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What do these road markings mean? Could Confusion Kill?

Yesterday evening, I attended a wide ranging meeting and I mentioned my concerns at the markings on this footpath when we were talking about small capital highways expenditures; invited by the meeting chair to send a picture, I followed up: "Following on from yesterday evening - here is a picture of the footpath from Melksham Oak school (capacity 1400 pupils) towards the town, which is the route that the majority school children who walk have to take. The road is the A365 - a major road with lots of cars and some heavy lorries too.

We teach our children to follow / obey signs, and it is unfortunate to say the least (an accident waiting to happen?) that we're directing them if walking down a narrow band on the right (into the bushes!) or onto an 18" wide kerb between cycles and articulated trucks.

I'm amazed that such a set of markings were put in just a few months ago - and I'm suggesting that a repaint / redesignation should be done here to put the two walkways together and thus mark up a decent footpath and a decent walkway before a group of children get killed. I raised this matter with the school when the Chamber of Commerce was shown around in July, and was told that it's nothing to do with them as it's off the school site - it's up to Wiltshire Council."





Answer have come impressively fast ... from my email:

This is of course part of the newly constructed links to Melksham Oaks School. Whilst this is not my project I did observe the Stage 3 road safety audit so I have pretty good idea of what  [82][ac] Ä s gone on.

From reading Mr Ellis  [82][ac] Ä  email I think he is perhaps a little confused about what the markings actually mean and how this area is supposed to work. Firstly the path is not segregated and remains shared use, although I accept the cycle symbols on its own perhaps give the impression that it  [82][ac] Ä s for cyclists only.

The area to the right of the dashed white line is not a narrow walkway; it merely delineates the edge of the shared use path and works in conjunction with the buff coloured areas to highlight the adjoining private driveways. The markings here are an attempt to encourage both cyclists and pedestrians away from the adjacent vehicle accesses. The photo would indicate that it  [82][ac] Ä s actually working.

The markings are particularly important for vehicles emerging from the private accesses as it helps direct cyclists into the centre of the path and avoids them running too close. It was envisaged this would help reduce the likelihood of conflict. It also improves the visibility for drivers emerging to any approaching cyclist or pedestrian.

I do accept that in the absence of a clear marking for pedestrians the arrangement is a little confusing. In this instance a pedestrian (walking man symbol) alongside the cycle symbol would do the trick and help indicate that this length remains shared use for both users. Although I have to say that such a marking would not accord with the TSRGD 2002




The author is completely correct (and somewhat kind). I'm not just confused - I hadn't understood AT ALL that a picture of a cycle in white in this way indicates that cyclists may use the marked section in addition to people on foot, who are (I stand corrected) also allowed to use it.

But, alas, this doesn't entirely remove my concerns; I suspect I'm not the only one who looks at the signage and feels that the signals it gives are not the signals it means to give. That - as it stands - some cyclists (as the chap in the picture) will feel the centre's their right of way to go whizzing through at speed, with pedestrians giving way to them. And some pedestrians will feel they're encroaching onto the cyclist's territory.

The suggestion of adding a pedestrian symbol alongside the cycle one seems - to my initial, none-expert eye - a sensible one; to me it will say that this is the safe zone for both cycles and pedestrians. That cycles should take care extra care because they're on a shared area. That pedestrians shouldn't have to move out of the way to an unsafe zone as a cycle approaches. I hope to be able to report a change in the marking ... and to be able to do so before I ever have to report on an accident caused by the current markings which we agree are "a little confusing"




Oh dear ... I spot an official digging in. Just received ...

"I only passed it your way as it will be raised as an issue at the Community Area Transport Group at the beginning of next month and if it has been the subject of a safety audit and meets current guidance then we should be in a position to deflect any criticism and explain why there is no need to make any changes."


(written 2010-09-17)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z531 - Cycling and Walking
  [1640] Walking on The Wiltshire Downs - (2008-05-12)
  [1802] Motorcycles welcome at Well House Manor - (2008-09-19)
  [2253] Walks in and around Melksham, Wiltshire - (2009-06-21)
  [2490] Friendly Hotel in Melksham, near Bath - (2009-11-02)
  [2666] Random thoughts on Melksham Town Planning and development - (2010-03-08)
  [2704] A walk within without - Melksham Without - (2010-04-02)
  [2707] A walk on the Kennet and Avon - (2010-04-04)
  [2709] Old trackways and routes near Melksham - (2010-04-05)
  [2858] The healthy option - away from the private car - (2010-07-07)
  [3023] Autumn walk from Bowerhill - (2010-10-31)
  [3216] Images of a Spring Walk - (2011-03-27)
  [3228] What can you take on a public footpath? Pram? Wheelbarrow? Dog? Shopping Trolley? Horse? Cycle? - (2011-04-03)
  [3231] Footpath, Bridleway, Byway, Road used as Public Path - (2011-04-04)
  [3376] Kennet and Avon - Walk from Bedwyn to Pewsey. TransWilts day out. - (2011-08-01)
  [3579] Transport in Cambridgeshire - seen by an outside observer. What can Wiltshire learn? - (2012-01-15)
  [3580] Melksham Area - buses, trains, cycles, and roads. Meeting, 17.1.2012 - (2012-01-15)
  [3689] Can I cycle or ride my mobility scooter on the pavement? - (2012-04-07)
  [3771] Fine evening, country walk from Melksham - pictures - (2012-06-21)
  [3904] Want to help us improve transport in Wiltshire? Here is how! - (2012-10-26)
  [3938] A long overdue meeting - a steeping stone towards coordinate transport user inputs - (2012-12-02)
  [4022] A request for all of Melksham transport groups to work integrated - (2013-03-01)

