Too narrow for cycle tracks - shared bus road?

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Too narrow for cycle tracks - shared bus road?

I'm thinking about possible solutions for a road, Woodgrange Drive, in Southend. In particular, this stretch of it, which is too narrow (at 11 or 12 metres) to include pavements, two-way driving and cycle tracks. Looking at the satelleite image or Google Street View, it can be seen that the rest of the road is wide enough for pavements, cycle tracks and road.

Narrowing the carriageway to one lane to provide cycleways alongside and permitting motor vehicles in one direction only or just removing all motor traffic with a permeability block at one end doesn't seem realistic as this is a main bus route. Without this bus route, people living or travelling to/from here would have to walk up to half a mile to reach bus services stopping on Southchurch Road or the seafront(Eastern Esplanade). Although, perhaps that isn't too much of a problem considering the constrained width here.

So my best idea right now is some kind of bus & cycle road; allowing buses and bikes in the main carriageway for this stretch. There are around 10 or 20 buses per hour passing through, so is this low enough for them to mix? What do Embassy members think? The obvious problem cycling here is of course the high number of private cars passing along the narrow two-way carriageway! At peak times, the road is congested enough to slow down to around 20mph.

In terms of implementation, all side-roads coming off the narrow stretch can be accessed via other back streets, so I see no need to keep them open. Each one would be blocked off with bollards to allow cycling, so the only car traffic on the narrow stretch would be to/from residents' driveways; i.e. very little. The stretch would have no entry signs with "except buses, cycles & access" each end, should be 20mph and have no centre-line, to avoid buses squeezing cycles trying to stay in their lane when overtaking.

There could be scope for bus-stop bypasses, by narrowing the main carriageway to 4~5 metres temporarily to create (from one side to the other): pavement, one way cycle track, bus stop island, carriageway, pavement. As the carriageway is narrowed, oncoming buses would have to give way and wait for a bus/passing vehicle to clear. Lack of protection from the bus in the middle of the road for oncoming cycles in the narrowed carriageway may be a subjective safety issue. This can just about be squeezed into an 11 metre width:

Any thoughts?

Edit: I meant to include this link showing the narrow stretch in question:


I'm not sure they'll mix. We've a bus+cycle road enforced by retracting bollards (aka bus gate) around - I think there's currently 6 buses/hour off-peak, maybe double that at peak. There have been complaints both ways, with each of bus drivers and cyclists complaining that the other refuses to yield at the pinch points (no priority is marked and the northern one is almost blind) - although no collisions yet AFAIK.

If you've more laid back bus drivers, it may work, but I think a proper split road layout (maybe 3.4m carriageway, 3m cycleway, 2m footway, with them taking it in turns to be wider as needed to allow bus stops and passing places) would be better.

I can't see anything on that streetmix link except a loading bar (Firefox 33 I think)


Woodgrange Drive is quite long, with several stretches, so it would be helpful to know which.

Chelsworth Cres for example only runs into / off Woodgrange.

Also there is plenty of width in this corridor, the question is one of using verges, and who has ownership of these.

Sharing with busesis far from ideal, but this is not the main route into town, so thare are measures which could be taken to discourage other through traffic.

Further to the west is a Lidle supermarket, so that section is going to have to be open to traffic regardless.


pete owens

It would be better to keep it simple - rather than send cyclists on a narrow cycle lane squeezed between a very narrow bus shelter and a narrow pavement. Or in the other direction constrained carriageway subdiveded into a narrow cycle lane and a narrow bus lane. Remember that there needs to be a 0.5m clearance between any object placed on the pavement and the kerb.

If you have 11m then allocate a 6m carriageway (without a centre line) and 2.5m footways. This allows plenty of room for cyclists and buses to pass each other safely and plenty of room for pedestrians to get on and off buses (though you could shift the carriageway to widen the pavement on the bus stop side). With 10 buses an hour, the chances are that you would ride from one end to the other of the road without having to overtake or be overtaken in any case.


Is it OK to leave close passes by buses to chance and whether bus operators decide to run more services along the route?

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