In January 2016, I wrote this Blog regarding the work about to be carried out & sent it to Highway England: http://the2wheeledwolf.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/my-views-of-work-to-be-carried-out-on.html
After the work was supposedly done I made a complaint & sent this copy of the Survey Report I did on the works carried out by Highway England on the 'cycling infra' that goes between Marks Tey & Witham as they really didn't want to go do a proper inspection & were gonna sign it off as completed back in September 2016 & Highway England passed it onto the Safety Auditors to carry out an independent safety audit of the scheme.
Sorry it took a lil longer to write this up, I have a paid job to do & do not get paid to do the job of those at Essex County Council who are supposed to inspect the work before signing it off. Not just sign it off & sod those who have to use it at their own peril. I was really Gob-smacked that was going to happen.
So as I had said I will point out the problems created by the works carried out & I do expect them to be corrected before signing off the works. I will go in order of the drawings from Witham to Marks Tey.
Starting with east Witham as you exit the town. Why is it Highway engineers for councils feel bicycles can turn on the spot at speed as if it is a Tron cycle?
Its no joke but you should try it with fast moving traffic up your rear. The dropped curb is not wide enough to cater all forms of cycles & expecting them to turn that sharp will result in being hit by drivers from behind. This should be a tapered/angled entry to the shared path in fast moving traffic trying to get to the A12 faster than a cyclists does.
Then there's the resurfacing, when you resurface are you not meant to keep it flush with manhole covers?
Coz they have not done this & it is a trip hazard to pedestrians & cyclists as well as the uneven surfaces where the resurfacing was done in stages.
Then the dropped curbs at the junctions, most are too steep, uneven & not flush to the road.
This is apparent along the whole route along the A12 & already I have had my wheel repaired due to these appallingly done dropped curbs & having to again this week. I sure wouldn't like to see how a wheelchair user would cope with them.
Also noticed my concerns were ignored of these side junctions with fast moving traffic turning off, there are no signs to warn drivers or any form of speed reduction been put in to make sure those already crossing are able to safely. Instead they look at the motor traffic on the road & not look at paths. This has been pointed out now in the Gazette by business The Empire Diner along the A12.
Coming into Kelvedon, again you're expecting cyclists to do a sharp right & then left turn to leave the shared path.
Yet again this is dangerous as it make the cyclist slow to a crawl & try get onto a fast moving traffic coming off the A12. It should have been tapered to feed the cyclists onto the road & maintain a reasonable speed. As usual its to benefit traffic flow & not those trying to cycle.
And as for the painted logos on the road thru Kelvedon & Feering, I see you just totally ignored what I had said to put them in the middle of the road & as a result I have a number of drivers try push me into the gutter when cycling.
Here's a video to show my disgust with this: https://youtu.be/UgkiFzZn9Yw. And we have Highway England & Essex County Council to thank for that!
And what the Hell is this as you leave Feering towards Marks Tey?
Are you really expecting cyclists to turn into approaching traffic on the side road to access the shared path? Are you really trying to kill cyclists? Why did you not fix & use the dropped curb further along to safely access the shared path without trying to kill them.
Then there's section of the shared path along the A12 that have not been touched as per drawings, as in 'apply weed killing & asphalt crack sealant on existing footway'.
I can definitely say this was NOT done & with winter coming along it gets very dark due to lack of lighting so is a risk of tripping pedestrians or knocking a cyclist off & more likely into the traffic on the A12. And talking about lighting, do you expect pedestrians & cyclists to use the shared paths along the A12 in darkness but happily light the roads for the drivers? If this is to be a route to increase walking & cycling (highly doubtful in this state) then it requires lighting to help see the paths & drivers to see those on the paths.
Finally at Marks Tey, do you really think this is acceptable access from the path to the road. Unlit dark lil corner with fencing. Why is it not tidied up & made clearer where to go & more visible in the dark?
Then as mentioned before, stopping it at the end of the road as you just come off the A12 is just stupid & dangerous & despite pointing this out, it was just excused as not part of the this scheme so cyclists now have to put themselves in danger trying to cross a busy fast moving A120 & I can tell you I have had myself almost on a car bonnet thanks to the actions of a dangerous driver & Essex County Council & Highway England buck passing excuses to not supply a safe route for cyclists going over the A12 towards Colchester. Which I have reported to Essex Police but as usual they don't give a damn!
This is a brief report as I have limited time to do your job & if you're unhappy to what I have to say I aint sorry as I am sick & tired of the appalling works carried out on the claims of 'better' cycling infrastructure that we will never get at this rate. I for one see what has been done has made it worse, uncomfortable, damaging to bikes & dangerous to use.
And I am still awaiting drawings for the section between Witham & Chelmsford.
Since sending this email in September I have compiled a video which I had also sent them (https://youtu.be/Hp4WBJ5vZGQ) to back this report & had to chase up to see if the safety Auditors had completed their work, only to find out they haven't even started. It is supposedly meant to be done this January 2017, despite my safety concerns many month back they are really dragging their heels on this & I will keep putting the pressure on them.