A column by Becky Cox.
If you’ve cycled out to Cricklade from Swindon recently you’ve probably noticed the concrete blocks across the junction at Hayes Knoll Road (near the Cricklade & Blunsdon Railway).
Access is avaliable for pedestrians, cyclists and horse-riders and the changes have created a much safer and more attractive environment to enjoy. Drivers can still access the road from the Cricklade end, but not use it as a through-route. Instead, they can use the Cricklade Road (B4553).
These changes are part of a temporary trial (18 months) to improve safety at this notoriously dangerous junction, and to provide a quieter route for people to enjoy by foot, bike, on horseback, scooter etc.
I rode down there recently - what a change! It’s always been a popular route for cycling but I’d never seen so many people enjoying the route on foot and bike.
Pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians and drivers have equal rights to use the public highway. However, those who don’t have the protection of a metal box encasing them have steadily been deterred from roads due to safety concerns: motor traffic has risen around 20% in the last two decades alone.
Since the fear of traffic and personal safety are the reasons that most people cite for not cycling and walking in their local area, creating more low traffic environments is absolutely vital, not only to our health but also the health of our environment.
If, like me, you’re keen to see this temporary measure made into a permanent feature, it’s important that you feedback to Wiltshire Council regarding this scheme by 13 November.
Let’s make a positive change and set a precedent for more low-traffic routes that everyone can enjoy. It only takes two minutes to complete the quick feedback form by following the link to the website below and selecting ‘Option 3 – TRO Consultation Form’.