cycle paths

ianbar
ianbar Posts: 1,354
edited November 2013 in Road general
a friend has a silly woman (that bit i am sure of) shouting at him telling him to get on the cycle path and off the road. now the cycle path actually ended about half a mile back, now this led to a few thoughts...

if there is a cycle path what responsibility do we have to actually use it and not the road? i often pass a stretch that has a cycle path but none of these do i ever feel riding 20mph on for example. i do often wonder if anyone is going to shout at me to get off the road.
enigma esprit
cannondale caad8 tiagra 2012

Comments

  • Cygnus
    Cygnus Posts: 1,879
    From the highway code
    63
    Cycle lanes

    These are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). When using a cycle lane, keep within the lane when practicable. Before leaving a cycle lane check that it is safe to do so and signal your intention clearly to other road users. Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.
  • JackPozzi
    JackPozzi Posts: 1,191
    Quoted from DoT advice here http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/archive/2004/ltnwc/annexdcodeofconductnoticefor1688
    Ride at a sensible speed for the situation and ensure you can stop in time. As a general rule, if you want to cycle quickly, say in excess of 18 mph/30 kph, then you should be riding on the road.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    If there is a valid no cycling sign, by-law, motorway or other prohibited road. Apart from that ride where you like.

    We shouldn't need to justify why we don't ride in them it should be our choice. That said if its the safest place to be, there is no need to be stubborn.
  • There is one stretch of cycle path (not a cycle lane) on my commute that is now carpeted by a decent layer of recently fallen leaves - so now I regard this as being more dangerous to me than the 60mph limit road that it follows, especially as living in Cumbria, those leaves are always wet.

    This begs the question - who, if anyone, is responsible for keeping these paths clear and safe? The council? The Highways agency? Nobody?
    I'm talking about the shared pedestrian/cyclist paths, not the 'paint on the side of the road' cycle lanes.
  • ianbar wrote:
    if there is a cycle path what responsibility do we have to actually use it and not the road?

    None.
  • rpherts
    rpherts Posts: 207
    Sometimes they are the safest place to be, other times they are just a thin strip of Tarmac painted green, which mysteriously does not make you impervious to being struck by cars.

    The best response to that woman was to invite her to instead concentrate on her own business. An invitation to eff off probably wouldn't go amiss either.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    diy wrote:
    If there is a valid no cycling sign, by-law, motorway or other prohibited road. Apart from that ride where you like.

    We shouldn't need to justify why we don't ride in them it should be our choice. That said if its the safest place to be, there is no need to be stubborn.

    That's the problem though isn't it - we can consider where we're best placed to be - a cyclepath may not be suitable for all sorts of reasons - I don't use one on my commute because the start of it is a muddy track and the remaining bit is a footpath - it's quicker to go on the road! - but drivers don't appreciate our whys and wherefores - they see there is a cyclepath so assume a cyclist should be on it - it's a fair assumption even if it's not valid ...

    That's why I have mixed views on cyclepaths (not the painted lines on the road) - they're great if they go where you want them to, are properly kept or if you're wanting to stay away from traffic, not so good if you're quite happy to act like another vehicle on the road ...
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    I had a nutty old woman leap into the road and start waving her arms about in front of me a couple of weeks ago. All to inform me I should be on the shared use pavement (rather than the fairly empty, quiet road that I was riding along at 35-40kph)!

    There are roads where I will use the cyclepaths at the side and moderate my pace to suit (very busy, fast dual carriageways etc.), but many of them are not much use for an experienced, reasonably fast cyclist.
  • Even local authorities don't seem to understand that that muddy, potholed, gravel track might not be ideal for cycling. (and that's just the main roads ;))
  • simona75
    simona75 Posts: 336
    I just got back from Northern California and using cycle lans is madatory there. However nearly every road in the area I stayed (Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz) had a bike lane. They were wide, well marked and useable. In addition on rural roads popular with cyclists they have these signs everywhere

    Bicycle-May-Use-Full-Lane.jpg

    For a state so obsessed with the car they are doing great things for cyclists
  • rpherts
    rpherts Posts: 207
    I might stop cars in my local street and ask why they are using it as a rat run and not the main roads.
  • jotko
    jotko Posts: 457
    edited November 2013
    I get this shouted at me every few months on this strip of road between Bath and Bristol on my commute

    28sbn90.jpg

    The 'cycle path' is a tiny strip of pavement that is usually full of pedestrians, it is actually not possible to ride your bike on it at all most mornings. Doesn't stop helpful drivers beeping their horns an pulling up along side telling me I should get off the road because there is a cycle path.
  • I don't mind using shared use paths especially alongside dual carriageways etc, but I wouldn't use that. It's just a pavement with blue signs - it's not suitable for cycling.
  • Usually they are smoother and in better nick than the roads!

