Amazing* Wrexham cycle path

I posted the following photo on Twitter last week and it gained a fair amount of attention due to it showing something of a rarity in the UK: A cycle path with priority over a (minor) road (and its accompanying pavement) from Wrexham.

However, when put into context, this cycle paths is less impressive than it seems. Whilst it does have priority over a road (Cilcen Grove), the road in question has no real reason to exist; it links the roundabout to the right of the shot to a residential area to the left of it, but this function is also provided by the wider road visible in the left background of the shot (Hazel Grove), which this cycle path does not have priority over.

The cycle path itself is part of a wholly-inadequate facility which (presumably) aspires to help cyclists deal with the roundabout to the right of the shot. In addition to being circuitous and requiring cyclists to give way multiple times, this facility requires cyclists travelling east-west on Rhosnesi Lane to Price’s Lane to cross Rhosnesi Road to join this path, travel at least four times a far as on the road and then cross Price’s Lane to rejoin the road where this provision suddenly ends. Any cyclist unfamiliar with this provision heading in this direction may be tempted to join the off-road facility on the correct side of the road, but this facility does not permit its users to join Price’s Lane, instead forcing them onto Chester Road (southbound) for a few hundred metres until they can rejoin the road and do a U-turn to get back onto Price’s Lane.

Looking down Cilcen Lane towards the residential area

The last leg of the circuitous route for cyclists heading from Price’s Lane to Chester Road (southbound)

Looking down Cilcen Lane to the roundabout

Because of the poor quality of this facility, I have not seen it used by any of the other cyclists I occasionally encounter in Wrexham. Sadly, this junction could have been designed successfully for all users; pedestrian, motorist or cyclist if it had been fortunate to be under the jurisdiction of the Dutch. As it currently exists, it is just a motorists’ roundabout which has had some money wasted around its periphery.

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3 thoughts on “Amazing* Wrexham cycle path

  1. This is not a failure in the true sense.

    It is yet another semi-deliberate decision by publically employed council staff to do the minimum required to comply with the rules and take the money for their wages.

    In a way you can’t blame them. The money they get for the task of encouraging cycling is pitiful, the council workers themselves probably have as little to do with cycling as the average Brit and they work for councillors who daren’t annoy the motorists who make up most of the electorate.

    • The minimum required to comply with the rules in this case would have been to provide nothing at all, which would have been about as much use. However, I do find it odd that when councils rarely do have some actual money allocated for cycling, they spread it about as much as possible, rather than trying to focus on doing a few, or even just one project right.

      • I very much concur with your last comment. The experience of Boris Johnson’s Biking Borough projects in the outer London boroughs is very much of this phenomenon of the spreading of small sums ineffectually everywhere rather than fixing one or two big things that needs to be fixed. I wonder why this is so characteristic of cycling investment in the UK. Perhaps a blog post is in order examining why cycling money is always diluted to invisibility, unlike, say, central government investment in new roads or road upgrades, which seems clearly targeted. It could be because cycling is regarded as “local”, therefore all localities need to be seen to benefit. The end result is that none truly do.

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