Bath-Bristol path "not the place for reckless speed cycling" says Sustrans after 9-year-old breaks collar bone in collision

Dad calls for better safety measures

by John Stevenson   January 28, 2014  

Bristol Bath Railway Path riders (copyrght samsaundersleeds:Flickr)

Active travel charity Sustrans has said that facilities like the Bristol Bath Railway path are “not the place for reckless speed cycling” after a 9-year-old boy sustained a broken collar bone in a collision on the extremely popular shared-use route.

Sustrans is discussing with the local council and path  managers how the code of conduct can be better promoted after the father of Theo Delves-Broughton wrote to the organisation to call for better safety measures on the path.

According to the Bath Chronicle’s Laura Trem, Theo sustained a broken collar bone when he and an adult rider collided.

Theo was riding with his dad Nic, mum Emma and sister Ava, seven when they encountered two pedestrians on the path. Theo pulled out to overtake them and rode into the path of the oncoming rider, who Nic Delves-Broughton said was travelling “way too fast”.

Both Theo and the other rider came off their bikes in the collision. Theo’s family took him to the Royal United Hospital where doctors found he had broken his collarbone. The condition of the other rider, who stopped and was “very apologetic”, is not known.

Mr Delves-Broughton has written to Sustrans calling for better safety measures on the path, including warning signs to encourage people to slow down and take more care, and marshals at busy times.

Sustrans area manager Jon Usher said: “Traffic-free paths are not the place for reckless speed cycling; they cater to a variety of users by providing a safe, non-threatening environment to travel in.

“Unfortunately, a minority of people on bikes choose to speed as fast as they can on these routes, which makes them less safe for everyone else.”

Mr Delves-Broughton said: “It is a very popular path, especially with families with young children.

“Some cyclists go too fast, and accidents can happen.

“I want more to be done to make people slow down, more care needs to be taken on the path.”

Describing the crash, he said: “The other cyclist was coming way too fast for the crowed conditions on that afternoon.

“It was a terrible accident and both my son and the other rider where thrown from their bikes onto the ground.

“The other cyclist was very apologetic about it.

“If that other cyclist had hit an elderly, frail person with brittle bones the consequences could be dire and even result in a death.

“Something needs to be done to keep the speed down on this particular path.

“It is a very busy path, especially on a Sunday and it is packed with young families with learner riders, dogs, the elderly and infirm and also the idiotic who are unpredictable at best.”

Sustrans area manager Jon Usher added: “The Bath to Bristol path is a shared space so it is important that cyclists and walkers follow a few basic rules to ensure that accidents like this don’t happen.

“We are discussing the issue with South Gloucestershire Council and the Avon & Frome Valley Partnership that manage the Railway Path to see how the code of conduct on shared paths can be more widely promoted.

“As cyclists campaign for greater respect on our roads, it’s vital those of us using bicycles give respect to everyone using traffic-free paths.”

A history of calls to slow down

It's not the first time there have been calls for fast riders to slow down on the Bath-Bristol path. Last July Jon Usher blamed the rise in popularity of drop-handlebar road bikes for an increase in complaints along the path, and in May the organisation threatened to put barriers on some routes if riders did not slow down. In April there were calls for crossing marshals and a 20mph speed limit after Anne Tufney was hit from behind by another cyclist.

It has been pointed out that the Bath-Bristol path, completed in 1986, has been somehting of a victim of its own success. Its current popularity was unforeseen and it was not built with current best practice in mind, which would make it wider and have some separation between pedestrian and cycling areas.

119 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

If someone were to walk their horse on the M1 and it got hurt society would gather round to pile mutual contempt on the feckless owner.

Walk a dog on a shared use cycle path however and thats just peachy.

Why? Motorways are for cars and shared use cycle paths are a PR exercise to convince the greater public that government cares about sustainable transport solutions...eg they are follies not to be confused with credible transport links.

I presume the TDF organisation will snub British government officials when the VIP passes are being issued given their completely hostile attitude towards the two wheeled tax dodging lycra lout?

Hating our selfish and ignorant car culture

posted by ironmancole [191 posts]
29th January 2014 - 0:41

16 Likes

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

Why is it that the cyclist has to accept the danger posed to them by sharing with cars, yet the pedestrian doesn't have to accept the danger posed to them by sharing with bikes? In both cases the cyclist is apparently there on sufferance.

Why do we not hear that the road (with cyclists) isn't the place for reckless speed from motorists?

Probably because of the same mentality that leads people to go for "a nice drive in the country".

posted by Ush [437 posts]
29th January 2014 - 0:46

1 Like

"We have no evidence that the adult cyclist was belting along knocking out a strava segment, nor that the parents were not trying to control their child."

