Cycle Winchester writes to WCC regarding Sport and Leisure Park cycleway

cargo bile on cycleway

As you will know from our recent article, Cycle Winchester is deeply disappointed in the implementation of this new cycleway.

Phil Gagg, WinACC Transport Lead, and a member of the Cycle Winchester core team, has published a detailed evaluation of the new route (attached). Phil’s report compares the new scheme with conditions laid out in the 2018 planning consent for the Leisure Centre, and with DfT cycle infrastructure design guidance (known as LTN 1/20). The new scheme falls short on both counts.

We take very seriously the shortcomings relative to the planning conditions. As a result, Sue Coles has written, on behalf of Cycle Winchester, to the Chief Executive of Winchester City Council. I quote from the opening paragraph of Sue’s letter.

As you are aware, the completion of this route to the agreed design was a condition of the planning consent granted in 2018. Under the terms of the consent, the development “shall not be occupied until a S278 agreement is completed with the Highways Authority to secure off–site highway works that will include the improvements identified within the Walking Cycling and Horse-riding Assessment and Review report”. Unfortunately, this condition has not been met and so the new Centre should not open until improvements are made to the cycleway/footway.

6 thoughts on “Cycle Winchester writes to WCC regarding Sport and Leisure Park cycleway

  1. Well done Cycle Winchester for pursuing this. We’re excited at the prospect of cycling to the new leisure centre but I cannot for the life of me fathom how it can be done safely and easily. We currently cycle from Harestock to River Park trying to avoid the main roads but even that is far from straightforward and merely bits of road, pavement, off road tracks and walking with the bikes in a “joined up” fashion.

  2. Is there a map of this new cycle path to the leisure centre? I don’t know where it is or how to find it. Where does it start? Where does it finish?
    If I could check it out, I would like to see it’s shortcomings fir myself.

    1. Hi Sheila, The new cycleway starts on Domum Road, down the hill from the Black Boy pub, turn left before the bridge over the Itchen. Once on Domum Road, there is a ramp up to your left, which connects, via the zig-zag, to Barfield Close. After that it’s a confusing trail of signs indicating to get on or off the pavement until you reach the roundabout on Bar End Road.

  3. I, for one, warned officers and the then Council Leader during the initial consultation about the gradient that would be needed between Domum Road and the proposed leisure centre. The presently-designated route is, as others have pointed out, quite inadequate. It is likely to cause cyclists from the city centre to bypass the extended route along the Weirs, College Walk, Domum Road and the rest, by simply cycling the straightforward but dangerous route along Chesil Street and Bar End Road. I agree that this must be rethought.

  4. My teenage daughter trains at the Bar End athetics track going by bike from Fulflood. I do not allow her to use the route from Domun Road to Barfield Close because the path is too secluded for safety.

    Cycle routes need to enable teenagers and young women to travel independently, and this does not achieve that. It is a travesty to have proposed a route (that already existed) that forces young people to remain dependent on their parents to safely access the leisure centre.

    It is well established that for personal safety pedestrians and cyclists need to be close to and overlooked by vehicular traffic. It isn’t safe for cyclists to share the road with cars but it is also not safe for cyclists to be directed down back alleyways.

    Consequently to provide a safe cycle path to the Leisure Centre is likely to require some loss of roadspace for vehicles. This is the outcome of the decision to move the leisure centre out of the city centre which completely neglected the needs of young people who are old enough to access sports facilities without their parents but not old enough to drive.

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