Z511 - Public Transport - Road
  [119] PHP course. Come by train. - (2004-11-15)
  [187] a popular bus number - (2005-01-23)
  [459] Kiss and Ride - (2005-10-09)
  [474] Vintage Bus Day - (2005-10-23)
  [764] Journey planning - Xephos v Transport Direct - (2006-06-16)
  [818] Heard, yes. Considered, no. The case for the train. - (2006-07-30)
  [1085] Lawrence Webb's Melksham Taxi service - (2007-02-18)
  [1125] Train service - petititon reply - (2007-03-31)
  [1254] Comparing bus stops - (2007-07-01)
  [1315] Two years of campaigning for a train service - (2007-08-22)
  [1428] Travel Across Wiltshire - the game - (2007-11-11)
  [1511] Buses from Well House Manor, Melksham, to Bath - (2008-01-18)
  [1560] HST Power Car TravelWatch SouthWest - (2008-03-01)
  [1567] Melksham - Swindon. Train v Bus v Car - (2008-03-07)
  [1668] Talk on TransWilts train service to Green Party - (2008-06-07)
  [1723] Bath - Melksham - Devizes. Bus route changes, new timetable - (2008-07-26)
  [1777] The Rise and Rise of First Bus Fares - (2008-08-29)
  [2075] Supporting Parkinsons and Trains - (2009-03-11)
  [2083] Do you support a decent train service? Please sign up! - (2009-03-15)
  [2268] Westbury Bypass Refused - looking forward - (2009-07-04)
  [2328] Melksham - no trains, no southbound buses through the town - (2009-08-08)
  [2372] Public Transport from (and to) Melksham on Sundays - (2009-08-23)
  [2431] Moving busstop! - (2009-09-30)
  [2515] Why we have two buses an hour - but not a half hourly service - (2009-11-28)
  [2522] Integrated public Transport - what could be done for Melksham - (2009-12-01)
  [2533] Five guests, three groups, one car - (2009-12-11)
  [2662] Is Melksham public transport actually used? - (2010-03-05)
  [2672] Dear Planners, please provide viable alternatives - (2010-03-11)
  [2771] Melksham to Calne by public transport - (2010-05-20)
  [2789] Melksham to London (Heathrow, and Central London) - (2010-06-02)
  [2791] Bath to Melksham buses - times - (2010-06-03)
  [2857] Park and Ride at Batheaston - will it solve Wiltshires Ills? - (2010-07-06)
  [2903] Bath to Devizes bus via Melksham - changing again in September - (2010-08-04)
  [2919] London to Calne, Corsham, Melksham, Bradford-on-Avon, Chippenham by public Transport - (2010-08-13)
  [2933] Bath - Melksham - Devizes buses from September - (2010-08-23)
  [2982] Travel, Transport and Tourism - A vision for Melksham, 2026 - (2010-10-03)
  [2983] Strong arm tactics in the bus industry? Poor result for the customer! - (2010-10-03)
  [3126] Car Parking in Melksham - thoughts on the proposed scheme, and wider thoughts too - (2011-01-09)
  [3194] Buses - what they cost and their future direction in the SW and in Wiltshire - (2011-03-06)
  [3290] Changes (and no changes) at Melksham bus stops - (2011-05-15)
  [3301] Using public transport - USA style - (2011-05-25)
  [3404] Buses on the Cambridge Guided Busway - (2011-08-24)
  [3471] Vintage Bus Running Day in Warminster. An example of good bus practise. - (2011-10-09)
  [3486] How important is public transport to people in the Melksham area? - (2011-10-19)
  [3487] Public transport - road and rail - (2011-10-19)
  [3504] Coaches from Trowbridge and Melksham to London - (2011-11-01)
  [3523] When competition is not a good idea - Melksham Bus Absurdity - (2011-11-16)
  [3564] I wish I was not a special case - (2011-12-29)
  [3631] Getting around Dublin by public transport - some observations - (2012-03-01)
  [3699] Bristol 50? Bristol 25? - (2012-04-17)
  [3849] New bus times - Melksham to Bath - (2012-08-25)
  [3850] Bus times - Chippenham Station to Melksham, with London connections - (2012-08-25)
  [3866] Celebrate! Buses from Meksham to Bath - (2012-09-18)
  [3877] Public Transport Services - from and to Melksham - (2012-10-01)
  [3879] Mixed mode travel - Information systems - (2012-10-03)
  [3893] Public Transport across Wiltshire - a new map - (2012-10-13)
  [3929] Melksham Bus Issues - to be raised at First Bus Customer Panel - (2012-11-21)
  [3937] Agenda for Wiltshire Link Travel groups meeting, Saturday 1st December 2012 - (2012-11-27)
  [3951] Christmas Bus Schedule for Melksham - First Bus - (2012-12-14)
  [4023] Melksham to Chippenham (Station) bus services - times and routes - (2013-03-01)
  [4032] Easier public transport from Melksham to Bristol Airport - (2013-03-06)