    However it depends. I try and use them as much as I can - they are mostly handy on busy narrow A roads.
  • mpatts
    mpatts Posts: 1,010
    I live in Milton Keynes. The redways here are (mostly) excellent, and despite it being a little slower most places (in my opinion of course) its madness to ride on anything else.

    That said, when it hits country roads/non dual carriageway, I *tend* to jump on the road - usually because the cycle paths are too narrow. it's up to you - and it's up to drivers to pass you (me) safely.

    As a spot of advice, I usually engage such people in a conversation about how calculators where banned when I was at school - which included my calculator pencil case. Made me mad I tell you.
    Insert bike here:
  • rpherts
    rpherts Posts: 207
    jotko wrote:
    I get this shouted at me every few months on this strip of road between Bath and Bristol on my commute

    28sbn90.jpg

    The 'cycle path' is a tiny strip of pavement that is usually full of pedestrians, it is actually not possible to ride your bike on it at all most mornings. Doesn't stop helpful drivers beeping their horns an pulling up along side telling me I should get off the road because there is a cycle path.

    To call that a cycle path is just embarrassing. But, somewhere in officialdom, that counts as 'n' miles of cycle path, regardless of how shit it is.

    A poster above mentioned Milton Keynes. Much maligned as the New Towns are, they often have excellent cycle provision. Stevenage has a lot of good, safe wide paths separated from traffic.
  • morstar
    morstar Posts: 6,190
    I've recently converted to using some of the cyclepaths between Chorley and the far side of Preston as opposed to the roads. Have had minimal bother on the roads to date but riding in traffic just hasn't been my cup of tea since I was about 23 and used to ride like a courier ( I.e. fast and reckless).

    I reckon all things being equal the cycle paths add about 5-10 mins to a 23.5 mile commute but, I completely remove around 6 miles of riding in heavy urban traffic. This includes two very dangerous exits from motorway roundabouts where you find yourself in the outside lane with a feeder lane joining you from your left. What's even better is that most of those 6 miles are through a nature reserve and alongside the Ribble. When cycle paths are like this it's an easy decision to swap but I know this is far from the norm.
  • morstar wrote:
    What's even better is that most of those 6 miles are through a nature reserve and alongside the Ribble.

    Where is this? I moved to Farington (Leyland) a few months ago and I'm looking for a few new nice rides. Usually head to Bretherton, Croston etc. which is nice enough but a little dull at times.
  • Stedman
    Stedman Posts: 377
    rpherts wrote:
    jotko wrote:
    I get this shouted at me every few months on this strip of road between Bath and Bristol on my commute

    28sbn90.jpg

    The 'cycle path' is a tiny strip of pavement that is usually full of pedestrians, it is actually not possible to ride your bike on it at all most mornings. Doesn't stop helpful drivers beeping their horns an pulling up along side telling me I should get off the road because there is a cycle path.

    To call that a cycle path is just embarrassing. But, somewhere in officialdom, that counts as 'n' miles of cycle path, regardless of how shoot it is.

    A poster above mentioned Milton Keynes. Much maligned as the New Towns are, they often have excellent cycle provision. Stevenage has a lot of good, safe wide paths separated from traffic.

    Have a look at page 41 of the Department of Transport Local Transport Note 1/12. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... clists.pdf

    It clearly does not meet this specification and I also suspect that it does not even meet the DOT requirements for a pedestrian footpath.
  • morstar wrote:
    What's even better is that most of those 6 miles are through a nature reserve and alongside the Ribble.

    Where is this? I moved to Farington (Leyland) a few months ago and I'm looking for a few new nice rides. Usually head to Bretherton, Croston etc. which is nice enough but a little dull at times.
    Don't know about the specific route referred to, but the Preston Guild Wheel has been getting lots of good mentions from riders I've met from the area. ~20 miles almost all traffic free loop right round Preston. I've not ventured that far south on my bike yet, but I'm planning on heading that way. I don't expect it to be a fast blast, but it'll be a nice potter.
    There is one stretch of cycle path (not a cycle lane) on my commute that is now carpeted by a decent layer of recently fallen leaves.
    Low Wood to Windermere by any chance? I've had a bus driver try to force me off the road along there because I HAVE to be on the crappy litter, leaf and log-strewn path that stops every 20 yards for yet another bl@@dy driveway. Judging by the state of most of the cycle paths in the area, I reckon they just leave them until someone complains. The path alongside the A590 between Levens and the old road was overgrown earlier this year, to the point that a bike couldn't fit. The path between Plantation Bridge & Staveley was getting a bit overgrown too. I emailed Cumbria county council and both were tidied up fairly quickly.
  • anthdci
    anthdci Posts: 543
    There is one on my commute that must be 50-60meters at very most, and finishes right in the middle of a junction. You can only get onto it from the road too. There is also a sign in the middle of it and usual a van parked right next to said sign so you have to stop then shuffle past. Much easier and more importantly safer to just stay on the road with the rest of the traffic.

