Please complete our new TACC survey to tell us where you would like future cycling funds to be spent
In 2018, we plan to work with Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council on developing a new cycling network plan for the Taunton area. The government has provided funding for consultants to work with Somerset County Council officers this year to develop a long term cycling plan.
We want to contribute to this. This work will be a necessary stepping stone to applying for new funding from the Government. What would you like to see in the plan?
We are calling on Lidl to install Sheffield racks close to the entrance to the their store, so that cyclist have somewhere to secure their bikes. Lidl came bottom of our recently compiled league table of supermarkets in Taunton cycle parking at supermarkets
We have contacted Lidl twice to ask for discussions. They have not replied, which seems highly disrespectful. Taunton has above average levels of cycling and cycle theft is a real risk. There is ample car parking and it is probably unthinkable that the store would be allowed to operate without it. Cyclists also spend money at the store, so why shouldn’t they also have some convenient provision?
A group of TACC members recently visited the store to highlight the issue.
Highways England (HE) is consulting on route options for the A358 Expressway until 27 Feb. They will be spending around £300m but there is little on offer for people wanting to use their cycles. There is the golden opportunity of providing a direct quality link between Ilminster and Taunton, which we must press HE for. It is also an opportunity to substantially improve the situation for walking and cycling at J25, whether in the form of a bridge or tunnel.
If you respond, so you do us a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can track the level of response. Thanks!
TACC’s comments in response to the A358 consultation
Good quality cycling infrastructure should be an essential feature of the scheme: to protect existing lanes/routes, deal with the barrier effect of existing A358 and provide real improvements in the cycling network.
There is latent demand to cycle Ilminster-Taunton. Existing road are very hostile. Safe route within A358 corridor needed with a cyclepath running alongside the new road. Pink option could enable space to be provided on the old road on the northern section. The HE are proposing to signpost country lanes as an alternative to the A358. These lanes get very dirty in the winter and aren’t always safe. HE should provide a purpose built path (especially as they will probably try to ban cycling on the A358).
Issues of crossing A358 for Horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians. Locations include: Ilton -Broadway; Ilton-Ashill; Ashill-Stawley; Battens Green-Caplan; Hatch Beauchamp-Bickenhill; Ash Cross; Ruishdon-Henlade. Improved, safer crossings are needed. Page 16 of the brochure suggests that some of these locations will be addressed with bridge crossings and this should be confirmed as a commitment from HE.
On the pink route, there is an inconsistency between the text in page 11 which says local road crossings will be bridges, and the diagram which raises doubts by using the word ’ possible’. Crossings should be provided and safe crossings will be needed at junctions B and C for walking, cycling, horse riding in line with IAN 195 in relation to cycling provision.
On the orange and blue routes routes there is an inconsistency between the text which says local road crossings will be bridges at Ash Cross, Stoke Hill, Shoreditch, Stoke Road, and the diagram which raises doubts by using the word ’possible’. Crossings should be provided and safe crossings will be needed at junctions D and E for walking, cycling, horse riding in line with IAN 195 for cycling provision.
A major issue will be a provision of a direct sustainable transport link between Taunton and Nexus, avoiding a series of crossings and convoluted route, as proposed by SCC. The A358 proposal should be seen as an opportuntiy to address this link.
In the pink and blue options there will need to be a crossing for people walking and cycling from Ruishton to the Nexus site.
The Park and Ride site is not recognised in the proposals and it is unclear how the Park and Ride will be accessed in the pink and blue options.
The highway strategy upon which the proposal is based, is flawed:
We have been advised that the planned capacity of this new road is vastly greater than even the projected demand. The forecast 2 way flow in 2038 is 26,000, well below the 32,000 theoretical capacity for a single carriageway road, showing that a dual carriageway with 64,000 capacity would be a vast over provision.
The extra traffic it would induce in the Taunton catchment area would place significant extra traffic on the Taunton network, to the detriment of non-motorised users, such as cyclists.
The Benefit Cost Ratios (BCRs) on all 3 options are poor, ranging 1.64 to 2.08. It is supposed to be a government requirement that the BCR is a minimum of 2 i.e. the benefits (the monetised value of motorists time savings ) are double the construction costs of the road. Costs will inevitably increase, so the actual BCRs will be less in practice. BCRs ignore environmental costs.
