Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

Pub landlord says new bike lane is “a disaster waiting to happen”... then blocks half of it with barriers; TT bike raffled off for Ukraine; road.cc makes the Express; Pidcock inspires next gen of cycling superheroes + more on the live blog

Ryan Mallon’s here for Monday’s live blog, hoping to attack the week like Simon Yates on the Col d’Eze
14 March 2022, 18:23
The first rut is the deepest: Rod Stewart warned by council after the singer was filmed repairing potholes

Imagine complaining endlessly about the state of your local pothole-infested road (as we all do), only to ride down it one day to find Rod Stewart, shovel in hand, fixing the road himself.

That’s what happened two days ago near Harlow in Essex, when the Maggie May singer enlisted a few of “the boys” to help him repair one of the worst roads I’ve ever seen.

In his Instagram post, Rod said the road had been covered in potholes “for ages” but “no-one was bothered” to fix it.

“People are bashing their cars up. The other day, there was an ambulance with a burst tyre. My Ferrari can't go through here at all,” he said.

While Rod’s intervention would surely be welcomed by local motorists and cyclists alike given the state of the road (even if we all don’t have a Ferrari to drive into potholes), Lee Scott, an Essex County Council member responsible for highway maintenance, warned members of the public against following the Faces singer’s lead by taking “matters into your own hands”.

“People must always report potholes to the council and we will fix anything that's dangerous,” Scott said.

“All road repairs have to be done to a professional level or the person doing it could become liable for any problems or accidents.”

I wonder if Rod will enlist Ronnie Wood to help clear any Debris, so people don’t Shake, Shudder, Shiver on the way to Miss Judy’s Farm… [ed – Right, that’s enough now]

14 March 2022, 17:38
The pub landlord and the dodgy bike lane – your reaction (featuring Al Murray)

A pub landlord’s decision to place barriers on a newly constructed – and controversial – shared pedestrian and cycle path in Harrogate has divided opinion both in the comments and on Twitter.

Here is a selection of some of your thoughts:

I'm with the landlord on this one.

Constructing a bike path right outside doors that open on to it creates a hazard for cyclists and pedestrians.

The fencing in the picture has been installed to give a safety box immediately outside the doorway - you see the same arrangement at stations and in warehouses where there is a risk of vehicles coming into conflict with pedestrians.

The council should have removed 3-4 parking spaces (shock horror / insert incredulity in this space) and then moved the bike path further away from the pub door.

Whatever the rights and wrongs he doesn't have the right arbitrarily to close off part of a cycle path because he thinks it's wrong, any more than I would have a right to ride on the pavement because I think there should be a cycle path there.

It's unlikely to result in injury. Those cycling fast will stay on the road.

I agree the cycle track should have been built where the parking spaces are. Most of the time the bar owner's liveried vehicle is parked there as an advert. I suspect he would oppose the removal of the parking spaces.

Those who object to this cycleway rarely come up with constructive alternatives – they just don't want it at all.

My main take would be that shared paths are a bit rubbish.

Who knew?

Why doesn't the landlord just advertise as a "cycle-through" pub and reap extra passing trade?

 And finally, the Pub Landlord himself, Al Murray, dropped by for a pint and to deny any involvement:

14 March 2022, 16:59
Wout van Dad

The half-man, half-motor Wout van Aert proves he’s human after all, with this brilliantly awful dad joke to mark the end of Paris-Nice.

See, they are just like us…

14 March 2022, 16:49
Get the UCI on the line, I have a new event for Glasgow 2023…
14 March 2022, 16:38
Nicolas Roche bows out at quarter-final stage of Dancing with the Stars

Don’t mention the J word, don’t mention the J word…

It’s been quite the journey (ah, dammit) for Nicolas Roche on Dancing with the Stars, Ireland’s version of Strictly Come Dancing, over the past ten weeks.

From a shaky start to sophisticated tangos and standing ovations, with a bout of Covid thrown in too, the former Sky and DSM rider surpassed all expectations to reach last night’s quarter finals.