    This is the location, you can follow it down to see how short it is. You can even see the offending van which is unusually parked before the cycle lane rather than in it.
    https://maps.google.co.uk/?ll=54.926012,-1.453827&spn=0.001073,0.002304&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=54.92602,-1.453976&panoid=F72X3TzfHHsZQUQ1g0VftA&cbp=12,247.01,,0,7.54

    For those that cant be bothered here is a snip of streetview of it. Bare in mind where the image is taken from is a set of lights controlling traffic into this junction. I have circled the end of cycle lane sign.
  • That's a filter lane to direct cyclists onto the pavement as the cycle symbol on the pavement indicates. Not sure what happens after that however.
  • anthdci
    anthdci Posts: 543
    That's a filter lane to direct cyclists onto the pavement as the cycle symbol on the pavement indicates. Not sure what happens after that however.

    yea it is, however it goes a bit tits up when you get to the junction and the cycle lane just ends giving you the option of continuing on the path, or bouncing off the curb onto the road in the middle of the junction....
  • morstar
    morstar Posts: 6,190
    morstar wrote:
    What's even better is that most of those 6 miles are through a nature reserve and alongside the Ribble.

    Where is this? I moved to Farington (Leyland) a few months ago and I'm looking for a few new nice rides. Usually head to Bretherton, Croston etc. which is nice enough but a little dull at times.

    http://www.preston.gov.uk/yourservices/transport-and-parking/cycle-paths/

    The above link has PDF download of the Preston and South Ribble cycle paths.

    Basically, I take the A6 from Chorley as far as the M6 junction. Then it's cycle paths and alongside the Ribble until out the other side of the docks. If you draw a straight line, it's pretty obvious which ones I use.

    TBH, I would never head towards Preston on a road ride and you're not going to get any fast miles in using the cyle paths. However, when commuting to Blackpool I have decided I'm happy to accept a more broken traverse across Preston for the less stressful and frankly, very pleasant few miles of commute. In total I leave the A6 after 5 miles of my commute and return to unbroken main road riding with exactly 10 miles left to get to work. That makes 8.5 miles of essentially traffic free / minimal traffic riding with only two major junctions to cross.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,480
    Stedman wrote:
    Have a look at page 41 of the Department of Transport Local Transport Note 1/12. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... clists.pdf

    It clearly does not meet this specification and I also suspect that it does not even meet the DOT requirements for a pedestrian footpath.

    A couple of points:-

    LTNs are a collation of 'best practice' and not specifications or design standards.
    The DfT guide for footpath design is HD 39/01. This really only applies to trunk roads but local highway authorities often adopt these standards for use on their roads too. Even this is slightly wooly and makes comments such as "Where possible the footway width should be sufficient to allow two wheelchairs or double buggies to pass". It does give a desirable minimum footway width of 2m and an extreme limit of 1.3m though but I would suggest that footway is more than 1.3m wide.

    I agree that the example in the photo is particularly poor though. I guess it is just intended to enable people who don't want to ride on the road the option to legally ride on the footway but it does open the risk of an ill-informed motorist as the OP received. From that LTN one of the key points I think is "Where it is decided to introduce a shared use facility alongside a road, it is important that the needs of cyclists who choose to remain in the carriageway are not ignored." This should include educating motorists that cyclists don't have to use cycleways where provided.

    As someone who designs roads for a living it is incredibly frustrating trying to design cycle infrastructure due to the lack of a cohesive strategy. We often have to put facilities in for a new development but it won't tie in with anything as there is no existing provision. Also, when push comes to shove and there isn't enough space to provide generally accepted widths for motor vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists it is always the cyclist that gets squeezed first and the motorists last!
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Worth noting that now that it's colder (Cairngorm opened for skiing today) shared use paths aren't gritted, so not very safe.
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  • fnb1
    fnb1 Posts: 591
    insisting a cyclist should only use the cycle path is a bit like insisting the motorist should only be on the motorway?
    fay ce que voudres
  • unixnerd wrote:
    Worth noting that now that it's colder (Cairngorm opened for skiing today) shared use paths aren't gritted, so not very safe.

    Very true. Makes my route options a bit more limited. As there is a shared use path alongside a busy dual carriageway which I use on the first 4 miles of many of my rides - not gritted so from now until Spring it'll be covered in ice and not ridable.

    Same applies to many of the minor roads which cyclists like myself tend to favour, spent much of a ride yesterday riding in the middle of the road because the hedge was shading the left hand side meaning it was covered in frost/ice.