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Mark Beaumont backs what we thought sounded like the worst cycling event ever

Round-the-world cyclist says Aberdeen Western Peripheral Road will improve air quality for cyclists and pedestrians

Remember the GoNorthEast Road Festival? It’s a free public event taking place next month to celebrate the opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Road and one we suggested might constitute the worst cycling event of all time. The Evening Express reports that round-the-world record-breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont has come out in support of it.

When we first covered the festival, cyclists were being invited to “wobble or weave” on the road to promote active travel – but they weren’t allowed to bring their own bikes, had to arrive by shuttle bus and stood to be banned from the road forever once it had opened.

Since then, it’s improved a touch. The organisers have said that 1,500 people will be able to bring their own bikes if they register for a specific timeslot.

Beaumont said: “The GoNorthEast Road Festival is a great opportunity for the local community to get together and celebrate this amazing infrastructure project which is going to hugely improve journeys for people in the north-east.

“I’m very pleased to show my support for this brilliant event which will bring the community together and is an opportunity for cyclists of all ages and abilities.

“The AWPR is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe and I have been very aware of its progress over the years.

“This project will change the lives of people who live in the north-east and help improve air quality for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Improve air quality for cyclists and pedestrians?

Derick Murray, director of Nestrans, said: “We believe that the AWPR is a major contributor towards a more sustainable transport strategy for the north-east and we’ve been a long-term promoter of the project.

“The AWPR will help free up Anderson Drive and the city centre to enable smoother, faster and more reliable bus services and access to Park and Ride sites.

“From an environmental standpoint, nose-to-tail traffic creates much more pollution, whereas free-flowing traffic generates lower carbon emissions, improving our air quality in and around the city.”

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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28 comments

Avatar
TheHungryGhost | 5 years ago
0 likes

Is anyone from on here going on the ride?

I'm booked in, but may not be able to make it.

 

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BehindTheBikesheds replied to TheHungryGhost | 5 years ago
2 likes
TheHungryGhost wrote:

Is anyone from on here going on the ride?

I'm booked in, but may not be able to make it.

 

Why even bother to fellate these types which IMHO you'll be doing by turning up.

Fuck 'em because that's exactly what these tosspots have basically said to cycling provision.

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dafyddp | 5 years ago
1 like

What really pisses me off is that in much of Europe (especially the Northern countries i suppose), a proper two-lane cycle route would have been an integral part of the road's structure. 

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davel | 5 years ago
5 likes

It's induced demand, though, isn't it... I think what typically happens is that a bypass frees up roads into town a bit, as the through-traffic takes the nice new tarmac. So all those people who previously didn't want to sit in traffic for 30 minutes to go to the post office, or wouldn't drive into work, now see the open roads ahead and jump in their car.

Bingo - more traffic.

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ChrisB200SX replied to davel | 5 years ago
6 likes
davel wrote:

It's induced demand, though, isn't it... I think what typically happens is that a bypass frees up roads into town a bit, as the through-traffic takes the nice new tarmac. So all those people who previously didn't want to sit in traffic for 30 minutes to go to the post office, or wouldn't drive into work, now see the open roads ahead and jump in their car. Bingo - more traffic.

Exactly. Making it easier for people to drive places is not conducive to making people drive less, quite the opposite. And so, more miles are driven and more pollution created. Any improvement will only be temporary.
I suggest spending nearly a billion (£1,000,000,000) on cycling infrastructure in the same region would have a far bigger impact on pollution and congestion.... if only we could figure out how to get people out of their cars and into sustainable transport.

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don simon fbpe | 5 years ago
6 likes

Beaumont wasn't aware of the details.

Geraint wasn't aware of the feelings about helmets.

While these so called celebrities are allowed opinions, obviously, but they should take care of which ones they thoughtlessly spout as there are consequences. Use your celebrity responsibly.

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davel replied to don simon fbpe | 5 years ago
6 likes
don simon wrote:

Beaumont wasn't aware of the details.

Geraint wasn't aware of the feelings about helmets.

While these so called celebrities are allowed opinions, obviously, but they should take care of which ones they thoughtlessly spout as there are consequences. Use your celebrity responsibly.

Yep. If you're going to turn up to the opening of a crisp packet and use it to boost your profile, either take some responsibility for the shit that falls out of your mouth, or just keep schtum on the many issues beyond your intellect.

Joey Essex is a media guru in comparison.

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BehindTheBikesheds | 5 years ago
2 likes

Beaumont's twitter response, it would seem he had no idea what the event was about according to him.

 

 

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davel replied to BehindTheBikesheds | 5 years ago
4 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

Beaumont's twitter response, it would seem he had no idea what the event was about according to him.

[slopey-shouldered 'context' wriggle by Beaumont]

Taken out of context,Mr Beaumont? Only the context you yourself have provided by raving about the road changing lives. 

