After woman injured in hit & run, petition calls for speed limits on Bristol-Bath path

Call for 20mph limit and lollipop ladies on crossings

by John Stevenson   July 31, 2013  

Bristol Bath Railway Path crossing (copyright samsaundersleeds:Flickr)

A petition has been created calling for speed limits on the Bristol to Bath Railway Path after a rider was injured by another cyclist in a hit-and-run incident last week.

Anne Tuffney, 49, was hit from behind by another rider as she rode to work on July 19. He carried on without stopping , leaving her unconscious with a broken collarbone.

Ms Tuffney told the Bristol Post: “I was aware of a cyclist coming up behind me very fast. I had time to realise that he was far too close to me, when his bike collided with mine.

“The next thing I remember is looking up at a sea of faces and someone removing my bike, which was tangled up in my legs. Fortunately I was wearing a helmet. I was taken by ambulance to Frenchay Hospital, where they stated I had a broken collar bone and was lucky that the bone had not pierced the skin.

“I was so cross initially. I know accidents do happen – but not stopping is something else.”

She told The Times: “I have constantly shouted at people who are going too fast. I even saw two men crash head on because they would not give way to each other.

“In my experience it is not yobs in baggy jeans that are the cause, it is people on their racing bikes on the way to work. Most cyclists are careful and considerate but there are a few using cycle paths like race tracks.”

Ms Tuffney, a mother of two, is still recovering from the crash. Avon and Somerset Police are appealing for witnesses.

Petition against “mayhem and danger” on path

The petition on Bristol City Council’s website was created on July 21, just after Ms Tuffney was hit, by Claire Day. To date it has had 53 signatures.

In the petition Ms Day described the path as “mayhem and dangerous” and said, “We need to make the Bristol-Bath 'Cycle path' Greenway (and other shared-use 'cycle' paths in Bristol) a safer route to travel for cyclists, people who ride bikes to work, children and other pedestrians.

“As a cyclist, I believe it is important to have this healthier route to travel around, but it is not a means to allow cyclist to travel at speeds which are unsafe.”

To reduce the risk of pedestrians being hit by speeding cycists, Ms Day proposed:

“20mph ... should be the greenway speed limit at all times. During periods of increased use, such as school start and finishing times, the [speed limit on the] pathway around schools and parks reduced to 10mph. This can be achieved by having the tarmac a different colour as on the main roads where bus stop/lanes are.

“More importantly, urge Bristol City Council to set up ‘lollipop’ people to help make the areas on the ‘cycle paths’ around school a safer space for both cyclists and pedestrians before more serious accidents occur.”

Bristol City Council spokesman Tim Borrett said: “As with any petition it will follow our normal procedures which, depending on how many people sign it, can mean a debate by councillors.

“We hope that if nothing else this raises the profile of the issue and encourages the minority of inconsiderate cyclists to slow down and take more care.”

67 user comments

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If she was hit by another cyclist presumably his/her bike would be buggered to,so a hit and run is very unlikely plus this story is in The Times,a murdoch Tory anti cycling rag

This story stinks,i dont buy a word of it

posted by ScotchPoth [49 posts]
1st August 2013 - 11:57

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ScotchPoth wrote:
If she was hit by another cyclist presumably his/her bike would be buggered to,so a hit and run is very unlikely plus this story is in The Times,a murdoch Tory anti cycling rag

This story stinks,i dont buy a word of it

Disagree, isn't it entirely possible that he clipped her handelbars and this sent her down?

Asolare

posted by Goldfever4 [167 posts]
1st August 2013 - 12:08

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I used to ride the railway path a lot when I first started cycling but less so once I became a more confident cyclist. These days I find I avoid the path as much as possible due to congestion and the behaviour of its users.

Walkers taking up the whole path. Dogs off their leads. But more annoying than all of these things are the other cyclists who ride it like a motorway.

Too many times have I slowed down in order to be safe while overtaking pedestrians, children, dogs etc. only to have another cyclist cut through in front of me without even considering slowing. Too many times have I heard and seen cyclists hammering down the path shouting "MOVE" at the other path users expecting everyone to just get out of their way so they don't have to slow down.

Get a bell, say "excuse me please" or "on your right", be courteous and respectful, ride at a safe speed, is that too much to ask? Its time we saw more respect from cyclists on the Railway Path because its giving the rest of us a bad name. If you want to race, get up Castle Combe and pin a number on your back.

As it stands the Railway Path is not cut out to handle the volume of traffic during peak hours. Until we have something better, we had better learn to use the path we have responsibly.

