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"All it takes is paint on the ground to make us feel safer": Cyclists call for action after bikejackings warning painted on popular cycle path; Cavendish talks down all-time Tour de France record; Impossible to use cycle lanes + more on the live blog

T minus 1 day to Le Tour, and Adwitiya can't wait for things to kick off in Bilbao... hopefully this live blog will keep him busy for the day...
30 June 2023, 10:47
"All it takes is paint on the ground to make us feel safer": Cyclists call for action after bikejackings warning painted on popular cycle path

Is this the first time that paint on roads has been of any use to cyclists?

If you've been a road.cc live blog regular, you'd know that's not true. Because we have seen at least one more instance like this where fellow cyclists had to look out for each other, and warn about areas prone to not only bikejackings, but also being a risk to personal safety.

This latest public service graffiti can be found on Lea Bridge Road in Waltham Forest, London, with the text: "Bike muggings on the bridge ahead" (the text is upside-down, I know; more on that in a bit).

Mariam Sayed of JoyRiders, a charity which helps women take up or get back into cycling, who posted this image on Twitter said that this area was a "well known problem spot amongst local cyclists but why isn’t anything being done about this to make us feel safer?".

It feels a little depressing to see instances like this (apologies for being a downer on the Tour de France eve). As Twitter user Alex said: "What a perfectly normal thing to see in a normal country with a normally working police and justice system".

> Richmond Park's Lib Dem MP blames Tory Government for “effectively decriminalising bike theft”

Bike robberies are scary, and have worryingly been on the rise. Earlier this month, Richmond Park MP Sarah Olney accused the Conservative Government of “effectively decriminalising bike theft”. Data uncovered by the Liberal Democrats showed that almost 90 per cent of cases were closed by the police with no suspect identified, while a thief gets charged in just 1.7 per cent of incidents.

Another Twitter user wrote: "That bridge has been a muggers paradise for years", while another London cyclist wrote: "Stick to the road. All round safer".

So basically it's either stay on the cycle path and ride in fear of getting robbed, or stick to the roads and get told off for not being on the cycle path. Got it.

Councillor Greg Collins of the Green Party, from Wealden District Council seemed to nail it on the head (bad phrase considering the topic?): "Surely you know that all it takes is paint on the ground to make us feel safer? At least that's what half the Highways teams in England seem to think."

If that's too much of a downer, take a brief minute out to chuckle at the way the message is written bottom-to-up, instead of top-to-down. Turns out that's how they do it over in the 'murica, and even some EU countries? New things you learn everyday. 

Also, a wild reimagining of the Star Wars opening crawl if the person behind this graffiti was in charge of the visuals for the sci-fi space capers, instead of Mr George Lucas.

Last year, a similar graffiti on the entrance to a section of Cycleway 10 near The Den, Millwall Football Club’s stadium, in south east London came our way from Facebook, following concerns over the path’s safety as reports poured in of robberies and muggings by “masked men” in recent months.

> Cyclists report multiple muggings and thefts on London cycle route

Graffiti warning cyclists on C10 (credit - Karl Thomas, Facebook)

In fact, local cyclist Euan told road.cc that he has "stopped cycling into work entirely" due to fears that he will be targeted by muggers.

"This used to be my only safe route into work, but I’ve seen men in balaclavas watching cyclists on the route on multiple occasions and I simply don’t think it’s safe," he said. "I've heard about this happening via multiple sources for months and the police absolutely can’t be bothered."

Well, I hope the Lea River Bridge doesn't put off other cyclists. And those who do brave this activity called cycling, reach their destinations safely with their bikes still with them.

30 June 2023, 16:25
Netflix just keeps giving: Mark Cavendish documentary to air in August
Mark Cavendish wins Tour de France 2021 Stage 10 in Valence - Copyright A.S.O., Charly Lopez

Mark Cavendish wins Tour de France 2021 Stage 10 in Valence - Copyright A.S.O., Charly Lopez

For all those worrying about your subscriptions, for this one you won't have to add anything else to your direct debits. That is, assuming you already have Netflix. Which is a bad assumption to make but hey I am also living in the same capitalist hellscape as you, which keeps demanding more and more subscriptions...

Back to the point, Netflix has released the preview for its latest cycling documentary, titled "Mark Cavendish: Never Enough", and this time, it's out to track the "rise, fall and resurrection" of the Manx Missile from 2016 to 2021.

I can't help but wonder did they have this in the works since the last seven years?!

Oh and I forgot to mention, the preview involves voiceover by some American dude called Lance Armstrong. Weird choice considering he didn't have anything to do with cycling?

