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Call for review of Mersey tunnel cycling rules after ‘drunk’ young men are filmed in Queensway tunnel on CityBikes

Concerns that people might think cycling is permitted during the day

A video of ‘drunk’ young men riding CityBikes in the Queensway tunnel has spurred a Merseytravel committee member to call for a review of cycling rules reports the Liverpool Echo. The video shows one of the cyclists veering into the opposite lane while riding home on one of the city’s hire bikes during the early hours of Sunday December 27.

While cycling is not allowed in the Kingsway tunnel (Wallasey), it is permitted in the Queensway tunnel (Birkenhead) between 8pm and 8am on a Saturday night and between 8pm and 7am during the week.

Councillor Les Rowlands, Wirral mayor and a Merseytravel committee member, said:

“Merseytravel needs to look into the rules around cycling in the tunnel and promote them more, as there are so many people using CityBikes now.

“You can cycle at certain times, but people are probably going to think automatically they can cycle through at any time on the bikes. We need to review the rules, and maybe make them more explicit.”

The four cyclists reportedly took the decision to cycle home to Wallasey after a Boxing Day night out because they were unable to get a cab.

One of the cyclists, Jonny Ward, explained:

“We were out for my brother’s leaving party before he went to Australia. We couldn’t get a taxi so thought we should the get the bikes. We had to take them back the next day. It was a bit stupid and dangerous, and we’d had a few drinks – it wouldn’t have happened if we were sober – but it is legal to cycle at that time.”

The video was shot from a car by James Taylor. His brother Andy, who was also in the car, said: “I thought it was hilarious they were on rental bikes in the tunnel. It’s living on the edge, but it was all safe. There was not much traffic, and any cars would have seen them clearly.”

CityBike is the UK’s largest public bike hire scheme outside London with over 130 rental locations. Record numbers used the bikes in October this year, with 10,851 rentals over the course of the month. More than 9,000 bikes have been used each month since April.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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12 comments

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jollygoodvelo | 8 years ago
3 likes

So, just to get this straight...

 

Two young men do something that is not illegal.

 

Another man witnessed this and observed that they could be seen clearly, thereby mitigating any potential risk (to the first two men).

 

Another man says "Down with this sort of thing."

 

I know it's slow news season, but... huh?

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Simon E replied to jollygoodvelo | 7 years ago
0 likes
Gizmo_ wrote:

I know it's slow news season, but... huh?

If they ban everything that pissed blokes try to do late at night there won't be many things left that's legal!!

Storm in a teacup wine glass.

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STiG911 | 8 years ago
0 likes

'Any cars would have seen them clearly'.

Really?

Given how many cars / busses / lorries claim not to have seen cyclists, I'm not sure I'd feel reassured about that...

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hawkinspeter | 8 years ago
1 like

Sounds like a one-off for them on Boxing day and it was far more responsible of them to cycle than to drunk-drive, so I think they should be applauded. They might have endangered themselves a bit, but so what - they had beer armour on!

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leaway2 | 8 years ago
7 likes

So if they catch a motorist over the limit in the tunnel, will they will ban all motor vehicles?

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SteppenHerring replied to leaway2 | 8 years ago
0 likes
leaway2 wrote:

So if they catch a motorist over the limit in the tunnel, will they will ban all motor vehicles?

That was my initial reaction. People get all frothy at the mouth about drunk cyclists but ...

Also if they're from the Wirral, then little surprises me. I know it wasn't Nigel as he's on Shimano Ultegra now. (I predict nobody getting that reference)

Avatar
bobbypuk replied to SteppenHerring | 8 years ago
1 like
SteppenHerring wrote:

Also if they're from the Wirral, then little surprises me. I know it wasn't Nigel as he's on Shimano Ultegra now. (I predict nobody getting that reference)

Is he? Moved on from Sturmey-Archer Campagnolo then?

Avatar
SteppenHerring replied to bobbypuk | 8 years ago
0 likes
bobbypuk wrote:
SteppenHerring wrote:

Also if they're from the Wirral, then little surprises me. I know it wasn't Nigel as he's on Shimano Ultegra now. (I predict nobody getting that reference)

Is he? Moved on from Sturmey-Archer Campagnolo then?

See Excavating Rita from 90 Bisodol (Crimond). I believe that he now has a Trek rather than a lilac Harry Quinn 

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TimOFEE | 8 years ago
0 likes

A certain Mr H Potter once rode a Nimbus 2000 through it.

 

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dodgy | 8 years ago
0 likes

I've ridden through it dozens of times. Most aren't aware of the bylaws, including police who have in the past stopped me at the exit. A quick phone call sorted out who was right. 

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michophull | 8 years ago
0 likes

As a Wirral resident I can only say that one would have to be mad to ride through the Birkenhead tunnel. The traffic fumes are deadly even off peak. As an aside, one of my friends was once caught trying to walk through it on Christmas Eve many years ago. The police pulled him in and he spent the night in a cell in Liverpool. 

Avatar
swldxer | 8 years ago
1 like

A judge once stated that it was not possible to be drunk and to ride a bike without falling off and so dismissed the case.

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