Wednesday, 29 October 2003

Roy Spilsbury writes: Cycle access to proms is an issue up here and we have made significant progress in gaining access along much of the North Wales coast, although there are still battles to be�won.���

Bearing in mind your own seaside aspect, you might be interested in a webpage we have just uploaded onto �the CTC Cymru North Wales site concerning the town of Penmaenmawr

I keep in touch with your own site and notice a wintry shot along the Colwyn Bay prom which even our locals haven't seen !

Regards and good luck with your crusade.

Tuesday, 14 October 2003

Paul Rea, Chairman of CycleLincs writes:
Hi there,
Earlier this year I wrote:

I thought you might like the latest cycle lane to appear in Lincoln.
It's on Sincil Bank, near the football ground.
For some time CycleLincs, the Lincoln Cycle Campaign Group,
have been trying to get the County Council to put in a cycle route to the hospital.
Perhaps this is their solution!

Thanks for putting it on your site.
The good news is that it has now been improved and so the cycle lane no longer goes into the fence, but feeds into a chicane.��Perhaps your site has persuasive powers! I'd like to thank you for giving us stardom, but would be grateful if you would take it off your site as it is no longer weird.��
Thanks again.
All the best

Thursday, 2 October 2003

Stephane for PlaceOVelo writes:
Thanks for the link.
I had seen the page with Bruges pictures. For your information, Belgium is
divided into three parts, for bicyclers : the North /flemish part with a not
so bad level of layout, then Brussels with a intermediate level and the
south / Wallonie with a no existent systems. So Bruge is one of the good
area in Belgium...
Infrastructure -- are cycle lanes safe? link referenced in article by Patrick James in the latest Bricycles newsletter (October-December 2003)

Friday, 12 September 2003

Andrew Battye writes: As a connoisseur of weird cycle lanes (see my Edinburgh collection at Edinburgh cycling) I enjoy visiting your pages.

A couple of your guest photos are interesting -- the ones of the A6036 between Bradford and Halifax. The caption suggests Calderdale are great for implementing the cycle lane on their side of the boundary, whilst Bradford are bad for not continuing it.

The truth is rather different -- the Calderdale side is much, much worse for cycling. The cycle lane directs cyclists to ride in the 'door zone' right next to parked cars, and also directs them to ride in a very vulnerable position at a side-road. Worse, however, is the treatment of a roundabout -- the cycle-lane runs right up the roundabout, suggesting that cyclists should remain at the kerbside regardless of which direction they wish take at the roundabout. On the circulatory carriageway itself, cycle lanes direct cyclists to ride right at the edge -- outside of the field of view of a typical driver wanting to enter the roundabout.

Tuesday, 2 September 2003

Added a photo from Ian Walker of a very short 'lane' in Wells to Guest page 8

Sunday, 31 August 2003

Stuart Filed writes:

The 'cycling horrors of Brussels' can be seen (in
French) at this website.

One is outside the British Embassy, where they've
widened the pavement and added bollards to stop people
parking directly outside.

Other examples include things you will be familiar
with such as impossible contraflow bike paths, signs
in the middle of the path, sharp zigzags etc. However
Brussels has a particular problem: granite setts.

On the Brussels website, they claim that it is
impossible to cycle in Bruges because of the granite
setts on the old streets. However, lost of people do
-it's hard but possible. The small square ones are no
problem - it's the bigger oblong ones that are the
potential killers, especially when wet.

(See the picture underneaththe text "Rue Borgval ?
place St Gery": the top half shows the
"cyclist-friendly" small square ones, and the bottom
half the killer oblong ones.)

I seem to remember seeing similar granite setts in
Brighton but can't remember where.

In one street in Bruges they've put a strip of red
asphalt on top of the granite setts to help cyclists
-I've never seen this anywhere else.

But, it seems things may be improving a little in
Brussels. In the "Rue de la Loi" (also called
"Wetstraat"), a nightmarishly busy one-way street near
the European Commission in Brussels, is being reduced
from 5 lanes to 4 lanes and cycle paths are being
added on both sides. They will be built into the
pavement, but using different colour bricks so that
it's clear that they are cycle paths.

Thursday, 28 August 2003

Added more guest photos � pictures of Belgium from Stuart Field (of Utrecht, Netherlands) � and from an anonymous correspondent of the A6036 between Bradford and Halifax.

