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“Many won’t want to pay for a bike they have to walk”: Proposed cycle hire scheme “won’t work” due to city centre ban, local cyclists say; Cyclist “blindly” follows satnav onto M4; Safety ad “allows drivers to behave like children” + more on the live blog

Don’t worry, the weekend is almost here… And Ryan Mallon is back to (hopefully) brighten up a dark and stormy Thursday with all the latest cycling news and views on the live blog

SUMMARY

19 October 2023, 08:14
“Many won’t want to pay for a bike they have to walk”: Proposed cycle hire scheme “won’t work” due to city centre ban, local cyclists say

Good grief, Worcester has been in the news quite a bit lately, hasn’t it?

The West Midlands city’s attitude and approach to people riding bikes has been called into question on several occasions over the last few months (and years if we’re honest – you don’t get a ‘level zero’ rating from Active Travel England for nothing. Well actually you do, I suppose).

> Worcestershire cut off from cycling and walking funding after Active Travel England gives County Council ‘level zero’ rating

Last Monday we reported that a family of four were forced to turn around on a shared-use path in Worcester after encountering a set of kissing gates described by one of the cyclists as “an utter shambles and not at all inclusive” and as “cycling infrastructure by people who've never used a bicycle”.

And last month, road signs advising cyclists to “dismount and proceed with caution” at a set of temporary traffic lights in the city were removed, but only after councillors and local cyclists complained that the signs were “discriminatory” towards people on bikes.

And then, back in June, parents of children attending one of Worcester’s primary schools, where children riding their bikes have been put in danger by motorists using a narrow, nearby lane as a shortcut, established their own guerilla School Street by blocking both ends of the road at school pick-up times, in response to the “horrendous” road safety conditions in the area.

Traffic chaos near St George's RC Primary School, Worcester (Forggybelle, Twitter)

> “We needed to act”: Parents set up unofficial guerrilla School Street after several near misses for children cycling on narrow road used as shortcut by motorists

And then… Okay, I could go on, but you get the idea.

Fortunately, things are finally looking up for cycling and active travel in Worcester. Yesterday, Mike Rouse, the council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, announced the local authority’s support for a new bike hire scheme (the county’s first), and the appointment of contractors to facilitate the project, which is expected to commence in 2024.

“I recognise the many benefits that the bike hire scheme will bring to Worcester City which provide more travel choice to those living and visiting the city,” Rouse said.

“The scheme will enable people to try different modes of transport and enable user to try out e-bikes without the up-front financial commitment. The scheme facilitates healthier lifestyles by promoting cycling and encouraging people to use active travel for short journeys.”

Well, that all sounds excellent. However, as some local cyclists noted on social media, there is one minor – alright, quite major – snag concerning the proposed cycle hire scheme… Worcester’s city centre bike ban.

Back in 2020, the county council voted to extend the hours of a ban on both cars and bicycles in the city centre to between 10am and 6pm, a decision local cycling campaign groups said was proof that the council was “going backwards” when it comes to active travel.

> Extension of cycling ban in Worcester city centre 'an embarrassment'

And Worcester cyclists – though supportive of the plans – were quick to point out to councillor Rousse yesterday that the success of the new cycle hire scheme may be hindered by the fact that many users will have to walk the bikes for at least of a section of their journey.

“Sounds good, but I’d crack on with the cycle infrastructure first. Visitors won’t have anywhere to use them,” wrote NJ.

“The big concern I have is it won’t work unless either the cycle ban is lifted on the city centre or at least several through routes are provided,” said Lyndon.

“I’m sure many won’t want to pay for a bike if they’ve then got to walk on sections of their route from A to B.”

However, when another cyclist tweeted that the scheme represents “just another excuse for the council to do nothing themselves and let others do all the work to improve things”, Lyndon also replied: “Let’s hope you’re wrong. Certainly the county have the powers and responsibilities needed to make a massive difference. Here’s hoping the county and city can work together to make the scheme a resounding success.”

I suppose they could just call it ‘The Worcester Cycle/Take a Bike for Walk Hire Scheme’ and job’s a good ‘un?

