New cycle lane to Yate and ring road through Coalpit Heath
WORK to build new cycle lanes to connect Coalpit Heath with Yate and the Avon Ring Road is set to start this month.
Building the route will involve installing new lanes in each direction on the A432 Badminton Road through Coalpit Heath (above).
And stretches of existing cycle lanes on either side of the village, between Yate and the A4174, will be widened to increase the space for bikes at the expense of cars and other vehicles.
The work will also involve lowering the speed limit on some parts of the main road into Yate from 40mph to 30mph.
South Gloucestershire Council says it wants to make the route safer for cyclists who use it already and encourage more people to consider cycling as an alternative to driving.
The council’s ambition is that the upgrade will not only offer improvements for cyclists already using the route but will encourage people who work or visit Yate to consider cycling as an alternative to driving.
Council cabinet member for regeneration, environment and strategic infrastructure Steve Reade said: “We want to do all we can to encourage sustainable transport options, for both commuting and leisure, so that we can continue to improve our environment, air quality and people’s health and well-being."
The route will be built in four stages, with traffic lanes reduced in width to accommodate the cycle lane on both sides of the road.
The first section to be built, between Coalpit Heath and the Nibley Lane junction, will see the new cycle lane raised up to create a separate protected track, 2m wide.
The current 40mph limit on this stretch of the road will be reduced to 30mph under the plan.
The next stages to be built will be between Coalpit Heath and the ring road to the south west, and from Nibley Lane to Stover Road to the north east.
The final stretch to be completed will be along Badminton Road through Coalpit Heath, where there is currently no marked cycle lane.
A consultation on the scheme, lasting just over two weeks, was held last year.
In the longer term the council’s aim is to have a route that goes through Yate along Station Road, past the shopping centre and continues along Kennedy Way.
But the authority has had to drop plans to extend the cycle lane along the final stretch of Station Road past Yate Shopping Centre, towards Link Road and Kennedy Way, because the cost of the work needed was too expensive for the Active Travel Fund which is paying for the changes.
Concerns had also been raised at the potential loss of right-turn lanes around the shopping centre car park the plans would have involved.
On Station Road, there has been controversy over the cycle lane which was installed last year using an experimental order lasting up to 18 months, to support social distancing and cycling.
Many traders and residents remain unconvinced that the cycle lanes are being used and are unhappy about parking spaces having been removed.
The council has been working with transport charity Sustrans and is planning changes from April which will include colour surfacing at junctions, and is considering providing extra parking.
The cycle path scheme will also be part of the Yate Master Plan, an initiative that aims to set out a future vision for the town.