Napalmhaze's picture

posted by Napalmhaze [78 posts]
1st August 2013 - 12:15

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Goldfever4 wrote:
ScotchPoth wrote:
If she was hit by another cyclist presumably his/her bike would be buggered to,so a hit and run is very unlikely plus this story is in The Times,a murdoch Tory anti cycling rag

This story stinks,i dont buy a word of it

Disagree, isn't it entirely possible that he clipped her handelbars and this sent her down?

That is very plausible.

Possibly more so than waking up to a sea of faces but there being no witnesses to the incident.

posted by farrell [1395 posts]
1st August 2013 - 12:24

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Napalmhaze wrote:
I used to ride the railway path a lot when I first started cycling but less so once I became a more confident cyclist. These days I find I avoid the path as much as possible due to congestion and the behaviour of its users.

Walkers taking up the whole path. Dogs off their leads. But more annoying than all of these things are the other cyclists who ride it like a motorway.

Too many times have I slowed down in order to be safe while overtaking pedestrians, children, dogs etc. only to have another cyclist cut through in front of me without even considering slowing. Too many times have I heard and seen cyclists hammering down the path shouting "MOVE" at the other path users expecting everyone to just get out of their way so they don't have to slow down.

Get a bell, say "excuse me please" or "on your right", be courteous and respectful, ride at a safe speed, is that too much to ask? Its time we saw more respect from cyclists on the Railway Path because its giving the rest of us a bad name. If you want to race, get up Castle Combe and pin a number on your back.

As it stands the Railway Path is not cut out to handle the volume of traffic during peak hours. Until we have something better, we had better learn to use the path we have responsibly.

+1

Pepita rides again!

posted by pepita1 [175 posts]
1st August 2013 - 12:37

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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
What people have to understand here (and I think that some do) is that this is an unusual event.

Colin Peyresourde wrote:

I think it is possible for people to cycle whatever speed they like, but the law/etiquette is to pass safely.

Wholehearted agreement with the above points.

posted by Ush [389 posts]
1st August 2013 - 13:12

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ScotchPoth wrote:
If she was hit by another cyclist presumably his/her bike would be buggered to,so a hit and run is very unlikely plus this story is in The Times,a murdoch Tory anti cycling rag

This story stinks,i dont buy a word of it


I'd agree with "Murdoch Tory rag", but why do you say The Times, or for that matter Murdoch, is "anti cycling"?

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
1st August 2013 - 13:13

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farrell wrote:
Goldfever4 wrote:
ScotchPoth wrote:
If she was hit by another cyclist presumably his/her bike would be buggered to,so a hit and run is very unlikely plus this story is in The Times,a murdoch Tory anti cycling rag

This story stinks,i dont buy a word of it

Disagree, isn't it entirely possible that he clipped her handelbars and this sent her down?

That is very plausible.

Possibly more so than waking up to a sea of faces but there being no witnesses to the incident.

I have to say the story she says does not add up fully. Surely she would have seen some part of the cyclist even if he had only clipped the handlebars. I'm not saying that it adds up to her lying about being hit, but then again some people say anything to avoid 'embarrassment'. It's not like people have never cried 'rape' before - I can see where Scotchpoth scepticism is coming from. I'm surprised that the cyclists didn't have the temerity to shout out 'Watch Out'! as he left the scene.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1118 posts]
1st August 2013 - 14:03

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Come on guys and gals... none of us were there, none of us knows exactly what happened. Yes, we can speculate.

The only certainty is that a speed limit will be ignored by most, and if a cyclist did indeed hit-and-run, then they're certainly the ones who will ignore it.

Long term, Bikeability training can help - on both sides. To the slower riders, to make sure they don't weave about - and to the faster riders, to encourage courteous cycling.

All cyclists need to be aware of other cyclists, pedestrians, animals - but the cyclists who don't give a !"£$ are unlikely to change Sad

posted by dockhill [8 posts]
1st August 2013 - 14:23

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This bullshit incident is redolent of that couple who claimed a Fox entered their home and dragged the baby out of its cot and mauled it
Its merely heresay and their word,their claim,its all circumstantial bull,they have no evidence but why let facts get in the way of sensationalism and smears
Like they say,shit sticks,the fact the filthy Times reported this incident with no backup evidence is irrelevent,its the perception created ie;stir shit and making it stick whether it be Foxes or cyclists
This is a non story

posted by ScotchPoth [49 posts]
1st August 2013 - 14:27

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Now, a fox on a bike - That's more like it!