However, all good things must come to an end, and despite recording his joint-highest score of the entire series (three sevens from the judges), Roche was sent packing, losing out to gold medal-winning Paralympic swimmer Ellen Keane in the dance-off.

As a consolation, one of the judges described Roche’s second attempt at the foxtrot as one of the most improved dance-off performances he'd seen on the show. Not bad.

That result meant he finished the show in a very respectable sixth place, just one place lower than his best ever GC position at the Vuelta, fifth in 2013 (yes, I am comparing a grand tour to a celebrity dance competition…).

After his elimination, Roche thanked his professional partner Karen Byrne and described his experience on the programme as “an incredible journey” (another one!).

“When I was told about the show, I straight away agreed and I have no regrets. It’s been a life-changing experience that will help me towards my next goals as well.

“I enjoyed every single moment – almost every single moment! The highs and lows – that’s what is so special about this show.”

He later wrote in his diary for the Irish Independent that “I was never going to be Patrick Swayze, but I’d do it all again in a heartbeat”.

Fair play Nico. Now for me to find something else to do on Sunday nights now…

14 March 2022, 15:54
Near Miss of the Day makes the Express

Fame at last…

Yesterday was a big day for Near Miss of the Day, as one of the close passes featured in our regular series made its way to the Express, of all places.

In an article titled ‘Highway code changes: Driver banned for six months for not giving way to cyclist’, the Express gave its take on Saturday’s NMotD 733, which featured a motorist driving his way to a six-month ban for failing to give way to a cyclist at a roundabout. 

Focusing on the driver’s six-month ban and “heavy” fine (rather than the poor driving itself), the article is framed in the context of the Highway Code changes, despite the incident in question taking place in April 2021, nine months before the revisions came into force.

“It comes around a month after Highway Code changes were made that put cyclists near the top of a new road users hierarchy,” the article states.

“The aim of the changes was to improve safety on the roads for more vulnerable users.

“However, there was controversy over the updates as cyclists road [sic] several abreast and down the middle of the road.

“Many drivers said they weren’t aware of the rule changes or what they meant.”

Referring to road.cc, the Express said that “cyclists on the same forum have recently said they actually feel most drivers have improved their behaviour since the changes.

“However, the forum’s Near miss of the day series has now reached number 732, and the title of the previous instalment was “Some drivers are just a**eholes”.”

The article also doesn’t contain any footage of the incident described, despite it being readily available on YouTube. Instead, readers were treated to a stock image of an angry cyclist and a photo of club riders appearing to ride three-abreast.

All publicity is good publicity, I guess?

14 March 2022, 14:44
Racing roundup: Yates puts Roglič under pressure in Nice, as Pog’s Italian job continues

The packed racing schedule, with Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico drawing to a close, as well as Ronde van Drenthe taking place on Saturday, meant that the past weekend was one for settling on the sofa and staying there.

(Unfortunately, I had plans all weekend. But that’s what the record button is for I suppose…)

At Paris-Nice, history almost repeated itself for Primož Roglič after the Slovenian was put under intense pressure by second-place Simon Yates during the race’s final stage in the mountains around Nice.

While Yates appeared to have conceded the race to Roglič after the Slovenian’s imposing victory on the Col de Turini on Saturday, the British rider’s explosive attack on the final ascent of the Col d’Eze looked for a while like it was going to be the race-winning move, as the Jumbo-Visma rider momentarily wilted under the pressure.

However, Roglič was able to avoid a repeat of last year’s final stage loss to Max Schachmann – not to mention his last gasp defeat to compatriot Tadej Pogačar at the 2020 Tour – thanks to one man: Wout van Aert.

The Belgian put in spectacular shift to pace his team leader over the top of the Col d’Eze and down into Nice. While a snood-wearing Yates took an impressive stage win, the green and yellow van Aert and Roglič tandem limited their losses to just nine seconds, to ensure the Slovenian victory in an enthralling finale to the Race to the Sun, remarkably his first stage race win on French soil.

