Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

How do we make the UK more bike friendly?

downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
edited July 2009 in Commuting chat
forgive me, this might come out a bit odd, as I'm very tyred..

I have a hypothesis that given how narrow many urban roads are around here that cycle lanes could be installed if there was more contraflow for cyclists on a oneway systems. I wonder if changing the road systems to adapt it into more oneway systems like this if it would solve some of the traffic chaos that occurs.

I had this thought when one of the cyclists at work told me that Winchester road has been given a cyclelane. Thing is, he said, everyone parks on it. I shall go and have a look with a camera later if I remember. To me the road isnt wide enough there, but if parallel roads were used in conjunction and made into a oneway system it could free up one side for parking.

So what in your opinion would improve the ability to cycle in the UK? Any radical ideas? :)
«1

Posts

  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    A shift in driver mentality, but I can't see it happening any time soon. Infrastructure is important but I think it's skirting the issues a bit.
  • we should do what they do in Bogota

    "When he became mayor of Bogota in Colombia in 1998, Enrique Peñalosa made it one of his priorities to make life easier for pedestrians and cyclists.

    Eleven years later, the city has expanded cycle paths and pedestrian zones and improved parks.

    Every Sunday and public holiday, over 120km of streets are closed to motor vehicles from 7am to 2pm and are used for walking, skating and cycling".

    story here http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8102621.stm

    Really the best thing they could do is completely re-engineer & redesign the whole road network.
    Also repair and improve the quality of roads.
    Expensive I know but if we are going to be a low carbon economy & reduce car usage in 10, 20, 50 yrs time we might as well start now.
    Cycle lanes shouldn't be painted on lanes on already existing roads. Pointless!

    I believe in Holland the cycle lanes are completely separate to the main road by a curb which keeps the motor traffic apart.

    The responsibility of enforcing parking should be given back to the police, not local councils.
    People who park on pavements and cycle lanes painted or not will respond to an officer immediately.
    A fine doesn't deal with the problem for the time a vehicle is on the cycle lane.

    Sort out the pot holes now!
    :twisted:
  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    I'd agree, it's driver attitude that needs changing.

    I'm not sure I see how changing the road system would help matters - the point is that you need cars and bikes sharing the same space, and mutual respect between both parties. I disagree strongly with segregated cycle lanes for this reason.

    Really what needs to happen is a surge in the number of cyclists so that we are no longer considered a minority group on the roads.

    I've ridden all over europe, and in general, drivers of every other country appear to have more respect for cyclists. Perhaps that's not strange, cycling is well regarded as a national sport in both France and Italy, and basically a way of life in Holland. But it provides a poor reflection on our motorists.
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    The Columbian Mayor is a legend imo. I'd love to see that happen here but people would throw a hissy fit. :lol:
  • blu3catblu3cat Posts: 1,016
    I think cycle lanes could be improved immensely, and even if we keep a similar format there are a few things that could be done.

    How about removing bus stops from the middle of cycle lanes, removing drains from the middle of cycle lanes.

    And while I do appreciate my own little bit of roadspace, please don't put a f*cking picture of a bicycle right the way across it in raised paint 1-2 cm high every 20 metres. It defeats the whole point of havng the lane. The cycle lane on Upper Richmond Road actually makes me cycle further into the road because of the markings. :evil:
    "Bed is for sleepy people.
    Let's get a kebab and go to a disco."

    FCN = 3 - 5
    Colnago World Cup 2
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    blu3cat wrote:
    I think cycle lanes could be improved immensely, and even if we keep a similar format there are a few things that could be done.

    How about removing bus stops from the middle of cycle lanes, removing drains from the middle of cycle lanes.

    And while I do appreciate my own little bit of roadspace, please don't put a f*cking picture of a bicycle right the way across it in raised paint 1-2 cm high every 20 metres. It defeats the whole point of havng the lane. The cycle lane on Upper Richmond Road actually makes me cycle further into the road because of the markings. :evil:

    From watching Le Tour I notice that the cycle lanes go around bus stops. :?
  • rally200rally200 Posts: 646
    Traffic Cops on bikes & a bit of enforcement for arrogant dangerous motorists

    (Magnum Force style if poss.)
  • snigsnig Posts: 428
    how about lets start with the cycle lanes we do have,start or finish NOT in the middle of a road!
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    Super high petrol prices.