posted by farrell [1395 posts]
1st August 2013 - 14:34

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very sad and a bit angered to read that someone didn't care enough to stop, as said above some people are inconsiderate and that is irrespective of how they choose to get about or enjoy themselves, hope the injured women recovers well and gets back to her regular riding soon

not sure that speed limit petition is the answer - people who don't care just won't care and at quieter times those that want to commute at speeds that make sense are being discouraged or forced to unsafe alternatives

here are some pics from Melbourne Aus - my ride today on a shared path - not saying this is right but the suggestion that jogging pace on narrow, busy shared sections is a guideline without being a limit makes some sort of sense (generally i'm not pro signs - counted 28 at a bridleway junction once but these aren't too intrusive)

try again photobucket sizing and me don't get on

sign gives speed for cyclists in this area near a school and a lot of ped traffic as "jogging pace"

a definition of how long a dog lead should be would be useful - 6m+ does not work

the issue that concerns me is that shared paths don't work once volumes of users increase and 3m wide for both directions just puts too many demands on a big mix of users - demanding speed limits isn't unreasonable but isn't really the answer - the answer is better facilities - fighting it out over 3m of path on disused railways isn't a way forward - conflict between leisure/sport/commuting users results from insufficient facilities (and a few knobbers thrown in) but please don't fight it out over crumbs ask for the cake

round here at moment seeing a fairly consistent argument that high cyclist volumes at relative to other users high speed on a very limited number of shared paths is a good reason to deny new facilities rather than design better ones ... oh and possibly take space away from cars on roads

posted by antigee [148 posts]
1st August 2013 - 15:07

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Top 10 Hate Figures In The UK Today
1 Islamic Terrorists
2 Paedophiles
3 Benefit Claimants
4 The Disabled
5 Cyclists
6 Rapists
7 Foxes
8 The Poor
9 The Unions
10 Rats

posted by ScotchPoth [49 posts]
1st August 2013 - 15:49

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Common sense on the part of all the users is all that's needed. Unfortunately it isn't all that Common.

There are inconsiderate, thoughtless and/or ignorant users of all types on this path, and most other shared paths. Some of the users treat the whole of the path as their own personal space. Some pedestrians wander about from side to side, walking the full width oblivious of anyone else. A shout of "on your right/left" confuses many of them, in some cases causing them to step in front of you.

Some cyclists approach these situations too fast. When there's no hazard speed is not an issue.

At the root is a British cultural indscipline: In many other countries there is an understanding that you keep to a common side (usually the right) whether driving, cycling or walking. It makes for far less conflict. Perhaps all that's needed on these shared paths is an occasional reminder to 'Keep left' until it permeates the national consciousness?

posted by mbrads72 [120 posts]
1st August 2013 - 16:39

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Beaufort wrote:
It's sadly predictable that a number of posts here suggest the victim in this accident is at fault. The attitude of you 'real' cyclists to 'peds on bikes' is awful and a huge reason why a lot of negative energy is directed at you. You are the problem.

This. Enough with the victim blaming.

The rider behind HAS TO pass safely (you know, just like car drivers have to). That applies whether the person they are passing is an experienced roadie who is happy with them passing 3 inches away or an inexperienced rider who needs 3ft of lane to themselves. It is ALWAYS the responsibility of the person overtaking to do so safely.

Clearly in this case the person overtaking failed in that and then chickened out of owning up to it which, since they left someone unconcious and injured on the path has the potential to turn a bad accident into a fatality (although it's unlikely on a busy path like this).

posted by racingcondor [109 posts]
1st August 2013 - 17:20

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antigee wrote:
the issue that concerns me is that shared paths don't work once volumes of users increase and 3m wide for both directions just puts too many demands on a big mix of users - demanding speed limits isn't unreasonable but isn't really the answer - the answer is better facilities - fighting it out over 3m of path on disused railways isn't a way forward - conflict between leisure/sport/commuting users results from insufficient facilities (and a few knobbers thrown in) but please don't fight it out over crumbs ask for the cake

This.

BBRP is a severe victim of its own success. Just as mixing fast-moving motor vehicles and bikes fails on the roads when there are a lot of the former, mixing bike traffic and pedestrians fails badly when there are lots of bikes, and especially when cyclists want to get from A to B at a reasonable speed. Even if everyone were super-nice, there would still be crashes because the path has no rules, which in turn arises from the notion that it's a 'traffic-free' facility so everyone can do what they like.

It needs to be wider and it needs rebuilding so pedestrians and cyclists are separated.

John Stevenson's picture

posted by John Stevenson [1017 posts]
1st August 2013 - 18:16

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ScotchPoth wrote:
If she was hit by another cyclist presumably his/her bike would be buggered to,so a hit and run is very unlikely plus this story is in The Times,a murdoch Tory anti cycling rag

This story stinks,i dont buy a word of it

Is that the anti-cycling rag with the Cities Fit For Cycling campaign? http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/

And is that the Murdoch empire behind Sky, sponsor of, um, Team Sky?