Roddy Redrock writes: we have a cycle lane in the wilds of Talgarth in Wales, over all it is about a mile long. Transfers you off one often busy B road, you have to cross a main trunk road then travel alongside another busy B road to nowhere in particular. All part of this so called Sustrans network. It is a hazard to ride on as it is covered in part by sticky red mud in the wet winter weather as the mud washes onto it out of the fields and often covered with hedge trimmings and thorns around late summer. Safer to cycle the road.

Sunday, 27 July 2003

Added some more guest pix from Ralph Smyth on Guest pix page 7

Monday, 14 July 2003

Tim Malburn replies: I am just some bloke (I'll use Brit English) who saw Fred's site and sent a few examples in that to me looked better than the weird or dangerous stuff in many parts of the UK. Although I have to say York is good by our standards.

Most of the photo's I've sent in of the Netherlands, and some in France are probably as good as there are, but I'm always keen to see better.

The contraflow bike lane on a road is not ideal, complete segregation and motor vehicles giving way to the bikes (Netherlands and Belgium) is. The one I took in France, well there was not a car in sight, a different situation in Minneapolis I see.

I am back in the NL tomorrow only for a couple of days and I'd say they and the Belgians have got it pretty good, always room for improvement though.

Alan already knows that when we bought a new bike for my son when he was 8 and a half in the NL, he and I, were quite happy for him to cycle the new, first time on it bike, back to our friends house through the town centre. We were only happy to do this because of the absolute segregation, or vehicles having to give way at any intersections. I would not have contemplated the same in our home town in the UK.

Basically we have nothing here, although Worcs County Council say they are commited to improving cycling numbers and sustainability, so there are some places even where they have a bit wrong. Like the French contraflow bike lane, mostly the rest of the French stuff was a lot better that the one white line painted by the side of the road that is driven and parked on in my area, and that is where there is something! We have a couple of segregated bike lanes, in fact there is a new one, lovely separate bike lane on a wide road, when it comes to a narrow road bridge it ends and you have to fight with the lorries which can only just fit on the the bridge�if one comes from each direction at the same time! I must get a photo of that one.

The time delay you mention on your US photo's, the Dutch method is a bike crossing, with a loop-in separate from the road bike path, when you pass over the loop, if you coast by the time that you are at the road that you want to cross the traffic has been stopped and you have a green light, ace! In tight town centre is Belgium and NL, the law is bikes have priority, full stop. It is like being royalty on�a bike!

So let's keep at these people at we may get something sensible, I love to drive and fly, but cycling is the best for of short (under 10km) distance and urban transport. I love being in the NL and B, because it is just plain nice and fun to be out on a bike.

PS The UK is getting as litigeous as the US, the idiot that you refer to, I would hope that would get laughed out of court here. But if you can suggest ways to litigate against my council to get them to do something to a worldclass standard to encourage cyclist, please do!

Saturday, 12 July 2003

Added two new weird photos from Ralph of City Cyclists -- now up to page 7 of guest photos!

From John S. Allen: I fume with rage and laughter over your Weird Cycle Lanes pages. The British authorities are even more wacko than most in the USA. There may be an explanation for this in that the British legal system does not provide as much recourse as the US system -- see a discussion of this about halfway through the paper at

which is not a paper about cycle lanes but does discuss the legal systems.

But we have our wacko cycle lanes in the USA too, consider this page which I have just posted on my website::

and also

I do suggest, however that one example which you appear to give as a good one,

is a poor one. Placing a two-way cycle lane adjacent to a two-way roadway is bonkers for several reasons, see

Feel free to use my photos on your guest pages! I need to link to you.

But also, have you ever read either of John Forester's books, Bicycle Transportation or Effective Cycling? These explain the *theory* of traffic movement for cyclists and provide a basis for analysis of some of the designs which look good to the uninformed but which experienced cyclists know to be deadly.

I do intend to provide a link to your pages. I have noted that while the design of bicycle facilities in Germany is improving, those countries which have recently decided to "do something" for bicycling, notably the UK and France, have determined to make all the old mistakes over again, and worse.

