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Santander Cycles are here to stay; Ostrich lead-outs? That'll never take off; All I want for Christmas is a safe place to cycle; E-scooter drink driving; Are potholes getting worse?; Vandalised LTN repaired; Tom Pidcock reaction + more on the live blog

It's the start of a new week and Dan Alexander will be getting you through Monday on the live blog...
14 December 2020, 17:03
Cyclist blames cycle path for injury

A cyclist who works at the Royal Victoria Infirmary has blamed a Newcastle cycle path for a crash, which left her with a black eye and concussion symptoms. Julie Whittaker was cycling to work when she fell on the Forsyth Road cycle lane, which she said 'disappears'. 

"Many people like me are desperate to choose active travel but they are apprehensive because of safety, and this is with good reason. The main, outstanding issue is road safety, and this is a big one in my opinion." she told Jesmond Local.

In response to the incident, Ed Smith, a spokesperson for cycling and pedestrian safety campaign SPACEforJesmond, said that the west side of Forsyth Road is "not ideal for cycling because of high levels of motor traffic, particularly at peak times. A protected cycleway on this road would bring this route up to a standard for all ages and abilities to cycle on.”

14 December 2020, 16:53
A cycle lane to nowhere

Not the worst cycle lane we've seen but still spectacularly bad... 

14 December 2020, 16:16
Santander cycles are here to stay
santander cycles ten year anniversary - bike

On Friday, we reported that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was considering scrapping Santander Cycles, in a cost-saving measure to help Transport for London. However, today, London's Cycling and Walking Commissioner Will Norman told Forbes that this is not going to happen. 

"We’ve got absolutely no intention at all to scrap the hire bike scheme,” Norman said.“It’s been shown that it’s more popular than ever. In fact, we’re investing in modernising and expanding it.

"Many people enjoyed making the most of the quieter streets during lockdown, and this change in habit has had lasting effects, with walking and cycling journeys continuing to be higher year-on-year."

There are more than 12,000 Santander bikes in the capital which can be accessed from 781 docking stations. It was claimed that removal of the cycle hire scheme, Woolwich Ferry and River Services would save TfL £63m, while also sacrificing £15m in revenue. These cost-cutting measures were suggested at the end of a year in which TfL has received two Covid bail-outs from the Government, together worth £3.4bn, after revenue and passenger numbers collapsed due to the pandemic.

14 December 2020, 15:59
Free bike marking in the capital
14 December 2020, 15:04
Business is booming for VeloSkin
2020 Veloskin Soothing Gel

Cycling chamois cream company VeloSkin has become the best-selling product of its type on Amazon, with the Halifax Courier reporting that Andrew Banks and Chris Iredale have now bought out the company's other partners. The company has also renewed its deal to supply UK UCI Continental team Ribble Weldtite for 2021.

 Banks said: "These sponsorship commitments represent a significant step up from us as a company and signify the confidence that Chris and I have in buying out the business.

“We’re absolutely delighted that VeloSkin continues on its impressive growth trajectory and we thank Chris, Tanya and Paul for all their hard work on the brand. When the opportunity arose to buy out our other partners, we felt it was too good a chance to miss."

14 December 2020, 14:07
Tour de Pologne organisers contemplate scrapping dangerous sprint finish
Fabio Jakobsen crash at 2020 Tour de Pologne (picture credit ilario Biondi/LB/RB/CorVos/SWpix.com).JPG

The race organisers of the Tour de Pologne are contemplating removing the dangerous downhill sprint finish from next year's edition, Cyclingnews reports. The sprint finish in Katowice has been a regular fixture at the race but organisers accpeted they must consider whether it remains on the parcours next year. Many pro riders and fans blamed the downhill finish for exacerbating the horrendous crash on the opening stage of the 2020 race, which left Fabio Jakobsen in a coma in hospital.

Race director Czesław Lang told Cyclingnews: "The UCI has ruled on this, it was the rider’s fault. We are contemplating different scenarios, we are talking to the local officials." A representative of the Katowice press office confirmed that they are considering hosting the finish in a different location or re-routing the current finish.

