Cyclists’ concerns over cobblestones

This Is Wiltshire: Martin Jones, who is  concerned about the cobbles at the new Regent Circus development after his bike tyre got stuck in them Martin Jones, who is concerned about the cobbles at the new Regent Circus development after his bike tyre got stuck in them

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.”

Comments (21)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:44am Fri 27 Jun 14

umpcah says...

" A council spokesman said Martin was not the first person to raise the complaint and they would be taking action to resolve the problem " Why did this problem ever arise ? Planning ? What a joke !
" A council spokesman said Martin was not the first person to raise the complaint and they would be taking action to resolve the problem " Why did this problem ever arise ? Planning ? What a joke ! umpcah
  • Score: 4

8:55am Fri 27 Jun 14

OldTown90 says...

A council spokesman said “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.”

What about the disabled who will struggle with this new set up?
What about the visually impaired who are dependent on audible signals (which have been removed) in order to cross roads safely?

What about the mothers with buggies and children who will be taking their lives in their hands in this crazy set up?

What about the children who have been taught to stop at the kerbs before crossing? - because now there are no kerbs

Once again it seems SBC's so called professionals have been asleep on the job when they should have had the safety of Swindon's resident as their priority.

I challenge those that agreed - planning officers, highway officers and the planning committee - to this crazy scheme to try and successfully manoeuvre through this crossing at peak traffic time under the same conditions as a visually impaired or blind person.

If these nameless people were happy to approve the original scheme then of course I'm sure they'll be more than happy to take up the challenge. After all it must be safe otherwise they would have rejected it wouldn't they?

Although I predict that not only are they nameless but that they will also be proven to be gutless.
A council spokesman said “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.” What about the disabled who will struggle with this new set up? What about the visually impaired who are dependent on audible signals (which have been removed) in order to cross roads safely? What about the mothers with buggies and children who will be taking their lives in their hands in this crazy set up? What about the children who have been taught to stop at the kerbs before crossing? - because now there are no kerbs Once again it seems SBC's so called professionals have been asleep on the job when they should have had the safety of Swindon's resident as their priority. I challenge those that agreed - planning officers, highway officers and the planning committee - to this crazy scheme to try and successfully manoeuvre through this crossing at peak traffic time under the same conditions as a visually impaired or blind person. If these nameless people were happy to approve the original scheme then of course I'm sure they'll be more than happy to take up the challenge. After all it must be safe otherwise they would have rejected it wouldn't they? Although I predict that not only are they nameless but that they will also be proven to be gutless. OldTown90
  • Score: 15

8:57am Fri 27 Jun 14

2wg4wg says...

I wrote to the Council in March to raise this issue and had the same response - there will be a safety audit. I don't think we need a bunch of guys in flourescent jackets to spot the issue here - the photo says it all. I wrote again last week after almost being thrown off and have had the same response - Audit.
I wrote to the Council in March to raise this issue and had the same response - there will be a safety audit. I don't think we need a bunch of guys in flourescent jackets to spot the issue here - the photo says it all. I wrote again last week after almost being thrown off and have had the same response - Audit. 2wg4wg
  • Score: 7

9:23am Fri 27 Jun 14

joner100 says...

Whilst the council suggestion of a cycle-friendly strip to one side is welcome, it will be of limited use and of dubious safety value.

How will cyclists know to use that strip? Will there be warning signs: "Unsafe road surface - cyclist keep left"? A white line?

The risk of someone crossing into the the unsafe area at night, or when the road is empty of other traffic (cyclists aren't bound to keep left and are allowed to use the full width of the road after all) is too great.

I have witnessed the "uncomfortable" effect of the cobbles in car - it is nothing - the strip is just not deep enough to slow cars down and have seen cars doing 40 over them without any slowing as a result. They are dangerous to cyclists and moreover they do not even achieve what they are meant to do. Fill them in now!
Whilst the council suggestion of a cycle-friendly strip to one side is welcome, it will be of limited use and of dubious safety value. How will cyclists know to use that strip? Will there be warning signs: "Unsafe road surface - cyclist keep left"? A white line? The risk of someone crossing into the the unsafe area at night, or when the road is empty of other traffic (cyclists aren't bound to keep left and are allowed to use the full width of the road after all) is too great. I have witnessed the "uncomfortable" effect of the cobbles in car - it is nothing - the strip is just not deep enough to slow cars down and have seen cars doing 40 over them without any slowing as a result. They are dangerous to cyclists and moreover they do not even achieve what they are meant to do. Fill them in now! joner100
  • Score: 6

