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Andrew Griffiths seeks to discuss possibility of A50 ban with cycling clubs

An MP wants to discuss banning cyclists from a section of the A50 in the Midlands with local cycling clubs, reports the Uttoxeter Advertiser.

Andrew Griffiths the Conservative MP for Burton and Uttoxeter made the suggestion in response to a call by the father of a cyclist killed on the road to prohibit cyclists from using it.

Noel Livingstone’s son Gary was struck by a lorry on the A50 at Doveridge in 2008 as he rode home after working a shift Foston prison. The driver of the vehicle, Steven Welsh had been sending and receiving text messages in the minutes leading up to the incident and was jailed for three years for causing death by dangerous driving. He was recently released on licence after serving half his sentence.

On hearing of another cyclist’s death in similar circumstances to that of his son but this time on the nearby A38, Mr Livingstone told the Advertiser that he is “absolutely convinced that there is no defence for not prohibiting cycling on the A50.”

He added: “I spoke to Andrew Griffiths and he said he was intent on pushing the matter further. I said to him that, to me, it is so obvious that a ban on cycling on the A50 was needed and it has to tie in with cycle paths next to the A50 at Doveridge and past Foston prison.

“You don’t hear about cyclists being killed on the M1 or the M6 because they are banned. Why should the A50 be any different? I won’t take no for an answer. A sign should go up saying cycling is prohibited. I know the enthusiasts will say ‘no we can do it’ but they can’t.

“It should be banned from Doveridge to the other side of Uttoxeter. There is just no point in allowing it.”

Andrew Griffiths MP told the Advertiser: “My thoughts are that we should call for an investigation by the Department of Transport and the highways agency to see whether the A50 is safe.

“It is a very busy road and a very tight road. I hope to have conversations with cycling clubs in Uttoxeter and Burton to see how they feel about cycling safety on the A50 and A38 and what could be done to make them safer or ban it altogether.
 

39 comments

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bikeandy61 [538 posts] 5 years ago
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I know the area and I certainly would not entertain the idea of using the A50. However that is my choice. Hopefully this is just a knee-jerk reaction as it would set precedent for every A road to be banned.

K%$b head.

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John_the_Monkey [437 posts] 5 years ago
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Astonishing.

The car centred nature of public policy & our legislators have surely moved beyond satire at this point?

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therevokid [953 posts] 5 years ago
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so ... first a section of the A50, then All A roads, then
all roads .... ????

kerks - the lot of 'em

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OldRidgeback [2632 posts] 5 years ago
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Perhaps driving while sending text messages should be banned. It is already?

The trouble with fools like this is that they see issues in terms of results. They don't see the bigger picture. Suggestions like this affect the victims, not the perpetrators. Dangerous drivers put lives of ALL other road users at risk, not just cyclists. A somewhat more intelligent approach would for example be to install safety features along the stretch of road in question. A ban like this proposal would merely shift the risk elsewhere and what would be banned next, motorcycles? This suggestion doesn't actually address the real issue, tackling bad driving.

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cowspassage [43 posts] 5 years ago
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This maybe kinda ties back to the segregated cycling lane debate (sorry!).

Cyclists and other types are vehicle are banned from motorways. So when motorways are planned there is an obligation on the road planners (I assume) to provide alternative road provision for non-motorway traffic.

So, likewise I guess the road planners may want to restrict cyclists from busy or high-speed A-roads, but surely that can only be acceptable if 'high quality' alternative provision is provided.

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Shouldbeinbed [51 posts] 5 years ago
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I can see why with the A50 its as good as a M/way, not a road I'd consider riding but this is the thin end of the wedge, do you ban bikes from every fatal road, every serious injury one, every A road?? Momentum and car centric reasons for more & wideranging bans will follow & is it right to effectively abdicate any responsible for other people from motorists?

Educate & properly prosecute or sweep the problem away with selective Prohibition

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Aimless King [38 posts] 5 years ago
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It wouldn't be the first. Cyclists, as well as pedestrians and horse-riders, are already banned from the A720 Edinburgh Ring Road. If you've ever driven on it, you can see why and none of the aforementioned would dream of using it (unless they had a death wish!).