Whoa, it just struck me -- when I saw the photo of the burning West Pier -- your Brighton is the Brighton of Graham Greene's fine novel, Brighton Rock which I read some eons ago. Well, minus the West Pier.

Saturday, 5 July 2003

Added a picture from Paul Rea, Chairman of CycleLincs, The Lincoln Cycle Campaign Group, showing the latest cycle lane to appear in Lincoln. It's on Sincil Bank, near the football ground.�� For some time CycleLincs, the Lincoln Cycle Campaign Group, have been trying to get the County Council to put in a cycle route to the hospital. Perhaps this is their solution!

Wednesday, 11 June 2003

From Mark Strong:

I noticed on one of my periodic visits to your weird cycle lane site that Leo Hartas has sent you two photos of the cycle contraflow in Hampden Road.

This is NOT a weird cycle lane - without it Hampden Road would be one-way for bikes as well as cars closing of a VERY useful link for cyclists. I got it installed around 10 years ago when the Hanover traffic calming scheme was drawn up. There is a good route for bikes between Lewes Road and Kemptown, which runs up Franklin Road, along de Montford Road, across Elm Grove, and along Hampden Road, Grove Street and John Street. Although a bit hillier than the Old Steine, it is much quieter and of course runs right through Hanover (so you can pop into a decent pub on the way or do some yoga at the Community Centre!).

When the traffic calming scheme was proposed the streets next to Elm Grove were all going to be one-way which would have ruled out this route. I persuaded the council to make Hampden Road two-way for bikes (actually the officer said he had been going to do it anyway but had "forgotten about bikes").

However, in order to allow two-way cycling in an one-way road you need to have a separate bit of contraflow lane with a traffic island as cyclists aren't legally allowed through no-entry signs (as can be seen in the Hampden Road pictures). Technically the road is two-way for all traffic between the two ends, but one-way for cars at the road junctions only (i.e. a driver could legally do a u-turn, drive to the other end of the street, do another u-turn, etc. - but don't tell them that! Incidentally because of this there should be white triangles on the speed humps in both directions - when I pointed this out the enigneer said, "yes, but then the motorists will realise it's actually two-way"...). Recently the rules have changed a bit to allow islands without bollards as in Church Street or even just a white line and a sign. These are called "cycle plugs".

This example highlights a general problem with your site. Obviously many of the examples are genuinely rubbish and due to engineers not understanding cyclists, not caring, or just being stupid. But others are misunderstood by everyone - including cyclists - or are due to the over-engineered requirements of UK highway law - Hampden Road is both. But please remember the choice in Hampden Road at the time was between the over-engineered lane or a one-way road, which would have been FAR worse for cyclists.

The situation in Hampden Road isn't helped by the missing bollards which were knocked down about 2 years ago and not replaced, nor by the worn-out cycle markings and the absence of a marked out cycle lane - so drivers think that cyclists going the "wrong-way" (see above) are illegal. I have been shouted at a number of times when cycling towards Elm Grove but as I've explained above it's a bit complex to shout back the whole story! The lane was also designed without taking the hill into account, so it's good if you're coming from Grove Street, but in the wrong place downhill from Islingword Road.

I'm not asking you to research every photo you put up, just to note that there is often a story behind them which means that things are sometimes not as simple as they seem.

On the other hand, some of the other example are just awful, particularly the bus stop in Bracknell... So keep going, but I might just send some more comments from time to time!


Sunday, 1 June 2003

Fianally added Tim Alburn's pix of France and Holland.

Saturday, 31 May 2003

Added page 5 of guest photos -- still got a bit of a backlog!!

Friday, 2 May 2003

Bartolomeo Mec�nico: road-signs, water mills, Opiliones, painted ads -- roadsigns of the world! what a fantastic website! hours of fun...

Sunday, 20 April 2003

Just went up to Asda to do my Easter shopping -- in my car -- and it was closed!! Did manage to take a few snaps of the strange cycle lane that Dave Green alerted me to. Also added some more guest photos from Cyclotron of Bexley Road, Erith.

Saturday, 12 April 2003

Leighton Buzzard pictures from David Miller added in the Guest section.

