Highway Code Consultation

The consultation about the new Highway Code is out at last. It came as no surprise that there appears to be nothing positive in it for cyclists but what can you expect when it comes from the “Driving standards agency”. My favourite addition is this in Rule 63:

  • be aware of traffic coming up behind you

and what are you supposed to do? Vanish? I'm constantly aware of traffic coming up behind me mostly when it can't get passed safely (not that that always stops people trying). I can understand looking behind before turning right or filtering right or when approaching a junction where you may have to stop as you have to position yourself so that you claim your road space, but this just seems to be pointless advice. A cynic might suggest it has been added to allow drivers to run over cyclists from behind and then claim that the “cyclist was unaware of me” so it was not their fault. While I don't really think this is why they have added this is shows the extent that this cyclist feels that the rules of the road are not written to encourage cyclists, who need more not less protection from other road users. However this is not the worst.


The worst is this:


Use cycle routes where practicable and cycle facilities such as advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings where they are provided, as they can make your journeys safer.


Note the can, not do. The thing about this is that most cycle routes and facilities are actually more dangerous for the cyclists, impractical to use unless you are ready to dismount very regularly and accept the additional risks that they pose. I'm sure there must be a good one somewhere I have however yet to find it. Since 95% of accidents happen at junctions and cycle routes and paths tend to increase the number of junctions amnd then place the cyclists in a place where drivers don't expect vehicles to be this suddenly does not suprise. Again this will offer a get out for motorists who run over cyclists simply say that they there was a cycle “facility” that was available.


So I am completing the feedback using StarOffice8 and will send it back to them as both a doc and a Open Document.


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Comments:

The cycle routes being built in the UK are dangerous IMHO. The existing pedestrian path is widened which is good and the idea is both cyclists and pedestrians share it. That is not so bad. But clearly in a bid to save costs they leave the lamposts and other 'roadware' in the path still adding to a potential disaster..

Posted by Paul Humphreys on March 01, 2006 at 12:18 AM GMT #

Well I disagree that peds and cyclists sharing the same space is a good idea in the first place.

It fails to solve the problem of junctions which is where the cyclist is at greatest risk in fact it makes it worse. Also it then puts peds and cyclists into conflict. Peds are unique in that they can turn on a sixpence and can change direction very quickly. This makes passing them hazadous if they are unaware of your approach. Ringing your bell often intimidates them or makes them "jump" so that they then step into your path.

That the implemntation of the bad idea is then appauling just adds to the problem.

Also as as I noted this morning cyclepaths are not treated for ice. Lucky I was on the road.

The correct and safest place for cyclists is with the other vehicles, on the road.

Posted by Chris Gerhard on March 01, 2006 at 03:14 AM GMT #

Many so called cycle lanes that I come across don't go anywhere; I presume the develeoper has had to put them in as the path runs past the development and then just ends. For example in Deepcut the path just ends at the base of a tree, while in Farnborough one path runs through a chainlinked fence without any warnings! The path has been rerouted further back but no signs have been erected.

Furhter information on bicycle lane/route safety or lack thereof.

Posted by Stacey Marshall on March 02, 2006 at 02:09 AM GMT #

Any chance of some photos of those farcilities?

Posted by Chris Gerhard on March 02, 2006 at 02:39 AM GMT #

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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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