Go back to the code of conduct. There is nothing in there about "control" of a child. As an adult, a greater burden of responsibility is (rightly) on your shoulders around children.

posted by arfa [542 posts]
29th January 2014 - 6:21

10 Likes

I've not read all the comments, so no idea if this has been said.
But, from reading the post, the child pulled out to overtake pedestrians & was hit by an oncoming cyclist?
According to the father that rider was going far too fast.
I have children we cycle on both roads & shared use paths, my 9yro son always rides in front of me, he is an excellent cyclist, but he is small he can't see the road/path ahead as clearly as I can, he can't see over/around parked cars or pedestrians like I can.
The main cycle path we use along the seafront is busy, a constant stream of cyclists & pedestrians going in both directions & yes some cyclists ride faster than they should, but it is my responsibility to ensure my childs safety.
If it's not clear for him to pull out & pass pedestrians then I call out for him to slow down, just the same as if it's clear I'll call out "go for it"
I sympathise this child got injured, and I do believe there should be a 'speed limit' set on these sort of paths, clearly signed, OK it wont stop all the racers, but maybe it would make the majority, think & slow down.
But at the end of the day, if this child was a dog running along the path, around other walkers & into an oncoming cyclists we'd all be blaming the dog owner.

I'm only here for the cake

Dizzy's picture

posted by Dizzy [66 posts]
29th January 2014 - 8:26

14 Likes

arfa wrote:

As I have said elsewhere, the battle for cycling is nothing to do with those of us who already do, it is the 60% who want to, but are too afraid to do so. That is what sustrans are doing and that is where the battle will be won

It won't be won by failing to keep up with the capacity needed and then reacting to the obvious consequences by flaming the users instead of the councils who are failing to provide enough capacity to keep up with traffic growth.

Contrast the failure to expand the Bristol to Bath cycle routes with the dualling of the A4 and the expansions of parallel A roads.

posted by a.jumper [727 posts]
29th January 2014 - 8:40

18 Likes

arfa wrote:
the battle for cycling is nothing to do with those of us who already do, it is the 60% who want to, but are too afraid to do so. That is what sustrans are doing and that is where he battle will be won

Which means providing routes that achieve a job that is currently done by cars, unless you consider more leisure cyclists a good thing, and are happy that Monday to Friday they continue to drive to work.

Sorry but I have little interest in increasing the numbers of leisure cyclists, we need people to see cycling to the shops, to work as normal. The two ways to achieve this, make driving as hard as possible and make cycling as easy as possible.

This means good tracks, that go where people want to go.

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1365 posts]
29th January 2014 - 8:48

16 Likes

Quote:
“It is a very busy path, especially on a Sunday and it is packed with young families with learner riders, dogs, the elderly and infirm and also the idiotic who are unpredictable at best.”

I'm glad he's not specified what type of path user is idiotic, I've seen some pretty unpredictable pedestrians on that path before.

I'm so lazy I'd rather order something off Wiggle than go to the shops for Haribo...

posted by Mr Jono [106 posts]
29th January 2014 - 9:26

11 Likes

So we want drivers to use caution and respect cycles on the roads shared by bikes and cars, but aren't prepared to use caution and respect pedestrians on paths shared by cycles and walkers? That's what it sounds like reading some of these comments.

Anyone who thinks cycles should have some kind of right of way on these paths is squarely in the same mould as Clarkson.

Yes, pedestrians need to do their bit too, but as the faster users cyclists are ultimately responsible for controlling their speed around other slower users, especially children & dogs who can be expected to behave erratically. Speed up if it's clear, slow down if it isn't - is that so terribly difficult? If that doesn't fit what you want to do, don't use the path.

posted by 3cylinder [70 posts]
29th January 2014 - 9:39

12 Likes

rogermerriman wrote:

I know you think it says a dog must be on a lead, but it says nothing of the case.

It's this.

"Out of control

Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:
....
makes someone worried that it might injure them
....
A dog being off the lead or even coming up to you is not out of control.

I don't have a problem with dogs, I like dogs and tend to audibly greet them, surprised dogs can be erratic.
.

Think about it, if someone feels that the dog MIGHT injure them, you may not have a problem with dogs, plenty do though.

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1365 posts]
29th January 2014 - 9:45

8 Likes

arfa wrote:
"We have no evidence that the adult cyclist was belting along knocking out a strava segment, nor that the parents were not trying to control their child."

Go back to the code of conduct. There is nothing in there about "control" of a child. As an adult, a greater burden of responsibility is (rightly) on your shoulders around children.

This made up code of conduct by Sustrans, what is it? I mean its not legally binding, it can never be enforced and wouldnt stand up in court, so what is the point of it?

I appreciate some of the work Sustrans have done but their targets are 1) weekend leisure cyclists 2) children 3) students. They are not speaking for me as a weekend club rider and week commuter, they seem to go quite on issues relating to myself and safer roads yet the Sustran cycle routes I have used in Leeds are the most anti commuter routes you can imagine, its safer and quicker on the roads.

