Temporary cycle route on Grassyards Road extended to MacKenzie Drive
The trial cycle route segregation scheme on the existing cycle lanes on Grassyards Road (between Strawberry Bank Road and Sutherland Drive) has been extended to the junction with MacKenzie Drive in response to feedback provided after the trial was first installed in April 2021.
Feedback was gathered through the Sustrans Space to Move website. A review in August 2021 of the comments received both on the Space to Move website and the Council’s Facebook page indicated that the scheme had got people talking about the provision of dedicated infrastructure for cyclists and the concept of road space reallocation.
Most non-cyclists responding did not view the scheme positively, considering it to be unattractive; an unnecessary expense; citing the low numbers of cyclists that they saw using the cycle lanes; and raising concerns about access for emergency service vehicles and increased levels of congestion when queues form behind right turning traffic.
Comments from cyclists were mixed – those supporting the scheme valued the separation from cars provided by the kerb units and requested that similar schemes be provided on other unsegregated cycle lanes around the town. Concerns from cyclists included the width of the cycle lane, debris in the lane, and continued incursion into the lane by vehicles at bus stops and junctions.
Requests were received however by both cyclists and non-cyclists to extend the trial further along Grassyards Road to cover the section of cycle lane outside Willowbank School.
What is a soft segregation scheme?
Temporary bolt down kerb units with upright wands have been installed at the edge of the existing cycle lanes on Grassyards Road to prevent vehicles from entering the cycle lane, either to pass other vehicles or to park. These soft segregation measures help to reduce feelings of vulnerability, particularly amongst new cyclists and those who only cycle occasionally.
Funding for the project has come from the Spaces for People programme, a temporary infrastructure programme in Scotland funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Sustrans Scotland. Its aim is to put measures in place which focus on protecting public health and supporting physical distancing due to COVID-19.
Why is the scheme being extended?
From the feedback received, both cyclists and non-cyclists suggested that the scheme be extended further along Grassyards Road past Willowbank School. Extending the scheme will address the issues of vehicles parking in the cycle lane and preventing its use by cyclists. It will also connect to the signed on road cycle route between Hurlford and the town centre (Mackenzie Drive/Kay Park Terrace).
How will displaced parking be managed?
To safely manage any displaced parking arising from the extension of the segregation scheme, temporary waiting restrictions (double yellow lines) will be provided at key junctions in nearby residential areas to ensure these areas are kept clear from parked vehicles. A copy of the temporary Order and plan can be found below. We will be monitoring the scheme, and can put additional parking restrictions in place if there are road safety concerns.
Download the temporary Order and plan (PDF 616Kb).
What about the negative comments received about the scheme?
We want to firstly address comments received by cyclists:
- When a scheme is installed on a trial basis we have to be mindful of ensuring it can be removed as quickly and cost effectively as possible. This resulted in the white line for the cycle lane being kept at its original location and the segregation features being installed inside the line. In view of the comments raised, the second part of the trial will be installed differently to maximise space for cyclists.
- The segregated lanes are too narrow for mechanical sweeping by the existing road sweeper, however manual sweeping was arranged to manage debris and a smaller mechanical sweeper has been purchased (using Sustrans Spaces for People funding) for use during the remainder of the trial period.
- It is not possible to continue the segregation scheme through bus stops and junctions, and whilst this makes no improvement on the previous layout, it is also no worse. Physical changes to the road layout at bus stops and the pedestrian refuge are outside the scope of this trial.
In answer to comments made by non-cyclists:
- The scheme has been fully funded by Sustrans Spaces for People fund. It would not have been possible to use this funding for resurfacing or road patching.
- This type of funding allows us to explore ways to encourage and support alternative modes of travel than the private car. This is in accordance with East Ayrshire Council and Scottish Government objectives to reduce carbon emissions.
- There are a number of ways to segregate cycle ways from traffic but most temporary interventions use very similar materials.
- As a new intervention within East Ayrshire, the scheme does need to be highly visible to road users to raise awareness of the change.
- Emergency service operators have been consulted and have not raised any concerns about the change to the road environment.
- Incursion by vehicles into the cycle lane to pass other road users (when they are waiting to turn right) is exactly the type of behaviour that the segregation scheme tries to address. Feedback concerning the resulting delays is noted and will be considered as part of evaluating the project.
How do I give feedback?
You can fill out our online survey.
This will be open until 31 May. If you would prefer a paper copy of the survey, please call 01563 503160 and we will post a survey and a reply paid envelope to you.
How long will the trial last?
When the trial started in April 2021, we advised that it would last between 12 and 18 months. This extended trial will initially be provided on the same timescales (until October 2022) whilst additional monitoring is undertaken. The Temporary Traffic Order for the waiting restrictions has been issued for 18 months, however it only applies when road markings are provided.
What monitoring will be undertaken?
As well as site inspections to monitor the impact of the scheme on traffic flows and road user behaviour, we will be specifically commissioning speed and volume surveys, asking for feedback and monitoring displacement parking.