Facility of the month

Warrington Cycle Campaign have an excellent feature on their website, called ‘Facility of the month’. In it are exposed some of the worst bits of cycle provision from across the country, demonstrating how useless some so-called ‘cycle facilities’ are. We mentioned this site in Newsletter 63, but it has of course expanded since then.

Sub-standard facilities do so much to damage the situation of cyclists.

Sub-standard facilities do so much to damage the situation of cyclists. They give the impression that something is being done, when such facilities are merely counter-productive. They provide ammunition for those motorists who dislike cyclists, who can then say ‘why should we spend money on cyclists when they don’t use what we already give them’.

Here, with their permission, we reproduce some examples. For more, check out their archive.

Many thanks to Warrington Cycle Campaign for letting us reproduce these photos and captions, and the original photographers for capturing such excellent pictures of the nonsense that cyclists around the UK encounter.

Cyclists Dismount: The ‘Cyclists Dismount’ sign tends to be overused. However, this example on the National Cycle Network Route number 72 on Newtown Road in Carlisle is fully justified. All but the most skilled cyclists would be wise to heed the advice.
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The Thinnest Cyclepath in the East Midlands: This facility in Nottingham presents an elegant solution to the common problem of posts appearing in the middle of cyclepaths. This means that cyclists as wide as 15cm can still legally ride on this pavement.
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Oxford: In keeping with the high tech location outside the Oxford University Science Site, we believe this is the very first cycle path in the UK specifically designed for recumbents.
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Warrington: This decorative post makes a visually striking feature in what would otherwise be a fairly drab stretch of cycle path. We applaud Warrington Borough for going beyond the purely functional and also considering the aesthetic aspects of cycleway design.
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End of Cycle Route: The problem of motorbikes abusing cycle paths is becoming more widespread. We think this solution from York will deter all but the most determined motorcyclists.
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The Coventry Velodrome: This facility is at the heart of Coventry’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics. The state-of-the-art stadium provides covered seating for six spectators, with an uninterrupted view of the 5m sprint pursuit event.
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The Thinnest Cycle Lane in England? It is well known that regular cycling contributes to fitness. The East Riding of Yorkshire Council has designed this cycle lane on the A161 in Goole especially for slim cyclists.
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A Dual Carriageway for Cyclists: We congratulate Coventry City Council for this novel solution to the increasing problem of head on crashes between cyclists using narrow paths. The engineers responsible for this facility noticed how central barriers contribute to making motorways our safest roads and realised that this approach could also be used improve the safety of cycle paths.
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Islington, London: This imaginative cycle bypass scheme optimises the use of limited road space by doubling up as a parking bay at times when it is not being used by cyclists.
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For the cyclist who needs to keep in touch: We applaud British Telecom for this novel contribution to road safety. The dangers of using a mobile phone while cycling are becoming an increasing problem. In order to provide cyclists with a safe and convenient alternative, this phone box has been placed in the middle of the cycle path. Cyclists do not need to make a lengthy or time-consuming detour in order to use the phone.
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The Other Door Zone: A common cause of cycle crashes is for a driver to open their door into the path of a cyclist riding too close to the left hand side of a parked car. Waltham Forest Council have come up with a novel way of preventing this type of crash by placing a cycle path close to the opposite side of the car, well away from the driver’s door.
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A Clearly Marked Cycle Route: We applaud the white line painters of Blackpool. Some cycle facilities can be faded or ambiguous, but in this case there is absolutely no doubt where cyclists are expected to ride.
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Glasgow: Keeping cycle lanes clear of parked cars is a major problem. This solution in Glasgow has been made possible by ensuring that the cycle lane is wide enough to accommodate double yellow lines.
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We applaud Sheffield City Council for the lane markings on this cycle path. A clearly marked centre line helps to ensure that cyclists can keep to their own side of the path and avoid potentially serious head-on collisions.
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Croydon: This innovative shared-use footway/cycle-lane/parking-space has only been made possible by the latest developments in full-suspension mountain bikes. Cycle training courses in Croydon now include a module on riding over parked cars, thus avoiding the hazard of being hit by an opening door.
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Commune with Nature: This cycle path at the junction of Mill Forest Way and Grange Road, Batley shows how the sensitive use of landscaping can enhance the attractiveness of a cycle route. We are particularly impressed by the choice of thorny shrubs to ensure a tactile as well as visual experience.
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