After clinching the GC, Roglič praised his teammate, describing van Aert as ‘half human, half motor’, the same compliment he gave Rohan Dennis earlier in the race (perhaps given the unsubstantiated rumours that used to swirl around Roglič’s bike, best to stay away from the motor comparisons, eh Primož?).

The illness that swept through the Paris-Nice peloton – combined with a tough race – meant that only 59 riders finished in Nice, the lowest number of finishers at the race since 1985.

Apart from a few heart-in-mouth scenes on Saturday’s snow-lined descents, things were a lot less dramatic at Tirreno-Adriatico, where Tadej Pogačar once again showed that he’s the best in the business, winning the race for the second year in a row with what is fast becoming a trademark long-distance move.

With Remco Evenepoel already suffering early in the stage, losing minutes by the end, Pogačar attacked a group containing Jonas Vingegaard, Mikel Landa, Richie Porte and Enric Mas – which wasn’t hanging around itself – with 16km to go on the steep Monte Carpegna (training ground of Marco Pantani).

By the finish, the UAE Team Emirates rider had put over a minute into Vingegaard and a rejuvenated Landa, with Mas crashing and Porte unclipping on the treacherous final descent.

While Pog has downplayed his chances at Milan-Sanremo this Saturday, his performances at Tirreno and Strade Bianche surely make him one of the favourites for La Primavera. Maybe only van Aert can stop him?

At the Ronde van Drenthe, Team DSM’s Lorena Wiebes recovered from a late puncture to sprint to the win, beating world champion Elisa Balsamo and Lotte Kopecky in a dramatic end to an attacking finale which saw Jumbo-Visma’s Anouska Koster only caught in the finishing straight.

The big winner of the week, however? Alex Dowsett, for one particular reason:

14 March 2022, 13:18
More cycling superheroes
14 March 2022, 13:01
‘This is how you know you have safe infrastructure’
14 March 2022, 12:55
Not all heroes wear capes… but some do

This is the kind of content we want to see on a Monday…

Last week on the blog we featured Tom Pidcock’s special Super Tom kit, complete with cape, designed by Bioracer in honour of the Ineos Grenadiers rider’s cyclocross world championships victory – and his trademark flying celebration, of course.

It seems that Tom, and his choice of attire, is already inspiring cycling’s next generation of superheroes.

Yesterday, four-year-old Daisy Adams from Bristol – with the help of a telephone box (remember those?) – transformed into her own bike riding superhero, with the perfectly executed celebration to match.

It’s not the first time that Daisy has demonstrated her supernatural powers. When she was just two, she cycled 45 miles in 12 days to raise more than £4,400 for the stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands, in honour of her sister Lily, who died of a heart defect when she was just 45 minutes old.

In November 2020, she cycled from Bristol to Bath and back again, racking up an incredible 34 miles in six hours. 

And last June she showed off some impressive tekkers on the rollers as she learned to lift her bottle from the cage and get food from her back pocket while riding. 

Now that’s a proper superhero. Just don't reveal her identity...

14 March 2022, 10:44
Harrogate pub owner says new bike lane is “a disaster waiting to happen”... then blocks half of it with barriers

Now, if I believed that a cycle lane had the potential to cause collisions between cyclists and pedestrians, I probably wouldn’t then block half of it with barriers, but that’s just me.

The landlord of a Harrogate pub located on the new Otley Road bike path, however, has done just that, with ad-laden barriers now protruding into the lane like it’s the finishing straight of a small Belgian one-day race.

The new cycleway on the Otley Road, which at points morphs into a shared path with pedestrians, has been somewhat controversial since funding was secured in 2017, with complaints focusing on the potential dangers for walkers and the narrowness of the path in certain areas.

Last month, the Harrogate Residents Association wrote to North Yorkshire County Council to argue that the new route is “very dangerous and there could be an accident”.

“The creation of these paths has been hugely expensive and disruptive. Now, all pedestrians of differing ages and disabilities have to share the path with cyclists and electrics scooters,” the letter said.

In January, Charlie Tinker – the owner of the aforementioned pub – said that the shared path was a “disaster waiting to happen” as cyclists would come down the hill past his establishment “at speed”, and that the council’s apparent refusal to address the issue “absolutely stinks”.

