momentum because the traffic queue waiting to enter the roundabout.
    2) As a result of the previous issue, when entering the roundabout uphill from standstill, cyclists are very slow and vulnerable to be hit by the cars that enter the roundabout downhill from the B6532 and leave the roundabout towards Aykley Heads. At peak times not many of these cars indicate that they are leaving the roundabout nor they use the outer lane when exiting the roundabout.

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  • Missing bridges on railway paths

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 0 threads

    There are many locations on the railway paths west of Durham City where bridges were taken out and there are steep gradients, sometimes with poor road crossings, to navigate from one section of the path to another. The worst one is near Broompark picnic area where it is very steep.

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  • No cycle parking at Sainsbury's

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 1 thread

    There is no cycle parking provided at the Sainsbury's on the A167 (former Pot and Glass).

    Current County Durham policy requires 1 space per 5 FTE staff, and a minimum of two spaces for users, with an additional space for every 400 sq.m over 100 sq.m.

    So I reckon it should have at least four. Were the policies in force at the time of the planning application for change of use? The previous policy was different, but stipulated a minimum of 4 spaces.

    Was there a planning application, which omitted to enforce this requirement, or was it permitted development?

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  • Access to Tesco by bike

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 1 thread

    Access to Tesco by bike could be improved in various ways. The main picture shows the view from close to the entrance to the supermarket. The cycle parking is at the far end of the building near the Belisha beacon. Cycle parking should be located as close to the entrance to the building as possible, and should certainly be obvious and easy to find from there.

    I will attach some other photos showing things which could be improved.

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  • Route through Carrville

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 0 threads

    Once you have reached Carrville from West Rainton, a route is needed to proceed further towards Durham. The main street through Carrville is actually quite wide, and the pavement on the NW side is particularly wide.

    Because of the traffic volumes and speeds, a hard-segregated cycle facility needs to be provided. The challenge will be maintaining appropriate levels of car parking and access to businesses.

    Options that should be evaluated include closure of the road to through-traffic, to encourage traffic to use the A690 more. Parking could be concentrated on one side of the road and a segregated bidirection cycle path could be provided on the other side. Or there may be room for parking on both sides, providing that the cycle track is placed between the pavement and the parking. A shared-use footway/cycleway would be inappropriate for this street.

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  • West Rainton to Carrville route unfinished

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 1 thread

    The cycle path on the north side of the A690 from West Rainton to Carrville is still not finished. The main picture shows how the path, widened in January 2015, comes to an abrupt halt when you get near the bus stop on the east side of the former railway bridge.

    The trees and hedge have recently been cut back along here, so perhaps we may see this work completed soon?

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  • Traffic squeeze, bad drivers

    Created by Gregory // 1 thread

    Off the roundabout, South on Dryburn Road is 2 lanes for ~4 metres before squeezing to one lane for the traffic-light pedestrian crossing and then re-widening to accommodative the Southbound bus lane/stop. If you are a cyclist taking this section then you really should take primary position as soon as traffic allows but many drivers do not accept that and will race up behind you and then alongside you if you have not made it to the bus lane yet.

    I'm not sure what is the best solution, perhaps a sign "Give cyclists space" or if it is possible (and safe for crossing pedestrians) to add a drop-kerb before the traffic lights & painted cycle lane so cyclists can use a short stretch of the pavement to get to the bus lane.

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  • Magdalene Heights student accommodation proposal

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 1 thread

    See planning application at: http://publicaccess.durham.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=N3SZPOGDGB000

    Good points: plans include secure covered cycle places at a ratio of 1:2 which is exactly what we have recently been asking for.

    Bad points: Council officers have suggested this is too many and 1:5 would be appropriate. This is despite the fact this accommodation is relatively far off from most University sites.

    Issues:
    1) cycle access over footbridge
    2) ensuring development is connected to all local footpaths
    3) bike contraflow needed on Station Lane
    4) navigating Gilesgate roundabout

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  • More racks at Clayport Library

    Created by Gregory // 0 threads

    Not an issue but good news I thought worth sharing here. I regularly use the Gala/Walkergate cycle racks outside Clayport Library. Today I was confused, they had been replaced with a slightly different style and moved closer to the wall. The concrete looked wet/new but they are firmly in place, perhaps that's why they were empty but a bicycle was locked to a nearby lamp post.