14 December 2020, 13:28
Ostrich lead-outs? That'll never take off

[Cape Point National Park][RSA] Credits go to Daniel's ass from r/CyclistsWithCameras

At least here in the UK all we have to worry about is the occasional squirrel or stray deer...This video from South Africa shows a group of cyclists being given a race by an Ostrich. Some quick research on Google found that Ostriches are the world's fastest running bird and have a top speed of 70km/h, but have been clocked as fast as 96km/h... Sam Bennett. One speedy Ostrich. 200m sprint. Who wins? 

It turns out this isn't the first Ostrich-related incident we've seen... In 2016 we shared this video of an Ostrich chasing after a pair of slightly concerned and very confused cyclists...

14 December 2020, 12:09
All I want for Christmas is...a safe place to cycle!

Time for something a bit more positive after that LTN vandalism story earlier... Open to Santa's sleigh and his reindeer, this Hackney LTN has got into the Christmas spirit with some festive decorations. The sign says, 'All I want for Christmas is a safe place to cycle'...

14 December 2020, 11:11
E-scooter rider arrested for drink driving

Isle of Wight Police issued this warning to anyone thinking of using an e-scooter while celebrating the festive season. Covered by the 1988 Road Traffic Act, e-scooter riders face the same treatment as car drivers and consequently one rider found themselves arrested on suspicion of drink driving. The force stressed that the use of e-scooters whilst intoxicated will not be tolerated. 

Beryl launched a trial of e-scooters in Newport, the principal town on the island, with a fleet of 25 available for use which have been capped at a top speed of 12.5mph. Isle of Wight County Press says that more than 700 journeys over more than 4,000km were travelled within a week of their launch.

When they were first made available, Beryl emphasised the need to follow road laws when using their e-scooters and said they were working with Hampshire Police to promote safe use. Many replies on the Isle of Wight Police Facebook post made accusations about improper use.

David Roberts wrote: "If the rules are the same as a car then get them off the pavements and going up the road the wrong way. Need to abide by the highway code from what I have seen this is not happening an accident waiting to happen, it is not fair on the driver this happens too."

14 December 2020, 10:32
More encouraging scenes from a busy school run in the bike lane
14 December 2020, 09:54
Pidcock reaction

Tom Pidcock claimed the biggest win of his cyclo-cross career yesterday, beating world champion Mathieu van der Poel impressively, to win the Superprestige Gavere. It was Pidcock's first international win at elite level and the 21-year-old certainly had us excited with his performance...

14 December 2020, 09:13
Are potholes getting worse? 'Significant increase' in complaints this year
Huge pothole (CC BY SA 2.0 licensed image by Tom Chancen_Flickr).jpg

The Times reports the RAC's annual Report on Motoring found that the quality of UK's roads has deteriorated over the past year, according to the replies of more than 3,000 motorists. The study noted a "significant increase" in the number of complaints about the condition of council-maintained roads, with rural areas being a particular concern. A Freedom of Information request last year found that one cyclist a week is killed or seriously injured due to potholes.

The motoring organisation said it was likely that councils struggled to "keep up maintenance programmes as the pandemic took hold." Of the 3,068 drivers who contributed to the report, 52 per cent said local roads had deteriorated, with 59 per cent saying rural roads were particularly bad. A Department for Transport spokesperseon said: "We’ve committed £2.5 billion for local road repairs as part of the biggest pothole programme ever announced."

14 December 2020, 08:36
Vandalised LTN repaired

A Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) road closure needed to be repaired after vandals targeted it with spray paint and ripped out the bollard stopping cars from cutting down the road. The bollard on Elmore Street in Islington has been replaced but according to one social media user, it is a regular problem. Nearby Cleaveland Road has also had the bollards, that stop car drivers rat running through the residential area, removed by angry vandals.

The damage is similar to this LTN in Hackney pictured below, which was graffitied within 24 hours of its installation. At the time, Councillor Jon Burke labelled the offenders as "degenerates". He said: "In the 24 hours since this new filter was delivered, anti-LTN fanatics who absolutely cannot accept sharing the roads with all those who both use and pay for them, have stolen the bollard, defaced the signs, and snapped the trees. Degenerates, plain and simple."

Hackney LTN vandalised (Twitter)

 

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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