Many local cyclists have agreed with criticisms of the path, including its narrowness, the potential dangers of sharing with pedestrians, and the amount of space still afforded to motor traffic on the road (note the ample space for car parking in the above image).

However, Tinker’s decision to place barriers outside his business (reportedly to act as a refuge from flying cyclists for punters as they leave the pub) has been criticised by one Twitter user for restricting “possibly one of the few sections that was wide enough”:

Last week Harrogate District Cycle Action, the group behind the original tweet, raised a number of concerns about the Otley Road cycleway, including aspects of the path which need “immediate improvement”.

The group, which campaigns for a network of safe cycleways in and around Harrogate, says the new path “is far from the high-quality scheme that it had hoped for and that is needed if we want to see significant shift in journeys from cars to bicycles.

“The scheme was designed before the current good quality national design standards were introduced (LTN1/20) and there has been little willingness to adopt good practice from elsewhere in the absence of these national standards.

“The cycle path width is very narrow and many areas are shared with pedestrians which is far from ideal.”

The group continued: “The design is heavily constrained by the need to avoid removing the mature trees along Otley Road. It should be noted that at least eight trees were removed for the carriageway widening at Harlow Moor Road junction for motorists and only a single tree is planned to be removed for the cycleway design.

“The design for the corner of Harlow Moor Road has yet to be completed with purchase of Yorkshire Water land enabling the path to be substantially widened here.”

Harrogate District Cycle Action concluded that the Otley Road scheme represents a failure on the part of the council to “create a fully segregated, safe path for cyclists”.

14 March 2022, 10:03
A Cervélo P5 for £10? Triathlete raffles off TT bike for Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Giles Brook (@gilesbrook)

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over two weeks ago, the cycling community has rallied together to show its support for the Ukrainian people.  

Yesterday, triathlete Giles Brook decided to raffle off his Cervélo P5 time trial bike – an updated version of which was ridden to a 1-2-3 at Paris-Nice by Jumbo-Visma last week – in aid of Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, which aims to provide food, water, shelter, healthcare, and protection for the two million people forced to flee their homes due to the war.

A £10 donation – which the Disasters Emergency Committee says is enough to provide emergency food for two families for one month – will buy you one “ticket” for the raffle.

The bike itself is decked out in the classic Cervélo colours and features Shimano Dura Ace Di2 time trial shifting, a Rotor 3D crankset, and Walker Brothers deep section wheels. It will be fully serviced before the lucky winner receives it. Not bad for a tenner.

“It sits in the garage, deserves being on the road, someone somewhere would love riding it and the money is going to a good cause,” Giles said on Instagram.

Details on how to enter the draw, which closes on Sunday, can be found in the above Instagram post.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

Add new comment

23 comments

Avatar
mdavidford | 2 years ago
0 likes

Quote:

Don’t mention the J word, don’t mention the J word…

It’s been quite the journey (ah, dammit)

Oh - I assumed it was going to be 'jive'.

Avatar
brooksby | 2 years ago
0 likes

Quote:

Lee Scott, an Essex County Council member responsible for highway maintenance, warned members of the public against following the Faces singer’s lead by taking “matters into your own hands”.

“People must always report potholes to the council and we will fix anything that's dangerous,” Scott said.

While I'm not entirely in favour of vigilante road repairs, isn't the point that Stewart and others (presumably?) had reported it to the council and the council hadn't done anything about it?

(That said, a solitary lump of gravel would probably be enough to stop a Ferrari from passing...)

Avatar
bennettkaru | 2 years ago
0 likes

I did a bit of digging into the rules on pavement licences and they're annually granted. By kicking up a stink the landlord might not get his renewal granted if it's such a health risk and the link below suggests the licence can be revoked with no notice or refund if HBC felt so inclined. 

https://www.harrogate.gov.uk/downloads/file/2840/pavement-licence-condit...

Looks as if HBC have a decision to make!

