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Petition Launched to Support Cycle Safety on the A540 Near Neston

Published: 17th December 2018 08:51

A petition has been launched on Change.org, to try and persuade authorities to reinstate what the cyclists say is a vital stretch of cycle/foot path on the A540, Chester High Road.

A540 - low and bright winter sun is particularly dangerous for cyclistsA540 - low and bright winter sun is particularly dangerous for cyclists

Neston-based cyclist Chris Smith said: "The approach to the Two Mills junction is particularly dangerous at this time of year due to low sun lining up directly with the road during winter mornings.

"There was a serious crash last year when two cars ran into the back of a cyclist seriously injuring him. 10 years ago in the same vicinity, a car ran into the back of a group of cyclists from the Birkenhead North End Club, killing one of them - Mel Vasey."

The petition reads: "When this road was upgraded to a dual carriageway approximately 40 years ago, a six foot wide tarmac footpath/ cycle path was installed on its east side between Leahurst and Two Mills, a distance of 5.3km.

Although the path is still there, it has been allowed to deteriorate to such an extent that it is now completely covered in grass and is a hazard to walk or ride on.

Highways England spent £540,000 on safety improvements to the Two Mills junction recently. As part of these improvements a short section of cycle path was installed, however the hazard remains.

The existing 475 metre long path between Puddington Lane and the Highways England new cycle path needs repairing and reinstating as a matter of urgency."

If you would like to show support for this, please sign the petition here.



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Rob Ward
At 19:11 on 17th December 2018, Rob Ward commented:
I hope lots of people will sign this petition. Dual carriageways are really dangerous for cyclists. Compared with the cost of building roads for heavy lorries, shared cycle/ foot paths cost very little.
At 20:13 on 17th December 2018, Poacher commented:
It would be so much safer for everyone if the cyclists who think it's ok to ride 2 abreast actually did the right thing and rode behind one another in single file.
CO Jones
At 22:24 on 17th December 2018, CO Jones commented:
It would also help immensely if drivers didn't lose the ability to drive with care and consideration for other road users and use their brains and their mirrors.

I drive to south Manchester for work on a daily basis and the worst part of the journey by some distance is the Chester High Road. I know of few other stretches of road that seems to get car drivers rattled and most definitely include myself occasionally in that.

Why do drivers turning right off the A540 in Hoylake think it is a good idea to sit in the right hand lane from Two Mills lights?

Poor driving, undertaking, lorries, farm machinery and cyclists. What could possibly go wrong?
It's only me
At 14:24 on 18th December 2018, It's only me commented:
Whilst I agree clearing and making this path available to all users is an excellent idea. Bear in mind who and for what it will be used. Walkers and cyclists travelling in both directions. Walking groups of twenty or more cycling teams doing a time trial. Consideration for others will be key. Something that could still be far bettered on the marsh greenway
At 08:59 on 22nd December 2018, Sniper commented:
A well designed cycle path alongside the A540 would be a great improvement - I’ve signed the petition.

It’s a shame that this article has already attracted some negative comments about cyclists so I thought I would add some balance:

Cycling two abreast - this isn’t illegal. Cyclists do it because it is safer for them and it is more likely to lead to a car driver give them enough room when overtaking rather than trying to ‘sneak past’. Quite simply, if you have to wait behind two cyclists who are side by side then it is highly likely that it just isn’t a safe place to overtake. Be considerate and let’s protect some of the most vulnerable.

The Burton Point greenway - this was built by the Sustrans charity who aim to provide safe cycling and walking routes. They are the folks behind the National Cycling Network - those little blue bike signs you see dotted around. The Greenway has already helped give thousands of cyclists an alternative to using the A540. I agree that walkers and cyclists using it need to be considerate of each other and it’s great to see thta what is primarily a cycling based charity like Sustrans build something which is enjoined by walkers too. We are all just trying to find space away from dangerous roads and (let’s face it, at times, some fairly idiotic) drivers

“Blinded by the low sun” - at the trial of the driver who ran into the back of Mel Vasey killing him, depriving children of their father, and seriosly injuring another cyclist, low sun was cited by the defence barrister as one of the reasons it happened. It made he sad to read this at the time and it is sad to see it repeated now. Low sun didn’t kill Mel, someone driving at 60mph killed him. The A540 is a straight road. Low sun doesn’t jump out from round a corner and surprise you. Drivers have plenty of time to prepare, react, slow down, and drive according to the conditions (Highway Code). We are too ready to find excuses for crap driving in this country. In response to the low sun excuse, the opposing Barrister pointed out that the driver who killed Mel had approximately 11 seconds of straight road where the cyclists would have been visible. Nevertheless, and as is often the case, the sentence handed down was for careless (not dangerous) driving. Approximately 100 cyclists are killed each year on our roads, so I hope the cycle path is built, low sun or not.