Got no love for Murdoch's media but this is a really, really poor argument.

posted by Mat Brett [1858 posts]
1st August 2013 - 22:02

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Cantab wrote:
On a side note, who else is waiting for Sustrans to stick their oar in about this? Thinking

You mean you don't think that Sustrans officer from a few weeks ago has helped get this story in the press?

Seems like part of Sustrans war on road bike riders to me. Fits their anti speed message perfectly.

posted by a.jumper [695 posts]
2nd August 2013 - 8:16

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Mat Brett wrote:

Is that the anti-cycling rag with the Cities Fit For Cycling campaign? http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/

Yes, which you couldn't take part in unless you handed over some personal details to the phone hackers and allowed it to run programs inside your web browser.
Mat Brett wrote:

And is that the Murdoch empire behind Sky, sponsor of, um, Team Sky?

Yes, which they bought in an attempt to get more cycling coverage away from itv and BBC and onto their subscription service that you can't even subscribe to with standard Common Access receivers - you have to let one of their own Sky black boxes into your living room and let it abuse your internet connection.

Like all of the Murdoch empire, Sky and the Times don't do things that'll make them make a loss. Always look for their motives.

posted by a.jumper [695 posts]
2nd August 2013 - 10:12

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a.jumper wrote:
Mat Brett wrote:

Is that the anti-cycling rag with the Cities Fit For Cycling campaign? http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/

Yes, which you couldn't take part in unless you handed over some personal details to the phone hackers and allowed it to run programs inside your web browser.
Mat Brett wrote:

And is that the Murdoch empire behind Sky, sponsor of, um, Team Sky?

Yes, which they bought in an attempt to get more cycling coverage away from itv and BBC and onto their subscription service that you can't even subscribe to with standard Common Access receivers - you have to let one of their own Sky black boxes into your living room and let it abuse your internet connection.

Like all of the Murdoch empire, Sky and the Times don't do things that'll make them make a loss. Always look for their motives.


Yes, but does making money mean they are "anti cycling" as was suggested?

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
2nd August 2013 - 11:13

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a.jumper wrote:
Mat Brett wrote:

Is that the anti-cycling rag with the Cities Fit For Cycling campaign? http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/

Yes, which you couldn't take part in unless you handed over some personal details to the phone hackers and allowed it to run programs inside your web browser.
Mat Brett wrote:

And is that the Murdoch empire behind Sky, sponsor of, um, Team Sky?

Yes, which they bought in an attempt to get more cycling coverage away from itv and BBC and onto their subscription service that you can't even subscribe to with standard Common Access receivers - you have to let one of their own Sky black boxes into your living room and let it abuse your internet connection.

Like all of the Murdoch empire, Sky and the Times don't do things that'll make them make a loss. Always look for their motives.

...None of which does anything to back up the assertion that The Times is 'anti-cycling'. Have another go.

posted by Mat Brett [1858 posts]
2nd August 2013 - 11:20

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The Rumpo Kid wrote:

Yes, but does making money mean they are "anti cycling" as was suggested?

Not just because it's making money. Hyping up the "danger" of cycling seems rather anti-cycling to me, but I know that's not a universal view on this site.

The main point was that those are examples of them being pro-money-making, so shouldn't be thrown up as disproof of them being anti-cycling.

posted by a.jumper [695 posts]
2nd August 2013 - 23:08

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a.jumper wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:

Yes, but does making money mean they are "anti cycling" as was suggested?

Not just because it's making money. Hyping up the "danger" of cycling seems rather anti-cycling to me, but I know that's not a universal view on this site.

The main point was that those are examples of them being pro-money-making, so shouldn't be thrown up as disproof of them being anti-cycling.

They're not mutually exclusive.

The assertion was that The Times is anti cycling. An anti-cycling newspaper does not run a Cities Fit for Cycling campaign.

The fact that a newspaper aims to make money is irrelevant here. So do Shimano, Bianchi, Brompton... They're not anti cycling either.

The Times has just been short-listed for cycling Coverage by Non-Specialist Media by Bike Biz.

And for Cycling Advocacy Achievement. http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/bikebiz-awards-2013-finalists-revealed/...

And here's British Cycling's view of their campaign: http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/campaigning/article/The-Time-Cities-fit...

Do you have anything to back up the claim that The Times is anti cycling? Your best evidence so far is your belief that they've over-egged it in a pro-cycling campaign. With merciless enemies like this, we'll be lucky if cycling lasts another week.

posted by Mat Brett [1858 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 8:56

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a.jumper wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:

Yes, but does making money mean they are "anti cycling" as was suggested?