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fukawitribe | 5 years ago
0 likes
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JMcL_Ireland | 5 years ago
5 likes

Well, they should be able to restrict the number of cars to a reasonable level by having them register for a timeslot </sarcasm>

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OnTheRopes | 5 years ago
5 likes

I wonder if Mr Beaumont is on the payroll.

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Derk Davies replied to OnTheRopes | 5 years ago
0 likes
OnTheRopes wrote:

I wonder if Mr Beaumont is on the payroll.

That crossed my mind. Sounds just like what someone being paid would say. I have massive respect for what he's done on a bike and his other epic feats of endurance but just don't understand his comments on this.

Maybe he's just rode every road in Scotland too many times and wants a new one for the day (or for his alloted time slot)?

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HarrogateSpa | 5 years ago
5 likes

All this free-flowing traffic doesn't just flow freely on this special new road. The journeys start and finish in other places. Extra traffic induced by the new road will clog up existing roads and junctions even more.

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hawkinspeter replied to HarrogateSpa | 5 years ago
3 likes
HarrogateSpa wrote:

All this free-flowing traffic doesn't just flow freely on this special new road. The journeys start and finish in other places. Extra traffic induced by the new road will clog up existing roads and junctions even more.

Luckily, that's classed as an S.E.P.* and not counted against the new road. They'll probably blame the extra congestion on more people cycling or something.

*Somene Else's Problem

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burtthebike replied to hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
5 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
HarrogateSpa wrote:

All this free-flowing traffic doesn't just flow freely on this special new road. The journeys start and finish in other places. Extra traffic induced by the new road will clog up existing roads and junctions even more.

Luckily, that's classed as an S.E.P.* and not counted against the new road. They'll probably blame the extra congestion on more people cycling or something.

*Somene Else's Problem

SEP, what a useful acronym.  I'll start using it immediately.  Thank you.

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fukawitribe replied to burtthebike | 5 years ago
1 like
burtthebike wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:
HarrogateSpa wrote:

All this free-flowing traffic doesn't just flow freely on this special new road. The journeys start and finish in other places. Extra traffic induced by the new road will clog up existing roads and junctions even more.

Luckily, that's classed as an S.E.P.* and not counted against the new road. They'll probably blame the extra congestion on more people cycling or something.

*Somene Else's Problem

SEP, what a useful acronym.  I'll start using it immediately.  Thank you.

There may be a nod to a certain Mr. Adams for that one.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to fukawitribe | 5 years ago
0 likes
fukawitribe wrote:
burtthebike wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:
HarrogateSpa wrote:

All this free-flowing traffic doesn't just flow freely on this special new road. The journeys start and finish in other places. Extra traffic induced by the new road will clog up existing roads and junctions even more.

Luckily, that's classed as an S.E.P.* and not counted against the new road. They'll probably blame the extra congestion on more people cycling or something.

*Somene Else's Problem

SEP, what a useful acronym.  I'll start using it immediately.  Thank you.

There may be a nod to a certain Mr. Adams for that one.

Possibly, I don't remember where I first heard it.

Avatar
brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:
burtthebike wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:
HarrogateSpa wrote:

All this free-flowing traffic doesn't just flow freely on this special new road. The journeys start and finish in other places. Extra traffic induced by the new road will clog up existing roads and junctions even more.

Luckily, that's classed as an S.E.P.* and not counted against the new road. They'll probably blame the extra congestion on more people cycling or something.

*Somene Else's Problem

SEP, what a useful acronym.  I'll start using it immediately.  Thank you.

There may be a nod to a certain Mr. Adams for that one.

Possibly, I don't remember where I first heard it.

Yup - I think it has something to do with a small space-and-time-travelling Italian bistro... 

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StuInNorway replied to HarrogateSpa | 5 years ago
2 likes
HarrogateSpa wrote:

All this free-flowing traffic doesn't just flow freely on this special new road. The journeys start and finish in other places. Extra traffic induced by the new road will clog up existing roads and junctions even more.

 

As the 2 ends of the road (a bypass as it happens) join the existing main roads either side of Aberdeen, and skip past the current 376 (at least it fels like that in the current queues) roundabouts and traffic light controlled junctions, through narrow roads just off the endge of the city centre, most of the traffic it takes will come from one main road and end up on the continuation further north without passing through all the roundabouts in the middle.
This should free up space on todays route for cyclists and other local traffic. I'd suggest looking at the project on a map..... I drove the current route for hopefully the last time a few weeks ago, and it was stop start traffic even on a Sunday afternoon crawling from one roundabout to the next

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davel | 5 years ago
5 likes

Mark Beaumont opening his gob isn't great for air quality, either. 

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hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
3 likes

I'd be interested to see the data that he used.

It's well known that in general, travelling faster in a car burns more fuel than travelling slowly, whereas travelling at a steady speed is less polluting than accelerating/decelerating.

So the question is why would this road be reducing pollution?