Leodis's picture

posted by Leodis [239 posts]
29th January 2014 - 10:03

12 Likes

I hope we can agree that Sustrans opens up routes to cyclists. We may not like shared routes but it is access to a route that did not previously exist. There are plenty of people who hate shared routes who are not cyclists, a good example being the petitioners who want shared access ended on Wandsworth & Tooting common, which would force cyclists back on to dangerous roads (similar to the A4 in this story). It sounds like there are plenty of non cyclists who used sections of this route before and not everyone welcomes the arrival of cyclists. Sustrans should be applauded for getting over this first hurdle. Guess what ? Some of these tracks get tarmaced and become even more accessible. However this doesn't have a snowflakes chance in hell of happening if cyclists behave like numpties on it. Remember, we are like the new kid arriving at school, no one likes self centred gobshites.
As for legal force, I fear it is going to take an injured party suing to demonstrate to some people that there are standards you need to adhere to or else you will be found liable for your negligence. Sustrans have gone to the bother of spelling them out for you. If I were in any doubt, I'd read them, take them on board and adhere to them to make sure I don't become the test case.

posted by arfa [542 posts]
29th January 2014 - 10:27

18 Likes

Quote:
Sustrans have gone to the bother of spelling them out for you. If I were in any doubt, I'd read them, take them on board and adhere to them to make sure I don't become the test case.

And if Sustrans have ignored the DfT guidelines and accidents occur then aren't they also in the firing line for creating substandard paths? Exactly the same as those calling for corporate manslaughter against TfL?

Yes people should use common sense, but they won't we all know that! So it is Sustrans job to ensure the paths are fit for purpose. Once they have decided what that purpose is!

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1365 posts]
29th January 2014 - 10:41

9 Likes

3cylinder wrote:
So we want drivers to use caution and respect cycles on the roads shared by bikes and cars, but aren't prepared to use caution and respect pedestrians on paths shared by cycles and walkers? That's what it sounds like reading some of these comments.

Well, we're prepared to do so, but can't we also expect other cycles and walkers to use caution and respect too? This coverage seems like a one-sided pile-in except for these comments.
Quote:
Speed up if it's clear, slow down if it isn't - is that so terribly difficult? If that doesn't fit what you want to do, don't use the path.

It probably looked clear enough to the other rider until the child swerved out.

Don't use the path? OK, so if we don't like the cycle-hostile A roads (which the Councils that Used to Be Avon occasionally refuse to make cycle-friendlier because most cyclists use the BBRP), shall we all just give up this cycling for transport lark and drive instead? Confused

posted by a.jumper [727 posts]
29th January 2014 - 10:42

19 Likes

mrmo wrote:
rogermerriman wrote:

I know you think it says a dog must be on a lead, but it says nothing of the case.

It's this.

"Out of control

Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:
....
makes someone worried that it might injure them
....
A dog being off the lead or even coming up to you is not out of control.

I don't have a problem with dogs, I like dogs and tend to audibly greet them, surprised dogs can be erratic.
.

Think about it, if someone feels that the dog MIGHT injure them, you may not have a problem with dogs, plenty do though.

Even so a dog off the lead behaving normally isn't going to be Dangerously out of control, even if it's out of control, it has to be Dangerously so and that's a big hurdle, to prove, being barked at because it was surprised or what ever isn't going to cut it. Courts do use common sense, believe it or not

On a shared path if you can't cope with dogs being about it's the wrong choice for you.

To be fair Sustrans I'm not sure they could get cycle motorways, and to be honest it's not their target.

posted by rogermerriman [35 posts]
29th January 2014 - 11:34

13 Likes

rogermerriman wrote:
On a shared path if you can't cope with dogs being about it's the wrong choice for you.

Massively disagree, it's not a park (particularly in the portion of the path that is within Bristol and within Bath), it is a route for people to get from A to B.

A dog doesn't have to be aggressive to be dangerous, it just has to move into the path of a cyclist at the wrong moment.

Asolare

posted by Goldfever4 [170 posts]
29th January 2014 - 11:49

10 Likes

rogermerriman wrote:

On a shared path if you can't cope with dogs being about it's the wrong choice for you.

So as a pedestrian or cyclist i have no right to use a public space and be left alone by dogs is basically what you are saying? and I thought this was about reckless cyclists!

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1365 posts]
29th January 2014 - 11:52

12 Likes

mrmo wrote:
rogermerriman wrote:

On a shared path if you can't cope with dogs being about it's the wrong choice for you.

So as a pedestrian or cyclist i have no right to use a public space and be left alone by dogs is basically what you are saying? and I thought this was about reckless cyclists!