Avatar
IanMSpencer replied to bennettkaru | 2 years ago
0 likes

To be honest, it seemed a sensible temporary solution.

On my cycle ride I see houses where their door literally opens onto the road in villages - one has installed lights on the porch to reduce the number of collisions the house has (there could be a forum subject in there), self-driving houses.

Avatar
Rome73 | 2 years ago
2 likes

What the pub landlord has done isn't that bad. I don't know the area but it seems as if he / she has put in some sort of chicane maybe to slow down passing cycles. It may or may not be justified or necessary but it's not a huge obstacle to passing cycles and pedestrians and unless it's freakishly busy it will hardly impede anyone from passing. I'm not sure what the rules are about placing advertsizing hoardings on the public footway are though. Doesn't that need permission? 

Obviously a cycle lane on the road would have been better - but then the side of the road has to be reserved for people to park their private vehicles. 

Avatar
eburtthebike | 2 years ago
2 likes

For those in need of some extraordinarily badly written, mind polluting garbage, this is the link to the Express article https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1579928/highway-code-changes-d...

Just make sure you give the computer a quick rinse after.

Avatar
chrisonabike | 2 years ago
3 likes

Why doesn't the landlord just advertise as a "cycle-through" pub and reap extra passing trade?

Avatar
JustTryingToGet... | 2 years ago
0 likes

This is where a bit of local knowledge is needed.

Granted, it looks like I would be on the road rather than the path but what's the vibe of this pub? Do you want to steer clear of pedestrians here because you are a cyclist who is considerate of other users or does this have an extra level of you 'you REALLY don't want to be near these punters'

Avatar
open_roads | 2 years ago
6 likes

I'm with the landlord on this one.

Constructing a bike path right outside doors that open on to it creates a hazard for cyclists and pedestrians.

The fencing in the picture has been installed to give a safety box immediately outside the doorway - you see the same arrangement at stations and in warehouses where there is a risk of vehicles coming into conflict with pedestrians.

The council should have removed 3-4 parking spaces (shock horror / insert incredulity in this space) and then moved the  bike path further away from the pub door.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to open_roads | 2 years ago
8 likes

open_roads wrote:

I'm with the landlord on this one.

Constructing a bike path right outside doors that open on to it creates a hazard for cyclists and pedestrians.

Whatever the rights and wrongs he doesn't have the right arbitrarily to close off part of a cycle path because he thinks it's wrong, any more than I would have a right to ride on the pavement because I think there should be a cycle path there.

Avatar
Jogle replied to open_roads | 2 years ago
9 likes
open_roads wrote:

I'm with the landlord on this one.

Constructing a bike path right outside doors that open on to it creates a hazard for cyclists and pedestrians.

The fencing in the picture has been installed to give a safety box immediately outside the doorway - you see the same arrangement at stations and in warehouses where there is a risk of vehicles coming into conflict with pedestrians.

The council should have removed 3-4 parking spaces (shock horror / insert incredulity in this space) and then moved the  bike path further away from the pub door.

I'm pretty sure that the landlord would not have been supportive of the parking spaces being removed. Where else would they park their PT Cruiser?

Avatar
open_roads replied to Jogle | 2 years ago
1 like

 

[/quote] I'm pretty sure that the landlord would not have been supportive of the parking spaces being removed. Where else would they park their PT Cruiser?[/quote]

I agree on that as a principle but with the caveat that the council have introduced something that is unsafe and is very likely to result in either a pedestrian or cyclist seriously injured (or both). As it is, the narrowing won't impact cyclists too much but could avoid an accident until such time as the council grinds into action - likely at a snail's pace. 

Avatar
HarrogateSpa replied to open_roads | 2 years ago
0 likes

It's unlikely to result in injury. Those cycling fast will stay on the road.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to open_roads | 2 years ago
5 likes

open_roads wrote:

I'm with the landlord on this one.

Constructing a bike path right outside doors that open on to it creates a hazard for cyclists and pedestrians.

The fencing in the picture has been installed to give a safety box immediately outside the doorway - you see the same arrangement at stations and in warehouses where there is a risk of vehicles coming into conflict with pedestrians.

