Councillor Keith Kondakor (Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council) made the following statement:
“First, I need to say we're massively in support of this crossing and it's a really busy area and all the routes tend to come into this point. Rectory Drive is quite a big drive coming into the side and we've got the park on your side really supporting the crossing. But unfortunately, it's not been designed to take account of all the cyclists going down there. Warwickshire County Council has a plan as you see on one of your maps to have a cycle route down from Bedworth to Coventry which mostly goes through backstreets but has to come out on the Coventry Road for about 100 yards, where this crossing is going to be.
I'm pleased officers have had a change of heart and you're going to move the control box to the crossing off the pavement on that side. But it's a very long stretch where cyclists are on the carriageway. You've got the central refuge and then a very narrow pavement on the east side. So, this hadn't been designed to take account of the future cycling route and the island in the middle is a real problem for cyclists; because of the layout, we're really in a long funnel with the traffic behind us, which is incredibly unhelpful.
What we'd like is actually for the refuge to go in the middle and effectively have a space, then for the road to be redesigned when the cycle lane comes in, so you'll have to remap it. So, we do far better if we design it, so we haven't built a central island, which we then have to demolish in a year's time. So, I'm happy with the having this crossing, but can we please have one that's just a signal on either pavement and then we can just move them when we need to for the cycle lane and then it's also safer so that cyclists don't get that HGV behind you for a long while; because there's this island in the middle of very busy route.
I'm really, really pleased that Warwickshire is looking at Bedworth to Coventry cycle route, particularly with all the jobs at the RECO. People are going to cycle to Coventry and Bedworth into the RECO on Baynton Road. The industrial estate is going to be really busy for cyclists, it already is, and we just haven't had the cycle safety audits and the planning for the cyclists to go at the same time as the crossing.
So, I’m happy for the principal of the crossing, but can we please have the design tweaks to make it future proofed? Thank you very much.”
Councillor Bhagwant Pandher (Warwickshire County Council and the local member) said that this scheme started a couple of years ago. The cycling route is a separate issue, and a puffin crossing was needed on Rectory Drive for pedestrians, especially children and dog walkers. The local member at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council was supportive of the crossing.
Councillor Seccombe noted the work done by officers in the report and was not in favour of redesigning the scheme, especially as Councillor Pandher was funding the scheme with money he saved from his delegated budget. Inflation with constructing costs were difficult to manage too. Funding was not available to make changes to this scheme but cycling scheme bids will continue to be made. She added that she was not in favour of delaying a pedestrian crossing and planned to approve the recommendations.
That the Leader approves:
The installation of a Puffin Crossing on the B4113 Coventry Road, near Rectory Drive, Exhall, Bedworth in accordance with Section 23 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984