Sunday, 6 April 2003

Mrs R Jones writes: As I suspected, local authorities do not use common sense when setting up bike lanes! I found the article about your 'study' amusing as well as depressing. I expect you will now be flooded with examples.
Argyll & Bute are genuinely very hard up, with a very small population
spread over a huge area - therefore miles of road surfaces needed to
ecourage tourists, not enough rate-payers, and pockets of population on many
islands needing schools, rubbish removal etc. Despite their lack of excess
money, they have built a cycle lane on the A814 between Rhu along the
Gareloch side past the Royal Naval Base Clyde to just before the junction
with the A817. I believe that many Base employees travel in by bike and the
conditions are considerably awkward in the morning rush hour. This bike
lane is to try to avoid, among other areas, the bottle-neck past the Royal
Northern Yacht Club on the corner in Rhu. BUT this would involve the
cyclists crossing back and forward across the main road at least twice! with
no help from traffic lights or road junctions. I gather the cyclists
continue on the much more sensible (but dangerous?) route along the road.

Thursday, 3 April 2003

Other small protest sites

Dr Stephen J Wozniak writes: I have linked your site to . You will find it summarised in the 'other small protest sites' section (see the sitelayout page for navigation details). Please let me know if the summary is OK with you, and because my site is new, please try and 'spread the word' amongst your email contacts. Having 'seered' mentioned on your site would probably help too. If you know any journalists who are interested in use of the Internet for protest against incompetence in government, and consumer protection, please let them know of seered.

Patrick Brady of Asphalt Magazine writes: There's a new road bike magazine in America called Asphalt. We'd like to do a short piece on your site in a future issue. If you could forward us any hi-res images of your existing photos, we'd be grateful as it would help demonstrate the nonsensical planning behind so many bike lanes.

Heather Burtonof Ulm, Germany writes: you may be interested in Get out of the bike lane!
They seem to be having an influence too.
Keep up the good work and well done in getting into the Telegraph.

Sunday, 30 March 2003

Sheila Mann writes: There is a good example of one of your weird tracks in Trumpington Road in Cambridge.There the cycles lanes run OUTSIDE the areas for carparking so when drivers open their offside doors, they wipe out passing cyclists! Also on the same stretch of road is a very short length of cycle lane (probably not a record shortest but vey close) just after a bus lane. Most people avoid these tracks by riding on the pavement which they can do, legally, here because the cycle lanes are duplicated by a pavement cyclists/pedestrian one.
Frederick Owen writes: a good example of cycle lane madness is evident on Hough Green, Chester. When installed 2-3 years ago, it was painted by someone with a massive hangover/the usual intelligence of council employees.! The lane meanders around several lamp posts and must make using it a novel experience.It has to be added that it is a rare occurrence to see any cyclist using it !!!
Adrian Greenwood writes:

A silly cycle lane.

Location - A258 out of Dover rising past Dover Castle. Rises from sea-level to 100 m in about a mile. Appearance - expensive green chip carpet with usual white overlay markings.

Silly because very few Dover residents could cycle up this without risk of hospitalisation � although I accept some visting masochists could.

Silly because road width near the castle is insufficient to cater for both the cycle lane and the traffic lane � so cycle lane continually encroached upon and being worn away (will they repaint it I wonder). Don't worry about the cyclists � I am still waiting to see one mounted at this stage � so to speak...

Silly because 6 feet from the road there is a little used path. And No � cyclists would not put the odd pedestrian on this path at risk � the gradient is such that, aside from Kings of the Mountain types � few cyclist could proceed faster than walking pace.

We have above-inflation Council Tax hikes here � there has to be a joke here somewhere...
John Pitcock, a founder member of Birmingham's cycling campaign group "PushBikes" writes:

Cycle lanes:
A local scheme which comes into much ridicule is Bristol Road, Edgbaston.
It's a shared footpath parallel to the road with a white line up the middle.
The cyclist's half is obstructed by many trees, lamp posts, bus stops, phone
boxes, permanent advertising etc. Pedestrians ignore the markings.

When you come to side roads and large entrances etc there is a give-way
marking so you have to look over your shoulder for, and give way to,
overtaking traffic turning left; to the right for approaching traffic
turning right; and to the left for traffic in the side road (which block you
as they wait to get onto the main road). It's better to ride in the road but you get abuse for being


Advanced stop lines:

I see from the TSRGD Department for Transport | Proposed Revision of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) 1994 - Consultation Paper para 18 that
it is illegal for a cyclist to pass the first stop line when the lights are
on red. This makes most A.S.L's useless unless there's a filter lane � many
in Birmingham don't.

