Tuesday 5 October 2010

What's he yelling? Something about a cycle track

A finger stabbing gesture accompanies this man's expression of view that I should not be on the road; I should be on the cycle track.  His mate the driver obviously agrees, assuming he is in control of the horn.  To be fair, he did take the trouble to move over (a tiny bit) which differentiates this driver from the ones that try to squeeze me off the road.  As for the shouting, I am a lawyer who believes in free speech, however strongly I dissent from the view being expressed.

Here is the cycletrack alongside the A30 which they would like me to use.  It is, like most, cycling infrastructure completely unsuitable if you wish to get anywhere in anything approaching a hurry.  It is also built in either ignorance or defiance of all relevant design standards.

I used to use this track when I first started tentatively commuting by bike.  It took me at least 30 minutes longer than it does using the road, and with the numerous junctions and the requirement to give way to vehicles approaching from all directions, I was less safe.
There is though a pervasive attitude that cyclists should use cycle lanes, highlighted by the daft conviction of Daniel Cadden and the wishy-washy compromise wording in rule 61 of the Highway Code.  We were saved from even worse wording.  However it should read:
"Cycle Routes and Other Facilities.  Use of these facilities is not compulsory.  The choice as to whether to use them or not is yours and your decision will depend upon your level of experience and skills, as well as the prevailing traffic conditions."
I am all for optional segregated cycling facilities, but not for surrendering the general road network to the exclusive use of the motorist.  Motorists have motorways; when not on a Motorway they should share the road.


  1. Maybe we are being too soft on motorists; motorways are for cars, stay off our roads.

  2. That cycle lane gives way to what appears to be an entrance to a hedge.

    I think that sums up the priorities of the people who planned it, and its consequent quality.

  3. On balance I think I'd use the cycle track and leave half an hour earlier

  4. Seriously, the Highway Authority have provided a cycle lane well away from the traffic and you're still complaining? What is wrong with this lane? It looks perfectly good to me, except that it leaves nowhere for pedestrians to walk.

    Once you start paying road tax for your bicyle then I'll accept that you can get on your high (and very pompous) horse about who uses the road.

    By the way, if you're in a rush one morning, how about using a car or a motorbike rather than riding a push bike in what looks like quite a fast road?

  5. Road tax? ROAD TAX? Road tax was abolished in 1937 by, I believe, the great Winston Churchill. I think what you're referring to is the MVED tax, which differs to what kind of car one drives and the emissions level. My little Toyota has a road tax (sic) of £30 a year. I presume this means I am only allowed to drive on Wednesday afternoons and those who are in the £400+ a year bracket can drive when they want to.

    MVED isn't linked to who can and can't use the roads. Road building, road repairs, road blah-di-blah, etc, comes from general taxation; all that money that goes into the big pot and gets spent on the NHS and asylum seekers.

    From what I have seen, cycle lanes appear to be built with Old Grannies and Mums taking their tots to school in mind.

  6. Phatboy -

    Perhaps you should just typed UGGGHHH.

    That would have had the double virtue of being more concise, and also less ill-informed and moronic.

  7. Phatboy's views are required to balance this debate. However, he is as has been correctly identified by previous commenters, a moron.