Tag Archives: David Wilson Homes

NEWS: Cycle Path Fail

Is this one of the worst fails for a barrier on a cycle path?

It has already been noted that the barriers installed on the Mill Springs shared Cycle/Pedestrian path cannot be used by a number of users, yet they still remain.

The chicane restrictions are an accessibility nightmare for cycles using a trailer or a family tagalong. They could also restrict work bikes, tandems, hand cycles and tricycles, and that’s before the needs of mobility scooters are considered. Double buggies are also likely to be hindered.
The question is being asked – was an Equalities Impact Assessment undertaken? Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council as the planning authority should be able to provide that.

But another problem is occurring especially at the western end near the sports changing rooms. The installation is also restricting access to maintenance vehicles for the three sports pitches. While there are two bollards that can be unlocked to allow access, maintenance vehicles are then confronted with the staggered barriers across the path. These vehicles are taking to the surrounding grassed areas, completely destroying it and creating a stony bare unsightly eyesore – and when it rains stones and mud get washed down into the road below causing additional hazards.

Grass is dead/worn away. Grass and flowers to the left, mud and stones to the right.

The area is currently under the management of Mill Springs developer David Wilson Homes, but will soon pass into the ownership and responsibility of the Whitchurch Town Council.
Let us hope that before the site is handed into public ownership this issue is resolved or future costs may rest on local residents. It has also been suggested that should anyone fall trying to negotiate the barriers it could also lead to potential injury claims.

The solution would seem to be a very simple one; remove the superfluous staggered barriers both here and at the other end; retain lockable bollards to retain access for service vehicles; make access to all legitimate users possible; comply with requirements of the 2010 Equality Act, and remove the need for maintenance vehicles to churn up the grass.
Sorted. Except it isn’t, at least not yet.

NATIONALLY
Its not just local routes that suffer such poor designs but also the Sustrans led National Cycle Network.
Listen to hand cyclist Ellis Palmer, then look at the barriers in Whitchurch at Micheldever Road end of the Mill Springs path (pic below):
Link to Video: BARRIERS ON NATIONAL ROUTES (Sustrans / Ellis Palmer)

Micheldever Road end – Substandard design makes it virtually impossible to negotiate safely by cycles or mobility scooter without leaving the path.

NEWS: Barriers to both Cycling and the ‘Less Able’

Has anyone used the new Shared Cycle/Pedestrian path at Mill Springs in Whitchurch?

‘Chicane’ barriers have been erected at each end that are making it difficult for a number of users.
(click on pics to enlarge)

Micheldever Road ‘chicane’ barriers.

Staggered ‘chicane’ railings have been placed on the David Wilson Homes development that are causing access issues making the route less convenient and appealing to those it is supposed to cater for.

These are especially awkward for those with pushchairs, prams, wheelchairs or using mobility scooters, as well as for larger cycles such as tandems, tricycles, cargo bikes or those with the popular family trailers and tagalongs. For some the barriers make it impassable.
While there has not been a legal case they may also be breaking the requirements of the 2010 Equality Act.

The picture at the Micheldever Road end shows that some people are avoiding the barriers by going around them. That of course is not possible for some with mobility scooters or with less manoeuverable cycles. There has even been an attempt to block this desire line, with installation of a ‘bollard bodge’.

Mill Spring ‘chicane’ barriers.

Meanwhile at the other end of the path, by the new changing rooms, there are also barriers and bollards, again with similar access issues. Here there are two removable bollards which are fine for controlling access by motor vehicles, but then another ‘chicane’ barrier. The result is that maintenance vehicles have been churning up the grass to go around the staggered barriers.
Why was this placed here? It would be useful to hear the thinking!

Such chicane barriers are being removed in parts of the country – yet here in Whitchurch they are installed.
Whitchurch should, and can, do better.