This is a follow up to a recent post on being diverted while cycling, during road repairs.
Last week I encountered a similar diversion to the one described in that post – a country lane has been closed for repairs, with users of that lane being sent on a diversion, again on a busy A-road. Instead of the dual-carriageway A24, the diversion this time was on to the A272, which is no more attractive a prospect.
A little less busy than the A24, but probably more dangerous to cycle on, given the restricted width, an absence of a shoulder, and fairly heavy traffic levels. In fact, at this point – 18,000 vehicles a day, including 800 HGVs.
The (closed) country lane in question is Maplehurst/Nuthurst Lane, which connects these two small villages to the A272 to the south, and the A281 to the north.
I ignored these signs, because I didn’t want to cycle for around 5 miles on single-carriageway A-roads.
Sure enough, as I came around the corner, I found that, while this road is not usable by motor traffic during the repairs, there was no real justification for closing this road for people walking and cycling.
So this is partly a plea to West Sussex County Council to think a little more about their diversion signs – if people on foot and on bike can easily get through a road closure, then that should made explicit on the temporary signs. Otherwise you will be sending a good number of people cycling onto dangerous roads, needlessly exposing them to heavy traffic.
And, of course, just as in the previous ‘diversion’ post, closures like this show how we should be thinking more clearly about the function of these country lanes, which should be closed to through traffic permanently, and not just for the period of roadworks. Residents should still be able to access their properties, but in this case there are, again, parallel A-roads which should be carrying any through traffic.