I find these advance stop lines, problematic when in conjunction with a left
hand cycle filter lane:
If I am going in any direction other than left I am frightened to go up the
inside if there is a possibility of the light changing to green before I
reach the front. This is because I would be stranded in the wrong lane. I'd
rather have more space between the lines of waiting vehicles so I can filter
towards the front in a more appropriate lane.
Angela of King's Lynn Bike User's Group & W Norfolk section CTC writes: We are very behind in darkest West Norfolk! The first 'on road' cycling facility in King's Lynn was a shovel of tarmac to make a dropped curb on NCR1. We have 2 very short cycle lanes and 1 advanced stop line.
Jill Holden writes: Perhaps not the shortest but certainly the most senseless cycle lane. On the left-hand side of the A49 going North (ref. SO504504) - on the hill - on the bend . Starts , continues for about l5 or 20 metres and then stops where the track has to end because of the steep bank going up into Queenswood Country Park. I have not measured it because I am Walker, not cyclist and Ramblers are advised not to walk on the A49 at this point since it is a most dangerous piece of road. Best wishes for your safety
Roy Spilsbury Hon Sec CTC Cymru writes: CTC Cymru Your article in the Daily Telegraph Motoring section last Saturday was a real pip.

We share living by the seaside, and the issue of cycle access to promenades is a constant theme in letters to the local papers. We have some access and some prohibition. In the former we have varied infrastructure varying from innocuous to darned right dangerous. I would like to do a study on the subject but allocating the time (and energy) when I am already involved in so much other cycle campaigning is problematic.

We recently set up a CTC Cymru North Wales website which you might like to have a peep at if you have a minute or two to spare. We aim to keep the site bang up to date and to reflect all aspects of cycling. Simplicity of design, and rapidity of downloading, we believe to be of the essence.
Dave Pratt writes: Following your article in the motoring section of last Saturdays Telegraph (22/3/03). I thought I must tell you about Salisbury and perhaps arrange a visit to the most ludicrous traffic management system encompassing bus, cycle and pedestrian lanes I have ever come across.
A few examples of the local planners' incompetence.

1. They build a park and ride approx. 1 mile from our historic city centre and install a bike rack � who in the hell is going to take a bus do their weekly shop, return and cycle home.
2. Lanes to nowhere, from the park and ride which is situated on the northern edge of the city cycle on the track toward the city on the left hand side of the carriageway, reach the crest of the hill, cross the main A345 and cycle down the hill after 1/2 mile repeat the process and cross to the left again, now you are sharing the cycle lane with busses. Tour busses, Wilts and Dorset regular services and the park and ride. After crossing through you own designated traffic light with a little green bike on it, carry on a further 150 metres and turn left into Victoria Road where the council have thoughtfully painted the cycle lane green onto the pavement. Bear left and 3 metres later it stops with the word END.
Alan, this is not the worst example, the Southampton Road at the other side of the city has its very own chicane made from steel bollards which the emergency services have to negotiate in the event of a problem and involves using the cycle lane.

Pete Owens writes: I thought you might like this example of weirdness from Warrington for your guest pages.

Friday, 28 March 2003

Brighton's West Pier burns down after a mysterious black speedboat was seen in the area... Not really cycle lane related, but on my way down to watch it, I came across a new bike lane on East Street that takes you from the road and onto the pavement, out of the way of impatient cars,,, and on the way home, I took a snap of yet another skip on the new Church Road contra-flow. Had loads of emails lately -- I'll try to answer them soon.

Sunday, 23 March 2003

Blimey! a feature appeared in yesterday's Daily Telegraph, complete with photo, on the penultimate page of the Motoring supplement!

Thursday, 13 March 2003

How wide should a cycle lane be?
Richard Carter sent an e-mail to the DoT website asking about standards for cycle lanes, not expecting to get a lot back, but actually received a really helpful reply from them.

