Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to you today to express my concern, even bewilderment, about the latest instalment of the active transport infrastructure which ostensibly links the Braithwaite Estate with the City Centre.
Whilst I am delighted, of course, that safe and segregated options are finally being provided to allow individuals the genuine choice of not using their car, I do wonder who exactly this path is aimed at, and who in their right mind would actually use it.
As the crow flies the Estate is 3.2 miles from the City Centre, following the dual carriageway by car it is 3.8 miles. Whereupon all this traffic is delivered onto the old narrow streets causing the obvious and all too familiar traffic flow issues. Such a short journey ought to be easily undertaken by bicycle or even on foot, which has myriad advantages for both society and the individual. Traffic could be reduced, and along with it pollution. Active transport has shown to be incredibly effective for health issues, and of course both travel time (honestly; take out the waiting in queues and searching for a parking spot it is considerably quicker by bike) and the extraordinarily low cost, compared to motor transport, it is hugely beneficial, especially for those on lower incomes.
However. I notice immediately that where self-powered vehicles have a wide and direct route to the centre, those under their own steam have this new route. It actually starts by going the wrong way out to the Swallow Woods, where it takes a winding and long-winded curving route back towards the city. Then it must cross and re-cross the road, adding long diversions and unnecessary waiting times. In short (would that it were) the route is an extraordinary 5.6 miles.
AND on top of that it delivers the rider, not safely to the centre, but onto the horrifically dangerous Birkbeck roundabout. How was any of this planned? Was it planned?! A beautiful stone path through lovely woods it may be, but it leads nowhere, and leads me to question your genuine competence and / or motives. Again. I expect very soon to find letters in the local papers about how no one uses these “expensive” bike-ways. Little surprise when they have clearly been designed with the need to tick a box in mind rather than any real attempt to provide the environment for real modal change.
Lindsay B. Trottermeier