Dorchester Road, Lytchett Minster

Published: 11 August 2020

Dorchester Road, Lytchett Minster
As part of the resurfacing work on Dorchester Road on Lytchett Minster, Dorset Council has
repainted the cycle lanes on either side of the road at the minimum standard 1.5 metres width, but
will – as a trial – not repaint the centre line. This approach is recommended in recently released
Government guidance on designing for cycling as part of a £2bn investment in active travel
announced earlier this year. This route is a crucial link for pupils cycling to Lytchett Minster School
from Upton, as well as commuters and leisure cyclists.
Dorchester Road is a part of the cycle network with huge potential: according to the modelling data
we have available it’s used by around 30 cycle commuters and 40-50 pupils going to Lytchett Minster
School each day. However, if we had the same levels of cycling as there is in Cambridge, around 300
pupils would be cycling to the school, relieving local car congestion and saving 35 tonnes of CO2 per
year. In a scenario where everyone has e-bikes (a scenario that is rapidly approaching), this route
could be used by 330 cycle commuters a day – this would help reduce the number of motor vehicles,
save CO2 and improve public health.
Existing cycle lanes have long provided a benefit for those using the road, however, by also having a
centre line, mixed messages are relayed to drivers about where they should be positioned. While
removing the centre line won’t realise all these benefits, it will help reinforce the status cycle lanes
and is a proven intervention that is recommended in Government guidance.
We have already removed centre lines in some locations as a way of slowing down traffic on other
roads in Dorset. Evidence from elsewhere in the country suggests that traffic speeds reduce where
no centre line is marked, most likely because they aren’t quite sure how much space there is to any
oncoming vehicles – it is the added uncertainty that comes from this that helps achieve the speed
reduction and therefore safety benefits.
There is another example from near Salisbury (Church Rd, Laverstock) which is useful to point people
The situation at Church Rd, Laverstock is almost exactly the same as at Lytchett Minster: a road that
used to be a major road, which is now bypassed, running through a village with large school usage
on it.