First of all, I am not a fan of the name. Never Enough? Why? The lad has the most stage wins, is one of the best sprinters to walk this earth, and an indusputable legend of the game. Why 'Never Enough'?

And what if he wins a stage in this year's Tour. How relevant is it going to be, considering the movie only charts his career till 2021?

Anyway, keeping up with the fly-on-the-wall cycling documentaries, first in football and F1, and now from cycling, it's definitely a rewarding time to be a sports fan. I'm not complainging, only critiquing!

Director Alex Kiehl, who has worked on other documentary series like Netflix Bad Sport that charts stories of sport, and Crime and Four Days that Shook Britain about a series of terror attacks in 2017, said: "Mark and I developed a fantastic rapport across the last year – we talked at length about the biggest highs and deepest lows of his life and it was a privilege to tell his story.

"I was blown away by how open and genuine both Mark and his wife Peta were in their interviews. Their contributions allowed us to make a truly gripping and emotional film."

Okay fine, I'll give it the benefit of doubt (you know I will be there watching it the day it comes out). I'm only wondering what's this guy Lance Armstrong got to do...

30 June 2023, 16:14
Cyclist killed by hit-and-run driver, who should have been in prison, was “highly negligent” and “partly responsible” for fatal crash, says judge
30 June 2023, 15:08
The Tour starts tomorrow, and so does the shooting of another series: Netflix's TdF Unchained Season 2 coming soon

If you haven't watched the Netflix documentary series vaguely about a cycling race in France, what have you been doing?! Probably something better, there are honestly quite a few candidates.

As much as it's fun to take digs at the show, I think it's here to stay for the at least a couple of more editions. Given how well Drive to Survive (the parallel show about people driving fast cars) has been doing, it's safe to say Netflix will take bets on Unchained too.

It's been confirmed that season two of the show will begin filming as the Tour gets underway, and will coming to your TVs/laptops/mobile phones soon!

And in case you want to know what we thought of the show, here's the latest episode of the road.cc podcast where Ryan, Suvi and I discuss the ins and outs of it, and how much more interested we would be in a show solely focused on Thibaut Pinot's farm animals.

30 June 2023, 14:26
Giro d'Italia Donne stage 1 cancelled after several riders crash due to treacherous rain conditions

Bad news from Italy. After suspending the opening day time-trial stage twice due to torrential downpour, the organisers have cancelled the stage after the rain made it near-impossible for riders to stay on the bike, with several hitting the ground.

Last year's winner Annemiek van Vleuten said that it was good that the race got cancelled. She tweeted: "I had to start in 1st block and was crazy crazy slippery. On the straight parts I felt my back wheel sliding...Hope everyone is ok that crashed. Was a lottery. Good got cancelled."

Van Vleuten and Marianne Vos had set the second and third-best time so far, while Trek-Lidl's home-racer Letizia Paternoster had the provisional fastest time.

Team DSM-Firmenich's boss said: "We knew before that the weather was going to be an influence so we changed the order for that. It started raining even earlier than expected though and was really heavy for the first riders."

Today's stage has been essentially neutralised then, with tomorrow's stage now marking the start of the official times for the Italian tour. The race will continue tomorrow with a 102km route from Bagno a Ripoli and finishing on a descent at Marradi.

30 June 2023, 14:00
The all-important question today: Who’s going to win the Tour de France? We ask road.cc’s ‘expert’ panel!
Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar, stage 12, 2022 Tour de France (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

If you couldn't tell, it's all celebratory here at road.cc today. For once, all of us can't wait to wake up the next morning! And what better way to celebrate than to put on the monocle, light up a cigar, and pour a glass of fine Chardonnay, as Dan, Ryan, Dave, Jamie and Simon get on the esteemed expert panel and discuss the all-important question: Who's going to win the Tour de France?!

> Who’s going to win the Tour de France? We ask road.cc’s ‘expert’ panel

30 June 2023, 13:13
Join us for Fantasy Tour de France!
Fantasy Cycling (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

The biggest race of the season starts tomorrow. And playing along makes it more fun!

If you haven't played our Fantasy Cycling game before then it's simple: pick a team of riders you think will do well, and if they do, you get points. And if you get enough points, then you win. You can either play against the whole of the road.cc Fantasy Cycling community or you can create a mini league for your friends/family/work colleagues/cycling club/etc. There are bragging rights to be secured!

It's simple to get started with Fantasy Cycling:

  1. You'll need to register as a road.cc user, if you haven't already
  2. Head over to the Fantasy Cycling game and log in to create your account
  3. Join the competitions you want to play, and get picking!