According to this report, the "golden zone" to drive at is between 45-65mph, so is this road designed to encourage these speeds or has Mr Beaumont got access to some other data that is more accurate?

With air quality becoming much more of an issue, we should encourage Mr Beaumont to share his ground-breaking research as this should impact the design of future roads and cities.

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cactuscat | 5 years ago
12 likes

It's great that this road is going to improve air quality and produce free-flowing traffic. it's also a bit confusing, since every study ever shows that building more roads just generates more traffic. i wonder what's so special about it?

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ChrisB200SX replied to cactuscat | 5 years ago
5 likes
cactuscat wrote:

i wonder what's so special about it?

Cyclists aren't allowed on it... the inference being that cyclists cause pollution and reduce air quality, because we're also told cycle lanes cause traffic and pollution.
They can find nearly a Billion pounds (£1,000,000,000 - because many people don't actually understand this number in written form) for a road that isn't needed, but can only find pennies for cycling "infrastructure".

Avatar
StuInNorway replied to ChrisB200SX | 5 years ago
2 likes
ChrisB200SX wrote:
cactuscat wrote:

i wonder what's so special about it?

Cyclists aren't allowed on it... the inference being that cyclists cause pollution and reduce air quality, because we're also told cycle lanes cause traffic and pollution.
They can find nearly a Billion pounds (£1,000,000,000 - because many people don't actually understand this number in written form) for a road that isn't needed, but can only find pennies for cycling "infrastructure".

I suggest looking at the map and checking out where the road goes to and from, there are next to no cyclists at either end. Do you think people will suddenly decide the are cycling from North of Aberdeen to Dundee just because they open this piece of road ?

I'll not disagree that they lack planning on how cyclists should cross this new road as some of the junctions are badly planned.

Moving the traffic from todays overcrouded series of around 50 roundabout and traffic light junctions to a proper dual carriageway will prevent todays stop start traffic, and reduce pollution, as well as freeing up the current road for local traffic and yes, local cyclists. I for one would NEVER consider cycling that current route from Aberdeen Airport to the A92 south.

Avatar
Dnnnnnn replied to StuInNorway | 5 years ago
3 likes
StuInNorway wrote:
ChrisB200SX wrote:
cactuscat wrote:

i wonder what's so special about it?

Cyclists aren't allowed on it... the inference being that cyclists cause pollution and reduce air quality, because we're also told cycle lanes cause traffic and pollution.
They can find nearly a Billion pounds (£1,000,000,000 - because many people don't actually understand this number in written form) for a road that isn't needed, but can only find pennies for cycling "infrastructure".

I suggest looking at the map and checking out where the road goes to and from, there are next to no cyclists at either end. Do you think people will suddenly decide the are cycling from North of Aberdeen to Dundee just because they open this piece of road ?

I'll not disagree that they lack planning on how cyclists should cross this new road as some of the junctions are badly planned.

Moving the traffic from todays overcrouded series of around 50 roundabout and traffic light junctions to a proper dual carriageway will prevent todays stop start traffic, and reduce pollution, as well as freeing up the current road for local traffic and yes, local cyclists. I for one would NEVER consider cycling that current route from Aberdeen Airport to the A92 south.

I'm not agin the AWPR.

Knowing the route, I'd agree that it will have the benefit of removing a lot of through traffic which really shouldn't be clogging the inner city.

The danger is that the freed-up space will be filled by additional journeys, perhaps more local. It would be good if the freed-up capacity was removed or restricted, rather than allowed to fill up with additional trips. Perhaps take away a lane in each direction, widen the pavements in places, insert cycle lanes, etc? Could be quite a nice boulevard.

An additonal risk is that the extra capacity on the AWPR will encourage more people to make more trips using that which - as noted - need to use local networks at either end.

Longer-term, the new road may encourage more car-centric development where people have little option but to drive further and more often.

All these things mean that - unless actions are taken to prevent it - the respite provided by the AWPR may be temporary at best.

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burtthebike | 5 years ago
13 likes

Mr Beaumont might like to put a little more water with whatever he's drinking, as he is completely deluded if he thinks new roads improve air quality.

Just like Geraint about cycle helmets, it's best not to take advice from people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

Sorry Mark, you're a great cyclist and everything, but as the old saying goes "It's better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

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dassie replied to burtthebike | 5 years ago
0 likes
burtthebike wrote:

Mr Beaumont might like to put a little more water with whatever he's drinking, as he is completely deluded if he thinks new roads improve air quality.

Just like Geraint about cycle helmets, it's best not to take advice from people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

Sorry Mark, you're a great cyclist and everything, but as the old saying goes "It's better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

 

It doesn't seem outside the bounds of possibility that this kind of by-pass for a major city will initially improve congestion and lower pollution levels in the city environment, with benefits for peds and cyclists; nor that this cycling event will actually be successful and 'worthwhile'.  Don't forget also that over the next two decades the number of electric / very low emission vehicles is set for a big increase  - allegedly.

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