Tuesday 13 August 2013

The Luton and Dunstable Busway. Cyclepath review

Morning all.

These things which are mentioned are in the snag list. Things which will be resolved hopefully before the official opening. Date will be updated soon.

Today I took a trip on the unofficially open cyclepath on the new luton and Dunstable Busway. On paper it looks like a fantastic way for people to get on their bikes, walk or jump on the bus. Be it for a short journey or to soak in the views on blows downs.

However I've spotted a few issues with it. Some of them could bring dangerous concequences.

Let's explain. Part of the cycleway crosses a dangerous area, Dog Kennel Down. This area is well known for sexual assaults, robberies, assaults and other random crimes.
In 2012 there was a serious assault on a heavily pregnant lady. This sent shockwaves through the community due to the nature of the attack. The council assured people that CCTV would be installed in the area. I don't think the community expected a small temporary mobile camera. The only other cameras I've seen are cctv at junctions for the busway, the stops (both the passenger side and the cyclepath side)

Additonally there are no lights on the pathways. Something which is genreally dodgy given the crimerate in one area, this is not good especially in low light.

One other thing i do not get is the lack of decent paving on the track. It's all stone, in some parts (high street north to dog kennel) the path is attracting creeping brambles and grass growing through the path, meaning they've not prepped it properly. Oh and in the exit to high st north the turn is hazardously tight on stone.
In other parts of the path they have botched it with more stone on top, making it unstable on the path in places.

I do appriciate that some of these snags will be sorted eventually but I am genuinly concerned that some will be ignored until they cause harm to others or their property.

Additionally i see the amazing benefits from having this busway and cycle route. But it only takes a few things to spoil it for everyone.


Opinions on this are truely welcomed,


  1. I struggle to get the handlebars of my bike through the chicanes meaning that one has to dismount and wriggle awkwardly ones bike!

    1. Hi Laurie.

      This is an annoyance for me too. My handlebars are 75cm long (most adult bike bars are about 55cm) also if you're larger framed like me i have to shuffle through while trying to fight the bike through the gate at the same time. But at least it gives the children a laugh (i cycle it with a child trailer)

  2. You pretty much nailed all the problems. Hopefully the council will take a look.

    1. One thing i noticed after publishing. The footpath to dog kennel from blackburn has been blocked by a wooden fence. Cutting off an essential shortcut. Meaning if you live on Cemetary road, nearby or on the other side of houghton regis and use the path as a shortcut back to the cyclepath to get to your home quicker. You must walk the busway to dog kennel bridge, then walk back over route 6 essentially walking a longer distance than previously.
      On talking to three people going to superdrug's distrubution site yesterday. they told me it increases their walk from their home near houghton road, it may only be an increase of 5 mins, but it's enough to upset managers when someone makes changes with no notice.

  3. Must admit. I expected the cycle path to be tarmac for its entire length.
    Parts of the track and guideway are already getting overgrown. Is there going to be a guided grass/weed/hedge cutter?

    1. Hi Anonymous.

      i'm guessing you mean the bit by High street north by Beehire. That is awful, but in the defence of Central Beds Council and the Travel Choices team they have fed this back and it has been tidied once already. But with the rain and warm weather it seems the creeping bushes and grass have began to fight back and grow faster.

      I assume the councils, private and public investors will sort the gardening in some way.

  4. In the final business case document produced in 2009 it stated:-

    "A maintenance management plan is being developed for the Busway; maintenance tasks will include periodic inspections,
    together with winter maintenance, landscaping maintenance (e.g grass cutting and trimming of trees/shrubs), cleaning of signs and shelters, ad-hoc repairs, and operation of a recovery
    vehicle for clearance of breakdowns. The basic principle underlying the plan is that the maintenance regime should be sufficiently robust to ensure that the public perception of the
    scheme is one of a high quality public transport facility."

    Over £500,000 pa is earmarked for maintenance - how much will be spent on the cycle path is another question............

  5. Hi adam

    The lack of landscaping is a huge concern for cyclists as in one point it crosses dog kennel's route 6 which is also a stolen motorbike haven, but back to the landscaping, at the junction between the cycleway and r6 it's so overgrown you have to ring a bell or horn and creep out.

    I wonder if the council will cover costs of cyclists who use it a lot and require repairs due to the inreased dust getting into parts of the bikes.

    Only time will tell if they maintain it properly

  6. Thanks for this. I recently rode the cycleway and also found it uneven, rough and energy sapping. Have challenged Council here :