Birmingham City Council insists 'No Cycling' signs on National Cycle Network will stay

Council says signs meant to tell cyclists to use road not footway arent's confusing - Sustrans and RoSPA disagree

by Simon_MacMichael   December 22, 2011  

No cycling sign

‘No cycling signs’ placed by Birmingham City Council immediately above National Cycle Network (NCN) route signs have left local cyclists bewildered. Sustrans, which maintains the NCN has asked for them to be removed, but the council insists they will stay in place.

A picture in the Birmingham Mail shows the two signs placed together, with another underneath saying: ‘The cycle route here follows the roadway. Please DO NOT ride on the footway.’ Of the three, the ‘No cycling’ sign is the most prominent.

The signs have been erected along NCN Route 5 and according to the council are intended to remind cyclists that they cannot cycle on the pavement and must use the road instead.

They come shortly after the route emerges from Pebble Mill Playing Fields in Selly Park, where there is a shared use path, and onto Kitchener Road.

One local cyclist, 64-year-old John Pitcock from Stirchley, told the newspaper: “The signs are just wrong and it looks silly having a National Cycle Route sign with a No Cycling sign right next to it.”

“I don’t think it’ll cause an accident, but people will ignore the signs which is bad in itself.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has joined Sustrans in asking for the signs to be removed.

“To be effective, signage needs to be clear and consistent,” said Kevin Clinton, the charity’s head of road safety. “These two signs could easily confuse cyclists because they appear to be giving conflicting messages.”

Yvonne Gilligan, director of Sustrans for the West Midlands, added: “It seems clear the signs need replacing to tell legitimate users of National Cycle Network that they are to continue on the road. We would suggest a simple sign saying Cyclist Rejoin Carriageway.”

The council insists however that the signs are not misleading and that they will stay in place, with a spokesman saying: “Although the signs may look contradictory, the reality is that cyclists know what they need to do on this stretch of the route.

“The signs were introduced at the request of the local residents and they also understand how the arrangement works. We have had no reports of cyclists being confused by the signs in this area.”
 

15 user comments

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It's Birmingham... they're still slowly dragging themselves out of the 1990's... backwards as hell.

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posted by G-bitch [302 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 11:44

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!Although the signs may look contradictory, the reality is that cyclists know what they need to do on this stretch of the route."

My answer is: ignore all the signs.

The citizens of Buirmingham have been well served indeed.

Cool

posted by BigDummy [284 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 11:56

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A waste of money they don't have for more cycling facilities. Local government - like national government but with funny accents and strange haircuts.

posted by Coleman [329 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 12:04

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looks like the way to get yourself through this recession is to start a sign making business.

posted by Phaedrus [14 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 12:29

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Phaedrus wrote:
looks like the way to get yourself through this recession is to start a sign making business.

I was going to set up a sign making business but I couldn't fine a decent sign maker to advertise it.

posted by Coleman [329 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 14:18

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Not very clearly thought through. We are now accustomed to blue signage for cycle paths/ways and as Sustrans stated, a sign advising 'rejoin carriageway' would have been clearer. It is kind of ironic especially when the DfT earlier in the year is aiming to reduce and make signage clearer on our roads. I am assuming that the council applied for permission to make this change. I know that there are very specific guidelines regards highway signage and councils can't really do there own thing in this area!!

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posted by giff77 [1045 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 14:22

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What a pathetic, pointless, and stupid little comment.

posted by stu500 [1 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 17:32

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The No Cycling sign erected at the side of the road applies to the full width of the highway (that means the footways and the carriageway). It should also have a Traffic Regulation Order behind it (following a legal process) or to inform of an existing Local By Law.

The book on the use of these signs (Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 3 Regulatory Signs) states in Para 5.26 "The sign to diagram 951 (no cycling) should not be used to indicate the end of a shared pedestrian and cycle facility (see para 17.36)." To me it look like they have done just this!

posted by eviltoystealer [55 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 18:50

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Councils put up Shared Use signs to encourage people to cycle on doorways and then change their mind and erect No Cycling signs. I wish they'd make their minds up.

posted by automatic_jon [68 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 20:16

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Quote:
Although the signs may look contradictory, the reality is that cyclists know what they need to do on this stretch of the route.

Get elected to the council and fire the highway signs officers for incompetence?

posted by a.jumper [694 posts]
23rd December 2011 - 2:42

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If the sign at the top of the article is a 'No Cycling' sign it should have a diagonal bar across it.
As it is, it means cycling allowed here, in fact we positively welcome it. Smile

posted by Cauld Lubter [117 posts]
25th December 2011 - 2:12

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Cauld Lubter wrote:
If the sign at the top of the article is a 'No Cycling' sign it should have a diagonal bar across it.
As it is, it means cycling allowed here, in fact we positively welcome it. Smile

You're wrong - look in the Highway Code www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documen...
The sign should not be crossed out (it sometimes is on private property - if it is then it might be interpreted as no no cycling).

posted by John Pitcock [3 posts]
26th December 2011 - 8:17

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I am the cyclist featured in the newrpaper article.

eviltoystealer is correct when he says the sign refers to the whole width of the highway - a point the "experts" at the council didn't seem to accept.

I reported this sign to the council as being wrong 10 weeks earlier. When they showed no willingness to remove or change it I contacted the newspaper as I thought it was particularly silly. I'm glad Sustrans and RoSPA backed me up.

I have reported several other signs that are plainly wrong I and have had to make a fuss before they are eventually removed or corrected. I got frustrated at being ignored and thought this particularly silly one would be of interest to the press.

posted by John Pitcock [3 posts]
26th December 2011 - 8:37

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John, I read a story once about a guy who had a house somewhere on the lancashire coast, I think. Because he had a beachfront property, sand used to blow into his garden. Periodically he would gather the sand up and put it back onto the beach.

Local council threatened to do him for fly-tipping.

Sorry, slightly off-topic I know but it does get to illustrate the kind of idiots you get in local government. These people are in the public sector mostly because if they were in the private sector they'd go bust.

Pete

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posted by PeteH [159 posts]
26th December 2011 - 11:30

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"The council insists however that the signs are not misleading and that they will stay in place, with a spokesman saying: “Although the signs may look contradictory, the reality is that cyclists know what they need to do on this stretch of the route."

Which translated from council-speak means:

"We have cocked up completely, but are too pig-headed and arrogant to admit our mistake."

posted by don_don [149 posts]
28th December 2011 - 21:44

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