Shared paths tend to have dog walkers, if that is a problem for you, then it's not a wildly great choice for you. nothing more or less

Its also not unreasonable that a dog might approach, it's certainly not dangerously out of control to do so.

if one is traveling fast enough that a dog or child changing direction could cause a collision then you need to slow down.

posted by rogermerriman [35 posts]
29th January 2014 - 12:22

11 Likes

Mr Delves-Broughton said: “It is a very popular path, especially with families with young children.

“Some cyclists go too fast, and accidents can happen.

“I want more to be done to make people slow down, more care needs to be taken on the path.”

Describing the crash, he said: “The other cyclist was coming way too fast for the crowded conditions on that afternoon.

“It was a terrible accident and both my son and the other rider where thrown from their bikes onto the ground.

“The other cyclist was very apologetic about it.

“If that other cyclist had hit an elderly, frail person with brittle bones the consequences could be dire and even result in a death.

“Something needs to be done to keep the speed down on this particular path.

“It is a very busy path, especially on a Sunday and it is packed with young families with learner riders, dogs, the elderly and infirm and also the idiotic who are unpredictable at best.”

-------------------------------------------

Right so what we have is not a commuter (not that it matters in the slightest) but a leisure cyclist cycling on a crowded shared path on a Sunday afternoon, travelling so fast that he was unable to stop in time to prevent a collision with a child.

Not only that but he was travelling so fast that the poor child and this adult halfwit were 'thrown from their bikes onto the ground'.

Right.

You know what, Sorry Kid I Didn't See You isn't good enough. If that was my child I am telling you that he would have needed to have that racing bike surgically removed after I'd parked it securely in his arse crack. The parents are saints.

At the very least, there were two pedestrians and four cyclists coming slowly the other way and this unobservant, inconsiderate or just plain moronic cyclist continued to cycle at a speed sufficient to throw him to the ground in a collision with a child and break the young lad's collar bone i.e. massively faster than walking pace. Totally inappropriate. Totally indefensible.

Reading some of these comments, I don't know whether to laugh or shake my head with pity at the immaturity. The primary purpose of a cycling path (shared or otherwise) is to provide a safer option for those who would prefer not to cycle on the roads. They are not built to save you time on your commute or allow you to average 20mph or whatever. That isn't the criteria for measuring their success.

A shared cycle path that gets you to work 20 mins later than you would have got there on busy roads because you are not a moron and proceed with extreme caution around pedestrians is not a failure and hasn't been badly designed. Using it massively reduced your chances of avoiding a collision, which is its purpose. If you got to work in one piece with massively reduced stress levels, the path did its job.

So if speed and efficiency is your ultimate priority on a bike .... you know where the road is. Good luck.

For the rest of us who would just rather get to our destinations in one piece, shared paths are great at best and better than nothing at worst ... just don't be a muppet around pedestrians, joggers, dog walkers, skateboarders, rollerskaters or anyone else exercising their equal right to share the path with you .... that shouldn't be too onerous a burden, no?

Never in a hurry on a bicycle.

posted by GoingRoundInCycles [134 posts]
29th January 2014 - 12:40

21 Likes

GoingRoundInCycles wrote:

Right so what we have is not a commuter (not that it matters in the slightest) but a leisure cyclist cycling on a crowded shared path on a Sunday afternoon, travelling so fast that he was unable to stop in time to prevent a collision with a child.

Ever heard of shift work? no thought not, you may be surprised to learn that LOTS of people work on every day of the week

Quote:

Not only that but he was travelling so fast that the poor child and this adult halfwit were 'thrown from their bikes onto the ground'.

If you come to an abrupt halt you tend to some off, proves nothing in itself. If the adult was cut up bruised etc you might be on to something.
Right.

Quote:

You know what, Sorry Kid I Didn't See You isn't good enough. If that was my child I am telling you that he would have needed to have that racing bike surgically removed after I'd parked it securely in his arse crack. The parents are saints.

maybe the parents should have told there 9 year old how to ride in a shared environment. That pulling out without looking is probably a bad idea!

Quote:

At the very least, there were two pedestrians and four cyclists coming slowly the other way and this unobservant, inconsiderate or just plain moronic cyclist continued to cycle at a speed sufficient to throw him to the ground in a collision with a child and break the young lad's collar bone i.e. massively faster than walking pace. Totally inappropriate. Totally indefensible.

speed and breaks are unrelated, it is how you land that causes the problem. a crash at 5 mph might break a bone, it might not.

Quote:

Reading some of these comments, I don't know whether to laugh or shake my head with pity at the immaturity. The primary purpose of a cycling path (shared or otherwise) is to provide a safer option for those who would prefer not to cycle on the roads. They are not built to save you time on your commute or allow you to average 20mph or whatever. That isn't the criteria for measuring their success.

