Update 16 September: Cycle Symbols alerting drivers to bikes on the road over the bridge now installed, slight delay as planned for June.
Update :16 March– Work has started and the lanes are currently single, by all reports this is not causing traffic to slow any more than the usual 15-20 mph at which its flows on and off all 4 lanes into this location.
Photo at 0800 Monday 19th
In a recent article by the Echo I was struck by the fact that it is local residents campaigning for a progressive highways design, while Bournemouth Council resist and proceed with an old-school multi-lane roundabout, regardless. You might think it would be the other way round! I.e.: The Council fighting for traffic evaporation and progress. So, I’ve made some further enquiries about people’s views since the voice of resident’s has clearly been suppressed during the “consultation”. . .
Ms Mahon, a local teacher, led the campaign for the design at Tuckton to give more space to people walking and cycling and urban realm improvements arguing that single lanes – shown to be safer than multi-lane roundabouts – should be used rather than the proposed two lanes. She noted in the Echo, “The Council says it has ‘engaged with residents at every stage of the design process.’ Where is the proof of this? No options were provided to the public. Our petition was met with silence. Deputations met with deaf ears. When asked how many people favoured a one-lane or two-lane roundabout – No reply. A completely opaque process. If my child or anyone I know is injured I will sue the Council and encourage others to do the same.”
The Councils ‘Report on Public Consultation’ says there was a total of 161 responses indicating that a petition, submitted by Ms Mahon of Brightlands Avenue and signed by over 350 locals and regular users of the roundabout, has been discounted.
Mr Thomson, who supported the petition, described the consultation as a ‘sham’. “Bournemouth Council refuses to listen to the voice of the community while ‘pretending’ to consult. My children, who use the roundabout to go to 3 local schools, signed the petition along with hundreds of others daily users in good faith…What does the Councils response teach the next generation? That their views will be ignored?”
He goes on to say, “A multi-lane roundabout is just what Tuckton may have needed back in the 1980’s but times have changed. This was the Council’s chance to reduce pollution, reduce the likelihood of people cycling on the roundabout from being hit. The Council call it ‘innovative’ but it looks like antiquated highways design with two wide car lanes.”
Mrs Francis of Brightlands, a HENRA (local resident’s association) member, said “a one lane roundabout would be more in keeping and in scale with the local area. Roundabouts along the same route in Christchurch have one lane. The Council initially proposed a one-lane roundabout, told us at HENRA that it worked with the traffic model, suggesting it is not such an extreme or unrealistic option. With the approach roads all coned off to one lane now during the construction, you can see that its fine! None of the scare-mongering ‘gridlock’ has transpired. If only the Council had done a proper trial!”
“We were also told by the Council at the HENRA meeting that having more than one lane in each direction on a crossing can cause accidents because one car obscures the view of the next. I was surprised when the Council said they were going to put in multi-lane crossings.
Another resident, Mrs Cox, a teacher, wrote to the Council asking for “a single lane roundabout to eliminate confusion and to take on board local opinion. If this does cause delays, and I am not convinced that it would in the long term, then I would rather have this than more accidents. It would be very puzzling indeed if the reason why our roundabout has been flagged up for improvements in the first place was not properly addressed by the plans.”
In reply Cllr Greene refused to acknowledge any danger in two lane roundabouts and claimed this was not a dual-carriageway, despite the plan showing a two-lane roundabout. He also said that the council could completely ban all road traffic to promote safety but this would not be practical. None of the residents I spoke to asked for the roundabout to be shut to motor traffic.
However, this reply seemed to echo a response by Officer Richard Pearson minuted at the October 2017 HENRA meeting. Jean Morris from Belfield Rd, a local grandmother and member of HENRA noted “The Council man doing the presentation mocked a query on the safety record of two-lane roundabouts, saying “We could shut all the roads and that would make it safer”. The answer did not address what was a very good question. If one lane roundabouts are safer, why is the council putting back in a two-lane roundabout?”.
A Technical Report by an independent transport consultancy outlines research on the risks of having more than one lane on roundabouts. London design standards advise authorities to “Minimise the number and width of entry, exit and circulatory lanes; more than one entry lane greatly increases the number of potential conflicts involving cyclists at the roundabout”
Lucy Taussig, a resident and committee member of the national Road Danger Reduction Forum, says “The four raised crossings are welcome. But a single lane roundabout would increase safety further and enable the Council to meet its objectives to reduce car use by 10% by 2025. That date is not far off. A two-lane Tuckton roundabout in 2025 won’t help meet the target.
Bellevue Rd has a one-lane approach and copes with over four times as much traffic as Wick Lane. Yet even on Wick Lane, the Council is building a two-lane approach. Why? Resistance to change perhaps? If Wick Lane currently had a one-lane approach I doubt the Council would be widening it to two.”
“Many authorities I work with are now reducing motor traffic volumes and reallocating car-space to improve the streetscape. This requires vision – imagining how things could be. Except for the crossings, this design’s been broadly dictated by what’s there now.”