19 October 2023, 09:43
“We ask our children to do everything ‘right’, so adult drivers can do everything wrong”: Cycling safety activist responds to ‘safety is a two-way street’ video with powerful remix, hoping to “expose the absurdity we’ve normalised”

It seems that the online debate over that controversial Canadian road safety campaign – which claimed that pedestrian safety is a ‘two-way street’, even when one of those lanes includes a motorist distracted by their phone – shows no signs of abating.

After yesterday’s blog featured a pointed, tongue-in-cheek ‘advert’ from The Biking Lawyer, instructing motorists to paint their cars hi-vis as the nights draw in, now it’s the turn of cycling safety activist Tom Flood, who put his video editing skills to good use to come up with this quite powerful remix:

“Get outside kids, a little fresh air, stay on the sidewalk, cross at the crosswalk, wait for the lights to flash, proceed, stay in the marked crosswalk…

“We ask our children to do everything ‘right’, so adult drivers can do everything wrong. The street may be two ways, but the responsibility is not. We can prevent road violence. We just continually choose not to.”

Like I said, powerful stuff.

> “Perhaps the worst road safety advert I’ve ever seen”: Cyclists criticise ‘victim-blaming’ road safety advert that equates texting and driving with using a pedestrian crossing while wearing earphones

Adding to his video, posted on X/Twitter, Flood wrote: “We have to expose the absurdity we’ve normalised. We ask our kids to be the goddamn adults on the road so drivers can behave like children – real nice approach.

“I still sit anxiously every day from 3:30 - 4:00pm waiting for that front door to open and the kids to barrel in.

“We have to stop framing safer and complete streets as some sort of radical position. Safe, enjoyable, and independent movement for children (and adults too) is what we should all want. My perspective just comes from simply biking and walking around with my two.”

19 October 2023, 11:04
Families reclaim the pedestrian and cycle zone in Norwich (credit: Claire Bullion/Facebook)
Cyclists in Norfolk “cursed to have the same half-measure road schemes imposed on us time after time, watered down to the point that most of the safety benefit is lost and prioritising drivers,” campaigners say

Cyclists in Norfolk have criticised the Conservative-controlled council for constantly “watering down” cycle safety projects, reducing their safety benefit and resulting in the “same half-measure road schemes” that “prioritise driving, putting everyone else in danger”.

Last month, we reported that councillors and campaigners wrote to Norfolk County Council calling for safety measures like segregated cycle lanes and 20mph speed limits in the county, after three cyclists lost their lives in the space of a week, while three more died following collisions on the roads earlier this year.

But, over a month later, and following another spate of cycling injuries in Norwich, despite the introduction of new bike lanes, the campaigners feel their calls for improved road safety are falling on deaf ears.

Newmarket Road fatal collision sign, Norwich (credit: Peter Silburn)

> Councillors and campaigners unite in calling for 20mph speed limits and segregated cycle lanes after three cyclists die in a week in Norfolk

“As a city we seem to be cursed to have the same half-measure road schemes imposed on us time after time, by the Conservative county council, who are determined not to listen to advice,” Green councillor Liam Calvert told the Eastern Daily Press.

“Almost every time a good-quality project to improve cycle safety is designed, it gets watered down to the point that most of the safety benefit is lost. In the case of Ipswich Road, the decision was taken to replace bike lanes with parking on sections of the route, forcing people on their way to City College to squeeze between parked cars and busy traffic.

“The city has a great deal to gain by increased safe cycling but that can never happen while projects prioritise driving, putting everyone else in danger.”

Peter Silburn, chairman of Norwich Cycling Campaign, added: “The point of building good quality cycle infrastructure is to enable more people to cycle. If the cycle lanes are not continuous and do not offer a safe, attractive experience, they won’t achieve this.

“At all stages in the design and construction in Ipswich Road, the cycle lanes have played second fiddle to cars.

“Without investing in quality cycle infrastructure, people won’t take up cycling and those that do will risk getting seriously injured or killed.”

> Cycling campaigners slam “outrageous” council plan to hold road scheme meetings in secret, arguing it will “erode trust”

At the start of the month, 70 postcards written by children asking for safer cycling infrastructure were sent to the county council’s cabinet member for highways Graham Plant – but the children are yet to receive a response.