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Carlton Reid [132 posts] 5 years ago
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Are the cycle paths he talks about high-quality and do they go the full length of his proposed banned distance?

The answer is 'yes'. The cycle paths are minor roads, well away from the A50, and while the route is wiggly and slightly longer, the minor road route is clearly safer and nicer.

BUT I would rather make this sort of choice myself. It's a very slippery slope for outright bans such as this. It sets a precedent.

Let this one go through and then it'll be another "dangerous" roads, and then another, and then another. Before too long there would be large gaps where we couldn't cycle.

I try to avoid them when I can, but sometimes it's necessary to ride on dreadfully busy roads, even for just short stretches.

Here's the road. Click on the OS option to see the minor road route picked out with green dots.

http://www.bing.com/maps/?FORM=Z9LH3#JnE9LmRvdmVyaWRnZSU3ZXNzdC4wJTdlcGc...

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djcritchley [181 posts] 5 years ago
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!

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Rob Simmonds [251 posts] 5 years ago
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So rather than trying to reduce the danger, his approach is to simply remove anyone who might be affected by the source of that danger?

Stupid, arse-about-face logic. I hope this goes no further than one grandstanding idiot.  14

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cowspassage [43 posts] 5 years ago
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Carlton, I am with you on your concerns about segregated cycling. Part of my concern about it is that I can't believe that anyone is going to stump up the cost of new, high-class cycling infrastracture.

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step-hent [723 posts] 5 years ago
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If it's as good as a motorway anyway, then it should be designated as subject to motorway regulations (like the A1M and other stretches of A-road treated as motorway) - and then alternative provision has to be made (and maintained) for all non-motorway traffic. Hopefully someone in the highways agency (or whoever is responsible for designation of the roads - is it local government?) will point this option out...

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ribena [179 posts] 5 years ago
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Agree with the option of re-designating it as a motorway.

After all, as an A-road its also open to 50-125cc scooters which aren't much faster than a cyclist and could easily have been the victim of the txting driver. They wouldn't be "protected" from a cycle ban.

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DoctorRad [6 posts] 5 years ago
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There's a precedent here: a section of the A55 in North Wales near Bangor effectively has motorway regulations without having an (M) status or the hard shoulders which are necessary for a 'proper' motorway.

As both a cyclist and a motorist who used to drive that section of the A50 every week, if there's a viable alternative route, I say the ban should be put into place.

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londonplayer [620 posts] 5 years ago
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Slightly off topic, but by mistake I've cycled along a section of motorway in Portugal, after taking a wrong turn. Strangely, it felt safe. I did however get off the road at the earliest opportunity.

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nigel_s [41 posts] 5 years ago
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A de facto ban effectively exists on pretty well all major trunk roads by virtue of they being designed for motor traffic only. That they are *designated* public highways open to ALL traffic suggests that they are unfit for that purpose. As others have suggested, perhaps such roads should be re-designated as motorways - as they are such in all but name - then as "Step-hent" states, alternative provision would have to be made for non-motorized traffic.

(Before anyone says...
yes, I know...
Pigs fuelled and ready for take-off.)

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Ramaye [25 posts] 5 years ago
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Surely this can all be fixed with a simple strip of green paint with a bike painted at intervals on top of it. This way all dangerous (or careless if you are the CPS and deciding on how to prosecute) drivers will know to keep out of this bit when texting, putting on makeup, shaving etc...

I have sympathy for anyone who has lost someone but to think that they make cycling safer for all by banning us from stretches of road that can be dangerous is absurd and does not account for all users.

When group riding at night smaller unlit lanes can be a lot more dangerous than a lit dual carriageway. The small lanes can be the domain of the drunk driver using the backroads to get home from the pub whilst trying to avoid an encounter with the police. Maybe cyclists should also be banned between 10.30 and midnight to give the drunks a chance to drive home without hitting us?

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robert.brady [155 posts] 5 years ago
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I sympathise with Mr Livingstone's reason for wanting a ban on the A50 but following his own argument to its logical conclusion, cars should be banned from the M1 and M6 due to fatal accidents.