You can play up to eight competitions for free, every season. If you get the Fantasy Cycling bug then as a road.cc subscriber you can play as many as you want, all year!

> Start playing today at fantasy.road.cc

Speaking of, I should take a break from the blog and go make my team as well (full disclosure: This will be my first time playing the game so don't ask me for tips, but if I've learned anything from years of playing Fantasy PL, I hope I'm not too bad. Maybe, we'll see).

30 June 2023, 12:44
"It's not just cyclists who benefit from bike lanes"

Checkmate.

30 June 2023, 12:27
☔️ Torrential rain in Italy again, Giro Donne TT already delayed twice as Paternoster goes faster than Van Vleuten

Rain and the Giro, name a better love story.

Absolutely treacherous conditions in Italy...

Giro d'Italia Donne, which kicks off today with a time trial stage from Chianciano to Olbia, has already fallen victim to the downpour which bugged the men's race earlier in May. Today's stage has already been suspended, restarted once the rain calmed down, and then suspended again as the rain returned.

Team Jayco AlUla's Letizia Paternoster, in her home race, has gone provisional fastest, pipping last year's winner Annemiek van Vleuten from Movistar by one second.

And as you can see, the conditions are neither fortunate nor enviable.

30 June 2023, 12:15
You know the Tour de France is about to start when … ?
Tom Pidcock Alpe d'Huez Tour de France 2022 stage 12 (ASO / Pauline Ballet)

Are you even a real cycling fan if you haven't done at least a handful of these...

> You know the Tour de France is about to start when … ?

30 June 2023, 09:49
17 teams agree to share Tour de France radio messages for live broadcasts
Tour de France race director’s car (ASO)

It's all kicking off! Earlier this month we reported that ASO, the race organisers for Tour de France were considering broadcasting team radio live on television, similar to Formula 1. And some team bosses weren't pleased.

> "Bleep bleep! Go faster! Bleepity bleep... bleep": Tour de France to broadcast team radio live

But news from Weilerflits reveals that five teams have opted out of the initiative. The teams, namely are Alpecin-Deceuninck, Cofidis, Jayco-Alula, Movistar and Groupama-FDJ. Groupama's omission is probably expected, given boss Marc Madiot was opposed to the idea from the get-go.

"Can you imagine we’d reveal our conversations on TV?" said the French team's manager. "Do you really conceive a TV camera being allowed to film a football team trainer giving his players their half-time instructions?"

Rest of the 17 teams have apparently agreed to participate in sharing their radio messages for live broadcast. What's surprising is that the 'bigger' teams like Jumbo Visma and UAE Emirates seem to have accepted the format without much reluctance.

Can you imagine the scenes of Jumbo DS instructing Roglič and Vingegaard to tag-team Pogačar on Col du Granon, while UAE watched helplessly and tried to strategise what to do as the yellow-jersey wearing Slovenian used every muscle in his body to keep up, all while dealing with a Geraint Thomas on his wheel?

30 June 2023, 09:24
"Impossible to use cycle lane"

Just a thought, cycling with your kids shouldn't be an adventure sport?

30 June 2023, 09:04
"If I don’t win one, I’ve won 34, I’m alright": Cavendish talks down all-time Tour de France record
2023 Mark Cavendish (ASO/Oman Cycling Association/Pauline Ballet)

2023 Mark Cavendish (ASO/Oman Cycling Association/Pauline Ballet)

"Just one more, one more please!" is what a lot of people will be hoping and screaming come this Saturday and then waiting for it to happen for three weeks. Cycling is a wonderful sport.

But the Manx missile is unbothered and in his lane. In the 2021 Tour, Cavendish  took four stage wins to go level on the all-time record with arguably one of the greatest of all-time, Eddy Merckx, but then missed out on making it to the last year's race with Soudal Quick-Step.

Now donned in new colours (I mean Astana Qazaqstan's beautiful blue and gold Tour kit), he is ready to go again, for one last time, in hunt for the elusive 35th stage win. In an exclusive interview with Eurosport for the upcoming documentary 'Mark Cavendish: All In', due to be released today, he has talked down his chase of the ultimate moment of glory.

When asked about the stage win record, Cav said: "I can’t answer because I’m not making it up when I say it’s irrelevant.

"I just want to win as much as I can win. And if I can never win again at the Tour de France…"

"There are two people in the world [himself and Merckx] that are more qualified than anybody else to tell you how hard it is to win a Tour de France stage. That’s why if I don’t win one, I’ve won 34, I’m alright. But if I can win 10 more I will be buzzing because I know how hard it is to win one!"