Ms Hewitt of Solent Drive added, “My son was knocked off his bicycle by a bus overtaking him on the roundabout. This location needs more than crossings. As a teenager, he’s not going to use all the crossings. He’ll stick to the road, so that needs to be safe, not designed for lots of traffic.”
Dr McNulty, who has 3 children who walk and cycle local schools, said making the roundabout itself less trafficked and less polluted would have increased walking and cycling uptake which would have public health benefits.
She also suggested the Council do before and after ‘Healthy Street’ checks for schemes measuring their success on a range of indicators like noise, air pollution, trees and, most importantly, reductions in volumes of motor traffic.”
A local architect, Mr Marstrand said, “the poor-quality proposals show that Highways engineers mean well, but are out of their depth when it comes to urban design. This should be an opportunity to improve an urban space, instead of a 2-dimensional design exercise in traffic flow. This junction links Belle Vue Road with historic Tuckton bridge, and Tuckton ‘high street’ with Riverlands. An urban designer or landscape architect needs to look at this as a whole, to balance the engineers’ car-centred perspective and create a space for the community.”
Mr Merivale, a resident of Broadlands Avenue, added, “During construction of the re-designed Tuckton Roundabout, there is going to be severe disruption to motor traffic for some of the time. People will inevitably adapt and manage their commute. Therefore, when it reopens the ability to drive through it will be a welcome relief, even if that was single entry/exit traffic lanes. Furthermore, holiday periods mark a reduction in congestion due to the absence of the ‘school run’. Single entry/exit lanes that encouraged parents to feel more confident about their children walking or cycling to and from school, would mean fewer ‘school runs’ with a concomitant permanent reduction in congestion.”
Cllr Greene also claimed the local resident’s association was not in favour of single-lane approaches. But this appears to contradict HENRA’s committee response letter: “reducing casualties remains the over-riding concern, whether they walk, drive or cycle. . .the committee believe that the safest design option for all road users should be adopted, and that the single lane design was abandoned without a full trial of all aspects of the plan.”
Update:-31 January– Press release goes out to announce the implementation of Council scheme, without any changes advised by Transport Initiatives Professionals. This press release prior to the deputations mentioned below being replied to.
16 January, 3 local residents presented deputations to the Full Council meeting, (listen here , 9 minutes). all regarding their own experiences at this location. Transport Initiatives report attached on this webpage was presented to all. Officers will prepare report on this upcoming work and their responses influence the Cabinet member decision. To be announced soon. Change in plans would indicate significant change in approach with up to date designs approved.
Traffic Regulation Order notices are posted at the site, representations for or against open until 15 December. Final Decision will be made on this scheme by Mike Greene, Cabinet member for Transport. My email to him and other interests was this quoted verbatim:–
“Since I am unable to make the forum public meeting on 11th December I’m emailing to object to making Tuckton Roundabout a dual-carriageway and fully support it being a single lane roundabout in line with best practice guidance.
At the Cycle Forum technical sub-group Richard Pearson was unable to provide any evidence for a multi-lane roundabout, other than a spurious one-day trial which caused a queue – hardly a sound basis for a life and death decision about lanes numbers. When I said the trial was inadequate as evidence he shut me down saying the Council cannot cause congestion.
When I said that crossings with more than one lane cause casualties Richard Pearson again shut me down on this point. Now the Council has shown it does not listen by putting up notices for a dual-carriageway roundabout and ignoring the Cycle Forum views.
Please do look at this work as part of the wider changes necessary, building for the future requires a re-think of how we use roads in entirety and not just appeasing sole occupant motorists. This re-priority is written into all of your own plans- start making it happen and please don’t fall into the trap of re-designating pedestrian pavements as an easy option. I support parallel crossings but the approaches and roundabout itself need to be made safe for people to cycle.”
You may have noticed my last post referring to the Lucan Roundabouts work from 2014, this post qualifies reason for posting that on this website. They provide evidence that changing the built environment for Active Travel is possible, desirable and increasingly important in 2017. Consultation on upcoming proposed road work on Tuckton Roundabout is still open until 20th October, do contribute-you would be contributing from an informed position after reading this post.
A colleague at Transport Initiatives has produced the following technical report that has been given to Bournemouth Borough Council Engineers as part of the consultation, it addresses the single location issue, and also provides plenty evidence from other road schemes that BBC would be well advised to learn from.
Here are the proposed plans and how you can contribute. Note- these plans are different from those shown to the Bournemouth Cycle Forum 04 September
Here is also an important paper about designing Cycle infra.
Whilst it could be said that any intervention here that aims to make local cycle trips safer for users is good, there are two aspects of this scheme to note. Slowing down traffic with raised tables and parallel crossings seems to be contradicted by still keeping the original wide mouthed dual lanes onto the roundabout. Commuting cyclists from Christchurch to anywhere in Bournemouth and back will suffer greatly from re-designation of pavement over the bridge itself. I have advised that re-designation of narrow pavements as ‘shared space’ is retrograde action, creating more animosity for riders using the running lane over the bridge. If the aim of a scheme is to create better Cycling conditions for all, legitimizing cycling on pavements where space is limited is worse than doing nothing, at least adding large cycle symbols to running lanes would create awareness bikes will use these lanes.