Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Maliciously bad cycle facilities

EDIT - I've removed the link to report this to KCC. I believe they've got the message.

I'm not a massive fan of the Kent Highways department. Therefore to say I've never been so angry at them about something means quite a lot.

Old Chatham Road used to be the main road between Chatham and Maidstone, but was bypassed by the construction of a dual carriageway to the west, before I was even born. The old road was kept for access, and is part of the National Cycle Network Route 17.
The previous situation. The road was two way, with a lorry park on the left. 
While I was at university, this road has been changed to one way, with bollards used to prevent parking. It also has a 40mph limit.

The part of the road my road my bike is on is wasted space. It does nothing at all. Therefore the logical thing to do would be to use this space to accomodate the pre-existing National Cycle Network Route.

Instead, Kent Highways have decided that the best place for cycling would be on the pavement. And an incredibly poorly surfaced and overgrown footpath at that.
Compare the cycling surface vs. the smooth tarmac of the bollarded of space that does nothing.
Thanks to the new signage introduced in the 2015 TSRGD, this pavement can also be used by horses. Big barriers are used to prevent cycle access to this now useless section of road.

The barriers also exist at the other end, forcing cycles to use the overgrown, and badly surfaced footpath.


This goes above and beyond the usual crap provision that cycling gets. I can only see this as an actively malicious attempt by Kent Highways to prevent cycling here. I simply cannot believe that the people who design Kents roads for a living could see this as acceptable, even by British cycling infrastructure standards.

You know you are a second class road user when nothingness gets better provision than you


  1. Form submitted! From EH54, but you never know, I might want to cycle there one day.

  2. I got this reply today.

    "You contacted Kent County Council with regard to NCN Cycle Route 17 at Chatham Road.

    Your enquiry is that the path is not fit for purpose, the surface is poor and is too narrow.

    The current configuration of Chatham Road is an interim measure for the duration of the experimental One-Way Traffic Regulation Order, the cycle path and use by equestrians was considered at the earliest stages of this proposal. The measures implemented to accommodate both of these groups represent the minimum to facilitate their usage for the duration of the experiment.

    Once a final solution to the problems caused by the overnight lorry parking has been agreed, we will be looking to develop a permanent scheme which will address the issues that you have raised."

    I responded with a question about how long this experiment would last. It would have been good if they could have experimented with having the cycle path in a different location at the same time as the lorry parking experiment!


  3. Reminds me of this one
    The result is this
    Note the two comments:
    "I understand that there is a cycle path alongside this road, so what was he doing on the road?"
    "... probably didn't realise that there was a cycle lanes, as the older generation are usually more law abiding ..."