9:32am Fri 27 Jun 14

BCDR99 says...

umpcah wrote:
" A council spokesman said Martin was not the first person to raise the complaint and they would be taking action to resolve the problem " Why did this problem ever arise ? Planning ? What a joke !
I've had conversations with my councillor and MP about them being all over the place in North Swindon. They are dangerous and are "neither use nor ornament" to quote one official yet they still install them. They did fill in some of the gaps in North Swindon with cement but they're still dangerous to cyclists.
[quote][p][bold]umpcah[/bold] wrote: " A council spokesman said Martin was not the first person to raise the complaint and they would be taking action to resolve the problem " Why did this problem ever arise ? Planning ? What a joke ![/p][/quote]I've had conversations with my councillor and MP about them being all over the place in North Swindon. They are dangerous and are "neither use nor ornament" to quote one official yet they still install them. They did fill in some of the gaps in North Swindon with cement but they're still dangerous to cyclists. BCDR99
  • Score: 4

9:35am Fri 27 Jun 14

Oik1 says...

“The cobbles help encourage drivers to slow down because the faster they go, the noisier and more uncomfortable it gets."

And when cobbles get wet they are an absolute death trap for motorcyclists, no matter what speeds when approached, it won't be until something serious happens that things will change and then there'll be much wringing of hands and wailing of all was done to make it safe in the first place.
“The cobbles help encourage drivers to slow down because the faster they go, the noisier and more uncomfortable it gets." And when cobbles get wet they are an absolute death trap for motorcyclists, no matter what speeds when approached, it won't be until something serious happens that things will change and then there'll be much wringing of hands and wailing of all was done to make it safe in the first place. Oik1
  • Score: 7

9:38am Fri 27 Jun 14

GroundhogDay says...

joner100 wrote:
Whilst the council suggestion of a cycle-friendly strip to one side is welcome, it will be of limited use and of dubious safety value.

How will cyclists know to use that strip? Will there be warning signs: "Unsafe road surface - cyclist keep left"? A white line?

The risk of someone crossing into the the unsafe area at night, or when the road is empty of other traffic (cyclists aren't bound to keep left and are allowed to use the full width of the road after all) is too great.

I have witnessed the "uncomfortable" effect of the cobbles in car - it is nothing - the strip is just not deep enough to slow cars down and have seen cars doing 40 over them without any slowing as a result. They are dangerous to cyclists and moreover they do not even achieve what they are meant to do. Fill them in now!
Agree joner100. Cyclist have the right to use every inch of the road and in some instances may be forced to move away from the edge of the road to avoid something.

I don't have a problem with the shared space concept but it doesn't seem to have been designed or implemented well. 20mph zone should be much larger to slow traffic much earlier for a start.
[quote][p][bold]joner100[/bold] wrote: Whilst the council suggestion of a cycle-friendly strip to one side is welcome, it will be of limited use and of dubious safety value. How will cyclists know to use that strip? Will there be warning signs: "Unsafe road surface - cyclist keep left"? A white line? The risk of someone crossing into the the unsafe area at night, or when the road is empty of other traffic (cyclists aren't bound to keep left and are allowed to use the full width of the road after all) is too great. I have witnessed the "uncomfortable" effect of the cobbles in car - it is nothing - the strip is just not deep enough to slow cars down and have seen cars doing 40 over them without any slowing as a result. They are dangerous to cyclists and moreover they do not even achieve what they are meant to do. Fill them in now![/p][/quote]Agree joner100. Cyclist have the right to use every inch of the road and in some instances may be forced to move away from the edge of the road to avoid something. I don't have a problem with the shared space concept but it doesn't seem to have been designed or implemented well. 20mph zone should be much larger to slow traffic much earlier for a start. GroundhogDay
  • Score: 8

9:47am Fri 27 Jun 14

Klinkerhoffen says...

Note how the council is now starting to parrot the phrase Widely Consulted, as if though saying it often enough, they can convince everyone that oversights and mistakes with Regents are somehow OUR fault? Who was consulted exactly? It certainly seems like they managed to miss cyclists. The piece about the stranded young mum seems to indicate they managed to miss people with kids. I wonder if they've managed to miss disabled people too? Does anyone amongst the hundred reading the Adver know of any groups they have spoken to?
Note how the council is now starting to parrot the phrase Widely Consulted, as if though saying it often enough, they can convince everyone that oversights and mistakes with Regents are somehow OUR fault? Who was consulted exactly? It certainly seems like they managed to miss cyclists. The piece about the stranded young mum seems to indicate they managed to miss people with kids. I wonder if they've managed to miss disabled people too? Does anyone amongst the hundred reading the Adver know of any groups they have spoken to? Klinkerhoffen
  • Score: 3

9:54am Fri 27 Jun 14

The Real Librarian says...