If you feel the only point of cycle paths is to get cycles off the road, then IMO they have failed. Or you have incredibly low expectations. IF you want people to stop driving you have to make it attractive not to drive, making journeys longer, more convoluted, mixing dogs, runners, etc. using indirect routes to add even more distance, all of this makes cycling less attractive. It also gives a substantial number of drivers a stick to beat cyclists with, you have your "cyclepath" use it!!!!

Quote:

A shared cycle path that gets you to work 20 mins later than you would have got there on busy roads because you are not a moron and proceed with extreme caution around pedestrians is not a failure and hasn't been badly designed. Using it massively reduced your chances of avoiding a collision, which is its purpose. If you got to work in one piece with massively reduced stress levels, the path did its job.

and a path that takes 20mins longer than the alternative routes won't be used because it takes 20mins longer. If the path is occupied by pedestrians, dogs on extended leads, running loose, it very soon becomes safer to play with the cars because they are predictable in their stupid movements.

Quote:

So if speed and efficiency is your ultimate priority on a bike .... you know where the road is. Good luck.

No I want to get to work in a reasonable time, If I am in a park I expect to see people playing if I am on the road I don't expect people to be playing. Is that hard?

Quote:

For the rest of us who would just rather get to our destinations in one piece, shared paths are great at best and better than nothing at worst ... just don't be a muppet around pedestrians, joggers, dog walkers, skateboarders, rollerskaters or anyone else exercising their equal right to share the path with you .... that shouldn't be too onerous a burden, no?

If the purpose of a shared path is a park, yes, if the purpose of a shared path is transport then it has failed and should never be refered to as a shared path/cycle path or anything else. It is not, is does the chances of getting decent infrastructure in the UK a disservice. So to sum up a bad cycle path is worse than useless.

If you want to create parks and green spaces where people cycle then fine, but you have to design it to accept some will go to fast and stop it happening, people will be people. But DO NOT CALL IT A CYCLE PATH!!!!!!!!

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1365 posts]
29th January 2014 - 13:11

14 Likes

rogermerriman wrote:

Its also not unreasonable that a dog might approach, it's certainly not dangerously out of control to do so.

I assume you have no issue with me killing your dog if it approaches me? I have been bitten I have no interest in repeating the experience. If a dog comes near me that I do not know I will kick the **** out of it.

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1365 posts]
29th January 2014 - 13:12

13 Likes

Right, I am going to be a total pedant here but I am afraid people's "rights" is so often misused that it is serving to stoke up a false sense of entitlement which is leading to so many self centred thought patterns. Most frequently, people are using the term "rights" when they really mean privileges or freedoms. The difference is important as it really clouds judgments.
If you want to understand the difference, have a look here:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wesley_Newcomb_Hohfeld

Over and out.

posted by arfa [542 posts]
29th January 2014 - 13:15

11 Likes

pastaman wrote:
Bravo Goingroundincycles - agree with every word you have written here. I normally keep out these threads, but this one has gone to far. The selfishness and intolerance of some posters on here is simply breath taking - no wonder cycling has such an image problem. Also i love the hypocrisy of the 'victim blaming' going on here - yet in other stories where someone makes the mildest suggestion that a cyclist might want to take a tiny bit of responsibility for their own safety etc. there are howls of indignation / outrage. Its clear that many people posting this crap are not parents and have no idea what they are talking about.

Its as simple as this: if you ride at 20 miles per hour and hit a small child, you could kill them. Think about that. That will live with you for the rest of your life. And no amount of selfrighteous ranting will ever change that. My son nearly got run down in similar circumstances few years ago - I wouldn't have been nearly so restrained as the parents above.

I really dislike the kinds of posts that just make blanket straw-man accusations against unspecified other posters but don't actually engage with anything anyone has actually said.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [751 posts]
29th January 2014 - 13:16

11 Likes

GoingRoundInCycles wrote:
The primary purpose of a cycling path (shared or otherwise) is to provide a safer option for those who would prefer not to cycle on the roads. They are not built to save you time on your commute or allow you to average 20mph or whatever. That isn't the criteria for measuring their success.

Except that the DfT guidance says that they should be designed for 20mph, so it should be one of the criteria for measuring their success.

There's also quite an open question on whether they're safer than the road. They're certainly nicer, but there's lots of dangers on them which aren't present on the road (like erratic users - what would the reaction be if little Theo had done that ill-considered overtake on the A4 and been wiped out by a truck?) and the data is rather mixed (Franklin on Redways http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/digest/2decades.html (has obvious holes though), that paper from Salzburg about bicycle sidepaths http://www.bikexprt.com/bikepol/facil/sidepath/adfc173.htm and so on)... so if safety is one of your criteria for measuring their success, they might be failing there too!