“Graham Plant promised to read the messages and respond to us. It’s been two weeks and we've heard nothing,” Kidical Mass Norwich’s Fern Blevins said.

“Instead, he has chosen to re-open Exchange Street to cars. How is this making our city safer for kids to get around, independently and safely, by bike?”

“Graham Plant needs to be listening to the children of Norwich who want the freedom and independence of being able to safely get about their city by bike,” Silburn added.

“Instead, by his decisions he is condemning them to a future of car dependence, road danger, and polluted air.”

In response, the council said that any changes to the road network “need to balance the needs of all users”.

19 October 2023, 16:53
Wiggle and Chain Reaction logos
Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles enters administration, reports suggest

Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles has entered a self-administration process, sources close to Cycling Electric have said.

The reports come in the same week the cycling retailer’s owner Signa Sports United revealed that it is facing serious financial difficulties following what it called the “unjustified” decision of its own parent company to withdraw €150m of financing.

The move to dissolve the recently signed agreement by Signa Holding, which promised to “cover the operating financial needs of SSU and to secure the ongoing concern” of the company, also came just a week after the German sports e-commerce giant delisted its shares from the New York Stock Exchange amid “severe liquidity and profitability challenges”.

> Wiggle Chain Reaction owner woes continue following “unjustified” withdrawal of €150m funding commitment by parent company

With Wiggle CRC’s own viability, as noted in the retailer’s most recent filing at Companies House, hinging on that financial backing – only €7 million of which was drawn before the deal was dissolved – it will have no choice but to begin administration proceedings, at least until a new funding source can be found. Cycling Electric says it has seen a notice from the company to a customer to this effect.

Wiggle stated in its most recent report from last month that the “group now relied on funding from its shareholder, Signa Sports United GmbH” and that “as with group placing reliance on other group entities for financial support, the directors acknowledge that there can be no certainty that this support will continue”.

The report also says that without support from SSU and Signa Holding, the “group’s ability to continue as a going concern” had “material uncertainty”.

With Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group – which owns Evans and ProBikeKit – already swooping into snap up Sportscheck, one of Germany’s larger sports retail businesses, it remains to be seen whether the group will also turn its attention towards Wiggle CRC.

We’ll keep you posted with more on this story as we get it.

19 October 2023, 14:56
2023 Men's Ryedale Grasscrete Grand Prix (Craig Zadoroznyj/SWpix.com)
“Instead of going to Twitter and whining about it, get involved and try to make it better”: British race organiser says volunteers and people “giving back” essential to keeping domestic scene alive

As the British domestic road racing scene continues to creak under the weight of increasing financial pressures and dwindling resources – with more and more teams and races facing the abyss in recent months – one of the country’s youngest event organisers has called on those concerned about the future of British cycling to quit complaining on social media and “get involved” to keep the sport alive.

James Hawkins, a member of the Yomp Bonk Crew, the team behind popular National B races such as the Peaks Two Day, told the British Continental that “we’re getting to the point where we need more people to give back. Otherwise, we’ll see more races getting cancelled”.

> British Cycling appoints task force to “support revival” of domestic racing scene

Noting a lack of trained, accredited marshals in the UK, the 20-year-old – who founded the Yomp Bonk Crew as a group ride during the pandemic before branching out into race organisation – said: “More than once this year, we’ve struggled. At Trofeo Terrington, we didn’t have a race until three minutes before the race briefing because there wasn’t enough accredited marshals.

“We ended up finding someone in the car park who was accredited. It’s a major worry for us next year wanting to put on the events we’ve got planned.”

Hawkins also pointed out in the interview that there is a limited number of ‘regular’ marshals willing to give up their time to stand on the side of the road all day, with many races forced to take part with just a “skeleton crew”.

> "Continuing as we are remains unsafe": Calls for British Cycling action as rider airlifted to hospital after collision with car during race

“You often find yourself in the last few days before an event messaging everyone trying to find marshals,” he says. “If you run a race on the absolute minimum skeleton crew, it’s never ideal. If something comes up or things change, it’s good to have some extra. It makes life so much easier.