Surely the cyclists will be using the pavement instead.

Like always.
Surely the cyclists will be using the pavement instead. Like always. The Real Librarian
  • Score: -12

10:09am Fri 27 Jun 14

OldTown90 says...

The Real Librarian wrote:
Surely the cyclists will be using the pavement instead.

Like always.
As there are no defined kerbs the danger is that cars or buses may also end up on the pedestrian areas albeit unintentionally.

Likewise pedestrians may unintentionally stray onto the 'road' at an inappropriate time.

The council spokesperson says “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 'near future' has no timeline and may prove to be too late for anyone who comes a cropper as a consequence of the existing set up
[quote][p][bold]The Real Librarian[/bold] wrote: Surely the cyclists will be using the pavement instead. Like always.[/p][/quote]As there are no defined kerbs the danger is that cars or buses may also end up on the pedestrian areas albeit unintentionally. Likewise pedestrians may unintentionally stray onto the 'road' at an inappropriate time. The council spokesperson says “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 'near future' has no timeline and may prove to be too late for anyone who comes a cropper as a consequence of the existing set up OldTown90
  • Score: 6

10:15am Fri 27 Jun 14

Ollie Dognacky says...

Not sure if putting cement into the grooves is a proper fix.
Essentially this would have the engineering properties of a brick wall, laid on its' side, with traffic running over it, and standing water (after rain) soaking into it.
....... Will someone be "repointing it" every 4 months?
Not sure if putting cement into the grooves is a proper fix. Essentially this would have the engineering properties of a brick wall, laid on its' side, with traffic running over it, and standing water (after rain) soaking into it. ....... Will someone be "repointing it" every 4 months? Ollie Dognacky
  • Score: 7

10:25am Fri 27 Jun 14

GroundhogDay says...

Ollie Dognacky wrote:
Not sure if putting cement into the grooves is a proper fix.
Essentially this would have the engineering properties of a brick wall, laid on its' side, with traffic running over it, and standing water (after rain) soaking into it.
....... Will someone be "repointing it" every 4 months?
Agree. The only solution is to lift and re-lay them a lot closer together. Filling the gaps is a bodge job!
[quote][p][bold]Ollie Dognacky[/bold] wrote: Not sure if putting cement into the grooves is a proper fix. Essentially this would have the engineering properties of a brick wall, laid on its' side, with traffic running over it, and standing water (after rain) soaking into it. ....... Will someone be "repointing it" every 4 months?[/p][/quote]Agree. The only solution is to lift and re-lay them a lot closer together. Filling the gaps is a bodge job! GroundhogDay
  • Score: 7

11:51am Fri 27 Jun 14

Klinkerhoffen says...

Bodge job?

The church at the top has subsided into a hole, the old college was lit on fire at least twice, we've had traffic going every which way during the works and pedestrians left without means of doing something as basic as safely crossing the road and now this! A case of cobbles and council cobblers.

And on top of it all, lets be honest, now its nearing completion, it looks like someone has beamed a chunk of Heathrow Airport into the centre of town.

I'm sure a few of our more desperate and seemingly deranged councillors will be able to claim that its exciting and vibrant but to be honest, I think its all already become yet another Swindon joke, hasn't it?
Bodge job? The church at the top has subsided into a hole, the old college was lit on fire at least twice, we've had traffic going every which way during the works and pedestrians left without means of doing something as basic as safely crossing the road and now this! A case of cobbles and council cobblers. And on top of it all, lets be honest, now its nearing completion, it looks like someone has beamed a chunk of Heathrow Airport into the centre of town. I'm sure a few of our more desperate and seemingly deranged councillors will be able to claim that its exciting and vibrant but to be honest, I think its all already become yet another Swindon joke, hasn't it? Klinkerhoffen
  • Score: 4

1:43pm Fri 27 Jun 14

nobody says...

The council has form with this sort of crap cobbles.
Just look at the road outside the new Waitrose, it's an abomination.
The council has form with this sort of crap cobbles. Just look at the road outside the new Waitrose, it's an abomination. nobody
  • Score: 2

1:43pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Davey Gravey says...

Yet another SBC **** up
Yet another SBC **** up Davey Gravey
  • Score: 5

3:57pm Fri 27 Jun 14

GrumpyLocal says...

