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Edinburgh cycle lane not gritted for 3 days after snowfall; 2.4m trips on CS3 in 2020; Congestion up after cycle lane ripped out; Matt Stephens quizzes Ineos signings; New name, kit, bike as Mitchelton-Scott becomes Team Bike Exchange + more on live blog

Happy New Year and welcome to our first live blog of 2021 with Simon MacMichael
01 January 2021, 18:25
Cyclists made 2.4m trips on Embankment cycleway last year

Cyclists ,made 2.4 million trips on London's Cycleway 3 in 2020 according to the cycle counter close to Embankment Underground station - while across the river, the Blackfriars Road cycle counter recorded 1.1 million bike rides on Cycleway 6. 

Click through the tweet for a thread analysing of how riding patterns changed throughout the year.

01 January 2021, 15:53
Matt Stephens quizzes Ineos Grenadiers new signings

Three of Ineos Grenadiers new signings - Adam Yates, Laurens Ten Post and Ritchie Porte - have been quizzed by former British champion turned TV pundit and presenter Matt Stephens, and the questions are as quirky as you'd expect ... 

 

01 January 2021, 15:43
Edinburgh cyclist asks why bike lane wasn’t gritted after snowfall

A cyclist in Edinburgh has asked the city council why a bike lane on a main road in the Scottish capital was not gritted for three days after a recent snowfall, forcing many to take to the main carriageway instead.

The cycle lane on Comiston Road, which runs from Comiston to Morningside in the south of the city, was put in place last year as part of the council’s Spaces for People programme to encourage active travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

Edinburgh News reports that one local resident, Paul Bailey, wrote to the council’s transport convener Lesley Macinnes to point out that while the main road had been gritted, the cycle lane had not.

“I notice to the council’s credit that some gritting has been done on some pavements on Comiston Road,” he said. “However I also notice that none of the cycle lanes on Comiston Road have been cleared at all. May I ask why the cycle lanes on such a major road are being left untreated - even after three days?

“On Wednesday, to my surprise, I met a cyclist attempting to negotiate the icy surface of the cycle lane. A few seconds later the cyclist left the dangerous cycle lane and moved out into the main carriageway.

“This of course leads to another problem; the overtaking car needs to straddle the central white line to give the cyclist room; further up the road where parking is allowed, the main carriageway is even narrower - 3.25 metres.

“Spaces for People was meant to help cyclists and pedestrians. Clearly the Orcas  are creating a serious problem which needs to be addressed promptly. Waiting until the next review on January 28 is unacceptable when you know about the danger now.”

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh City Council commented: “Our gritting teams work 24/7 to respond to poor conditions on the city’s roads, cycle paths and pavements.

“We operate a priority gritting system, treating priority one routes first, which include principal roads, bus routes and roads and pavements leading to hospitals, fire stations care homes, in order to keep the city moving.”

It's the second time in a month that the council has faced criticism for not gritting the same cycle lane, with one Twitter user saying after a snowfall in early December, "Looks like we may have to clear these ourselves."

01 January 2021, 12:25
New team name, new kit for Mitchelton-Scott - now Team Bike Exchange

It's the first of January, and among other things, that means that riders announced as switching teams in recent months will now be able to go out in the kit of their new team - and of course, in some cases that will mean not only a completely different kit to the one the team wore last year, but also a change of name.

Among the teams to have changed name due to a change in sponsor is Team Bike Exchange - formerly Mitchelton-Scott - and besides a new kit, modelled in this video by Simon Yates and Teniel Campbell, there's also a new bike sponsor, Bianchi.

Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish is back at Deceuninck-Quick Step, who have given their kit a bit of an overhaul - here's the former road world champion sporting it, together with rainbow bands on the collar and cuffs.

01 January 2021, 11:20
Kensington High Street protest (copyright Simon MacMichael)
Congestion rises after cycle lane ripped out

A study of traffic on Kensington High Street has found that congestion worsened after the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea ripped up a temporary cycle lane there last month.

Campaign group Bike Is Best also said that its research shows that the space formerly taken up by the cycle lane is now blocked by illegally parked vehicles up to 80 per cent of the time, reports the Guardian.

More on this story on road.cc later.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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