Dorset Council News Release

Published: 12 August 2020

Road resurfacing and repainting works to help cyclists
Posted onAugust 12, 2020 1 Commenton Road resurfacing and repainting works to help cyclists
Our Highways team has been busy recently with resurfacing roads and repainting cycle lanes in both Lychett Minster and Weymouth.
Dorchester Road, Lytchett Minster
As part of the resurfacing work on Dorchester Road on Lytchett Minster, we have 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.
Dorchester Road, Weymouth
As part of resurfacing work on Dorchester Road, Weymouth, we have altered the layout of the road to give slightly more room to the cycle lanes. These have been increased from the minimum 1.5 metres width to 1.8m width from the junction with Radipole Lane to Wey Valley School. Running lane widths remain at least 3m or more throughout the link.
Dorchester Road, Weymouth, is a well-used cycle route for both leisure cyclists and school pupils, providing a direct and less hilly alternative to the cycle path alongside the Weymouth Relief Road for some journeys. In Cambridge, a comparable school would have 170 children cycling to school, saving 13 tonnes of CO2 per year and removing 100,000 car miles from the local roads each year.