    Other than that, nothing. Until more people have been scared shitless by people they normally behave like, nothing will change. Lets not waste time and money on road engineering. Cyclists are suffering from a fracture in societal norms in our poisonous overcrowded little island. Its not socially acceptable to vent one's general frustrations on most minorities:
    - people in electric wheelchairs, nope
    - people on horses, nope
    - immigrants, sorta

    But cyclists? Hell yes, everyone does it so it must be okay and its consequence free. Not only does no one disapprove, people positively encourage it.

    Use your car as a weapon - no prob, you know how wide it is and you won't hit them so no harm done. Tailgate, no problem, they are holding you up, bastards deserve it, no harm done. Verbal abuse, sure, feel a lot better afterwards and no harm done.
  • Im back in the saddle after a ten year lay off.
    The governments greed for fuel tax enraged me so to get back peddlin!!

    Im a biker (motorbiker) too.. and my top piece of kit is my bikes soft earplugs. Dampens windnoise, keeps ears warm, and im oblivious to jeers from the hordes of chavs i pass or the imbecile van drivers who give ya grief!

    But im not the lard censored sat in a tranny waiting for the ineviatable cronary now.


    Simply its the UK`s sneering attitude to bicycles. From youth on the path to car driver, something you cvant fight.. just roll with it in your own way i say
  • daver1daver1 Posts: 78
    Less aggressive and selfish cyclists on the road will improve it for other cyclists. Most non cyclist that I talk to think that I'm a fool because so many of the other cyclists that they see are.

    The next best thing is to slow down traffic - drop all urban speed limits by 10mph and cycling will become safer and more enjoyable.
  • NoNotAgainNoNotAgain Posts: 91
    downfader wrote:
    I wonder if changing the road systems to adapt it into more oneway systems like this if it would solve some of the traffic chaos that occurs.

    Nope.
    I live in downtown Vienna and we have a ton of oneways here free for cyclists into both directions. It doesn't help at all - it's a mental thing.
    As long as many cyclists are extremely stubborn and don't feel like having to stick to the rules and as long as many car drivers simply don't care about our health and lives, this won't change.
    In most cities in Holland, Germany, all of Scandinavia, Benelux, France and Italy it works a lot better.
    1,000km+ a month, strictly road.
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    DaveR1 wrote:
    Less aggressive and selfish cyclists on the road will improve it for other cyclists. Most non cyclist that I talk to think that I'm a fool because so many of the other cyclists that they see are.
    I strongly disagree - the reason that most motorists think most cyclists cycle like idiots is not because cycling behaviour is that bad (as compared to, for example, drivers in bus lanes, speeding, turning without indicating, accelerating through yellows, tailgating, parking in school zones, parking near crossings, parking close to junctions, stopping in asls, driving in cycle lanes and all of the things tht motorists are exempt criticism for)

    No, its because motorists don't even see good cycling behaviour. Its hard enough to get them to avoid driving right into you. Motorists' opinions are a filter. How many water cooler conversations go, "Hey, I was sat at some lights today, and there was this guy in full cycling gear waiting at it as well! Yeah! How about that?"
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,386
    NoNotAgain wrote:
    downfader wrote:
    I wonder if changing the road systems to adapt it into more oneway systems like this if it would solve some of the traffic chaos that occurs.

    Nope.
    I live in downtown Vienna and we have a ton of oneways here free for cyclists into both directions. It doesn't help at all - it's a mental thing.
    As long as many cyclists are extremely stubborn and don't feel like having to stick to the rules and as long as many car drivers simply don't care about our health and lives, this won't change.
    In most cities in Holland, Germany, all of Scandinavia, Benelux, France and Italy it works a lot better.

    +1

    Seeing taxi drivers sit patiently behind cyclists pootling about Brugge at around 10 mph with not a hint of frustration was an extreme shock to me 8) .

    Some cyclist are equally culpable. Have you watched the messanger race through London on youtube? Nutters that deserve to get knocked off :evil:
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    DaveR1 wrote:
    Less aggressive and selfish cyclists on the road will improve it for other cyclists. Most non cyclist that I talk to think that I'm a fool because so many of the other cyclists that they see are.