He writes: What they did was send me a copy of their cycling bibliography, saying that 'one of the publications [in it] is 'Cycle-friendly infrastructure - Guidlines for planning and design,' which costs �15. That might have been the end of it, he could simply have said bugger off and buy the thing. But he went on to say this:

'Very briefly, the guidance stipulates a cycle lane width of 2m wherever possible with a recommended minimum width of 1.5m. Unfortunately, in most circumstances, 2m is difficult to achieve and 1.5m seems to have become the norm in practice. Smaller widths than 1.5m are often encountered on the network. If a lane has to be provided less than 1.5m wide, it is best limited to short stretches, such as where there is a lead-in to an advanced stop line reservoir at traffic lights."

Now, reality is rather different, of course, but I thought this was really good as a standard, even if the miserable buggers who are actually supposed to implement the guidance take no damn notice of it at all.

Saturday, 8 March 2003

Added guest photos from Graham Brodie and Paul Rea.

Gerry Leach writes: Here in Leicester we have a contraflow cycle lane which passes a taxi office, so that it is normally blocked by parked minicabs. A cyclist went to the police station to complain that he had to move out of the lane to pass the cabs, and the desk sergeant said "So you've come to confess to riding the wrong way along a one-way street? You're only legal if you stay in the cycle lane!"

Met the author of the Big Issue article on me website in the Cowley Club last night -- he admitted pinching it from the Argus!

Thursday, 6 March 2003

Tim replies to Ivo!
Interesting. I presume the contributor is an Audax cyclist. Because of the
speeds of cycle racing on roads I have always seen them using the road
rather a cyclepath provided in NL, B or F. For ordinary commuting cyclists
and children I think it is a different matter. I submitted the photos to
Wierdcyclelanes (we all have to agree that some of them are beyond belief)
to show what can be done. I or indeed other contributors can't advise, only
say what we like or don't like. If there is a better (to encourage more
cycling) and safer way than my photos show, then please advise my County
Council, as what they have suggested so far will only serve to force cars
into cyclists at pinch points making it even more dangerous than it already

I can only speak from experience and that of my wife and son. None of us
feel safe on a road with a white line that vehicles enroach without a second
thought and have indeed cycled in the town that I took the photos in. I
would be happy for him to cycle to school using what is in the photos. I
will not allow him to use the zero infrastructure that we have in Worcs, it
isn't nice when an idiot turns out of a side road and stops blocking the
road infront of you and crushing you and your child into the kerb (I
hammered with my fist on that tw?ts door). A separate cycle path would keep
those idiots off him.

The comments re an inexperienced driver hitting a kerb, whether that be for
a bike path or a pedestrian path, are understood, but that is a risk we take
when walking, and so it is the same when cycling. I still feel more at ease
being separated by a kerb than a white line. The inexperienced would mow me
down with or without a kerb.

Islands I find are a deathtrap for cyclists in the UK, and pinched islands
just force cars to push into cyclists. It seems to me that the more distance
you can put between cyclist and car on an island the better, with a kerb as
per the picture, seems as good as you can get. Bear in mind that these are
urban areas with speed limits of 50km or less. I cannot understand how a
young cyclist could feel safer on a British roundabout, because I don't, and
I'm a big bloke who can give drivers a "come any closer if you dare" evil

For faster roads, there is normally some meters separating the cyclepath and
the road, the path is often protected by barriers, lines of trees or Trevi
kerbing (which vehicles cannot climb).

Generally because the cyclepath has right of way across any turning off a
main road (it is the same case here but but local authorities sign against
the cyclist and pedestrian incorrectly) then bikes continue at the same
speed in NL, B and elsewhere. In terms of evading a pedestrian stepping onto
a cyclepath, er what happens if the pedestrian steps into the road? A
cyclepath is just that, a cyclepath and one doesn't walk on one. We can cope
quite well with keeping off them when walking in other countries. My 9 year
old ambled onto one in a daydream, although he knew he should watch out. He
won't do it again, the moped gave him a fright! Even I can stop in a couple
of metres on my ordinary dutch bike, so not really an issue I have found.

We have to ask ourselves why we have 3% cycle to work and school in the UK,
15% in York, they are doing great things, yet in most countries from Denmark
to Switzerland, Belgium to Germany they have much greaters numbers? Could it
be something to do with infrastructure? IE We don't have it or when we do it
is difficult to use, with notable exceptions of a few areas in the UK
(please let me have examples of good and safe infrastructure in the UK and I
can show them to Highways on the next Safe Routes To School meeting).

