Is it a wide bike lane? Is it a parking bay? Confusion reigns in Loughborough

Council perplexes drivers with unusually generous cycling space

by John Stevenson   January 13, 2014  

Loughborough sign (CC licensed by mattingham:Flickr)

Leicestershire County Council has caused a bit of confusion by painting sensibly-wide cycle lanes in Loughborough, but perhaps marking them less clearly than they could have. As a result, drivers are mistaking them for parking bays.

Cynics might say that too many drivers think bike lanes are some sort of parking facility anyway, but in this case there’s good reason.

The advisory lanes – marked with a broken line – are in Fennel Street and Lemyngton Street and are 1.5m wide. The council says that’s a standard width; given the teensy bike lanes in many places, that implies there are as many standards for bike lanes as there are for headsets.

According to the Loughborough Echo, the lanes get wider along Lemyngton Street, which was widened last year as part of the construction on the Inner Relief Road in the town centre.

The width of the lane and lack of parking restrictions means it’s easily mistaken for parking space.

One motorist, who asked not to be named, told the Echo the spaces looked wider than regular cycle lanes, and said: “I was surprised to see parking because it’s going to be such a busy road with heavy traffic but there were white lines on both sides of the road and cars were parked down both sides so I assumed they were parking spaces.

“Every day from 7.30am these parking spaces are full and the same cars are still parked there later in the day.”

Lemyngton Street before widening (©Google StreetView)

Google StreetView shows that Lemyngton Street had double yellow lines in the spot where the Echo’s photograph of cars parked in the lanes was taken.

The new parking space bike lanes on Lymington Street (© Loughborough Echo)

However, round the corner in Fennel Street the continuation of the lane already has double yellow lines and drivers are still parking in it.

The council says the lanes were painted on September 25 last year, and it intends Lymington Street to be no waiting and no loading at any time. New traffic regulation orders will be advertised in Febriuary and, along with double yellow lines, will come into action in spring.

Perhaps the council will also consider marking the cycle lanes with the solid white line that designates a mandatory lane, and help reduce confusion.

14 user comments

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As a result, drivers are mistaking them for parking bays. :rollseyes:

posted by northstar [1113 posts]
13th January 2014 - 21:57


As yes the ex-spurts mess up again. Poorly thought out waste of tax payers money. Guess when the red tape is sorted it will be a safer place to cycle. Well done.

We're all entitled to a reasonable opinion!

posted by Guyz2010 [298 posts]
13th January 2014 - 22:29


> Perhaps the council will also consider marking the cycle lanes with the solid white line that designates a mandatory lane, and help reduce confusion.

If there's room for a painted white line there's room for a solid barrier. That way, you don't have to bother with parking restrictions.

posted by Peowpeowpeowlasers [258 posts]
13th January 2014 - 22:56


Round the corner from me:

A filter lane for cycles at the traffic lights (with our own light), double yellow lines, fenced at the kerb, and solid barriers on the road....with a gap in between front of the chinese restaurant...and that's where they park.

posted by bazzargh [147 posts]
13th January 2014 - 23:20


from today's online Daily Mail
"Customers claim they have been forced to park in a bus stop outside Tesco Express in Hall Green, Birmingham - after the supermarket blocked off its parking spaces." Worried

antigee's picture

posted by antigee [257 posts]
14th January 2014 - 0:21


1.5m wide is really rather narrow, miniumum standard is supposed to be 1.8m. And there are almost no cars that will fit a 1.5m wide lane anyway.

posted by Al__S [881 posts]
14th January 2014 - 10:11


Mandatory lanes require further TROs which seems to be why most councils shy away from them...

posted by pjt201 [101 posts]
14th January 2014 - 10:11


Concrete planters at 2m spacings. Sorted.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [944 posts]
14th January 2014 - 10:15


This is exactly why segregation is important. It only takes 1 person to park blocking a cycle lane to make it pretty much entirely useless. No more paint.

posted by teaboy [289 posts]
14th January 2014 - 10:24


On enforcement:
As I understand it, mandatory lanes shouldn't have double yellow lines, advisory ones can. Double yellows can be enfoced by local authority parking officers, but entering a bike lane as yet can't (there's actually legislation passed to allow LA enforcement of such infringements, but it hasn't been activated). So only police can issue tickets for entering mandatory cycle lanes. Where parking is a problem, therefore, an ACL with double yellows is a better solution- but not as good as a seperated lane and double yellows, as they apply from the centreline of the main carriageway all the way to the highway boundary, including any pavement, cycle way or verge.

posted by Al__S [881 posts]
14th January 2014 - 12:32


maybe they did it on purpose. thats a lot of tickets they can legitimately issue,. all the cars are on double yellow lines!

Feel the fear and do it anyway

hood's picture

posted by hood [117 posts]
14th January 2014 - 12:38


I ride down this road most days. As i understand it they simply haven't painted the double yellow's in yet, so drivers are taking advantage of this.

It'll be really nice when the bike lanes are 'open'. The new surface on the inner relief road is also super fast!

posted by bearvelo [1 posts]
14th January 2014 - 14:25


Lemyngton Street and Lymington Street. No wonder the council are confused!

posted by congokid [233 posts]
14th January 2014 - 14:42


Paint a picture of a bike in it? I think that's been done before...

chrisl's picture

posted by chrisl [48 posts]
14th January 2014 - 15:50