If cycle paths were designed well and kept up with demand like roads do (I'm often reminded of http://lcc.org.uk/articles/what-would-british-roads-look-like-if-we-trea... ), this problem wouldn't be so bad.

Sustrans and the local councils should stop trying to shift the blame off of themselves and onto people who actually try to use the crap they build!

posted by a.jumper [727 posts]
29th January 2014 - 13:24

11 Likes

GoingRoundInCycles wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
But a bike is far less of an 'unnatural contraption' than a motorised vehicle is.

I don't know how you work that one out. Both are human inventions that have nothing to do with nature.

One requires a vast infrastructure to keep it supplied with fuel, for one thing. Are you suggesting, then, that there is no difference between a car and a skateboard or rollerskates? Or high-tech footwear, for that matter?

GoingRoundInCycles wrote:

Quote:
Pedestrians were here first, then bikes then cars. That's the order of priority as far as I'm concerned. It also fits with the hierarchy of threat posed.

Here we part company. Whether I am driving, cycling or riding my motorcycle I consider myself to be a road user, an equal of all other road users and I do not expect any favours. It is my choice to use the roads. I can always walk or use public transport. There is no need for me to be a road user, it is my personal choice to do so, knowing and accepting the implied risks inherent in that choice.

GoingRoundInCycles wrote:

Cyclists and drivers choose to share the same environment

Nope. Its not my choice, its imposed on me by others. If I had the choice I'd not share with motorised vehicles. But I am not given that choice.

You do have that choice. Stop cycling. Walk. Take the bus. You do not have a divine right to pick and choose who you cycle with any more than some uptight Daily Mail reader has the right to tell us to get off the roads because he would feel more comfortable without us weaving through the traffic.

And who exactly died and gave you the authority to decree so imperiously that those should be the only options? (That's really not a choice, given that many distances are too far to walk and the buses are completely and utterly useless)

So, no. I don't accept those should be the only options. Try again.

GoingRoundInCycles wrote:

Quote:
And you haven't addressed the point I was making - a different standard is applied to cyclists sharing paths with pedestrians than for cyclists sharing with motorists. In the first the more "unnatural" method is expected to watch out for the more vulnerable party, but in the latter this rule is not applied in the same way. Its a double-standard.

Because I do not see cycles or motorised transport as in any way different. Both ought to operate separately from pedestrians wherever possible and proceed with utmost caution where it is not.

But where road users are concerned, the same rules apply. I don't have a different mentality when I ride, cycle or drive. If I am going to overtake, I try to do it swiftly, safely give plenty of warning beforehand whether it's a cycle, car, bus ... whatever. I am just another road user and I don't look for or expect special favours from other road users, just courtesy and common sense.

Clearly you are of the "vehicular cycling" cult. Which means at base you are happy for our car-centred (and, importantly, car-subsidising) system to continue as is. There we simply differ fundamentally.

If you seriously are arguing a bike is the same as a car, you are simply deluded. I suggest you take a bike ride up the M1 if that's your view.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [751 posts]
29th January 2014 - 13:26

6 Likes

3cylinder wrote:
So we want drivers to use caution and respect cycles on the roads shared by bikes and cars, but aren't prepared to use caution and respect pedestrians on paths shared by cycles and walkers? That's what it sounds like reading some of these comments.

Anyone who thinks cycles should have some kind of right of way on these paths is squarely in the same mould as Clarkson.

Yes, pedestrians need to do their bit too, but as the faster users cyclists are ultimately responsible for controlling their speed around other slower users, especially children & dogs who can be expected to behave erratically. Speed up if it's clear, slow down if it isn't - is that so terribly difficult? If that doesn't fit what you want to do, don't use the path.

This all seems a bit of a side-issue to me. On leisure routes shared with children and dogs and pedestrians, sure, cyclists shouldn't assume right-of-way, and should be considerate. The cyclist in this incident may-or-may-not have been reckless (we don't really know the exact details but it sounds as if he should have been going more slowly and carefully).

The main point though is that those routes are not enough, and if Sustrans is only about such routes then its addressing a different issue to the one I consider important.

Which isn't a reason to condemn Sustrans, any more than I'd condemn an animal welfare charity for not solving famines in Africa. Just means its an organisation of little relevance to me.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [751 posts]
29th January 2014 - 13:37

8 Likes

mrmo wrote:
GoingRoundInCycles wrote:

Right so what we have is not a commuter (not that it matters in the slightest) but a leisure cyclist cycling on a crowded shared path on a Sunday afternoon, travelling so fast that he was unable to stop in time to prevent a collision with a child.

