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Call for 20mph limit and lollipop ladies on crossings

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.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

67 comments

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Gkam84 [9092 posts] 3 years ago
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How are they going to monitor speed limits? We don't all use computers.

I'm really getting a bit fed up of this "one incident petitions" If it was happening day in day out, then yes, or even weekly, but ONE incident doesn't make it an epidemic....

"Fortunately I was wearing a helmet" yup, saved you getting a scrape on your head  3

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bendertherobot [1279 posts] 3 years ago
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Hmm, there's no way of enforcing a speed limit and, frankly, 20 mph is either too high (when congested) or irrelevant (when deserted).

Odd one this though. How on earth does a cyclist hit another one?

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arfa [807 posts] 3 years ago
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Sad that there are some incredibly selfish people out there who would do this. I hope she recovers and the rider is found and brought to book.

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billyman [148 posts] 3 years ago
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the first thing I thought was she may of been startled by the rider and moved off her own line, happens easy enough.

why the other cyclist never stopped is a bit unusual.

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bendertherobot [1279 posts] 3 years ago
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It doesn't make sense though. She's aware that this person is going very fast. How? Is she looking behind? Or hears him? But she has time to realise he's too close. Is he going fast or not? Dunno, just seems odd.

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crash144019 [45 posts] 3 years ago
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Happens I nearly got taken out by some git descending a hill. Sat on his top tube hands in the middle of his bars. Foz that's how they do it on telly. He had to stop. Well he did once he'd stopped sliding along the tarmac after clipping me. Luckily I just wobbled into the grass verge.

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STATO [514 posts] 3 years ago
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Is that it in the picture? why not put lanes on it? signs warning riders of blind bends, 'SLOW' signs for tricky bits/corners etc.

or is that too obvious?

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andyb56 [11 posts] 3 years ago
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I don't know the cycle path at all really and have never come across an instance like this. However, after cycling quite a lot on The Pinellas Trail in Florida, which is used heavily by sports cyclists, people casually riding along and walkers they mix quite happily! Firstly cyclist should always shout "on your left/right" when passing somebody (This is common practice on The Pinellas Trail). Is the path split in two cyclists/ pedestrians? (Just looked at the photo looks as though it is split in two) Again this is the case on The Pinellas Trail. Finally, cyclists should pass anybody with caution would you belt down the side of a horse less than a meter away? Same principle applies! Always the one I use with motorists!

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pepita1 [176 posts] 3 years ago
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It's terrible that she was hit and the other rider didn't stop. I would welcome speed limits but unless there's enforcement it could end up bebeing a wadtewaste of money. However, it would probably make riders think. As for those who don't use computers, it's easy to tell your speed by perceived exertion and gearing. Additionally, if you are passing other cyclists, then you're probably going too fast. I hope they can find the asshole and make an example of him or her. Also, police should consider bike patrols Like they are doing in places like Austin, Texas (i think it was Austin).

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doc [167 posts] 3 years ago
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Sounds like bad weather in the bottom of a receptacle used for carrying a leaf based infusion.
Earlier quote "my helmet saved my life". Interesting piece of second sight!

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Gkam84 [9092 posts] 3 years ago
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pepita1 wrote:

As for those who don't use computers, it's easy to tell your speed by perceived exertion and gearing.

Additionally, if you are passing other cyclists, then you're probably going too fast.

NO, its not that easy to tell your speed.

If you are passing other cyclists and you aren't going that fast, it means they are going fairly slow and you should safely pass them, unlike what happened in the story

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paulrbarnard [182 posts] 3 years ago
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Now here an idea; why don't they just double or even treble the width. Thats the actual problem not the speed, it is dangerous to pass anyway no matter what the speed. Im my experience running in to the back of another cyclist usually results in you hitting the ground not them...

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pepita1 [176 posts] 3 years ago
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Apologies for terrible spelling mistakes. My phone keyboard is too small!

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kitkat [395 posts] 3 years ago
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A couple of community officers patrolling the path for a couple of weeks pulling over those who are cycling furiously to advise on behaviour etc would help.

treating a shared path as a crit circuit where top speed is your only speed is incredibly selfish.
Why not slow down and enjoy the ride a bit more and if you think you are something then join a weekly road race

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eurotrash [88 posts] 3 years ago
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Problem is on these relatively narrow paths you get someone bumbling along in their own world, bike randomly snaking along, and someone going much faster overtaking them, and the first rider doesn't keep to her line and collides with the person trying to overtake her. I assume that's what happened in this incident as it doesn't make sense that a cyclist would have just smashed into her from behind. Yet when I'm on a cycle path through a park or something, going a decent speed, I am always very wary of and careful when passing these seemingly innocuous "peds on bikes" as they have no sense of what's going on around them and cycle as if they are the only person using the path and heaven forbid anyone would be doing more than 10mph.

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stefv [212 posts] 3 years ago
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We just need a 'Don't be a cock' law to cover things like this.  39

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Krd51 [28 posts] 3 years ago
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How did her helmet help her collar bone?

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Some Fella [890 posts] 3 years ago
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Krd51 wrote:

How did her helmet help her collar bone?

Helmets save lives - everyone knows that!

(im being sarcastic by the way)

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gmrza [16 posts] 3 years ago
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I have to admit 32.18km/h (come on, please get out of the 19th century, use SI units) is pretty fast on a shared path when there are slower users around.
In reality, the cost of enforcement is going to outweigh the benefit.
It shouldn't be necessary to regulate speed limits. The occasional section of cobbles would work wonders to keep speeds down!