At 00:04 on 23rd December 2018, Dan commented:
Of course the article will attract negative comments about cyclists when a minority of cyclists show no respect whatsoever for other road users and their own lives.

Cycling two abreast may not be illegal but at 8am in the rush hour its going to pretty much close one lane of the 60mph section which happens frequently.

Also it may not be illegal to leisure cycle (rather than commuting) during rush hour, but it does show a certain arrogance over other road users.

If the [minority] of dangerous riders didn't behave in this manner then I am sure articles relating to cyclists wouldn't attract any negative comments.

As for the cycle path, if this can be made operational again and get the leisure cyclists away from the fast moving vehicles then everyone will be happy and money well spent
At 05:54 on 23rd December 2018, merrymac commented:
Dan, please explain what you mean by ,".....but it does show a certain arrogance over other road users."in the previous comment.
At 05:54 on 23rd December 2018, merrymac commented:
Dan, please explain what you mean by ,".....but it does show a certain arrogance over other road users."in the previous comment.
CO Jones
At 07:02 on 23rd December 2018, CO Jones commented:
I think what Dan means is that some cyclists are arrogant planks who happily go out of their way to make it difficult for other road users.

As their are vehicle drivers who are arrogant planks who happily go out of their way to make things difficult for other road users.

The fact that cyclists are vulnerable does not give them the right to think they are paragons of virtue and are the gold standard of carriageway use.

Typing this as having commuted on bicycle for about ten years of my working life and im pretty confident in saying I have seen it all.
At 19:32 on 23rd December 2018, Dan commented:
CO Jones summed it up perfectly. I stress again as I did in my earlier post that this is a minority, but the minority gives cycling a bad name sometimes.

Just last week a group of 4 cyclists were riding from Heswall towards Chester on a weekday around 8.15. Cycling in pairs, 2 abreast, along the stretch between Five ways and Hinderton at a gentle pace. Nothing could pass due to oncoming traffic.

At that time of morning people are trying to get to work/school etc and Chester High Road is very busy. While those cyclists weren't breaking any laws, they could not fail to be aware of the line of traffic behind them. I simply wonder why they chose that road at that time of day to go for a ride. In my humble opinion it lacked common sense and was somewhat arrogant.

I also agree with CO Jones that a minority of motorists are equally arrogant, Both parties need to be more considerate, its not just the motorists who need to be considerate on our roads.
CO Jones
At 07:12 on 24th December 2018, CO Jones commented:
Not even sure where to begin with the anecdotes around cycling and driving. suffice to say, have been on a couple of car bonnets and up close and personal with the interior of car drivers door whilst on two wheels.

At the moment, its the other way round trying to avoid red light jumpers and badly illuminated Teflon coated MAMIL's on daily commute.

Signed the petition as any segregation like in Holland / Scandinavia etc can only be a good thing.

Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year
CO Jones
At 09:16 on 24th December 2018, CO Jones commented:
Sorry Sniper for having a snipe but your comment; The Burton Point greenway - this was built by the Sustrans charity who aim to provide safe cycling and walking routes. They are the folks behind the National Cycling Network" is somewhat disingenuous.

Sustrans have certainly improved the infrastructure but many people who live in the Neston area have been walking and cycling along that route for decades. For commuting purposes and for leisure.

I think many people feel that that activities other than cycling have now become more of a challenge. Again, this is down to the arrogant minority who think it appropriate to cycle at speed in packs trying to achieve PBs on the Strava etc when the route is congested with dog walkers and families with push chairs and such like.

Like the roads, it could do with a little more consideration shared across all users.
At 19:50 on 1st January 2019, BHFL commented:
Great idea to separate the bikes and cars on the A540. Everyone should sign the petition. I do wish About My Area had the facility to tick LIKE next to something you agree with. I like the comments by Sniper about low sun. Dan's comment about the four cyclists holding up traffic by riding 2 abreast is interesting. Yes I agree it was a poor time of day to be cycling a dangerous narrow road if they were leisure cycling, but there are occasions when it is better for the car driver to have to overtake a bunched group rather than to overtake a long single line of bikes. Often the lycra cyclists on the A540 ride in a group when there are a lot of them, and I would rather overtake a group than twenty or more bikes stretched along the road. It makes some sense.

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