We reach the end of the 5 year development programme in March next year for developing cycling facilities in Shrewsbury using the large grants obtained from Government and Sustrans in 2008. There are still projects being undertaken, including the Northern Gateway gyratory to which cycling funds have been allocated. Council Officers, Alison Kennedy and Emma Bullard, who were seconded to develop the infrastructure and training programmes respectively are back in their old jobs in the Shropshire CC Planning Department, as is Cycle Project Engineer, Richard Harman. They will all still have an oversight of cycling as they had previously. Much of their time on cycling is now being spent on developing cycling in Oswestry and Ludlow. The Project Group of Councillors, Council Officers, and representatives of various groups, including Martin and me for the CTC, who have been overseeing the developments, may be disbanded at the end of March. The three monthly meeting of the Shropshire Cycle Forum, which is open to anyone who has an interest in cycling, will continue.
The Council Officers were successful in bidding for and obtaining a grant of £5million from the £50,000,000 allocated to Local Sustainable Transport over the next four years. However, this is for all transport and covers the whole County. Some may be allocated to cycling projects and it is thought that some of our 15 dangerous junctions identified in The Times Survey may be tackled. Heathcotes and Emstrey Roundabouts are likely to be early locations to receive attention.
We have recently experienced a big disappointment in that Shropshire County Council has voted to remove the traffic island along Smithfield Road, which was put in last year at a cost of £19,000 from the cycling development grants. The case for removal was the traffic congestion build up extending back into Copthorne during rush hours. The fact that the average speed of motorists travelling along Smithfield Road had reduced by 5mph was considered to be of less importance. We now have to wait for the plans for the New Shopping Complex to be produced to try and get improved access to the opposte side of Smithfield Road. There is an alternative of which you may be unaware. At the bridge end of Smithfield Road, there are two cyclist’s ramps in the central reservation which I had asked to be installed. At appropriate times during the traffic light sequence, a cyclist can cross straight over from the bridge onto the reservation and then on into Bridge Street without using the zebra crossing. He/she can then bear left into Hills Lane and on to Mardol and then cross to the contraflow in Rousehill.
So much has been done during the development period that it is difficult to get across to members how much has been achieved. The following is an incomplete list but I hope it will give you some idea.
- Major Projects
- Smithfield Road and Welsh bridge
- Telford Way
- Northern Gateway gyratory (starting now)
- Greenfields Estate paths
- Upgrade of R81 path
- Minor Projects
- Toucan Crossings on Telford Way, Radbrook Road, Whitchurch Road, Mytton Oak Road, Roman Road, Featherbed Lane, Longden Road
- Roundabout improvements at Longden Road/Roman Road, Heathcotes
- Mini Roundabout Radbrook/Bank Farm Road
- Town Contraflows
- 5km of new signed cycle routes
- Cyclist priority lines across many side roads junctions
- Cycle parking improvements at 23 schools (340 places), 11 work places including the station, Shirehall, Hospital (336), 10 doctor’s surgeries (52), 12 shopping centres (48), town centre sites (38), 18 community centres etc (70). Total 886
- Training and Events
- There has also been a huge training programme in schools and for adults, cycle maintenance courses, a large number of cycling events including
- 3 years of the Cyclefest at the cycle track and the development of a fantastic web site covering virtually information about everything cycling for Shropshire cyclists.