The council should have removed 3-4 parking spaces (shock horror / insert incredulity in this space) and then moved the  bike path further away from the pub door.

Was about to disagree (because it's not a bike path at all - it's shared use) but then realised that you're speaking my mind.  Whatever is needed here it's not a shared use path and the solution should involve reducing the space for cars / volume of vehicles.

I'm with the Dutch idea of aiming for monofunctional roads for clarity.  Lots of UK roads are totally the opposite e.g. residential street, commercial area, "connector road" and also a major traffic artery.  Aside from shrugging and giving it all over to cars you can't do much with them.

This looks like there are "destinations" and residential properties.  That would suggest having some parking but very limited car speeds / volumes and maybe make this a no through road.  Can't do that because it's also a main route?  OK then, remove the parking and it definitely needs a separated cycle path - not shared use!

Avatar
HarrogateSpa replied to open_roads | 2 years ago
1 like

The barriers are primarily there to fence off a seating area. I don't know if it has permission.

Yes I agree the cycle track should have been built where the parking spaces are. Most of the time the bar owner's liveried vehicle is parked there as an advert. I suspect he would oppose the removal of the parking spaces.

Those who object to this cycleway rarely come up with constructive alternatives - they just don't want it at all.

Avatar
Pot_Kettle | 2 years ago
5 likes

presumably the landlord has permission to use the footpath for his tables, given restrictions in England have all been removed.

Avatar
Steve K | 2 years ago
8 likes

My main take would be that shared paths are a bit rubbish.

Who knew?

Avatar
HarrogateSpa | 2 years ago
11 likes

Those barriers are a surround for café tables at times.

The broader point is that faster cyclists won't use the shared use path. The cycleway should have gone where the parked cars are.

Avatar
brooksby replied to HarrogateSpa | 2 years ago
1 like

Pubs/cafes were allowed to land-grab parts of adjacent outside areas to put their tables on so that their customers weren't all crowded in together indoors at the height of the pandemic.

The knock-on effect of that was things like this example, where the outside footways and cycleways are rendered uncomfortably narrow.

Avatar
HarrogateSpa replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
0 likes

My image is from December 2021 - I don't know if it was allowed then.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
5 likes

brooksby wrote:

Pubs/cafes were allowed to land-grab parts of adjacent outside areas to put their tables on so that their customers weren't all crowded in together indoors at the height of the pandemic.

It's nothing new.  Shops are always grabbing space whether for A-frame display boards (ubiquitous) or the full tables, chairs and the rest.  Some of this is done with permission and - at least for signs - some just happens.  I think ranty highwayman had a good article on this some years back (which I can't find ATM, sorry).

This is a nuisance and an inconvenience to all but as always the real issue is that the lion's share of road space is allocated to motor traffic, both moving and parked.  Then people on foot, bike, buggy, wheelchair etc. are going to be fighting over the rest, some of which will be grabbed by shops too.  All the while dodging everything else we place by the side of the carriageway - road signage, lighting poles, bins, phone switch boxes, utility and road works signs and materials, parked vehicles ...

Avatar
IanMK replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago
3 likes

Exactly, in that photo effectively 80% of the space is predominantly for motor vehicles. 2 lanes for moving  motor traffic + 2 lanes for stationary motor traffic, one lane for everybody else.

I once thought about using a satelite photo of my town and calculating the total area put aside for cars and then asking why they didn't think they had space for cycle lanes or indeed why drivers had a problem sharing some of that space with other road users and even then some of them chose to park on the pavement.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to IanMK | 2 years ago
1 like

The Alternative Department for Transport has you covered - "Football-pitch junctions".

If something is ubiquitous you don't notice it.  You likely don't think about it. But more importantly you may not be able to imagine anything different - even when prompted.

(Digression - human foibles are fascinating.  This is probably slightly circular - we don't notice all the huge and staggering things we ourselves are unaware of / pay no attention to so when we see examples of this in others we're shocked.  Alternatively, it's just Someone Else's Problem.)

Latest Comments