I am not crying, you are crying...

> Mark Cavendish sprints to sensational farewell Giro d’Italia stage win in Rome

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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41 comments

Avatar
BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 9 months ago
0 likes

Regarding recent cycle racing and rain in Italy it is clear that Italy has become a tropical country - according to its weather patterns. I listened to the director of the Protezione Civile say the same on the Italian news recently. Build up of heat followed by torrential down pours. 

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chrisonabike | 9 months ago
3 likes

"It's not just cyclists who benefit from bike lanes"

Quite.  In fact everyone benefits.  Many more would - including drivers - if we could only get more than a token of bike infrastructure.  Taking from the motor vehicle space, not being lumped together with pedestrians, causing conflict and reducing the efficiency of cycling.

We should also ask for better than this even if it's unlikely it will happen any time soon.  If we ask for 3rd rate (like here) we'll get worse by the time it appears and it *will* be a "waste of money" as few current non-cyclists will use it.

It's a tall ask but not "unrealistic" or "fantastic".  This kind of change has actually happened in similar places to where we live, with similar people, with cars...

https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/who-else-benefits-from-the...

https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/inclusive-cycling-on-tricy...

http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2016/08/mass-cycling-requires-socia...

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Oldfatgit | 9 months ago
8 likes

Can't win, can you?
You try to be nice to people so they don't suffer the loss that you might have ...
And people *still* take the piss.

Ffs ... someone is actually trying to help us cyclists, and all we do is behave like twats and take piss out of the non standard word order.

If I was them (which I'm not), I'd be having a serious bout of "fuck you lot too" and not bother my arse next time.

We should be congratulating this guy, not ripping his fecking grammar.

And yep ... its shouldn't be needed, but as the cops don't give a shit when you hand them clear HD video evidence when someone in a car is trying to kill you, they ain't gonna care when someone's trying to separate you from your bike.

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Rendel Harris replied to Oldfatgit | 9 months ago
5 likes

Oldfatgit wrote:

If I was them (which I'm not), I'd be having a serious bout of "fuck you lot too" and not bother my arse next time.

Surely you'd be having a bout of "too lot you fuck"? Sorry, couldn't resist, I do agree that our friend should be being applauded for making the effort.

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Matthew Acton-Varian | 9 months ago
4 likes

"It's not just cyclists who benefit from bike lanes"

Say it louder for the people at the back!

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squidgy | 9 months ago
0 likes

I seem to recall it was the 2021 TDF where Cav took 4 stages to equal the record, not 2020

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belugabob | 9 months ago
1 like

"Ahead Bridge On The Muggings Bike?”

In line with the comment about the Star Wars opening sequence, it sounds like Yoda is working for the highways department.

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Owd Big 'Ead | 9 months ago
5 likes

"Impossible to use the cycle lane"?

Why is it always a German car?

They definitely appeal to a certain type of cock-womble.

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NOtotheEU replied to Owd Big 'Ead | 9 months ago
4 likes
Owd Big 'Ead wrote:

Why is it always a German car?

Not every German car driver is a selfish entitled prick . . . . but most selfish entitled pricks do seem to think they deserve a German car because they are more important than the rest of us.

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essexian replied to NOtotheEU | 9 months ago
1 like

I am now on my seventh German car in a row..... not sure what that says about me.....  3

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Adam Sutton replied to essexian | 9 months ago
3 likes

Why are you even here if you have a car. Ewwww 😉

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mark1a replied to essexian | 9 months ago
2 likes

You're clearly not as big a c**t as me, I've had 12 German cars, and 11 of them were made by BMW. My current van is made by VAG just for the icing on top.

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NOtotheEU replied to mark1a | 9 months ago
2 likes

No Mercs or a Porsche? You're letting the side down 😁

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mark1a replied to NOtotheEU | 9 months ago
2 likes

I was concerned about image and perception...

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NOtotheEU replied to mark1a | 9 months ago
1 like

mark1a wrote:

I was concerned about image and perception...

🤣🤣🤣

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Hirsute replied to essexian | 9 months ago
1 like

Do you crash them a lot ?

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essexian replied to Hirsute | 9 months ago
1 like

Only ever had one a accident..... Seen dozens in my wing mirrors.

No, I am just very old.

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NOtotheEU replied to essexian | 9 months ago
2 likes

essexian wrote:

I am now on my seventh German car in a row..... not sure what that says about me.....  3

I'm pretty sure the average German car driving selfish entitled prick wouldn't have the self awareness to post a joke about themselves on a cycling website (let alone cycle) so I'm convinced you're in the clear 👍

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Paul J | 9 months ago
1 like

Jeebus but Eurosport/GCN/Discovery seem to be trying to deliberately piss off their cyclist customers. Which bloody sub am I supposed to get to view their cycling content?

