There’s some road works happening between Ferrycarrig and the New Ross roundabout currently. We had flagged the previous narrow hard shoulders on that busy stretch with the council and we are delighted that this may now be vastly improved. But could we have done more? Just looking at this earlier, I can help thinking that we are missing an opportunity to connect part of a cycling network here. Let me explain through some images on a 400metre stretch of roadway heading towards Rosslare.
The above image is just beyond the 300 metre to the roundabout sign and you can see a clear narrowing of the left lane and ergo the hard-shoulder; despite there being plenty of ground here that could be used.
Moving another 100 metres along the road, you can still see the available space that could have been used to extend and allow for the continuity of a hard shoulder.
Moving closer to the roundabout, you can still see the available space where a hard shoulder could have been continued in my view.
Moving to the roundabout itself you will see the beginning of a slipway that could be used to help a child or a more nervous adult to bypass what is a busy and hostile roundabout for bicycle riders.
This is where the slipway goes along the 3 rocks trail route. From here a bicycle rider could proceed safely beyond the weigh-bridge and exit at the Wexford Bus stop, which is located just by the speed limit sign.
The placement of a toucan crossing here on the Newtown Rd. (above) would not only help a person on a bicycle to get safely to the far side of the road, but would also provide a safe place to cross for Wexford Bus users.
Once across the bicycle rider could filter through on the track above and join the relative safety of the hard shoulder on the N11 beyond without having to enter this busy roundabout.
These types of simple measures can act as opportunistic interventions to help build our network. The space is there but is the imagination?