    The next best thing is to slow down traffic - drop all urban speed limits by 10mph and cycling will become safer and more enjoyable.

    Aggression is prevalent across road users I'm afraid, it's not restricted to cyclists. Only the other night I was cycling home and near Tower Bridge a car was waiting to turn right across my path but instead of waiting he edged forward, forward and ever forward into my path clearly wanting me to stop and let him through, even though I had full right of way. I didn't stop and simply moved round him and as I did he gave me the finger. Pleasant chap.

    Slowing traffic might help if it's enforced but across London, certainly in Lewisham borough where I live, speed limits on many roads have been dropped to 20mph but it hasn't made a blind bit of difference, everyone drives at 30-40mph still and the police aren't ever around to enforce the new limits.

    What is needed is a change in attitude from everyone so that the smaller the "traffic" the higher the priority. Pedestrians perhaps should have highest priority, much as it galls me when the "i-ped" steps into the road in front of me. Then cyclists followed by motor traffic.

    Why should it be accepted that cars and motorists automatically are allowed to dominate the roads when surveys have proved that many motor trips in large cities like London involve 1 person driving less than a couple of miles to a local shop to do something irrelevant like pick up a packet of biscuits.
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • jjojjasjjojjas Posts: 346
    I guess its a matter of location, your mind set and personal experience.
    I find the UK very cycle friendly, I cycle 6 or 7 days a week and the area that I typically cover is fine with limmited problems. I rarely see any grief, anger or have any problems at all to be honest. I have a few cars and I have more transport problems with the cars in this country than I do with the bike;)
    Not been a smart censored , just pointing out that some of us have more "good" than "bad" :)

    Some people will always cycle, because they like it (me, and quite a lot of you I suspect, for example). If the roads are clogged up at 10mph and theres more speed humps and more obstructions for any road user.....I'm guessing its gonna make the ride pretty censored for us on the cycle too. People will cycle if its the obvious choice, they enjoy it, facilities are provided and its realistic. Forcing them to ride a bike by making engine powered transport more difficult is a fools attempt at a solution doomed to failure.

    Theres a great trend in the UK to blame every one else for a problem, Were all part of society, were all responsible for playing our part in it. The aggressive cyclist (we all know the type...) says "I'm a censored " as much to me in the prat in a slammed Saxo doing 50 in a 30 zone. :)
    Jas :)
    it looks a bit steep to me.....
  • soy_saucesoy_sauce Posts: 987
    1) drivers lose their license for good as soon as they caught dangerous driving in any way.

    2) have a special card or device which record cycled mileage which can be use for discount in shops.

    **keep day dreaming...**

    :roll:
    "It is not impossible, its just improbable"

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc 08
  • DuduDudu Posts: 4,637
    Make the default situation that motor vehicle users who, despite their superior braking and acceleration still manage to bring danger to our roads and have done since about 1897, are assumed liable unless proved otherwise if they collide with a pedestrian or cyclist.

    This is the case in many of those civlilised countries at the other end of the Channel Tunnel, and it works. That's one reason why Dutch, French and Belgian drivers, for example, will go to great lengths and inconvenience themselves to avoid hitting cyclists (not to mention the fact that they could be about to run over a National Sporting Hero).

    Whatever we do, DON'T start going bananas building [email protected] cycle lanes and other cycle 'facilities' all over the place. That just makes the drivers worse.
    ___________________________________________
    People need to be told what to do so badly they'll listen to anyone
  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    There are two changes in attitude needed.

    Firstly, the idea that roads are almost exclusively for cars, and anything getting in their way is a "menace" (including parked cars, for example) Changing that one will be hard, but making it eaier to close roads for street parties, parades, running races, cycling events, both charity and more serious stuff, would be a start

    The bigger one is in planning departments all over the country. It's the idea that "cyclists" are a sub-class of "pedestrians" and need to be taken out of the way of the cars, who, as per the first attitude, should have unimpaired use of the road. This is why most cycle lanes are little more than an insult. They aren't designed as a solution for use by traffic, they are designed for pedestrians.

