There are scenic routes from Newcastle to Alsager, and then there is the A34. If you’re in a hurry it’s the most direct route. Coming home this way recently I was struck by how suitable this road would be for a Dutch-style properly segregated cycle path.
This cycle lane is actually one of the better ones in the area because it is wide and clear and runs for more than 10 metres without a break. And yet I found myself wondering how an inexperienced cyclist would cope with this:
In the space of about thirty seconds along came this
and then look at all the potential hazards here, where the road narrows, you approach a shop and a junction, and the cycle lane ends exactly where it is most needed. Not to mention the illegally parked car!
All along this road there is enough width to have a separated cycle path. This would transform a dangerous cycle lane into a completely safe cycle path. It would cost money, but only a fraction of what the smallest road costs.
Very few people cycle in the UK. This is a result of poor cycling infrastructure and should not be used as an excuse for lack of investment. The developed countries that have massively increased their share of journeys made by bike have done so by deliberately making cycling a safe and appealing option for people of all ages. When are we going to start?