Ever heard of shift work? no thought not, you may be surprised to learn that LOTS of people work on every day of the week

What difference does it make? If this 'shift worker' chooses a shared path to commute to work on a Sunday afternoon then he should leave extra time for his journey knowing that in all probability the path will be busy and therefore a fair proportion of his journey will be achieved at slightly faster than walking pace. If that isn't good enough, use the road.

Quote:
Quote:
Not only that but he was travelling so fast that the poor child and this adult halfwit were 'thrown from their bikes onto the ground'.

If you come to an abrupt halt you tend to some off, proves nothing in itself. If the adult was cut up bruised etc you might be on to something.

Rolling Eyes The adult cyclist seriously needs to work on his bike skills if he cannot emergency stop from < 8 mph without being thrown to the ground .... he should have scrubbed off a ton of speed and been coasting, covering the brakes long before he approached the group coming towards him. If he had any manners, that is.

Quote:
Quote:
You know what, Sorry Kid I Didn't See You isn't good enough. If that was my child I am telling you that he would have needed to have that racing bike surgically removed after I'd parked it securely in his arse crack. The parents are saints.

maybe the parents should have told there 9 year old how to ride in a shared environment. That pulling out without looking is probably a bad idea!

How do you know that they didn't? Do you know anything at all about children? They take time to learn things and then they forget, lose concentration, get over excited ... etc and then they have to be reminded repeatedly until the lesson sticks. They are not stupid, they are inexperienced and immature. It isn't their fault, it is biology.

Children can be expected to make mistakes. It is their privilege, that is how they learn, as we all learned. You would expect a supposedly mature individual to recognise that and cut them a little slack wouldn't you?

Unfortunately, the little kid got run over by an overgrown deluded kid who seems to think he is the next Chris Froome.

Quote:
Quote:

At the very least, there were two pedestrians and four cyclists coming slowly the other way and this unobservant, inconsiderate or just plain moronic cyclist continued to cycle at a speed sufficient to throw him to the ground in a collision with a child and break the young lad's collar bone i.e. massively faster than walking pace. Totally inappropriate. Totally indefensible.

speed and breaks are unrelated, it is how you land that causes the problem. a crash at 5 mph might break a bone, it might not.

The crash shouldn't have happened at all if the adult cyclist was using the path responsibly.

Quote:
Quote:

Reading some of these comments, I don't know whether to laugh or shake my head with pity at the immaturity. The primary purpose of a cycling path (shared or otherwise) is to provide a safer option for those who would prefer not to cycle on the roads. They are not built to save you time on your commute or allow you to average 20mph or whatever. That isn't the criteria for measuring their success.

A shared cycle path that gets you to work 20 mins later than you would have got there on busy roads because you are not a moron and proceed with extreme caution around pedestrians is not a failure and hasn't been badly designed. Using it massively reduced your chances of avoiding a collision, which is its purpose. If you got to work in one piece with massively reduced stress levels, the path did its job.

If you feel the only point of cycle paths is to get cycles off the road, then IMO they have failed. Or you have incredibly low expectations.

The point of an alternative route for cyclists is to provide a safer environment for those who would prefer to cycle separated from motorised vehicles. My expectations are realistic. I do not expect existing buildings to be demolished or pavements narrowed on Britain's already narrow streets to create extra space for segregated cycle lanes. Too expensive. Too impractical in most places.

So cycle routes will often need to be more circuitous, sometimes isolated and not necessarily the fastest method from A to B.

Quote:
IF you want people to stop driving you have to make it attractive not to drive, making journeys longer, more convoluted, mixing dogs, runners, etc. using indirect routes to add even more distance, all of this makes cycling less attractive.

If that bothers you, use the roads, quit cycling or lobby the Government to spend millions of taxpayers money on constructing a nationwide network of athlete-cyclist-only highways, no pootlers, no dawdlers, no children, no mobility scooters allowed .... just serious cyclists interested in getting from A to B as quickly as possible without encountering any inconvenience or obstruction on their time trial / commute.

Good luck with that.

Quote:
and a path that takes 20mins longer than the alternative routes won't be used because it takes 20mins longer.

Your choice. If it is the choice between getting up 20 minutes earlier for work or chancing getting squished by an HGV, I know what I would choose. Especially in poor weather for visibility. Why are you in such a hurry?

Quote:
If the path is occupied by pedestrians, dogs on extended leads, running loose, it very soon becomes safer to play with the cars because they are predictable in their stupid movements.

I haven't any stats but I think you are wrong. A collision with a car is probably going to have greater consequences than a collision with shared path users, if you are encountering them at walking pace of course, which you should be.

Quote:
Quote:

So if speed and efficiency is your ultimate priority on a bike .... you know where the road is. Good luck.

No I want to get to work in a reasonable time, If I am in a park I expect to see people playing if I am on the road I don't expect people to be playing. Is that hard?