    The latter is something government can actually do something about, and having roads and traffic systems designed for cycling traffic as well as cars should go some way to addressing the first idea too.
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    DaveR1 wrote:
    Less aggressive and selfish cyclists on the road will improve it for other cyclists. Most non cyclist that I talk to think that I'm a fool because so many of the other cyclists that they see are.
    I strongly disagree - the reason that most motorists think most cyclists cycle like idiots is not because cycling behaviour is that bad (as compared to, for example, drivers in bus lanes, speeding, turning without indicating, accelerating through yellows, tailgating, parking in school zones, parking near crossings, parking close to junctions, stopping in asls, driving in cycle lanes and all of the things tht motorists are exempt criticism for)

    No, its because motorists don't even see good cycling behaviour. Its hard enough to get them to avoid driving right into you. Motorists' opinions are a filter. How many water cooler conversations go, "Hey, I was sat at some lights today, and there was this guy in full cycling gear waiting at it as well! Yeah! How about that?"

    I strongly disagree with you. Dave is on the money. More cyclists, riding legally and considerately ON THE ROAD will make motorists learn to deal with them effectively and calmly. It makes me laugh when we blame drivers for getting annoyed with us when we do so much that's annoying.

    It's not always someone else's fault. I see way more terrible road use per head by cyclists than drivers. We need to earn the respect of the people we share roads with, not least because ultimately, we're the ones f*cked in a contretemps between the two.

    As an addendum - the number of cycle lanes on which I can ride as speedily and confidently as I can on the roads is, um, I can't actually think of one. Bikes belong on roads - I'm very happy for grannies and pootlers and mums with two kids, four bags of shopping etc. having their own cycling provisions but it will always go alongside cyclists cycling on the road.
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    If I wasn't a cyclist - and sometimes I'm not - the thought of arbitrary 20mph speed limits would have me fuming. By all means police 30mph more strictly, that's fine, but 20mph is TOO SLOW in all but the narrowest or least visible of roads.
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    biondino wrote:

    As an addendum - the number of cycle lanes on which I can ride as speedily and confidently as I can on the roads is, um, I can't actually think of one. Bikes belong on roads - I'm very happy for grannies and pootlers and mums with two kids, four bags of shopping etc. having their own cycling provisions but it will always go alongside cyclists cycling on the road.

    Ooooh I can think of one - that one running from Kew down to Richmond that stops short of the roundabout - runs alongside Kew Gardens. It's red, solid line, beautifully smooth, and I believe there's even a camera on it.

    More cycle lanes like that would be good.
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    biondino wrote:
    More cyclists, riding legally and considerately ON THE ROAD will make motorists learn to deal with them effectively and calmly.
    In principle I agree, but to my mind, all cyclists would have to be exemplary, to a degree far beyond what is required for motorists, so make much difference. Even then, since we are abused for "holding people up", i.e. just being there, I do not imagine that we would be exempt from abuse, since cycling predictably, according to the rules, on the left of a straight bit of road is also irritating to motorists. I get most abuse for being "slow" (i.e. a bicycle) and being assertive (e.g. not stopping by parked cars in order to let cars overtake me).

    So my point is that whilst some cyclists are censored , they way we are treated as a whole is not consistent with how bad cyclists are as a whole, or which rules (if any) are broken.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    biondino wrote:
    As an addendum - the number of cycle lanes on which I can ride as speedily and confidently as I can on the roads is, um, I can't actually think of one. Bikes belong on roads - I'm very happy for grannies and pootlers and mums with two kids, four bags of shopping etc. having their own cycling provisions but it will always go alongside cyclists cycling on the road.

    +1
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,947
    To quote a politician:

    Education, education, education...

    Teach kids to ride

    Teach drivers to respect cyclists (and other road users, let's be honest)

    Teach cyclists to behave, learn lessons from bikers, lorry drivers etc

    We can all never stop learning

    Education doesn't need to be formal or direct - could be far more subtle eg getting cyclist into a soap as a character, etc.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • blu3catblu3cat Posts: 1,016
    biondino wrote:
    More cyclists, riding legally and considerately ON THE ROAD will make motorists learn to deal with them effectively and calmly.
    In principle I agree, but to my mind, all cyclists would have to be exemplary, to a degree far beyond what is required for motorists, so make much difference. Even then, since we are abused for "holding people up", i.e. just being there, I do not imagine that we would be exempt from abuse, since cycling predictably, according to the rules, on the left of a straight bit of road is also irritating to motorists. I get most abuse for being "slow" (i.e. a bicycle) and being assertive (e.g. not stopping by parked cars in order to let cars overtake me).

