We asked, you responded.
Thank you! Retford.
Since June 2020 | What you said...
Connectivity and directness
There are wide pleas for better designed, safer, better maintained connectivity into Retford town centre from the surrounding suburbs and villages.
People on bikes and other vulnerable road users should be able to safely join and navigate routes and sections.
In Retford - cycling provision in town was reported and has been found to be disconnected and indirect. Cycle routes and bridleways are often not maintained, and other vulnerable road users abandoned in terms of directions.
Remarkably, cycling through Kings Park is forbidden, unlike many other parks in the county and country, some 20 years into the 21st century. The parks and open spaces department hadn't responded to our queries as to why this is (at the time of publishing). We also observed concerns about Hospital Road itself, as well as gravelly slippy pathways for wheelchair and mobility scooter users, up and down between Hospital Road and the footbridge in Kings Park.
Routes should be complete, with no gaps. For example the cycle routes into town vanish and reappear inconsistently - e.g. Wharf Road in to a no cycling pedestrian precinct. Carolgate if properly segregated, could provide a link through the North to the South of the town.
Cycle networks should provide a mesh / grid of connectivity. Cycle paths and abandoned or orphaned land are not used i.e. (Westfield Road, Tenterflat Walk) the pathway between the Train Station and Thrumpton Lane ("Coal drops"). There is also the flood plain near the train station, that could join up Ordsall and provide new, safer, car-free access to the station and town.
Joining up North Road to the Chesterfield Canal is another suggestion made by the public to improve connectivity, reduce barriers, and improve the options available to enable more sustainable transport.
These areas could be used to improve pathways, cycle-ways for people on bikes, mobility scooters and other forms of sustainable transport - and better-safer-connectivity across town.
Comfort and usability
A community cycle loan and rental scheme could provide access to cycling (as with mobility scooters) and reduce social exclusion from sustainable and health enhancing transport. And create commercial opportunities and reduce barriers to cycling (e.g. pedals and e-bikes).
Some cycle routes into Retford exist but are troubled on London Road and North Road. Whilst the provision along the Babworth Road/Straight Mile Road/Mansfield Road junction has no safe crossing for pedestrians or cyclists.
viaEM and NCC are responsible for maintaining our roads, paths and hedgerows - Retford is often left to fend for itself with overgrown foliage forcing cyclists and other road users on to the busy main road (Eaton to Whitehouses).
New, existing and to-be-upgraded routes should be easy to use, e.g. paths-roads connections should be level with kerbs and paths.
Signage should be connected, people on bikes, in mobility scooters, should not be abandoned by poor visual signals and disconnected directions.
Existing cycle lanes are obstructed by vehicles and this makes cycle lanes a waste of investment if they cannot be used, cyclists and other users are put at greater risk of collision e.g. illegal mounting of pavements or having to move further into the path of motor vehicles.
Cycle parking takes up less space than cars, and are said to bring more people into town and more frequently - think daily and weekly shopping for food, and other conveniences.
Where vehicles and people on bikes, and other vulnerable road users meet, speeds should be set to match the slower users who are given priority, to prevent collisions.
Education is needed for all road users, drivers, people on bikes, mobility scooters, horses, or on foot - to share the roads, treat each other with respect - even if we disagree, and act in a safe, considerate and responsible way - this is a joint venture to make real change for all road users. There is no provision for adult education for cycling with Notts CC.
Many adults fear starting cycling, because Retford simply doesn't feel safe to cycle around - this is a significant barrier.
Better design of cycle paths, lanes, and pathways for pedestrians, wheelchair and mobility scooter users is needed, to match the needs of the local community.
There is a need for preventing collisions and conflict between pedestrians and cyclists in the town centre (and other vulnerable road users) - through better, smarter, behavioural changes - education, awareness, signage, and street design.
A need to improve and make cycling links safer between Retford and Worksop. For example the Babworth Road, Straight Mile Road.
Access to Idle Valley from the North Road is reported as unsafe with no clear direction or protection for cyclists and other vulnerable road users. There are enhancements that could be made to make cycling safer in to and out of the Idle Valley estate.
Failing to maintain existing cycle routes (e.g. North Road - potholes and other areas in town), pathways for multi-modal use. Without maintenance, they become unsafe, and unusable, wasting investments and efforts to improve things and get people to use alternate transport modes, such as bikes, e-bikes, mobility scooters etc.
The new proposed ATF for Randal Way is a great start to improving infrastructure in Retford. But so much more needs to be done, see BDC's audit of walking and cycling in Retford.
Government, Business and other organisations
Local councillors and a county councillor have shown interest in supporting improvements to local cycling / better infrastructure, education and safety.
Bassetlaw Council have a Cycle Strategy in play, we will find out more from the 7th July 2020. Their six recommendations can be found here [pg.37] (tell us what you think - email us).
A volunteer supporting a national cycling charity proposes significant improvements for discussion, and we support them - here is the discussion document.
Notts County Council have a team of people responsible for cycling et al (including viaEM), The Councillors and Officers are in the process of assessing what they can do, given the new "Golden Era" of Cycling. Here is a recent response on what NCC are doing in Nottinghamshire.
Notts City won the full amount of Money, however Notts CC did not, due to "small market towns" not being a priority according to one report. But health and well-being are just as important in Retford as they are anywhere else. Barriers to cycling need to be reduced.
The business benefits of cycling and other forms of sustainable transport, improve footfall for businesses, provide healthier means of getting to work and town. A more joined up provision of cycle parking, and ease of access will encourage more cyclists.
Opportunities for businesses and/or council to loan (socially disadvantaged people) or rent bicycles (pedal and e-bike) could improve opportunities and health.
New housing estates and investment from the public and private sectors should have a duty to improve sustainable transport approaches, and ensure sensibly designed cycle paths / bridleways for vulnerable road users.