It isn't a road. It is a shared cycle path and you have no more right to be there than anyone else. So if you don't want to come into contact with people enjoying their leisure, get back on the road.

Quote:
If the purpose of a shared path is a park,

It can be both. I cycle through Greenwich Park nearly every day. I also take my dog for a walk there twice a day.

I also cycle on the Thames Path. Parts of it are wide open and invite speed but on summer weekends it can be packed with people enjoying a stroll with their kids and pets and that is fine too. The thing is, I adjust my cycling to the conditions at the time, not the conditions as I think they should be, cycling like a lunatic because the sign says 'cycle path' and therefore I should be able to do 20mph at all times if I want to. It's the infrastructure that's wrong, not me! Silly

Quote:
yes, if the purpose of a shared path is transport then it has failed

Last word.

The purpose of a pavement is transport. However, I cannot walk down Oxford Street as fast as I can walk on the pavement on the road where I live. At times, progress can be painfully slow for me as I am a fast walker.

What would you say to a person complaining about the Oxford Street pavements, branding them as failures, because he keeps having to stop for clueless tourists, people walking four abreast, pushchairs ...etc and cannot get from A to B as quickly as he would like?

I know what I would say: "Get a life you arrogant *******! The world does not revolve around you and your needs, nor should it!".

Never in a hurry on a bicycle.

posted by GoingRoundInCycles [134 posts]
29th January 2014 - 15:46

20 Likes

GoingRoundInCycles you seem to have the world of time at your finger tips, 8 hours spent on this thread yesterday no doubt the same today all defending Sustrans actions on a path. If you find pootling along at cycling at 5mph enjoyable, fine but some of us travel more than a couple of miles a day and have a life at home.

Arrgghh the retired pootler with nowhere to cycle but all the time in the world.

Leodis's picture

posted by Leodis [239 posts]
29th January 2014 - 17:03

11 Likes

GoingRoundInCycles wrote:
The point of an alternative route for cyclists is to provide a safer environment for those who would prefer to cycle separated from motorised vehicles. My expectations are realistic. I do not expect existing buildings to be demolished or pavements narrowed on Britain's already narrow streets to create extra space for segregated cycle lanes. Too expensive. Too impractical in most places.

BONG! Cyclist-hating troll confirmed! You got the first two of http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2011/02/all-those-myths-and-excuses... in just one paragraph - well done!

Quote:
What would you say to a person complaining about the Oxford Street pavements, branding them as failures, because he keeps having to stop for clueless tourists, people walking four abreast, pushchairs ...etc and cannot get from A to B as quickly as he would like?

I'd tell him to join the campaign to pedestrianise Oxford Street instead of gifting it to bus companies as a giant open-air bus station - I think Westminster Living Streets were leading that one.

Quote:
I know what I would say: "Get a life you arrogant *******! The world does not revolve around you and your needs, nor should it!".

I'm not surprised. So, to GRIC, if you need to get to work or somewhere in reasonable time and you want to do that without a car, you're an arrogant line of asterisks.

Or maybe you're just an ordinary human being.

posted by a.jumper [727 posts]
29th January 2014 - 17:45

7 Likes

A footpath is a footpath , is a footpath, is a footpath! Whether a footpath is shared or not is irrelevant; it is still a footpath.

On a footpath expect the following:-
Children (on foot, scooters, cycles (with or without stabilisers), individual or in gaggles)
Teenagers (texting, listening to music, on the phone and general mucking about being young)
Adults (doing everything teenagers and children do except being young)
Dogs (on or off lead)

This list could go on and on but the important thing is - ALL these users are unpredictable. Adjust your speed accordingly.

Just remember a car doing 30mph is travelling slowly but a cyclist doing 25mph will be described as 'speeding'.

semper in excretia sumus; solim profundum variat

posted by levermonkey [395 posts]
31st January 2014 - 6:40

9 Likes

levermonkey wrote:
A footpath is a footpath , is a footpath, is a footpath! Whether a footpath is shared or not is irrelevant; it is still a footpath.

However, the BBRP was constructed as a shared cycling and walking path by "cycling charity sustrans" then called "cyclebag" (source). As a shared path, it should be shared, and that means everyone sharing responsibility.

Quote:
Just remember a car doing 30mph is travelling slowly but a cyclist doing 25mph will be described as 'speeding'.

And there's the nub of the problem. Is cycling only for people who don't need to get anywhere at any particular time, or have time to pootle along at little more than walking speed?

Here we've got a cyclist probably doing less than 20mph (the BBRP predates current design standards and there are few sections where you can go that fast without risking damage to yourself or the bike) and is still criticised for their speed - while as others opine in earlier comments, the crash may well have happened to some degree at a lower speed anyway because the basic problem was visibility/not looking before you move.

posted by a.jumper [727 posts]
31st January 2014 - 9:24

7 Likes