While we recognise the strategic desire for a second motorway/expressway link to the south west peninsula, none of the A358 options provides the desired network reliability to the south west, as the M5 between Taunton and the A30/A38 west of Exeter would be the single motorway route to the peninsula. In the event of an incident on the M5 west of Taunton leading to the closure of one or both carriageways, the impact on local roads would be hugely detrimental, not least to cyclists. Incidents are fairly commonplace.
A quality cycling network could be constructed in Taunton at a fraction of this cost, and would bring huge health and traffic function benefits, with vastly better benefit-cost ratios than this scheme offers.
If HE do decide to plough ahead with this scheme, the pink option is preferred. It appears to impose lowest environmental damage and gives greatest relief to Henlade. There will need to be traffic management measures to discourage through traffic from using the old road. This could include cycle provision and bus priority measures.
Thanks to all TACC supporters who did the supermarket cycle parking survey providing data for 11 supermarkets. The new Aldi at Bathpool just edged it on the scoring. They have provided easy to use ‘Sheffield’ type racks, properly spaced, close to the entrance. Well done to Aldi.
The survey showed that some very basic errors are being made. Lidl at Castle Street has put its racks too close to the wall, there is a kerb to go up, it is some distance from the store entrance and you have to mix it in the car park.
Tesco have provided oddly shaped racks which are more difficult to secure a bike, and they are too close to a wall.
Worst of all, Lidl in Halcon and Tesco Express on Priorswood Road offer absolutely no cycle parking. Taunton Deane Borough Council are supposed to be ensuring that 1 cycle parking space is provided for every 80m2 of retail space, which in the case of some recent supermarkets has not been achieved. We need to ask the question – what is going wrong?
The full league table shows the results.
Cycle parking facilities near supermarkets (2018, n=11)
This is a new store so it may get busier.
As the newest supermarket in town seems to have done a good job.
More capacity needed here. It would also be good to have an official cycle access point at the northern end of the car park. There is a slope and footway access that I use.
They occasionally get blocked by trolleys.
Tesco Castle St
It’s poorly positioned with trolley racks and no passing space for wheelchairs.
This store has two bike parking areas. The one to the right of the main entrance has no easy access or egress other than on foot. The racks Tesco uses are a poor design. Their trolley racks are much better quality!
Cycle racks crowded and inadequate jammed in near a trolley park.
Sainsbury Town Centre
Numbers of cycle racks insufficient.
Asda near Toneway
There’s a sign near the racks indicating cycle parking.
Co-op Welllngton Road
Lidl Castle St
There is a large step up to the cycle parking requiring dismount to access. A cyclepath runs past this store, yet a separate cycle access has not been provided from this lane, only a pedestrian access. The railings by the main entrance are a better facility than the racks provided which are too close to the wall.
No cycle parking. It has space to provide decent bike facilities but there is nothing present for cyclists, other than the trolley barriers, which will damage bikes.
This is a fairly recent store. It appears that TDBC didn’t check that their own standards had been met.
Tesco Express Priorswood Road
No cycle parking. Rack is turned on its side and not secured, and thus not safe.
Data were collected in December 2017 and January 2018. Scores are based on features like capacity, type of rack, space between racks and wall, availability of cover, distance to store and ease of access. A maximum of 21 points could be scored.
We recently met Mark Youngman, integrated transport manager for GWR. We requested the Travel plan and station development plans. Apparently the plans haven’t been finalised yet partly because of a funding gap’. They have guaranteed funding for 150 additional cycle spaces, that must be spent by Dec 2018. They also have a community based fund that could be used to fund access improvements to the station, although the budget has been allocated up until 2019. Mark said that he would meet us again in the near future, so that we can look at station-town centre linkages, in the context of the station redevelopment, Firepool and the NIDR missing cycle link.
@tauntonareacyc1 @TauntonGreens great to see @OYBcharity re-launch its Taunton Station workshop today. Great to see so many people. I look forward to using this great local scheme. Bicycle hire too for easy access to the canal and Taunton great idea too!
Good news that this #wasteofspace at #Firepool will soon provide housing and a living heart to the centre of #Taunton . Now let's make sure there is good walking and cycling provision and plenty of #affordablehomes @tauntonareacyc1 @TDBC https://t.co/kTUeVpgcfp
We're recruiting for a team of awesome travel advisers to join our project. Do you enjoy talking to people, making a difference and being outdoors? Please share the love! https://t.co/Vwr4z8Ys70 @tauntonrunning @Better_UK @YMCATaunton @tauntonareacyc1 @OYBcharity @Ruralsomerset
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