Contraflow cycle lanes in Welwyn Garden City

By | 15th January 2024

We’ve seen some chat on local social media about the contraflow cycle lanes in Welwyn Garden City (WGC), so this post is about how they work to make cycling safer in the town centre. Contraflow cycle lanes are nothing new. There’s an older one at Stanborough Park on the cycle route to WGC from Hatfield. The contraflow cycle lanes in the centre of WGC are two roads:

  • Fretherne Road, which is one way southbound for cars from Howardsgate to the delivery access road by Iceland, with a contraflow cycle lane for northbound people on cycles. The photo shows the start of the cycle lane for people cycling northbound. Southbound people on cycles use the road.
    Fretherne Road showing the contrafow cycle lane and the one way southbound road
    • Wigmores North is one way only northbound from Howardsgate, with a southbound contraflow cycle lane. The photo shows the southbound cycle lane with John Lewis in the background.
    Wigmores north showing contraflow southbound cycle lane

    The one way road changes, if built without the contraflow cycle lanes, would create longer and more and hazardous journeys for people on cycles. For example, the contraflow lane along Fretherne Road enables a person on a cycle to continue to use Fretherne Road northbound to reach Stonehills (which is still two way) and then reach the cycle path at Bridge Road, instead of having to cycle round via Parkway or under the Howard Centre on Osborn Way. The photo below shows the cycle lane opposite the taxi rank outside the front of the Howard Centre.

    If you want to find out more about the design rules councils have to follow when constructing safe cycle routes, please read LTN 1/20, Cycle Ifrastructure Design, published by the Government in June 2020. It has lots to say about designing routes to be accessible for all types of cycle (e.g. disabled trikes or family trailers.)

    There are of course still key cycle routes we need across Welwyn Garden City which we need to make the town centre properly accessible to families on cycles:

    • Handside: There is no safe cycle route from Handside, as people on cycles are not allowed to use the traffic light controlled crossings of Parkway to reach Russellcroft Road. There is ample space to create such a link and enable the crossings to be used for this.
    • Campus West and the Ayot Greenway: There is no link between the Bridge Road cycle path and the Ayot Greenway at Campus West. There is ample space to create a cycle route around The Campus via Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s offices, Oaklands College and Campus West. This route would enable students at the college to safely cycle in much greater numbers and enable families to cycle to events at Campus West, where, incredibly, there is ample cycle parking, but no safe cycle route to reach it.

    WelHatCycling will continue to push for these improvements. You can find out more about the routes we’d like to see in Welwyn Garden City on our route developments page and inparticular our Space for Cycling document.

    5 thoughts on “Contraflow cycle lanes in Welwyn Garden City

    1. Mandy

      Good to see cycle improvements in the town, but still no safe join up from Welwyn village to either to Welwyn north railway or the town.
      Currently choice of along dual carriageway past sherrardswood sch, up digswell hill, or up the back of school lane/whitehill. All poorly maintained and unlit roads.

      1. Stevie Knight

        Good shout. I often have to cycle to Welwyn village from near Morrisons, which Is fine until the cycle route ends at the dual carriageway. Quite scary from that point, isn’t it.

        1. david_d

          Hi Mandy, Stevie, thanks for commenting. Yes, we continue to campaign for an upgrade of the Bessemer Road footway to allow cycling and we recognise this as a key missing link for cyclists. Please do let your Country Councillor know what you think as more voices is always better.
          Mandy, we pushed for the conversion of Digswell Park Road to a no-through road and have been consulted on the crossings at either end – this really improves this bit of your journey from Welwyn village to Welwyn North.

    2. Adam Edwards Post author

      Thank you for these comments.
      Do please email your county councillors and ask why these have not been done. We need them to worry about lost votes in 2025 (when they are all up for re-election) to get these cycle paths put in. Please let us know what they say.


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