“It’s a tricky job to sell. You’re stuck on the corner of the road all day, particularly for longer stage races. You have to love the sport. You find it’s the same people all the time, and it gets to August, and none of them want to do it anymore. It would be nice to see more people doing it, just giving something back to the sport.”

2023 Women's Ryedale Grasscrete Grand Prix (Craig Zadoroznyj/SWpix.com)

(Craig Zadoroznyj/SWpix.com)

Hawkins also argued that the lack of people interested in marshalling stems from British cycling’s culture change in recent years from a club-based focus to a plethora of small racing ‘teams’.

“You look back at five to ten years ago, before it was all about teams, it was clubs who had people racing, so they had the incentive to help organise and volunteer at a race,” he tells the British Continental. “Because there’s so little club racing culture now and it’s all team based, there needs to be one or two weekends a year riders can pitch in. It’s not necessarily a problem that everyone races for small teams.

“It’s a problem that very few want to put races on, they just want to go to them. There’s quite a big culture, almost of ‘I’m a pro now because I race for a team, and I don’t need to help out at races’.

“I’d definitely say if you see a call for volunteers and you’ve got the free time, just go for it and help because this sport relies on volunteers. Instead of going to Twitter and whining about it, get involved and try to make it better.”

19 October 2023, 14:27
Davide Formolo and Rémi Cavagna join Movistar as Spanish squad announce raft of new signings

Spare a thought for Movistar’s social media manager.

While Lidl-Trek spent a few months over the late summer and early autumn casually keeping us up to speed with periodic updates, and creative social media posts, on their massive transfer overhaul, the notoriously chaotic Spanish squad decided to unveil a whole raft of new signings for next season in the space of 24 hours. Because Movistar, I suppose.

Among the list of recently announced new signings, which also includes Carlos Canal, Manlio Moro, Javier Romo, and Pelayo Sanchez, is Davide Formolo, the one-time boy wonder of Italian cycling and now 30-year-old grand tour domestique and consistently strong one-day rider.

Formolo joins Movistar, where he is expected to support Enric Mas in the three-week races, after four years at UAE Team Emirates, a successful spell which he signed off with two end-of-season wins at the Coppa Agostini and Veneto Classic.

"I think a squad like the Movistar Team is the ideal place for me to show the kind of rider that I am,” Formolo said. “I think I can play an important role supporting the team leaders in the Grand Tours, as well as seeking for individual results in one-day races or wherever the team requires me to. I’m so excited to start working with everyone.”

Meanwhile, Soudal Quick-Step aren’t just losing a tractor this winter (that’s Lidl-Trek-bound Tim Declercq, for the uninitiated), they’re also losing a TGV, as Movistar announced this afternoon the signing of Vuelta stage winner and French time trial champion Rémi Cavagna from the Belgian squad.

“It’s a new challenge – after seven years with Quick Step, which I enjoyed and learnt lots of things from, I felt it was the moment to do something to reach my maximum potential,” the 28-year-old said.

“I’ve got a lot of things in the horizon for the upcoming three years. I will discover the Northern Classics with the team, with its crazy atmosphere. I’m excited to be part of the cobbles team, those will be nice races to discover.

“Also, as everybody knows, I’m also a TT specialist. Over the last two years, I was good but I missed some power. I want to reach my full potential, work on the position and all aspects of performance and aerodynamics. That discipline is so much important to me. If I want to be one of the best, I’ve got to work a lot for it.”

19 October 2023, 13:54
2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Stirling (Pauline Ballet/SWpix.com)
New cycling routes mapped out across Scotland to “build on momentum” of world championships

Active travel charity Sustrans has teamed up with VisitScotland to create a series of new cycling routes across Scotland, in a bid to capitalise on the legacy of August’s UCI ‘super’ world championships.

Five routes – taking in Glasgow, Glentress Forest, the Tweed Valley, Dumfries, and Stirling – have been added to the 66 day trips featured on Sustrans’ cycling map of Scotland, in a bid to ensure visitors to the country “consider cycling as part of a holiday”.

