Section of Cov cycleway set for review as hundreds oppose redesign
A controversial section of Coventry's Binley cycleway is set to be reviewed for the third time after hundreds backed petitions against the latest plans. It is the final part of the £8 million, 6km-long route from the city centre to University Hospital that needs approval from Coventry City Council.
The stretch down Clifford Bridge Road between Brinklow Road and Dorchester Way has been redesigned twice since the project started in 2020, and subject to three rounds of consultation. The latest version revealed in June has some shared-use pedestrian and cyclist areas instead of a fully separated cycle track all the way along.
But the redesign has been hit with opposition from locals with hundreds supporting two petitions against it, according to a council report for a meeting tomorrow (November 15.) Almost 600 people signed a petition against the scheme claiming it would be unsafe and affect traffic in the area, and calling for it to be "re-evaluated" and moved and designed if safety and accessibility concerns cannot be dealt with.
Another petition with over 180 signatures called for this part of the route to be built to a "high quality standard" by keeping apart walkers, drivers and cyclists, as set out in the original plans. But achieving a fully separate cycleway as in the rest of the Binley cycleway scheme will be more difficult on this road, according to the council's report.(Image: West Midlands Combined Authority)
"There are significant challenges to achieving a fully segregated route, notably around balancing the competing demands for space between pedestrians, cyclists, car parking, through traffic, and accesses to frontage properties," it said.
"These challenges have been reflected within the consultation responses, and the two petitions that have been raised, and accordingly the council needs to undertake a further review of the Clifford Bridge Road section of the cycleway."
Cabinet Member Cllr Patricia Hetherton will make a decision on whether to agree with the recommendation for another review at tomorrow's meeting. Views from a survey filled in by 247 residents on the latest plans for this stretch of cycleway were also discussed in the council report.
Some people consulted felt the cycle schemes are a "waste of money" and claimed other parts of the Binley route had not been used, it said. But council monitoring equipment shows cycle trips per month down Binley road have trebled since part of the cycle track opened, it added.
The report also claimed around 100-150 cyclists use the Clifford Bridge Road stretch every day, with about a third going on the footpath - and said that, based on the evidence, "some form of improved cycle route" is needed here. Some other people surveyed suggested different routes to the stretch on Clifford Bridge Road should be considered instead.
But the council report said two of these do not have the same "connectivity" the cycleway is providing and wouldn't be supported by funding bodies. Two other potential diversions would be "less direct" and unlikely to be used by the cyclists who use Clifford Bridge Road or new cyclists, it added.
But the report also said the council should respond to other concerns raised by residents - ranging from parking to possible conflict between walkers and cyclists on a shared route. If another review goes ahead it will be based on seven key principles, including that the road should stay at its current width, no parking capacity should be removed and cycle lanes should be fully separated as the "default" position with strong reasons given if they are not.
The report also recommended that other things people have called for on the road - including a residents parking scheme, lower speed limit and HGV restrictions - should be investigated.