Update: Reply from Hyde Park re gravel

LOGAN 5

New Member
Here's the response I got regarding the gravel on the cycle lane. It's interesting that the funding comes from a cycling budget to encourage cycling in London when they turn bits of it into shared space with no markings. I personally think these 4 shared use areas are hazardous to both cyclists and pedestrians.

I agree that there are some lunatics who ride far too fast down Rotten Row but I feel that removing the markings to show that cyclists also use this section of path will lead to conflict with pedestrians who are unaware they are wandering into the path of riders - even those going slowly over the shared use bits.

"Thank you for your enquiry about this scheme and my apologies I could not write sooner.

I know you have taken a close interest in this scheme but I think it will be useful to give you a brief history of the project again, and answer your specific questions.

The project is funded by £50,000 from Transport for London’s Cycling on Greenways 2009/2010 budget. This budget was created to encourage and fund the Mayor’s strategy for opening more cycling routes in London’s green spaces.

Hyde Park is a heavily used park with many routes too crowded or unsuitable in other ways for use by cycles. We considered carefully which of our current routes would benefit from improved safety and Rotten Row was one of them.

Monitoring by CCTV and Park Management, park user complaints and a safety audit all showed that there was a continuing conflict at the junctions of pedestrian paths with the cycle route; with a small minority of cyclists travelling at dangerous speeds and being abusive to those who cross or wander into the cycle path. Hyde Park is a leisure space and the cycle tracks are designated as leisure routes and not cycle highways. Fast road routes exist on South and North Carriage Drives.

To reduce the conflicts and make the path safer for pedestrians, we employed an Engineering consultancy to redesign the junctions as ‘Shared Use Paths’ according to design rules in the London Cycling Design Standards published by TfL. As a result we have now designated the junctions as shared use space. This also allows us the take enforcement action more easily against dangerous riders.

Granite sett panels work as visible and tactile warning strips are a standard feature in the Royal Parks to show the entrance and exit of cycle routes. The initial installation of these features took place in September 2009 but through a mistake by the contractor, the setts were supplied as ‘cropped’ rather than the specified ‘bush hammered’ finish resulting in a surface that was too rough and of poor quality. Consequent the contractor had to reinstall the works at their cost. The contractor, by the way, is our framework contractor Ringway, who supply the Royal Parks highway works after winning a nationally advertised tender process. May I also emphasise that rates we paid for the work were very competitive and the cost of the contractor’s mistakes has been borne entirely by them.

The last part of the design was to install a change of surface. The change of surface we use for pedestrian and shared use paths to separate them from designated cycle tracks is an angular flint gravel dressing to a bitumen emulsion (sometimes called ‘tar spray and chip’). This material is dressed loose to hot bitumen and must be left for a couple of weeks to consolidate and for the bitumen to harden. The loose chippings protect users from sticky bitumen during the maturing process. This loose material is swept up at a later date. During this time the loose gravel is a small unavoidable hazard to cyclists and we provide warning signs. I have also put up a blue cycle information sign explaining the new layout.

It will take a little time for the behaviour change required by the new layout to bed in. We are closely monitoring it.

Yours

David Bird"
 

Norm

Guest
Good reply, nicely informative but it could have been condensed to "if you want to ride fast, don't use the cycle paths".
 

Origamist

Legendary Member
Location
Sandbach
Norm said:
Good reply, nicely informative but it could have been condensed to "if you want to ride fast, don't use the cycle paths".
I like the detail! I found this bit v interesting, (but I'm a sad individual):

The change of surface we use for pedestrian and shared use paths to separate them from designated cycle tracks is angular flint gravel dressing to a bitumen emulsion (sometimes called ‘tar spray and chip’). This material is dressed loose to hot bitumen and must be left for a couple of weeks to consolidate and for the bitumen to harden.
 

Norm

Guest
Origamist said:
I like the detail! I found this bit v interesting, (but I'm a sad individual):
Oh, indeed, I did mean it when I said I thought it was a good reply which was well detailed.

The only piece I might criticise would be the frequent reference to squeezing the contractor on price and the remedies being at the contractors cost. That struck me as being overly ass-covering - it's good that they did it but it didn't need to be mentioned three times.