While Glasgow’s 10-mile Art Trail loop, starting at Queen Street Station, gives cyclists a glimpse into the city’s culture, including the Clutha Bar murals and the Wonder Wall, Stirling’s new ‘heritage’ route features 25 miles of meandering country roads and views of Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument.

Women’s elite road race, 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, Glasgow (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

(Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

“The UCI Cycling World Championships was a truly unique event – the first of its kind in the world that showcased Scotland and its cycling offer to TV audiences across the world,” VisitScotland Regional Director Lynsey Eckford said.

“We want to build on the momentum and continue to position Scotland as a leading destination for cycling tourism. The addition of these new cycling routes will ensure that more people consider cycling as part of a holiday.”

Cosmo Blake, Principal Network Development Manager, Engagement for Sustrans Scotland, added: “We’re thrilled to introduce these exciting new day trips, offering people the chance to enjoy great days out across Scotland.

“The championships set out to inspire more people to experience cycling across the country, encourage active travel, and reduce carbon emissions.

“By leaving our cars at home more often, we can reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality in our neighbourhoods, and promote healthier spaces where we can all thrive.”

> UCI president hails Scottish World Championships as "unprecedented success"

Meanwhile, in another bid to capitalise on the legacy of the mega worlds, a £300,000 fund has been set up to help the south of Scotland become one of the world’s “leading cyclin destinations”

Grants of up to £25,000 are available through the South of Scotland Enterprise, with support from the South of Scotland Cycling Partnership, to support tourism businesses, social enterprises, and community groups with visitor facilities invest in cycling infrastructure, while the fund also aims to improve facilities for cyclists taking part in the Kirkpatrick C2C cycling routes or using the 7Stanes mountain bike centres.

19 October 2023, 13:31
Cyclist left with life-changing injuries when driver crashed into him wins £6m in damages

A cyclist who was left with life-changing injuries when a motorist turned across his path as he rode home from work has been awarded more than £6 million in damages following an out-of-court settlement, in a complicated case that included experts acting for the victim successfully arguing that he was not to blame in any way for his injuries despite not wearing a helmet or hi-viz clothing.

Royal Courts of Justice, London (picture bortescristian, Wikimedia Commons)

Read more: > Cyclist left with life-changing injuries when driver crashed into him wins £6m in damages

19 October 2023, 12:44
2023 Tour de France Jumbo-Visma (ASO/Pauline Ballet)
Jumbo-Visma signs promising 16-year-old Norwegian rider to youth and development pathway

The soccerisation of professional cycling is picking up even more pace this autumn, as Jumbo-Visma have decided to eschew the juniors and dive into the youth ranks for their latest signing: promising 16-year-old Håkon Eiksund Øksnes, who will join the Dutch squad’s youth and development pathway.

Jumbo-Visma are certainly playing the long game with this signing – with a WorldTour debut still a long way away, Øksnes will race for the next two seasons with the JEGG-DJR Academy, a youth outfit affiliated with the Dutch team, before progressing to the soon-to-be Visma-Lease a Bike U23 development squad.

While young Øksnes’ path to the senior team is far from certain, and will be dependent on his performances in the junior ranks, his signing highlights the increasing desire of the world’s biggest teams – through expanded scouting networks – to snap up the most promising talents as soon as they can, in many ways consigning the old, well-trodden path though the U23s to history.

2023 Jumbo-Visma La Vuelta (Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2023/ASO)

[Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency]

“It's very nice. I have always had a dream to ride for the team. This is very big,” the 16-year-old, who had also been approached by AG2R-Citröen before Jumbo-Visma sealed the deal, told Norwegian broadcaster TV2.

“You almost run out of words. You gain a lot of confidence in their system when you see all the other Norwegian riders who have succeeded extremely well there.”

However, the increasing number of teenagers turning professional – and the growing likelihood of early burnout for these prodigious talents – is beginning to cause concern for some within professional cycling, prompting calls for the UCI to mandate that riders spent at least a year at U23 level before joining a pro team.

Although Øksnes’ signing for Jumbo-Visma appears to be the latest indication of which way the wind is blowing when it comes to WorldTour teams’ increasingly football-like approach to young riders.

