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Tuesday, 06 May 2014
Some observations in Bath

A few things that I noticed in Bath on Sunday, are illustrated in this video:

  1. Some drivers feel they must get in front.
  2. A driver seems to contemplate left hooking me, and then holds back.
  3. A three-metre long cycle lane (not surprisingly highly underutilised).
  4. Drivers are actually held up by other drivers in their cars.

Over the past weekend I did the Bristol-Bath cycle way, the River Avon cycle way (between Bristol and Avonmouth) and the Two Tunnels cycle way around Bath.  These are decent, segregated paths suitable for the whole family (with a few exceptions in places, mainly due to poor surfaces).

I found that these paths are not properly linked up (especially through the cities of Bath and Bristol). I was not surprised to see families driving to locations with bicycles where they would park and commence their bicycle journey, indicating that people did not feel safe to cycle from home.  I found that a bicycle is the most efficient way around the centre of the two small cities of Bath and Bristol. However bicycles are not very well provided for in the cities. The route marking (which is barely adequate in the off-street routes) is pathetic and impossible to follow through city traffic. (The route markers are small stickers attached to lampposts and the like, so they are not always at the intersection, nor do they give you an indication of when to prepare to turn).  I wonder if this suits the people responsible, Sustrans, who make money selling maps of the routes? In cities, the car is still “king” and the roads have been designed to give the drivers the impression that they have priority over others.  There are sections designed for faster/smoother traffic, with no bicycle lane or segregation (although there is loads of space, if those cities wanted to create proper space for cycling). This design is similar to York, in that I felt it encourages drivers to “race” to overtake even though they are going to be held up in traffic again 100 metres further down the road. There are no clear and safe routes linking up the various showcase off-road cycleways.  Bicycles are therefore encouraged off the road.  I can’t imagine that it is safe for children to cycle to school in either Bath or Bristol.

Posted by bigblue on 06/05/2014 at 07:37 AM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

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