I don't think that they are using the right methods to approach their target of changing cyclists' behaviours. As it stands, they have changed the surface without explaining why, which seems to have created resentment. If they had publicised the goals of encouraging shared-use more widely, I doubt that so many would have complained.
 

marinyork

Resting in suspended Animation
Location
Logopolis
LOGAN 5 said:
Granite sett panels work as visible and tactile warning strips are a standard feature in the Royal Parks to show the entrance and exit of cycle routes. The initial installation of these features took place in September 2009 but through a mistake by the contractor, the setts were supplied as ‘cropped’ rather than the specified ‘bush hammered’ finish resulting in a surface that was too rough and of poor quality. Consequent the contractor had to reinstall the works at their cost. The contractor, by the way, is our framework contractor Ringway, who supply the Royal Parks highway works after winning a nationally advertised tender process. May I also emphasise that rates we paid for the work were very competitive and the cost of the contractor’s mistakes has been borne entirely by them.
They need a spanking on this. You can't use 'standard' as an argument when we know very well this 'standard' hasn't been around very long and led to complaints. It's lazy writing, they need to justify themselves in terms of proper arguments.

Very poor response on the whole, didn't really answer the safety aspects at all.
 

bryce

Senior Member
Location
London, SW10
Has anyone else noticed the new loose gravel on the north-south bike lane between the Exhibition Road and Serpentine Bridge (including the junction with the Kensington Gardens route as well)?

It's completely crazy and really dangerous to ride (let alone turn direction) on a road bike. They seem to have covered the cycle lane markings as well. Hope this is temporary and the gravel 'sets' and they re-mark the route. Until then it should be closed for safety's sake...

Back on the road I go.
 

BentMikey

Rider of Seolferwulf
Location
South London
I don't like the cobbles they've put in there either. I'm fine on them, but newer rollerbladers will crash plenty on those.
 

markharry66

Über Member
Just a quick question if this is a shared cycle path not an expert on road surfaces is there any danger to peds from loose chippings flying all over the place
 

frank9755

Cyclist
Location
West London
This is dangerous! (Edit - I'm referring to the bit in Kensington Gardens referenced in Bryce's post)

I encountered it yesterday morning going into town through Hyde Park into London. I didn't see a warning sign and it wasn't obvious that the surface was loose gravel until I was on it. I was lucky I wasn't going very fast.

Basically they have put loose gravel down in exactly the place where you would normally brake to slow down for a road crossing where there are obviously cars but also pedestrians. The upshot was that I couldn't brake for fear of coming off! I coasted to a slow speed and the road was clear so I could get onto it and off the gravel.

Next time it will be fine as I will know to slow down a bit earlier. A sign saying 'Danger, gravel' could have achieved the same effect.

The thing could only have been designed by a non-cyclist who failed to appreciate how dangerous unexpected gravel is for cyclists and also for any pedestrians who happen to be around when cyclists lose control. The reply makes it clear that the writer does not fully appreciate this.

Once the loose gravel has been swept away in a couple of weeks time, the path will be pretty much as it was so hard to see what has been achieved by this 'investment in cycling infrastructure' (sic)
 

frank9755

Cyclist
Location
West London
Hyde Park is a leisure space and the cycle tracks are designated as leisure routes and not cycle highways.
....David Bird"
This was interesting. I've never seen this marked as such on any map or sign. Unfortunately it's just about the main commuting route from West London to the West End and the City! But if they don't want people to use it for that purpose, then by all means they should put up a sign or something to say so. And they could Sustrans, LCC or whoever makes the cycling maps to make it clear to people.
 

jonny jeez

Legendary Member
Has anyone else noticed the new loose gravel on the north-south bike lane between the Exhibition Road and Serpentine Bridge (including the junction with the Kensington Gardens route as well)?

It's completely crazy and really dangerous to ride (let alone turn direction) on a road bike. They seem to have covered the cycle lane markings as well. Hope this is temporary and the gravel 'sets' and they re-mark the route. Until then it should be closed for safety's sake...

Back on the road I go.
How odd...I noticed this thread today...on the same day I rode on this gravel for the first time...is it the bit to the side of the tennis club (V&A memorial side) that is really deep.

I never cross the road at this point usually but as the traffic was clear i took advantage and crossed early then hit the gravel. I was going slowly so it was ok but tt did strike me as a surprise to be rim deep (ooer) in gravel

Sorry...I did have some footage but deleted it in my daily ritual of scrubbing safe rides.
 
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