What next? A Visma-Lease a Bike under-nine youth academy? Professional balance bike teams?

19 October 2023, 12:05
Why don’t cyclists use the cycle lanes? The Plain, Oxford edition

More from The Plain this week:

> Camera to fine rule-breaking drivers as safety measure introduced after cyclist's death still being ignored 

19 October 2023, 11:38
Merida launches all-new rainbow jersey-winning Silex

Merida’s foray back to the gravel drawing board has certainly come up with the goods so far, propelling Matej Mohorič to the 2023 UCI Gravel World Championship a few weeks ago.

We took a closer look at the second-generation Silex to work out whether the host of new updates amount to more than just a shiny new rainbow jersey…

2023 Merida Silex  - 1.jpeg

> Merida launches all-new Silex: a world championship-winning gravel bike 

19 October 2023, 10:38
Court of Arbitration for Sport rejects Gazprom-RusVelo’s appeal over UCI licence rejection

The Russian Gazprom-RusVelo team has lost its appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over the UCI’s decision to revoke its ProTeam licence last year.

In March 2022, the UCI banned teams representing Russia or Belarus at national level, as well as trade teams registered in the two countries, from all its sanctioned events following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The ban led to the demise of the second-tier Gazprom-RusVelo team, which included former grand tour contender and Tour de France stage winner Ilnur Zakarin as well as a number of young Italian and Spanish talents, who earlier this year appealed the decision to CAS.

While in May the UCI followed the lead of the International Olympic Committee by reversing its ban on Russian and Belarusian riders taking part in the world championships, as well as World Cups, Nations Cup, and other UCI events, sanctions remain in place against teams registered in those countries, such as Gazprom.

Gazprom-RusVelo (CORVOS/SWPix.com)

[CorVos/SWPix.com]

And yesterday, CAS denied the team’s appeal, confirming the UCI’s decision to remove its licence and ban it from all registered races.

“On 1 March 2022, the UCI took a range of measures in response to the military aggression of the territory of Ukraine for which the governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus are responsible,” the UCI said in a statement welcoming the ruling yesterday.

“Among the list of measures, two of them directly affected team Gazprom-RusVelo, which was registered as a UCI ProTeam at the time. The registration as a UCI team was withdrawn for all teams of Russian and Belarusian nationality, including Gazprom-RusVelo, and the sponsorship of Russian and Belarusian brands or products was declared as being contrary to article 1.1.089 of the UCI Regulations and therefore forbidden on any UCI International Calendar event.

“The paying agent of the team, Provelo AG, filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on 22 March 2023, which has now rendered its award rejecting in full the paying agent’s claims.

“The UCI welcomes this ruling, which supports the strong stance taken by the UCI in response to the military aggression of Ukraine.”

19 October 2023, 10:23
When your new cycle lane is so narrow even the painted bike symbol doesn’t fit…

Good luck to any cargo bike riders in Southwark! 

19 October 2023, 09:04
Cyclist ends up on motorway after “blindly” following sat-nav directions

Another day, another cyclist being escorted by police after ending up on a motorway…

This time, the hard shoulder-hugging rider was swiftly pulled over by police on the M4 near Swindon, escorted off the motorway to safety, and “offered advice” (which I assume amounted to ‘don’t ride on the bleedin’ M4’).

Cyclist escorted off M4 after following Sat Nav (Wiltshire Police Special Ops)

‘Where’s the nearest safe cycle lane, officer?’ ‘Ah, that’s hundreds of miles away, son’

According to Wiltshire Police, the cyclist said he ended up on the motorway because he was simply following the suggested route mapped out by his phone’s GPS… One every minute, and all that.

“The M4 might be the quickest way as suggested by a sat-nav but please don’t follow directions blindly when using a pedal cycle!” the force tweeted.

As Bruce Springsteen one (almost) said: Blind faith in your sat-nav can get you a stern talking to from police on the side of the M4…

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

32 comments

Avatar
alchemilla | 6 months ago
9 likes

Graham Plant of Worcester is wrong when he says the needs of all road users must be balanced. Pedestrians and cyclists are now top of the road hierarchy and their needs should be prioritised.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to alchemilla | 6 months ago
1 like

Yeah - it's like "BBC balance" isn't it?

