The Long Wait for the Long Shoot Cycle Scheme
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It has been over a year since Warwickshire County Council last responded to a request for an update on the cycle scheme to run alongside the A47 Long Shoot in Nuneaton. This 1.4km scheme was originally put out to public consultation in early 2021. Since then, general updates from the local authority have been sparse and the project subject to delays – not helped by another road junction scheme that was subject to its own overruns. Now, the Council has provided further comment in response to a new request for information.
Despite the original public consultation having closed for responses in March 2021, the project remains in the preliminary design phase and no update has been forthcoming on how the plans have changed or what feedback was received in response to that consultation. However, the design itself is now at a relatively advanced stage. When asked about the current timeframes, the Council said:
“We are hoping to be in a position to advertise the various legal orders and notices required by the scheme in the spring with delivery to follow later in the year, subject to any further design work required in response to feedback and satisfactory resolution of any objections and being able to confirm road space for construction”.
Given recent inflationary pressures, the Council confirmed that while cost estimates are increasing as a result, sufficient funding remains available and the project delivery has not been affected.
Clarification from the Council provided more detail on the various stages that the project needs to go through, which are summarised here. Note that no estimates for timeframes have been given for these stages, but it can be seen that the project still has some way to go before construction can begin.
- Initial designs
- Public consultation
- Preliminary design
- Orders and notices
- Feedback review and design alterations
- Detailed design and pre-construction
About to move forward?
While it is good to hear positive news that inflation is not currently impacting on the viability of the Long Shoot cycle scheme, it does feel like development has stood still over the past twelve months – a complaint not unique to this scheme and not helped by the lack of public information. Yet, with the significant new junction development now completed and seemingly out of the way, we may be on the cusp of seeing things move forward. The intention is that the project moves to the next phase – advertising orders and notices in the Spring. This will include the proposals for a reduced speed limit, the provision of double yellow lines, and raised tables across smaller side roads for priority crossings.
However, given the unreliability of past delivery date estimates, it is perhaps wise to remain at least somewhat sceptical about actual construction commencing in 2023. The caveat given by the Council does say that further alterations to designs could still be required, If objections are made or required design changes identified then there remains the potential for yet further delay.
Updates on the Long Shoot Cycle Scheme can be found at fiets.uk/longshootcycling, including its history and a link to all related articles.
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6 thoughts on “The Long Wait for the Long Shoot Cycle Scheme”
The list of stages you’ve got out of them is handy for those of us waiting for other WCC schemes that have been similarly delayed with little public information. My local scheme seems to have been being designed for years!
Thanks. I’ve just tweaked the list to include feasbility at the very start which I’d missed. This is an unofficial list of stages that I’ve created based on a paragraph in the response to my FoI request, and the stages given for various cycling schemes listed on the ‘Developing Warwickshire’s cycle network’ page. So, while I hope it’s reasonably accurate, don’t take it as gospel!
Great source of information. Thank You.
Is there anything the local community can do to help push this proposal into actual construction?
Thanks. In the sense that there is a process that needs to be followed with all projects such as this (along the lines of those stages which I’ve unofficially outlined), I think there’s little formally that can be done. This scheme has unfortunately been impacted by the junction works with Leghorn Road, which themselves took longer than originally estimated.
However, what might be beneficial maybe in a more general sense, is for people to express support for schemes such as this one to local councillors. I know there can be some resistance from certain councillors, certainly at the borough level (noting roads are county schemes, though some councillors sit at both levels). If they understand that there is a need and strong desire for good quality safe infrastructure in the communities that they represent, maybe that can start changing mindsets and in turn then help to drive the council to work through projects quicker (if that is possible). Otherwise, the ballot box!
It is frustrating though. We’ve had a number of schemes in the pipeline for years now, but with little public progress. Yet, Coventry now have their Coundon route finished, and their Binley scheme well under construction.
Very interesting reading. Do you know if there are any plans for speed cameras to ensure drivers stick to the proposed 30mph limit? With cyclists on the route I would hope so.
Thanks. To the best of my knowledge, no. I’ve asked about them before on other routes where speed is an issue and I understand that there is a cost issue in providing them. My memory is hazy, but I think the Council has to fund their installation and ongoing maintenance and running costs, but fines do not go back to them to cover that expense.
For the Long Shoot specifically, I don’t think there are any cameras at present, so I’ve got no expectation that this will change – unless they are provided to cement the new limit. I would hope though that once the separated cycle infrastructure is built, more riders will choose to use that rather than the general carriageway, improving cyclist safety. For those who still deem the general road a better option (faster and more experienced riders who may find certain aspects of the new infrastructure to cause problems for them), the reduced speed limit should still offer better safety, even without cameras.