The whole road layout is a joke. At the point the only sensible thing to do is revert the layout, at the lowest cost to the original version but put zebra crossings in instead of traffic lights. Paint proper road markings at the junctions so everyone knows what they need to do and get rid of the cobbles.
An utter farce.
Road layouts are not difficult things to create but as proven here they are incredibly easy to make a mess of.
The whole road layout is a joke. At the point the only sensible thing to do is revert the layout, at the lowest cost to the original version but put zebra crossings in instead of traffic lights. Paint proper road markings at the junctions so everyone knows what they need to do and get rid of the cobbles. An utter farce. Road layouts are not difficult things to create but as proven here they are incredibly easy to make a mess of. GrumpyLocal
  • Score: 3

4:32pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Moth says...

Once SBC had a hatred of cars. Now that hatred has extended to motorbikes, scooters, bicycles and pedestrians. Are they deliberately trying to kill off what remains of the town centre? Did we really need a cinema in the town centre? My son and his pal went to the cinema at Greenbridge the other week. They were the only two in the auditorium. Hardly profitable.

Swindon has been systematically wrecked over the past 20 years through bad decisions and bad planning. All, of course, at the taxpayers' expense also every motorist who has to negotiate Swindon's streets and roads as they pay silly money in Road Tax (or whatever it's called these days). This latest mess no doubt will have to be redone, again at the taxpayers'/motorists expense.

Whoever dreams up these schemes and approves them need naming, shaming and sacking.

One group that hasn't been mentioned in the article are women wearing high-heel shoes or even the low kitten heels. So easy to get stuck in these cobbles. Broken ankle anyone or worse, get stuck then run over by a bus or lorry?
Once SBC had a hatred of cars. Now that hatred has extended to motorbikes, scooters, bicycles and pedestrians. Are they deliberately trying to kill off what remains of the town centre? Did we really need a cinema in the town centre? My son and his pal went to the cinema at Greenbridge the other week. They were the only two in the auditorium. Hardly profitable. Swindon has been systematically wrecked over the past 20 years through bad decisions and bad planning. All, of course, at the taxpayers' expense also every motorist who has to negotiate Swindon's streets and roads as they pay silly money in Road Tax (or whatever it's called these days). This latest mess no doubt will have to be redone, again at the taxpayers'/motorists expense. Whoever dreams up these schemes and approves them need naming, shaming and sacking. One group that hasn't been mentioned in the article are women wearing high-heel shoes or even the low kitten heels. So easy to get stuck in these cobbles. Broken ankle anyone or worse, get stuck then run over by a bus or lorry? Moth
  • Score: 4

7:21pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Oik1 says...

In this day and age there are only two places for any kind of cobble stones in roads, Coronation Street and history.
In this day and age there are only two places for any kind of cobble stones in roads, Coronation Street and history. Oik1
  • Score: 1

1:57am Sat 28 Jun 14

greenpacer says...

Replace the cobbles with tarmac and as I have already said previously that daft scheme outside Waitrose in Wichelstowe wants ripping up too!!
Replace the cobbles with tarmac and as I have already said previously that daft scheme outside Waitrose in Wichelstowe wants ripping up too!! greenpacer
  • Score: 0

9:33am Sat 28 Jun 14

Devonroaddodderer says...

Wonder if it is the same person designed this that designed the new road junction at Jury's Inn. I like it when there is no traffic whatsoever coming from the direction with the green lights and yet all of the lanes with traffic in have to sit and wait for the light change. Bring back the roundabout for a continuous flow of traffic. The issue of the cobbles and no road markings outside the library needs to be addressed really quickly. I was at the junction the other day and it just causes confusion, no-one is sure whose turn it is to go first. I guess it will take a serious accident before anything gets changed
Wonder if it is the same person designed this that designed the new road junction at Jury's Inn. I like it when there is no traffic whatsoever coming from the direction with the green lights and yet all of the lanes with traffic in have to sit and wait for the light change. Bring back the roundabout for a continuous flow of traffic. The issue of the cobbles and no road markings outside the library needs to be addressed really quickly. I was at the junction the other day and it just causes confusion, no-one is sure whose turn it is to go first. I guess it will take a serious accident before anything gets changed Devonroaddodderer
  • Score: 1

3:13pm Wed 2 Jul 14

mrwoo says...

Get off your bike and walk you miserable Ricki Hunt.
Get off your bike and walk you miserable Ricki Hunt. mrwoo
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree