Letters

This article was published in 1999, in Newsletter 27.

Parking for bikes

One of the most inconvenient things about using a bike for me is parking it at home. I have a terraced house with no convenient way to get a bike to the back except by carrying it through the house. I have no front garden, and bikes are often vandalised or stolen if left in the street.

It might help to try providing secure (covered?) parking in the many residential areas where bike parking at home is not convenient; back-street pubs also need parking provision. For example, pay and display parking space is provided in Gwydir Street, the only demand for which is from pub customers. Many people refuse to use their bikes to visit the pub because of the record of theft and vandalism, and perhaps a mix of pay-and-display car parking and more secure bike parking would, in the long term, better serve the needs of both residents and customers. I suspect that only experiment would tell, and more thought about the various options for implementation is undoubtedly needed.

On a similar tack, I’m not aware of any obligation on new residential developments to provide cycle parking, although it’s clearly an issue for flats and terraces. This is something planners should consider. (It seems that some kinds of buildings – e.g. the student hostel once planned near me – have to have bike parking, but it’s not considered relevant for residential properties).

Nick Safford

City Council rules do specify the minimum number of ‘secure cycle spaces’ for all new residential developments.

Parking on pavement

I would echo Liz Cook’s frustrations with the constant pavement parking outside the Brinton’s garage at the Cherry Hinton Road-Hills Road junction.

I have received many complaints about this from local residents and the latest of these were from an elderly gentleman who walks with a stick. As readers will appreciate, it is dangerous for anyone to have to walk in the road when cars block the pavement, even more so if you have difficulties with walking.

I went to see the manager of Brinton’s about a month ago and heard that it is not Brinton’s staff who park so thoughtlessly, but people returning cars after test drives. Brinton’s say they have a member of staff checking the pavement outside the shop regularly to move any cars parked there, but it is a bit of a losing battle. I have asked him to ensure that staff remind customers that they should park in the designated forecourt spaces, not on the pavement.

On Liz’s suggestion, my next step will be to ask Brinton’s to put up a sign reminding motorists that this is illegal! Meanwhile, I’d be interested to hear from Campaign members about any infringements.

Cllr Amanda Taylor e-mail amandataylor@cix.co.uk

Double yellow lines

In Newsletter 26 Clare commented on the fact that the double yellow lines in the Hills Road cycle lane appear to stop motorists parking on it, and suggested ‘I think adding double yellow lines to mandatory cycle lanes could be a very economical way of reducing the scale of the problems posed by illegal parking.’ To my mind this is quite a complex issue. There are three possible courses of action and they all seem wrong!

1. Remove the double yellow lines from Hills Road (after all the cycle lane marking alone is adequate). Result: I am sure most motorists will say ‘Look, it’s no longer a double-yellow-line area: I can now park there’.

2. Add double yellow lines to all mandatory cycle lanes. Result: motorists will say ‘There you are! Only where there are double yellows is parking forbidden.’ And I doubt it will do anything to the problem of motorists encroaching on cycle lanes while moving.

3. Do nothing. Although confusing to motorists who actually notice the difference between Hills Road and Huntingdon Road (for instance) this may well be overall the least confusing option. It is very surprising that no Council official appears to have considered this issue before the painting of the cycle lane line!

Douglas de Lacey

Well, the only other feedback we had on this article was from a motorist (who doesn’t cycle) who said ‘The only things all motorists understand are 30 mph signs, and double-yellow lines – I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to park in cycle lanes!’ To be fair to the City Council, I have been told that there was considerable debate on whether to erase the double-yellow lines on Hills Road, when the new mandatory cycle lane was to be created.

The Bike Bridge again

I just thought I’d inform you that the Rustat Road end of the bike bridge has been blocked again, for two mornings, by City Council vans parked on the southbound edge of the road, making it impossible to pass on the correct side of the bollard.

It’s been discussed at length how this is rather dangerous for cyclists who come off the bridge quickly and turn right to find themselves facing a van.

The council don’t appear to be interested in doing anything about it and the situation has been getting worse over the last couple of years, with the Devonshire Road end now more lethal than ever and Rustat Road blocked more often than ever. I’ve learnt to treat the bridge as the second class facility that it is, and if I’m in any hurry I take the roads instead.

Can I nominate the bridge and its surroundings for a Chocolate Chain this time around?

David Hembrow

And again

I was very interested to read the article in the October Newsletter about the very uneven surface at the bottom of the cycle bridge. On the most recent occasion when I saw the water company digging it up yet again, I asked (I thought politely!) if they could possibly make it smoother when they finished. The initial response from the older of the workers was a very sarcastic ‘oh dear, oh dear’, so I could see that I would not get far with an attitude like that.

However, one of the other men was a little more polite and explained that they had put it back as it had been previously. Obviously, this was not so as I tried to point out the very bumpy surface which partly obscured a picture of a bike on the previously smooth surface.

With attitudes like that I envisage a very long struggle to end the bumpy ride. They do not seem to realise how dangerous it is to have to ride straight out into Devonshire Road into the line of traffic to avoid the bumps once you reach the bottom of the bridge and I think this is an issue of safety, not simply one of discomfort.

Jenni Tokens