A-roads can be anything from a country road to a fast moving dual carriage way and it should be left to the discretion of the individual whether to use the road or not.

Rob

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vorsprung [282 posts] 5 years ago
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“You don’t hear about cyclists being killed on the M1 or the M6"

But they are on other roads
The logic is clear
Put cyclists on the M1 and M6 for added safety

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Martin Steele [6 posts] 5 years ago
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Also in Edinburgh area - cyclists and pedestrians are banned from A90 from Burnshot to Forth Road Bridge. Ban has been in place for 7 or 8 years after a fatality between a truck and a cyclist near Cramond Brig. No proper alternative offered. A90 path from Burnshot towards Dalmeny is woeful and detours add substantial distance.

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bikeandy61 [538 posts] 5 years ago
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The A50 isn't as good as a motorway. It is dotted with roundabouts along the section mentioned - Uttoxeter to Doveridge.

If you take this argument to it's logiical conclusion, no pedestrian should be allowed to cross a road other than by a high level walk way or subway.

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mr-andrew [300 posts] 5 years ago
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It's a bit like banning people from parks because someone got mugged in one. If the road is dangerous to cyclists, fix it.

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wee folding bike [3 posts] 5 years ago
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I haven't cycled along the A720 but I did cross it at Sheriffhall last month on the way to Dalkeith. I didn't see any signs telling me I couldn't. It's just a normal roundabout there, not grade separated.

Are only some parts off limits?

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wildnorthlands [32 posts] 5 years ago
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Take a look at what's happened on the Sheffield Parkway. Bikes were banned on it from the outset. Now as it's been developed as a multi-lane road it would be impossible to reverse that decision. The alternative is a hump-backed section of the National Cycle Network, fraught with broken glass and off-road motorbike problems.

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antonio [1126 posts] 5 years ago
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Deaths of motorists on A roads are all too common, let's ban them as well, that's just as logical.

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giff77 [1256 posts] 5 years ago
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And the alternative - forced to use a poorly lit(if that), badly paved cycle path with numerous pedestrians to dodge. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against pedestrians using cycle paths if you are to provide an alternative to a road ban a dedicated alternative would need to be in place!

The real issue is that of dangerous and careless driving. Thats what needs to be addressed. You could ban cyclists, pedestrians, 50cc mopeds tractors from all A roads and you know what... there will still be fatalities on all our roads. the A9, A66, A17 are three roads that I use regularly and all of them have huge casualty and fatality figures!

Maybe ban anything with an engine is a better idea>>>  19

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thereverent [420 posts] 5 years ago
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I had a look at the road and I wouldn't choose to use it. But I have used such roads in areas I wasn't familiar with as the back roads way wasn't obvious.
A ban would be a step in the wrong direction, as it would lead to more and more roads being off limits to cyclists.

The Lorry driver was texting, so I wouldn't have give a motorcyclist or a small car much more of a chance if he had hit one of them.

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HLaB [70 posts] 5 years ago
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All of the main carriageway is off limits but you can still cycle over or under it; you only see the actual signs when you've turned on to it  13http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=A720,+Unit...

To add to the aforementioned list cycling is also banned on parts of the new A68.

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workhard [397 posts] 5 years ago
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A-roads don't kill cyclists.

Inattentive or careless dangerous drivers sending and receiving texts whilst driving do.

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The _Kaner [843 posts] 5 years ago
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Let's ban aeroplanes..they crash..sometimes on innocent victims/houses.
....and then there are birds...I've lost count of the birds I've hit with my car, windscreens damaged and dead birds at the side of the roads, a cyclist could easily crash/skid on one of those and end up under the wheels of a texting, smoking (yes that is a distraction), coffee drinking automobile driver...
I'm not being flippant, but as most folks have pointed out..there are dangers on our roads..does that mean non fossil fuelled (or alternative) modes of transport will be banned from all other roads that are deemed dangerous..?
Fix those dangers, police those dangerous areas, take people that are seen to be dangerous out of the equation for good...
..or how about actually providing alternatives (that work), respect the issue and try to resolve it by building a better, safer transport network..

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