    An old gentleman walked by and commented it was a better place for them. I thought he referred to being out of the way, but he said the seat won't get wet (if I had parked my bike facing the other way!).

    I have updated the cycle capacity on OpenStreetMap, there are almost double the number of racks as before!!! I don't know what happened to the old style racks, hopefully they are being installed somewhere new. I might ask.
    http://www.openstreetmap.org/node/744912599

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  • Neville's Cross Social Club conversion to student housing

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 1 thread

    Another student housing conversion with inadequate provision for bicycles and possibly excessive provision for cars.

    http://publicaccess.durham.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=N1E12RGDFPH00

    Application states 8 cycle spaces, 8 car spaces and 1 disabled parking space. Total 33 student bedrooms. To go with BREEAM this would suggest 17 cycle spaces would be preferable for residents, plus visitor spaces. The cycle spaces pictured are old-fashioned -- I doubt they would actually provide that kind of rack -- but partially covered. It is unclear whether these would be in a secure area or not. They are round the back of the building.

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  • Former Neville's Cross College student housing

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 1 thread

    A full planning application has gone in for the conversion of one of the buildings of the old Neville's Cross College and the demolition of the other to make room for student flats.

    Issues to consider:
    1) adequacy of cycle parking provision at the development
    2) routes to the university and to shops, both cycle and pedestrian and whether these could be improved, either at the cost of the council or the developer.

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  • Mount Oswald development

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 2 threads

    The Mount Oswald development received outline planning permission a while ago. A full application has already gone in for the first phase, at the southern end of the site. It appears connections will be provided for cyclists and pedestrians to the A167 (car access is from South Road). The greater concern is whether an opportunity is being missed to create a new off-road route parallel to South Road.

    The picture is taken from the Design and Access Statement of the planning application for the first phase. The big unknown is the middle area, where the large self-build houses will be. No plot divisions are shown on the plan. Will there be public access north-south through this area?

    South Road is not shown as a strategic cycle route in the County Durham Plan. The Mill Hill Lane route and the A167 are accorded the status of primary routes, but there is not even a secondary route along the South Road axis, despite it being the obvious route to the University from the south and from all the new housing on Mount Oswald.

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  • Barriers between cycle path and housing estate

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 1 thread

    The cycle path across the top of the golf course has no barriers at either end but does not seem to suffer from abuse by motorcyclists. However at two or three locations along the path there are staggered half-barriers on paths which lead to the housing estate to the north.

    Barriers like this cause problems for longer cycles, such as tandems and recumbent cycles, as well as for families with child trailers or tag-alongs. Such barriers should preferably be removed and we need to seek to ensure that new developments do not introduce further barriers.

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  • Route from Durham station to University (Mountjoy campus)

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 1 thread

    The main route from the railway station to Durham University's Mountjoy campus is not ideal at present for cyclists. DBUG offered a detailed critique of this route in the recent submission to the County Durham Plan process. See http://community.dur.ac.uk/m.e.phillips/cycling/DBUGResponse.pdf pages 25-29.

    It would be good to open some discussion on what the best means would be of improving these routes, from the radical (e.g. closing Margery Lane to through car traffic) to the obvious (20 mph speed limits on sections of the route). I'd be quite happy for this to more broadly cover pedestrian improvements too as that's all part of the active travel agenda.

    Can I suggest that people open separate discussion threads for different sections of the route, for example:

    1) railway station to Crossgate traffic lights
    2) Margery Lane to roundabout at bottom of Potters Bank
    3) roundabout to New Inn lights

    There may be some issues which affect the whole route. Are there alternative routes worth considering, such as North Road, South Street, Pimlico, or North Road, Silver Street, Saddler Street, the Bailey, Prebend's Bridge? The former is shorter but steeper, and the latter is quieter but longer.

    What do you think of the suggestions in the report? Are there other options we did not think of? What do you think is achievable?

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  • Student flats at former County Hospital

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 2 threads

    The planning application has just gone in for conversion of the former County Hospital on North Road to student accommodation, demolition of outbuildings and erection of more buildings to provide a further 367 student bedrooms.

