While it's by no means the only problem area between the city centre and the areas served by Tile Hill Lane, Broad Lane and Canley Road, it has a high level of motor traffic and is used by a lot of cyclists (by Coventry standards). Furthermore it seems likely that cycling conditions could be greatly improved by the sacrifice of only a small amount of grassed area.
Location of Hearsall Common and the Cycle Coventry routes (green: 4, red: 5, purple: 6).
The google satellite view shows details of Hearsall Common:
How can the blue lines be joined together?
From Kingston Road, cyclists could cross Earlsdon Avenue North at the signalised junction of Earlsdon Avenue North / Hearsall Lane / Queensland Avenue / Hearsall Lane. There would have to be some sort of shared pedestrian/cyclist use between Kingston Road and the junction.
Space would have to be taken from the carriageway and the bus stop would have to be moved elsewhere:
Crossing Earlsdon Avenue North at Kingston Road is a more practical option. At busy times there will be considerable traffic so a place to wait half way across would be useful.
Having crossed the road, it's proposed to continue on the southern side of the Hearsall Lane carriageway by widening the pavement into a shared cyclist/pedestrian path. Some people think that widening the pavement on Earlsdon Avenue North is a good idea (shown in blue below):
The desire line is elsewhere and is visible in the satellite image. It's much used by both pedestrians and cyclists. Following the desire line also means that cyclists on the path will stay clear of pedestrians at the bus stops on Hearsall Lane:
Past the bus stops, the pavement along the south side of the Hearsall Common carriageway needs widening and the poles need to be avoided.
On the north side of Hearsall Lane there's a grass verge about 1m wide between the cycle/foot way and carriageway; which is both safer and more attractive to walkers and cyclists than a path immediately next to the carriageway.
At some point along the Hearsall Common carriageway, it's proposed to install a Toucan crossing to link the south side cycle path with the north side. Coming from Kingston Road I'm not sure that I would bother crossing the carriageway, only to re-cross a little later on:
Canley Road is one-way (north-east to south-west) between the junctions with Hearsall Common and Beechwood Avenue. To reach the bidirectional part of Canley Road, two ideas have been suggested:
- A bothway cyclist/pedestrian shared use path along the south-east side, as shown in red below.
- A cycle lane on the Canley Road carriageway for north-east bound cyclists (shown in blue below). South-west bound cyclists would use the same lane as motorists.
It's worth noting that shared pedestrian/cyclist paths are almost unknown in the Netherlands, where they are much more practiced in cycle matter than here. Where motor traffic levels and speeds are low, cyclists share with motorists, where they are high cyclists have their own paths separated from both pedestrians and motorists.
Hearsall Common was discussed at the Cycle Coventry Advisory group on 7 May.
More on Cycle Coventry route 4.