It would make sense that 40% of Belgian cycle accidents happen on cycle
paths, because most of the time most of the cycles are on it. Also to bear
in mind these are commuters, they do not hang about. They are constant
speed cycling and can be a bit mad max at times. Also bear in mind that the
figures will include those coming out of nightclubs at 5am or later, with
their mate or "pull" sat on the rack, probably tanked up or on wacky-baccy,
or both. I would prefer them to have their accident on a cycle rather than
causing death by reckless driving.

I also drive a lot in other countries, a million miles in various 4 wheeled
vehicles, including 100 000 motorcycle miles, and as a driver I can also see
the benefits not only in encouraging cycling and providing a safer
environment, and rather than the UK situation that the cyclists are stuck in
the traffic too, but when you can see numerous cyclists making much faster
progress in urban traffic on their dedicated routes you wish you could be
with them rather than stuck in stationary traffic (which was the case with
me). Isn't this the problem that we are trying to address in the UK? And as
part of that is Safe Routes to School, the greater the separation between
young cyclists and motor traffic the greater success we'll have in turning
around the 97% being driven by car to school. Without that separation and
infrastructure, a point being missed by many UK highways depts, it won't

Whilst I am sure the Netherlands, Belgium and the many, many other countries
that provide infrastructure for everyday and inexperienced cyclists isn't
perfect, and could still be better, personally given the choice for my son,
myself and my wife's choice is, that we don't like to cycle in the UK, and we
do enjoy cycling in those other countries, this will be the same situation
for the 57% that would cycle (to school) given good infrastructure.

Tot ziens,


Wednesday, 5 March 2003

A toothless cog -- a letter about cycles on trains from Becky of Bricycles

Tuesday, 4 March 2003

Blimey -- a bit of controversy!! Ivo Miesen writes from NL:
I checked the site only today, and especially paid attention to the pictures
of the Dutch situation. I was quite shocked when I discovered that they were
advising Dutch bikepaths which I regard as downright unsafe. There are safe
bikepaths overhere, but not the ones pictured by them. Concrete slabs
seperating the road from the bikepath earn their respect. I feel dangerous
when I ride on such a path. Any inexperienced cardriver hitting the slab
will lose control, and I as a cyclist don't have the choice to take evasive
action if a pedestrian steps onto the bikepath. The typical Dutch roundabout
design for cyclists has a high casualty figure, especially if the bikepath
is so clearly separated. I didn't check it close enough, but I wouldn't be
surprised if that particular one is even against current regulations. I feel
definitely safer on a British roundabout.
From a statistic point of view, when I was in the Eurostar travelling
towards Rocco's brevet, I read in a Belgian newspaper that 40% of all
accidents with cyclists occur while the cyclist is either on the bikepath,
or just entering/leaving it.

Sunday, 2 March 2003

Apparently, there's also a mention in A to B magazine.
Yesterday (Saturday) managed to cycle along with some war protestors on the seafront until the heavy rain forced me to shelter-- they were outnumbered about 3 to 1 by police -- plus about 12 vans and assorted vehicles holding up the traffic. Went for a pasty on Duke Street and then on to my favourite cafe, the Offbeat in Sydney Street, for a 90p cappuccino.
Glass!! the bane of my life -- had another puncture on Thursday -- brown and green glass from bottles, presumably thrown and smashed casually by lager-drinking yobbos! It's particularly bad on the cycle lane opposite the King and Queen pub on the Old Steine... Eating and drinking in the street -- soooo common!
Guardian Unlimited | Online | Web watch -- a mention of this site in the Grauniad, no less!! Looks like I've had about 4000 hits in the past fortnight!

Thursday, 27 February 2003

How it should be done! -- added photos of Dutch cycle lanes from Tim Malburn, who saw feature in Big Issue. He writes:

Through my son's school I have been asked by WCC to be on the Safe Routes to School, just for his school. So I have seen the weird and dangerous stuff they are planning. According to Worcs Highways you can't make a traffic island cycle friendly. I had to go to the NL a few weeks ago so took some photos of an island and some other cycle infrastructure. The SRTS coordinator was really pleased, she could then see what could be done. I sent them to highways, who I am in discussion with, but they haven't even acknowledged receipt. The idea of SRTS is to reduce the number of children being driven to some schools in this area (97%) and increase from the (0.3% on a very good day at the best school) cycling. They seem amazed and don't believe me that if you put in the infrasructure, parents will allow and want their children to cycle. The SRTS survey filled out by the pupils indicated 57% would cycle if it were safer.

