Cyclists’ concerns over cobblestones
5:00am Friday 27th June 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
CYCLIST Martin Jones has asked the council to take a second look at the new road layout near Regent Circus as he believes the cobbles make it too dangerous.
Martin, 55, of Old Town, passes the new development every day on his way to work and believes it is only a matter of time before a serious accident is caused.
He says the cobbles have a groove between them in which bike tyres get caught, so cyclists are unable to turn.
“For anyone who travels across there on a road bike with narrow tyres it is just not safe,” said the UWE College director.
“As the cobblestones are not level it is so easy for the tyres to get caught in the grooves and the cyclist is then unable to turn.
“It is a junction which is obviously very busy and if a cyclist doesn’t realise they are caught and goes to turn they are going to come off.
“The cobbles themselves are also very small, so trying to find a way across them is quite difficult.”
As part of the Regent Circus development, which will see a supermarket, cinema and restaurants built on the old college site, the roads have been redesigned to make them more pedestrian friendly.
The traffic lights have been removed and the road is now level with the pavement.
Martin said: “They say that the cobbles help to slow down traffic, so I am not against them.
“They have put them in elsewhere, such as near the new Waitrose in Wichelstowe. But the concrete there is level with the cobbles so there is no danger to cyclists.
“I have contacted the council and I would like to see them do that at Regent Circus before someone gets seriously hurt.”
A council spokesman said Martin was not the first person to raise the complaint and they would be taking action to resolve the problem.
He said: “We’re aware of the concerns of cyclists about the cobbles, and we are going to reduce the depth of the gaps between them in a stretch equivalent in width to a normal cycle lane on either side.
“There will also be an independent safety audit carried out in the near future on the whole scheme and we will make any other changes that might be necessary.
“The whole scheme was consulted on widely before it started and has been designed and paid for by the Regent Circus developer.
“The cobbles help encourage drivers to slow down because the faster they go, the noisier and more uncomfortable it gets.
“If the surface is too smooth the effect is reduced, but we recognise that cyclists must remain safe as they ride over the surface themselves.”
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