    The plans include provision for cycle parking. The travel plan for the site assumes walking and cycling to be the main means of travel for the inhabitants. Interestingly the travel plan cites the existence of DBUG as supporting the viability of cycling to the University.

    The travel plan includes maps showing recommended cycle routes in the area. We know that many of these have limitations.

    Points for discussion:
    a) is the quantity of cycle parking sufficient?
    b) can we put pressure on the Council, via this application, to enhance the cycle routes to the University campuses?

    To view the application, go to the Council's planning portal:
    http://publicaccess.durhamcity.gov.uk/publicaccess/tdc/dcapplication/application_detailview.aspx?caseno=MYAZPIBN5B000

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  • Access to Arnison centre

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 1 thread

    The main routes into the Arnison Centre are understandably pretty busy with cars and involve negotiating roundabouts. The quietest route in for bikes is via Abbey Road, the entrance in the middle of the south of the site, as used by the buses. However, the road is currently one-way. It would be good if it could be made an official entrance and exit for bikes. It lands you closest to the large rank of cycle racks outside Sainsbury's. There is sufficient width on Abbey Road to allow for cycle lanes to help connect with Newton Hall and Pity Me.

    The County Durham Plan envisages another large supermarket and car-park being built immediately to the north of the Arnison Centre, across the other side of the main road, as part of the large housing development proposed. DBUG has objected to this as part of our response to the plan, as providing more local shops would encourage walking and cycling whereas these proposals will just further entrench shopping by car. The proposals appeared to include cycle access to the new housing site via an upgraded path to the west of the Arnison Centre (shown as a footpath currently) but failed to address access to the shops by bike.

    The Arnison Centre could do with more cycle racks dispersed round the site, outside each of the shops. At present there is a very large number of racks, but they are all outside Sainsbury's.

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  • Durham bus station redevelopment

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 1 thread

    The Durham City Integrated Transport Approach document, part of the proposed new County Durham Plan, states that it is the Council's intention to relocate the bus station in Durham and to remove the A690 roundabout by the railway station, converting it to an ordinary junction with lights.

    The document can be viewed at http://durhamccconsult.
    limehouse.co.uk/file/2679025 and the relevant sections are 3.49 onwards. The document mentions improving the area for pedestrians but neglects to consider the potential for cycling infrastructure improvements in the area.

    The DBUG response to the County Plan (available at http://community.dur.ac.uk/m.e.phillips/cycling/DBUGResponse.pdf ) devotes a section to this matter (see pages 21 to 23).

    Opportunities for better cycling infrastructure include:
    * restricting vehicle access to North Road and allowing two-way cycling
    * linking the station to neighbouring cycle lanes
    * better connection to Framwellgate Peth and the north of the city
    * remodelling the Milburngate roundabout also
    * removing through traffic from the portion of North Road beyond the viaduct

    We need to lobby not just for immediate cycling needs to be taken into account in the design for the new road layout, but also for future possibilities by bringing forward design of strategic cycle routes through the city, otherwise we risk losing a very rare opportunity to transform provision at a key city-centre junction.

    According to the document, construction will commence in the 2014/15 financial year, with a timescale of 18 months. This means the plans must already be fairly fully developed.

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  • Awkward turning onto cycle path, Shincliffe Peth

    Created by Matthew Phillips // 1 thread

    Coming out of Durham down Shincliffe Peth on the A167, there is a pedestrian refuge at the foot of the hill, by the turning to the cycle-track which skirts the bottom of Maiden Castle hill-fort. You are expected to negotiate a 180 degree turn to access this track, at the same time as avoiding speeding cars and the pinch-point of a refuge. In the other direction, cyclists have to be cautious of using the refuge as the width of it is not sufficient to accommodate a tandem or a cycle with trailer or child tag-along attachment. Visibility is poor when crossing the road from north to south.

    Improvements might include moving the 30mph limit to the foot of the hill, introducing speed cushions or a raised junction table. If the speed were reduced, the central refuge would not be needed and some of the difficulties might be avoided, but that may not be the best solution at this site.

    Speed of the traffic is the main issue here, both for cyclists and the pedestrians who use the popular footpaths.

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