I am a keen car driver (some million miles) but have used our bikes as a means of transport in Belgium, NL and Germany, it is enjoyable to do so. It is plain to see that cycle use is much higher because of the quality of infrastructure, it is just aggravation here. When I am working at home I cycle with my son, I wouldn't let him go on his own. I have been to CH and Denmark but not taken my bike, but am told by those that have it is as good. Some friends, she is danish, they lived there until recently, said it is the absolute norm for people to cycle to work and school. Her commute was 10km each way every day of the week.

When we bought my son's new bike, in the NL, he was 8, I was happy for him to ride it back to our friend's house, me following through a big busy town with no worries.

So I am battling away to try and make them see sense in Worcs. I copied your article to AEA Technology who are being paid � 3 million to survey and check what is going on in terms of Transport2000. I already have a guy there who contacted WCC on receipt of my mail cataloging their lacking or dangerous ideas, this is children the SRTS is meant to be helping. He is going to be getting on to them again soon. If you want his details let me know. He may not be the guy for your county but I'm sure he will pass it on to whoever is.

I also copied it to the SRTS coordinator and the head of highways, and WCC chief Exec. Having the website has made your council do something? That's great, WCC don't even admit there is a problem.

From a comment on the site I presume you have visited countries with real cycle infrastructure. As you say all the countries I've cycled in, all one-way streets and no entries are except cycles. Is it so difficult for them to go and look at best practise elswhere? It cost me �63 to fly to NL. Because it was a trip for other reasons, I also spent 30 Euro on trains, and spent about 100 Euro on accommodation as I was there three nights. That would be about 50m of unuseable white lining money here. Sure we'd stand them 3 nights jolly as taxpayers to get them informed. My highways man (the one saying that islands cannot be safe for cyclists) in the SRTS meeting when I asked him if he'd looked at best practise elsewhere, said, 'haven't got time'. I resisted the temptation to beat him to a pulp, but thought, I'm paying your wages, aren't I paying you to inform yourself?

Friday, 21 February 2003

Oh, forgot, a brief mention in that fine anarchist publication Schnews.
And a mention in this week's Big Issue! I ain't seen one yet... you can never find an Issue seller when you want one, can you!!!!
New photo in Guest section from Ralph Smyth, Co-ordinator of City Cyclists taken on Monday 17 February 2003 at Mansion House gyratory, City of London.
This was designated as London Cycle Network in 2000 yet since late 2001 has looked like this due to a weak tube bridge underneath.
Obviously the added weight of a cyclist or two could cause it to collapse (there's another blocked cycle route over a weak bridge in the City too).

A cycle-related animation! -- well, it has a cycle on a traffic light!
Traffic light wars -- great animation, compelling stories!

Sunday, 16 February 2003

What? You actually wanted to cycle somewhere? | Metafilter-- a discussion initiated by Rob Stevens (AKA i_cola) on my site -- fame! Includes links to Cycle Facility of the Month a weird Warrington lane and Shau-lan's Welcome to Hove website that includes an essay by my good friend and now Hastings resident Erica Smith.

Sunday, 9 February 2003

Cyle emptiness -- (sic) blimey! fame at last! After the feature on me on page 3 of the Argus in Tuesday, a disgruntled letter writer tells me to get a life!
After being featured on BBC South Today on 16 January 2003 and in The Evening Argus on 4 February 2003, I've had quite a few emails and phone calls from other journalists, including the Daily Torygraph, Schnews and Cycling Weekly. Today I started this weblog, introduced a new Guest Photos page, and a Firefighters page, added the photos I took on The Level yesterday, added links and generally mucked about!
People keep asking me when I started this website! Probably in or just before 1996 -- there's a photo in there somewhere of the Reclaim the Streets protest of 1996. Unfortunately, the earliest photos were taken on a proper 35mm camera and Bonusprint didn't date the snaps in those days, so I don't know for sure ...