"Right, well we've little Timmy and a dozen of his pals here going to school, Mr. Smith in his mobility vehicle, Sue in a wheelchair off to the doctors, then some people who are driving to get the shopping, to work, have to do a last minute visit to the tanning salon, and Fred here is just tearing it up with a couple of mates having passed his test last week.  Oh, and there are some vans delivering small amounts of shopping, random gifts and plastic tat and a couple of HGVs.  And a tank with a crew that's been on exercise for 48 hours so maybe give them a bit of space.

"Share the road, everyone!"

Avatar
Hirsute | 6 months ago
6 likes

Thirteen year old deliberately knocked off his bike by police after his brightly coloured water pistol was reported as a hand gun.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-67148208

I thought it just US cops that knocked kids off bikes.

Avatar
brooksby replied to Hirsute | 6 months ago
4 likes

I read that earlier: a passing policeman saw a 13 year old boy with a blue and white plastic water pistol playing with his sister who had a pink and white plastic water pistol, and called it in as "Black guy with a gun - send in the troops!" 

Avatar
Steve K replied to brooksby | 6 months ago
6 likes

But the Met have investigated and said their officers did nothing wrong.  It's appalling and clearly racist - no way they see a white kid with a water pistol and think it's a real gun.

Avatar
Left_is_for_Losers replied to Steve K | 6 months ago
0 likes

Don't be stupid - of course it wasn't racist. Anyone with something that looks like a weapon should be checked, and it's clear they de-arrested him as soon as they realised it wasn't actually a gun. 

Imagine if it was a real gun - and everyone would be blaming the police for not doing anything. 

These guys are just playing the racist card. 

Avatar
brooksby replied to Left_is_for_Losers | 6 months ago
3 likes

I didn't realise that 'real' guns were available in bright kiddy colours?

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Steve K | 6 months ago
1 like

Just a coincidence, innit - because obviously the police ain't racists.  (Or misogynists.  Or homophobic).  And anyway some of our officers aren't white!

Just ask Constable Savage!

It's just their horses giving them a bad name...

Avatar
Freddy56 | 6 months ago
3 likes

A friend who works for Madison was off to the chainreaction/wiggle warehouse in Wolverhampton today to get some of their stock back which wasnt paid for. Expected to announce the insolvency tomorrow 

Avatar
quiff | 6 months ago
0 likes

Erm... is Worcester a West Midlands city? Or a Worcestershire city? 

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to quiff | 6 months ago
4 likes

quiff wrote:

Erm... is Worcester a West Midlands city? Or a Worcestershire city? 

It's difficult to say...

Avatar
HarrogateSpa replied to quiff | 6 months ago
0 likes

I wondered that myself.

Wikipedia thinks there is a difference between the county of West Midlands which does not include Worcs, and the region of W Mids which does.

Avatar
quiff replied to HarrogateSpa | 6 months ago
0 likes

Ah. As I typed it, I did wonder if there was a distinction of that sort. 

Avatar
HoarseMann | 6 months ago
2 likes

That 'dangerous cyclist' sign from Worcester is quite funny. It's so obviously *not* someone pulling a wheelie. Looks like they've taken a stock image of a pensioner out for a gentle ride on a sensible hybrid and cocked it at 45 degrees!

Avatar
M20MAMIL | 6 months ago
2 likes

One of Manchester city centre's oldest shops closes down
https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/one...

Avatar
CygnusX1 replied to M20MAMIL | 6 months ago
5 likes

Yeah, read that on the MEN website last night. Sad times.

Not just another LBS gone to the wall, but one with real history. Harry Hall was mechanic to Tom Simpson, including at the time of that fateful day on Mont Ventoux.

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stonojnr | 6 months ago
12 likes

A cycle lane so narrow the painted bike logo doesn't fit you say, try this one.

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brooksby replied to stonojnr | 6 months ago
7 likes

https://maps.app.goo.gl/EQZpG1RwXSaB2SU77 in Bristol, on the approach to the suspension bridge.  In 'rush hour', its a solid queue of motor vehicles along there.