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reallyunique [5 posts] 3 years ago
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+1 on the "Don't be a cock" law!
It is nasty when an accident like this happens, and there is no excuse for overtaking at a speed that can cause this type of injury. Wandering off after the incident is about as low as you can go as a human being.

This isn't a cycling problem though, there are nutters everywhere. I'm glad this idiot was speeding on a bike and not in a car. Imagine if this happened on a motorway the kind of damage that would have been done.

This is proof, if any were needed, that we need to get people out of cars and onto bikes. More broken collar bones and fewer deaths, that's what I say.

(Is the Bristol-Bath path the only place where bike/bike or bike/ped accidents occur? It seems to feature regularly here.)

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nbrus [297 posts] 3 years ago
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"Where there's blame, there's a claim" ... probably why this idiot didn't stop!  39
Definitely going too fast if they didn't have time to react to potential dangers.

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Beaufort [270 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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a.jumper [846 posts] 3 years ago
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Shame on the rider for not stopping.

I agree that the victim's story is a bit odd. Were they using it as a racetrack or a commuter route, for example? She's had a bad experience and is understandably shaken so I hope they collect more evidence instead of jerking their knee with impractical rules.

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Al__S [1084 posts] 3 years ago
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I do cycle quickly on narrowish shared use paths, but if there's a slow cyclist ahead I slow down to a speed that's safe- I anticipate that I may have to wait behind them if someone's coming the other way.

Still get a lot of close calls when I do pull out and they suddenly veer right.

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qwerky [184 posts] 3 years ago
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As said already a speed limit is legally unenforcable for a vehicle not required to have a speedometer.

A better form of prevention would be a £60 FPN, a stern talking to and maybe mandatory Bikeability training (paid for by the accused). Just need a few police patrols. Saying that, in this case where an idiot has injured someone and ridden off, I'd throw the book at them.

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farrell [1950 posts] 3 years ago
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qwerky wrote:

As said already a speed limit is legally unenforcable for a vehicle not required to have a speedometer.

A better form of prevention would be a £60 FPN, a stern talking to and maybe mandatory Bikeability training (paid for by the accused). Just need a few police patrols. Saying that, in this case where an idiot has injured someone and ridden off, I'd throw the book at them.

£60 fine for what exactly? Exceeding a speed limit you yourself have just is unenforceable?

Or do we just allow the police or PCSOs to just fine people for things they have made up, like the recent ticketings in Manchester for 'weaving'?

And are we all 100% sure that the new 'Don't be a cock' law definitely wouldn't/couldn't/doesn't apply to Ms Tuffney?

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Mart [110 posts] 3 years ago
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The DoT design guide that Sustrans references: note section 8

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/sites/default/files/images/files/migrated-pdf...

Its worth noting that they probably designed this route for a speed of between 12 and 20 mph. It will be interesting to find out if this was designed to be a commuter route or a local access route. The former would imply 20mph, the latter 12mph.
But this is only a guide. But it makes some interesting reading, especially with regards to width etc.

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Cantab [101 posts] 3 years ago
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I use a similar shared-use path to get to work the other day. I admit I cycle faster than most other users but it is open and easy to see far ahead so I can (and do) slow to an appropriate speed to pass them. I would rather that the path was much wider though, you never know when another user is going to step out into your path without looking/thinking (not to mention the pedestrians AND cyclists who feel they can take up the entire width, or stand in the middle having a conversation).

Shared use paths are fundamentally flawed, if we want to migrate away from our car culture and make cycling into a viable mode of commuting for the masses we need infrastructure which makes it not only safe, but also convenient and quick. This requires wide cycle-only thoroughfares (cf. the Netherlands), with space for all speeds of cyclist and few obstacles.

On a side note, who else is waiting for Sustrans to stick their oar in about this?  39

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Colin Peyresourde [1773 posts] 3 years ago
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I object to any proposal to reduce my cycling speed. What people have to understand here (and I think that some do) is that this is an unusual event. We don't need to legislate to control this kind of thing then.

I think it is possible for people to cycle whatever speed they like, but the law/etiquette is to pass safely. The person who collided with her did not (from her story). I think we can all agree that this was not appropriate action, just like a car hit-and-run.

I resent accusations by people who do not ride quickly that cycling fast is dangerous. It is not, it's about the application of speed that is dangerous (too fast into corners, too fast around other road users).

My girlfriend often talks about taking risks, but quite often what we perceive as risk is imperfect. It's the old adage 'you wouldn't get out of bed', but not getting out of bed increases your risk of heart disease, so the balance is out there somewhere. In my opinion cycling slowly often opens you to risks which riding quickly doesn't. I'm not blaming this woman for what happened to her, but that there are issues associated with cycling slowly - the problem being that slow cyclists cycle slowly because they can't go quicker.

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Goldfever4 [225 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm opening myself up to abuse here, but I use this path and my general speed is 22-25kph, which is less than the 20mph limit that's been suggested. No one uses this path at over 30kph! It's not possible with the number of slower cyclists, pedestrians taking up most of the path and dogs on extended leads.

I use a bell and that usually is enough to alert cyclists & peds not to veer to the side or to pull in a bit. I just think common sense is needed then we will all get along fine...

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