The plans we reported in October last year for changes to the roads, cycle paths and footpaths around Hearsall Common are now being put into effect, with work having started in mid-January and continuing for the next few months. The downside over the first three months or so of the year is significant delays to traffic in all directions around the junction of Hearsall Lane, Queensland Avenue, Earlsdon Avenue North and Hearsall Common, a situation that has been made worse by electrical repair work being carried out at the same time.
The first phase to be delivered will be new toucan crossings being installed at the main junction, with associated changes to upgrade the traffic lights.
Footpaths on either side of Hearsall Common will be widened to improve the route for pedestrians and cyclists to Canley Station and the cycle route into the city centre.
Lastly a refuge will be provided on Earlsdon Avenue North near the junction with Kingston Road. This will enable cyclists to link up safely with the cycle route into the city via Spon End.
Whoberley ward councillor, Bally Singh, told ECHO “The Hearsall Common area is seeing some major improvements to footways and cycleways but unfortunately work to progress our city always has an impact on traffic while it’s being carried out. We are trying to minimise disruption as much as possible and have been working alongside Western Power who have needed to carry out urgent repair works to electrical cables. This work has been more extensive than they initially planned and so we have started works on shared footways and cycleways in Canley Road while they complete their works on Hearsall Common. Once they have finished their repairs, we will complete the path on Hearsall Common, only using traffic management wherever necessary to keep the traffic moving. We will then move onto improving the pedestrian crossings, which I helped campaign for by submitting over 100 signatures from residents. We hope to complete all of the works by the end of March. Until then, we ask people to continue to be patient and try and use alternative routes if possible.”
The planned improvements are part of the Cycle Coventry project which aims to improve facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, by working with Centro to create a network of routes across the city linking with employment areas, education, health and leisure facilities. The scheme is funded by the government grant for cycling (LSTF) and developer payments for the pedestrian crossings.
Samantha Tharme, Cycling Coventry Programme Manager, added “These plans will help more people get to and from key places by walking or cycling, such as the station and city centre, more easily in the long run. We realise that Hearsall Common is a valuable space to local people and its roads and paths are well used. We are working to make as little disruption as possible and ask people remain patient while the work is taking place.”
The Kingston Road element of the project has been changed significantly from the plans announced last year – the consultation was rerun because it originally just offered residents an opportunity to say yes/no to the proposal of a refuge on the junction of Kingston Road and Earlsdon Avenue North, which prevented right turn entry and exit. Residents were unhappy about this so Cllr. Singh helped local residents run a campaign, with a petition, that supported the Cycle Coventry proposals but with the refuge moved slightly, in order to keep right turn access into Kingston Road. The re-run consultation result was that 108 out of 117 residents supported this option.
Cllr. Singh commented “It’s great news that the council have listened to local residents, who wanted equal access for both cyclists and motorists into Kingston Road. Thanks also to everyone who responded back to the consultation and made their views heard.”