    So my point is that whilst some cyclists are censored , they way we are treated as a whole is not consistent with how bad cyclists are as a whole, or which rules (if any) are broken.

    I agree to a certain extent, but the better we become as a cycling community the less we will be viewed as a dangerous nuisance.

    Although.....

    Unfortunately it seems to be human nature to stereotype people, eg White Van (wo)men etc, I have seen exemplary driving from WVM, bus drivers and black cab drivers. Cyclists are the same, and I have seen some utterly shocking behaviour by cyclists. Everyone seems to remember the bad riding / driving and not the good.

    Surely if we wish to be taken seriously as traffic on the roads, in cycle lanes or not, then we should behave like traffic, and that includes obeying the rules of the road (including Red Lights)

    Do other slower road users get similar trouble from car drivers (such as motobility cart users)?
    "Bed is for sleepy people.
    Let's get a kebab and go to a disco."

    FCN = 3 - 5
    Colnago World Cup 2
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,525
    Off the top of my head -

    Any "journalist" writing anti-cycling articles in the press to be charged with incitement.

    all councils given mandatory duty and targets to increase cycling in their borough.

    All new buidling projects to include facilities for bikes - including supermarkets - minimum 50%.

    tax breaks for cyclists

    new cycling police force with remit to enforce traffic laws evenly.

    all cycle lanes enforced.

    all ASLs enforced.

    extra element of driving test to test awareness of other road users.

    Better facilities for pedestrians with priority - Ped first, cyclists second, all other road users below cyclists - applied within all traffic planning.

    government sponsored public facilities for cyclists in major cities.

    public information films - Think bicycle! - or something along those lines.

    compulsory cycle training in schools. Compulsory for schools I mean, not kids.

    more transparency in public vehicles complaints procedures and disciplinaries.

    harsher punishments for illegal road users, especially drivers.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Porgy wrote:
    Off the top of my head -

    Any "journalist" writing anti-cycling articles in the press to be charged with incitement.
    . . . and it would apply retrospectively, Matthew Parris for his What's smug and deserves to be decapitated? article :twisted: for the first conviction!
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    blu3cat wrote:
    biondino wrote:
    More cyclists, riding legally and considerately ON THE ROAD will make motorists learn to deal with them effectively and calmly.
    In principle I agree, but to my mind, all cyclists would have to be exemplary, to a degree far beyond what is required for motorists, so make much difference. Even then, since we are abused for "holding people up", i.e. just being there, I do not imagine that we would be exempt from abuse, since cycling predictably, according to the rules, on the left of a straight bit of road is also irritating to motorists. I get most abuse for being "slow" (i.e. a bicycle) and being assertive (e.g. not stopping by parked cars in order to let cars overtake me).

    So my point is that whilst some cyclists are censored , they way we are treated as a whole is not consistent with how bad cyclists are as a whole, or which rules (if any) are broken.

    I agree to a certain extent, but the better we become as a cycling community the less we will be viewed as a dangerous nuisance.

    Although.....

    Unfortunately it seems to be human nature to stereotype people, eg White Van (wo)men etc, I have seen exemplary driving from WVM, bus drivers and black cab drivers. Cyclists are the same, and I have seen some utterly shocking behaviour by cyclists. Everyone seems to remember the bad riding / driving and not the good.

    Surely if we wish to be taken seriously as traffic on the roads, in cycle lanes or not, then we should behave like traffic, and that includes obeying the rules of the road (including Red Lights)

    Do other slower road users get similar trouble from car drivers (such as motobility cart users)?
    Much less so, because it is far less socially encouraged.
    I do behave like traffic. Even so, other road users don't regard me as traffic. That is the problem. No one has ever had a go at me for running a red light, because I don't, or riding on a pavement, because I don't. I have, however, been told to get off the road many times. Ironic, really.
    Absolutely the only solution is for more people to be forced onto bikes (and I use the word forced in context).
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,386
    Just had an idea,

    All public employees, including MP's, are to hand back their our-tax-paid-for cars and be given bikes.
    Just watch the legislation change priorities :shock:

    Ain't gonna happen though :cry:
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
Sign In or Register to comment.