I have been meaning to write this post for a while. But because I rarely take this route to get to work at the University of Warwick because of its condition and design, I haven’t had the chance to document the most direct connection between Leamington and Kenilworth.
The A452 is a relatively busy road as it connects not only to Kenilworth, but also to the A46 towards the University of Warwick and Coventry. For cyclists and pedestrians it is a forbidding route, exemplified also by the route suggestion on Google Maps:
It all but screams for you to not take the most direct route. More on that later. My route takes me up Lillington Road and down Sandy Lane at the end of which you reach (are spewed out on) A452. Then you have a choice of either sticking to what can charitably be called a sidewalk or use the road. I usually ride on the road, but wanted to document the rather sorry state of affairs that Warwickshire County Council has allowed to persist. Which also puts off non-experienced cyclists or families from an outing along this route.
Some impressions and some commentary:
Clearly inadequate facilities for really anyone. I shudder to think about hte prospects of a a wheelchair user. Lawsuit anyone?
We then head to what is one of the shortest bike paths – all of 80m or so.
And as quickly as it began … it ends again.
More evidence of lack of care / maintenance / thought about maintenance.
We then come to the most problematic bit, the Thickthorn Roundabout. This is what you get:
To the right of the picture is the approach from Leamington, to the left is a slip road you have to cross. A dangerous crossing in the best of circumstances, as cars accelerate through the roundabout without any care for people wanting to cross. And no signals for cyclists / pedestrians to cross the road.
This guy waited for well over a minute – after 9 pm. The situation is much worse during rush hour.
I also waited for a long time:
The point is simply to show that no one would stop (and to be honest, if I were driving here, I would likely not to do so either; unless of course a red light told me to).
It’s the same sad story on the other side:
This is on the north side of the roundabout. During rush hour crossing either way is extremely dangerous, given the two lanes of traffic you have to navigate coming off the A46. Plus, no one cares about this pathway as evidenced by a very dry branch hanging off a tree indicating it’s been there for a long time.
I could go on about further indignities as you go into Kenilworth, such as the lack of dropped kerbs and the like. But why bother? The point is that the current state of affairs is atrocious and extremely dangerous. Cyclists in the area are generally aware of this and try to avoid this intersection like the plague and have suggested very sensible changes to be introduced that are really a no-brainer (see here for Cycleways proposals; disclaimer: I am a member, but was not involved in these proposals).
I also point this out because WCC in its infinite wisdom / lack of care / lack of concern for anyone not in a vehicle has decided to deploy the same basic design used for the Thickthorn junction for an upcoming project crossing the A46 just west of Stoneleigh (see for some early thoughts here). I will write more about this project in the coming days.
Sadly (and sadly predictably), it will be depressing.