I got EuroSport to see the cycling. Then they came up with GCN+ and some content - documentary stuff particularly - is only on GCN+, not accessible via EuroSport player (AFAICT). So now I'm thinking I should cancel my Eurosport player sub and get GCN+ - so I get all the cycling coverage and documentaries.

So now they're putting some cycling documentaries on... Discovery+. ???

Really Discovery/Eurosport/GCN, get your act together.

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quiff replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
2 likes

Another annoying quirk that I hadn't appreciated before signing up to GCN+ is the distinction between watching live and on-demand. E.g. some races, and the punditry (e.g. the Breakaway) are available live but not on demand. Appreciate that may be a rights issue, but it'll be nice to be able to rely on ITV for the Tour, so I can watch a curated highlights package complete with pre and post race interviews etc.

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Paul J replied to quiff | 9 months ago
0 likes

Urg, what?

In the live race, it just follows on from the racing. On demand the interesting bits of the breakaway are usually included in the 1hour Highlights package. I don't actually know if you can watch the race on demand and then see the Breakaway at end though.

Why do they make this so confusing?

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Matthew Acton-Varian replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
0 likes

Unfortunately, it's not down to the licenced broadcasters as to how they break up race content. Live race and highlight packages are not necessarily intertwined when race organisers sell their broadcasting rights per region, which in and of itself creates a double edged sword. The idea that not one single entity can swallow up a monopoly of content gives the ability of choice, however that also means that those with limited budgets have to choose which behind-paywall subscription they wish to have, missing out on content.

Discovery group may have been able to secure rights for some of the coverage content (including live races and certain highlights) which I believe is available on either platform, but may be limited on highlights due to other broadcasters sharing those specific rights (in UK's case, ITV.)

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Matthew Acton-Varian replied to Matthew Acton-Varian | 9 months ago
0 likes

It's also worth pointing out that The Breakaway show is a GCN/Eurosport specific punditry program (like Soccer AM was on Sky Sports, or Football Focus on BBC) and is effectively their own copyrighted material, unlike the race itself which official footage and images are the property of the race organisers.

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quiff replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
1 like

I've just looked back at the Giro coverage and it looks like I was talking rubbish - you can in fact still watch the whole stage back, including the Breakaway wraparound coverage. Still prefer ITV's highlights package though.   

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mark1a replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
1 like

AFAIK, the Discovery Plus documentary content is all on GCN+... I can recommend a GCN+ sub, for £40 a year you get all 3 Grand Tours ad free, most of the national champs, many, many other live & catch-up races throughout the season, and some excellent original documentary type view on demand content. 

Also if you don't have an active Discovery Plus account, and you have an active Sky sub, you can link the accounts and get D+ free I think (ymmv, I've done that). 

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henryb | 9 months ago
0 likes

Quote:

Don't miss 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐂𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐡: 𝐀𝐥𝐥 𝐈𝐧 on Eurosport 1 and @discoveryplusuk(link is external) Friday at 6.15pm UK time

Does anyone know if this is viewable if you don't have a Eurosport (or some other?) subscription?

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to henryb | 9 months ago
1 like

henryb wrote:

Quote:

Don't miss 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐂𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐡: 𝐀𝐥𝐥 𝐈𝐧 on Eurosport 1 and @discoveryplusuk(link is external) Friday at 6.15pm UK time

Does anyone know if this is viewable if you don't have a Eurosport (or some other?) subscription?

Not as far as I know but Discovery Plus does have a seven day free trial so you could sign up for that and watch it.

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henryb replied to Rendel Harris | 9 months ago
1 like

I didn't know that - thanks!

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HoldingOn | 9 months ago
7 likes

Google Maps screenshot of the cycle-car-park lane near me. Everytime I travel on this road, I am amazed at how many vehicles are parked all along it.
I sent a couple of videos into OpSnap of drivists pulling in front of me, while I am in a solid white lane cycle lane and they then park half on the footpath, half on the cycle lane (over double yellow lines) forcing me out into traffic. The police aren't in the least bit interested. Haven't figured out how to send it to the Council instead - though given the widespread cycle-car-parking, I don't think they will care either.

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Matthew Acton-Varian replied to HoldingOn | 9 months ago
0 likes

Unfortunately, unless there are double yellows further on down, or there is a specific "no pavement parking" rule being enforced on this road, they sre technically parked legally. So of course nothing will be done about it. 

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