  [4108] The painful cost of local travel to Melksham - (2013-06-01)
  [4111] Zigzag bus - forward for the future, or decaying service? - (2013-06-09)
  [4113] Wiltshire and Melksham Transport - what is going on? - (2013-06-09)
  [4123] New timetables from 28th July - bus routes 271 and 272 - (2013-06-24)
  [4124] Chippenham - Melksham - Trowbridge bus changes next month - (2013-06-26)
  [4143] Bus times - Melksham to Bath from 28th July 2013 - (2013-07-25)
  [4149] Bus changes to Bath - good idea, but I despair at information available - (2013-08-08)
  [4150] Melksham Regular Public Transport Map - as at August 2013 - (2013-08-09)
  [4152] Why are bus fares so high? - (2013-08-18)
  [4171] Mapping road accidents in Melksham and elsewhere too - (2013-09-12)
  [4179] Changing transport and destinations - looking forward to a good future - (2013-09-19)
  [4181] Grumbling about trains? Buses can be far worse! - (2013-09-29)
  [4186] Melksham to Bath and Zigzag buses - at a turning point? - (2013-10-06)
  [4190] A radical proposal - a cheap and effective way to provide home to city commuter transport - (2013-10-11)
  [4191] Getting people to and from Melksham Station - not 20 but 700 times a day - (2013-10-12)
  [4192] A positive progress behind the scenes - (2013-10-14)
  [4194] TransWilts Link - meeting notes from 19th October - (2013-10-20)
  [4228] Mallory Place, The Spa, Wellington Drive, Melksham - a Christmas present for you - (2013-12-26)
  [4240] Melksham Rail Link - (2014-01-27)
  [4247] You wait a long time - then buses come in threes. It's timetabled that way! - (2014-03-09)
  [4257] Over a pound a kilometre - my bus in Weston-super-mare - (2014-04-06)
  [4263] Chippenham - Melksham - Trowbridge, public transport over Easter (2014) - (2014-04-12)
  [4286] Reaction in Radstock to new First bus prices - (2014-07-12)
  [4290] National Express replaced by train and by Megabus from Chippenham to London - (2014-07-16)
  [4425] A Welsh valley - what the transport looks like in 2015 - (2015-02-14)
  [4500] The TransWilts Community Intergrated Transport Corridor - (2015-05-29)
  [4546] Is the RUH hopper a limited, duplicate service running unnecessarily and at high cost? - (2015-10-18)
  [4547] RUH Hopper - experience and thoughts forward - (2015-10-20)
  [4592] A comparison of the public transport alternatives to the Royal United Hospital, Bath - from Melksham. - (2015-12-06)
  [4615] Questions for First (West of England) - (2016-01-05)
  [4619] Buses - not about the buses, but about the people who use the buses - (2016-01-10)
  [4624] Campaigning for a sensible bus solution and not against anyone! - (2016-01-17)
  [4629] Making travel time useful time on public transport - (2016-01-22)
  [4631] What would the Wiltshire Council bus cuts mean for Melksham? - (2016-01-25)
  [4636] Rail user groups worried about what is happening on the buses - (2016-01-31)
  [4639] Working out the costs of running a bus service through the day - (2016-02-06)
  [4648] Why is bus funding a much hotter topic than a new set of traffic lights? - (2016-02-16)
  [4654] Getting to the Royal United Hospital - the Hopper and the alternatives - (2016-02-24)
  [4660] What is happening on the 231 bus? What are you going to do about it? - (2016-03-04)
  [4664] Mallory Place bus stop - services to Bath - (2016-03-25)
  [4667] Wiltshire Supported Bus consultation - final few days - (2016-03-30)
  [4670] The end, or the start? - (2016-04-05)
  [4683] Saudi Arabia or Weymouth? - (2016-05-22)
  [4690] Buses in Wiltshire - potential changes and where we stand at the moment - (2016-05-30)
  [4692] How are bus support payments currently calculated? - (2016-06-07)
  [4703] What do people use the bus for in Wiltshire - survey interim results. - (2016-07-11)


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Some other Articles
Well House Manor - the history of the hotel
Initial handling of phone calls and walk in visitors
The Well House team - September 2010
A Melksham news roundup
What do these road markings mean? Could Confusion Kill?
Welcome to Countrywides new Melksham store
On site course - travel and accommodation expenses
Melksham Railway Station - new information point
Railway meetings, trips and meetups this autumn
Turning an exercise into the real thing with extreme programming
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