Not just because it's making money. Hyping up the "danger" of cycling seems rather anti-cycling to me, but I know that's not a universal view on this site.

The main point was that those are examples of them being pro-money-making, so shouldn't be thrown up as disproof of them being anti-cycling.


Living in London, I don't think there is an anti-cycling agenda behind The Times "hyping up" the risks of cycling in cities. It really can be pretty risky.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 11:48

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Mat Brett wrote:

The assertion was that The Times is anti cycling. An anti-cycling newspaper does not run a Cities Fit for Cycling campaign.

Yes, it might: to make money and help keep cycling on the margins.
Mat Brett wrote:
Do you have anything to back up the claim that The Times is anti cycling?

It wasn't my claim. I was just pointing out that what you were using to try to disprove it was also bunk and easily explained by other motives, rather than demonstrating any love for cycling as such.

CTC have been quite outspoken in the past against over-emphasising scare stories but I'm sure bad "KILLER CYCLING DANGER" stories help sell papers. There are currently four main headlines on The Times Cities Fit for Cycling page (Boris: turn Beeching lines into cycle paths; Bike path needs speed limit, say cyclists; Sat-nav driver ‘sorry’ for killing cyclist; Sat-nav driver accused over cyclist death) and three are negative Killed/Seriously-Injured stories. Should that really be three-quarters of headline cycling coverage? Other outlets like road.cc are far more balanced than The Times's strange spin.

I'm sorry The Rumpo Kid, but The Times is meant to be a national paper, not a London local rag. Nationally, pedestrians suffer a higher fatality rate than cyclists, by a factor of almost 1.5 (source: Malcolm Wardlaw in Traffic Engineering + Control 2002). I know there are some real blackspots in London, which is wrong and I'm lucky to have the luxury of avoiding when I ride there, but cycling is not that risky in other cities like Norwich, Cambridge, Bath or Exeter, so it does seem like The Times is over-hyping the danger. London and Manchester may be worse and explain why Manchester-based British Cycling and near-London-based BikeBiz praise it despite that.

posted by a.jumper [695 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 12:43

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Riiiight! An anti cycling newspaper would try to marginalise cycling by running a major award-winning national campaign seemingly in support of cycling? Uh-hu!

The issue is whether The Times is an anti cycling newspaper. It isn't. You might not agree with it, but their Cities Fit for Cycling campaign is an example of them not being anti cycling. Whatever the motivation behind them being pro cycling, and however successful or unsuccessful you consider their campaign to be, it's still a pro cycling initiative.

And you did, by the way, claim that The Times is anti cycling. You said that it was, "Not just because it's making money. Hyping up the "danger" of cycling seems rather anti-cycling to me, but I know that's not a universal view on this site." Scroll up a bit and refresh your memory.

posted by Mat Brett [1858 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 13:45

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Cambridge isn't exactly urban sprawl is it? And given that the population is over 20% student, it's likely to be more cycle friendly than most cities.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 14:11

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The Rumpo Kid wrote:
Cambridge isn't exactly urban sprawl is it? And given that the population is over 20% student, it's likely to be more cycle friendly than most cities.

Indeed, but it's still a city. The Times campaign is not called "Big Cities Fit For Cycling". Most cities are OK and undermined a bit by The Times misleading people.
Mat Brett wrote:
Riiiight! An anti cycling newspaper would try to marginalise cycling by running a major award-winning national campaign seemingly in support of cycling? Uh-hu!

Yes, they would: running a long sequence of scare stories is not good support of cycling.

And please, scroll up yourself! I said The Times seems anti-cycling to me. I don't know whether they are truly pro or anti inside the Murdoch bunker any more than you do. However, unlike you, I'm willing to accept there are a range of views on it.

posted by a.jumper [695 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 14:43

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You're seriously suggesting that an anti cycling newspaper would try to marginalise cycling by running a Cities Safe for Cycling Campaign asking for £100 million a year towards world-class cycling infrastructure, along with legislation and road improvements for cyclists?

I do too, actually. You're absolutely right. Being pro cycling is clearly the most effective way to be anti cycling! I'm just off to show my opposition to cycling by going out on a bike ride.

posted by Mat Brett [1858 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 15:10

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On the shared path usage issue, cyclists would do well to remember that there are is plenty of opposition to us getting access to off road paths. Residents of Wandsworth are even going as far as requesting cycle safety funds to remove lanes - story here

http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/keep-the-cycle-lanes-in-wandsworth...

posted by arfa [480 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 18:40

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