And, as you can see, it gets narrower...

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BalladOfStruth replied to stonojnr | 6 months ago
7 likes

stonojnr wrote:

A cycle lane so narrow the painted bike logo doesn't fit you say, try this one.

Yeah, that one got a raised eyebrow from me too. There were cycle lanes in on my old commute in Chelt that were narrower than the double-yelloes in that Southwark pic. That's actually one of the better lanes I've seen.

Example: There are worse ones than this in Chelt, but this one (which I regulalry infuriated drivers by riding next to) was actually narrower than then flat bars on my old commuter - that's actually one of the reasons I started commuting on a drop-bar gravel bike; so I wasn't having cars overlapping their wing mirrors with my bars as much.

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marmotte27 replied to stonojnr | 6 months ago
4 likes

These "lanes" are so utterly senseless it beggars belief...

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HoldingOn | 6 months ago
8 likes

Tom Flood gets all my likes.

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Patrick9-32 | 6 months ago
11 likes

While riding on the motorway would be absolutely horrible, with the wide hard shoulder it is probably actually significantly safer than a lot of roads where it is legal to ride. 

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Rendel Harris replied to Patrick9-32 | 6 months ago
3 likes

Patrick9-32 wrote:

While riding on the motorway would be absolutely horrible, with the wide hard shoulder it is probably actually significantly safer than a lot of roads where it is legal to ride. 

Not sure about that, I used to (legally) ride occasionally on the hard shoulder of the A3 in Surrey which is a motorway in all but name (three lanes in each direction, 70 mph speed limit) and the turbulence from passing lorries and coaches was really hard to fight, plus it's amazing how many people drift in and out of the hard shoulder at high speed. Gave it up in the end as the time/distance it saved was not worth the risk.

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lesterama replied to Rendel Harris | 6 months ago
3 likes

I used to time-trial on the A3. Glad I don't any more.

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Safety replied to Patrick9-32 | 6 months ago
3 likes

Statistically I think you'll find the hard shoulder is incredibly dangerous. Which is why the advice to anyone broken down on it is to get out your car and up the banking.
Think about the picture of the smashed in police car regularly shown on this site

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Paul J replied to Patrick9-32 | 6 months ago
9 likes

Indeed. A motorway you've got your own lane and 2+ metres of clearance from the 70mph+ traffic. Cycle there and the police will escort you to a road where 70mph+ traffic whizzes past often less than a metre, even half a metre, from you. So safe!

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NOtotheEU replied to Paul J | 6 months ago
2 likes
Paul J wrote:

Cycle there and the police will escort you to a road where 70mph+ traffic whizzes past often less than a metre, even half a metre, from you. So safe!

Fortunately those selfish idiots sometimes crash into trees at that speed without their seatbelts on and do us all a favour. Not so good for their passengers but hey, they have a choice unlike the cyclists and peds they usually kill.

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brooksby | 6 months ago
9 likes

Quote:

“The M4 might be the quickest way as suggested by a sat-nav but please don’t follow directions blindly when using a pedal cycle!” the force tweeted.

Translation: "Don't you be expecting the quickest or most direct route to be made available to you, you bl00dy cyclist!"

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Oldfatgit | 6 months ago
9 likes

If that map represents the extent of the ban, I'm sure Worcester will be gutted to count me as a person avoiding their city like its got the plague.

My bike is my mobility aid, and as bikes are prohibited, then so am I.

Guess I'll crack on taking my hard earned coins elsewhere.

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The Larger Cyclist replied to Oldfatgit | 6 months ago
2 likes

Oldfatgit wrote:

If that map represents the extent of the ban, I'm sure Worcester will be gutted to count me as a person avoiding their city like its got the plague. My bike is my mobility aid, and as bikes are prohibited, then so am I. Guess I'll crack on taking my hard earned coins elsewhere.

The map isn't the extent of the ban but it might as well be! It's just in the city centre pedestrianised area which is essentially the grey corridor in the middle of the picture.  But to get to that bit is exciting.....

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