Action Needed Urgently to Protect A540 Cyclists

Another serious accident involving two cyclists took place on Wednesday, 28 October 2009, on the A540  beyond Chapel Lane towards Chester not far from the Eureka cafe.   A man and a woman, both members of the Birkenhead North End Cycling Club, were knocked off their bikes by a passing van.  Allegedly the wing mirror of the van caught the cyclists knocking them off their bikes and resulting in serious injuries to them both.

Speaking about the incident, Chester Cycling Campaign member and CTC Right to Ride Representative Peter Williams commented, “Various safety campaigns regarding the dangers of this stretch of the A540 have been mounted in the past with little success.   We need to get all interested parties to campaign on one front, including  various cycling clubs, cycle campaign groups, local parish councils and residents societies.”

Since the incident took place, some ‘Think Bike’ signs have been put up.  However, the Campaign is calling for a better long term solution.  This stretch of road is heavily used by road club members out training, by leisure cyclists exploring the Wirral, and by those visiting the Eureka Cafe.  The wide verges on this part of the A540 could easily support a separate cycle lane for increased safety.

Although the costs of such a solution have been cited as a reason for inaction, the highway authorities do need to consider the casualty rate on this stretch of road and act now to protect cyclists.

11 Comments

  1. A little good news,but still a long way to go.
    Highway England are making some improvements to the junction of the A 540 with the A 550 Welsh Road at Two Mills to improve traffic flow. There has been some traffic accidents recently here. At the request of Cheshire West and Chester Council some improvements are being made for cyclist. A pedestrian crossing will go across the central reservation from outside the Eureka cyclists cafe to the bus stop. The bus stop is moving to opposite the Tudor Rose and a new bus stop will be created. A controlled pedestrian crossing will go in over the A 550 Welsh Road to help pedestrians get to the new bus stop. Another pedestrian crossing will go in from the Tudor Rose to the new bus stop over the central reservation. A new shared path will go in on the north side of the A 540 from the new bus stop over the A 550 and beyond the old bus stop. The road surface will be renewed at this junction, but as yet I have not been able to confirm that advanced stop lines will go in on the A 540 either side of the junction. We need the remaining paths on the A 540 to be reinstated and made into dual use to complement these works.
    The Public Notice says work will start on the 10th May 2017

  2. I have started using a small section of this, as part of my commute to/from Chester via either Capenhurst or Hooton, coming out of Woodbank Lane (which is also quite bad). Luckily I have yet to experience any major issues, but it is an accident/death waiting to happen. There is plenty of room to create a segregated rout and it is about time Highways and Local Authority got together and do the entire A540

  3. Two White painted GHOST BIKES have now been positioned on the 540 on the dual carrigeway part,heading from the Neston Direction almost near the traffic lights at 2 mills eureka cafe to remind us all of the two people who got killed here while riding their bikes.

  4. What does the Highway Code say about road vehicles that do not dip their headlights for oncoming cyclists ?
    many thanks
    gwyn jones

  5. Saw another serious incident last night(23/2/12) on the A540 BP garage roundabout. I used to ride to work, but when there are so many motorists trying to knock you off the road you tend to see things in a different light.
    Is there anything that can be done? Or is chester just another black spot.

  6. Firstly i hope the two cyclists make a good recovery.

    Secondly,perhaps the local council could fill in and raise some of the surface water gullies that are along the stretch of road from Eureka to the Little Chef roundabout,some are seriously deep,also can the local Police please enforce the speed limit on this road it is 50mph,not what ever the local residents can achieve.

    As for the stretch from Eureka to the vet school,perhaps one carrigeway could be closed and used as a cycle lane,and the other 2 lanes used for biderectional traffic, all junctions controled by the traffic lights that are currently in place.

  7. The Hyder report on the A540 divides the road into sections. Section 16, “300m north west to 300m south east of Shotwick Lane” covers the length from Woodbank Lane to Chapel Lane, it has an “All Injury Annual Accident Rate” of 88.5 incidents “per 100million vehicle kilometres”, which exceeds the Investigation Threshold of 35 by a huge margin (sorry to get technical, but theses figures are at the heart of the Report, where Injuries exceed the Threshold, action is supposed to be taken). This is the length where Mary & Dennis Ellison, members of Birkenhead North End CC, residents of St Helens, came on the morning of 28th October to meet friends for a quiet cycle ride in Cheshire or North Wales. It is a length that was examined by Cheshire CC some time ago, and no action was taken. Even now, faced with the bare facts from a report that they commissioned, CW&C still dither. The Cycle Town project aims to provide Safe Routes to places like the Zoo & the Eureka cafe, funds are said to be aimed at the City Centre this year. Can we be told when funds will be aimed at an issue that is currently costing the NHS several hundreds of thousands of pounds to pick up broken lives, due to the neglect of the engineering and political fraternity who have ignored this part of the A540 for far too long.

  8. How the highway authority handles this problem will be a clear indication of how committed it is to safeguarding the most vulnerable of all road users – the cyclist = and also ensuring national cycling targets are achieved.

    The A540 is not only an important corridor for Merseyside and Cheshire cyclists, it is also a route used by long distance riders and those residing in Wales. That members of the Birkenhead North End Cycling Club have again become road incident victims is a matter of deep concern. It demands urgent government intervention and action.

    Roy Spilsbury
    CTC Cymru – Welsh region of the 60,000 member national cycling organisation

  9. I totally agree with these comments. Looking at a map of the area you can see that Woodbank Lane provides excellent access to several excellent cycle routes into both Chester and North Wales. Puddington Lane gives access to Neston, and Badgers Rake Lane gives access to the rest of the Wirral. The one missing part is a safe link between these three roads. A cyclepath between Woodbank Lane and Badgers Rake lane, would be relatively easy to provide and give huge benefits and save lives. What do we have to do to get someone to listen.

  10. As someone who has driven this stretch of road and cycled along it there is no adequate facility for cyclists. This stretch of road has a higher proportion of speeding obnoxious drivers who think they own every inch of the carriageway surface than on most other roads I have driven. Whether its this part of Cheshire I don’t know.
    This stretch of the A540 between Two Mills junction and the now A494 (formerley A5117) has a number of lanes linking to various cycle facilities and beyond, this concentrates a higher proportion of cyclists because there are no reasonable alernatives. A550 trunk road is dangerous for cyclists because of the density of traffic and inadequate road widths. When you consider the density of traffic, the speed vehicles travel and the relative high level of cycle usage it’s an accident waiting to happen. If a this was a new road and a Safety Audit was undertaken a recommendation would be for proper and adequate segregation of cyclists be provided. I am surprised there are not more cyclists injured or killed along this stretch of highway. As Cheshire County Council are the highway authority they have a duty to provide a safe highway for all road users as it is an All Purpose Road. If they are have any green credentials in encouraging the transfer away from car dependency particularly those who live on the Wirral and work in the Chester arae or vice versa, you would have thought they would have done something by now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*