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We read a lot of criticism about cycling infrastructure - but I'm intrigued to know which towns and cities are getting it right for commuters and making cycling a realistic proposition for their residents?

Is there anywhere that's edging closer to Copenhagen or Portland's cycling infrastructure? I'm thinking we're getting better, but it's not always highlighted. 

19 comments

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Canyon48 [1113 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Bristol!

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HawkinsPeter [2775 posts] 1 month ago
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Canyon48 wrote:

Bristol!

Well at least Bristol was the first even if it's not the best (or even any good at all): http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/7462791.stm

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HoarseMann [127 posts] 1 month ago
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Last time I visited Newcastle upon Tyne I was impressed with the investment in cycling infrastructure. Particularly John Dobson Street, which was a dual carriageway that’s now been converted to a cycle and bus lane.

If fact, I was so amazed by the cycle lane, I didn’t see the sign that said buses only and got caught in the bus lane by an anpr camera (whoops!).

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/sites/default/files/file_content_type/bike-l...

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brooksby [3829 posts] 1 month ago
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hawkinspeter wrote:
Canyon48 wrote:

Bristol!

Well at least Bristol was the first even if it's not the best (or even any good at all): http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/7462791.stm

I’d say Bristol has a cycling community/culture, but it’s had to develop as a protective measure to help stand up against the Bristol Post reading white van and bus driving mouth breathers of which there are many...

(sorry - bad day)

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srchar [1093 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Stevenage.

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HoarseMann [127 posts] 4 weeks ago
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srchar wrote:

Stevenage.

Well, they nearly got it right in Stevenage...

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/sep/19/britains-1960s-cycling-re...

Certainly a better attempt than Milton Keynes. At least in Stevenage it’s the road that varies in elevation at underpasses.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2608 posts] 4 weeks ago
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HoarseMann wrote:
srchar wrote:

Stevenage.

Well, they nearly got it right in Stevenage... https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/sep/19/britains-1960s-cycling-re... Certainly a better attempt than Milton Keynes. At least in Stevenage it’s the road that varies in elevation at underpasses.

Er, no it doesn't, quite the opposite and is in part a major reason as to why it was designed to fail from the outset and has always meant cycling numbers are low and indeed much lower than some other towns/cities that do not have any cycling infra.

Try making a 120 degree turn out of a dark underpass that leads straight into a 4-5% incline and having to worry about peds at the same time.

Here's one example of many that blows your statement apart.

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Morgoth985 [158 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Counter-intuitive I know, but in all seriousness, Reading.  Not because the infrastructure is great - far from it - but because so many roads are blocked off to through motor traffic but open to cyclists that you can usually find a fairly direct but relatively quiet (though not lightning fast) route.  Even more so if you have the inclination and bike to go for a bit of light off road stuff.

Although in fairness I should acknowledge that the famous "Clown Takes a Pratfall" video is in Reading . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PFRdEUN240

 

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Rod Marton [116 posts] 4 weeks ago
3 likes

No. Not Reading. Almost anywhere will be better than Reading.

I wish I knew where these direct and fairly quiet routes are - I certainly can't think of one. Or rather I can think of several, but all of them lead onto extremely busy roads which need to be negotiated before you can dive off onto the next one. Or the quiet route goes between two places which are on no cyclist's itinerary, and all the useful cut-throughs are rat-runs. Rather like transport planning anywhere else, really, but with the added bonus of Reading's appaling driving standards.

If I have to nominate a city, it would probably be central London. Not because of the infrastructure, but because the number of cyclists has increased to a level where drivers expect to see them and behave accordingly.

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HoarseMann [127 posts] 4 weeks ago
1 like
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
HoarseMann wrote:
srchar wrote:

Stevenage.

Well, they nearly got it right in Stevenage... https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/sep/19/britains-1960s-cycling-re... Certainly a better attempt than Milton Keynes. At least in Stevenage it’s the road that varies in elevation at underpasses.

Er, no it doesn't, quite the opposite and is in part a major reason as to why it was designed to fail from the outset and has always meant cycling numbers are low and indeed much lower than some other towns/cities that do not have any cycling infra.

Try making a 120 degree turn out of a dark underpass that leads straight into a 4-5% incline and having to worry about peds at the same time.

Here's one example of many that blows your statement apart.

I think you are right. I thought keeping the cycle paths level was one of the design tenets, but perhaps not. At least they are a lot wider and segregated from pedestrians in places. The junction approach angles look better than the 90 degrees you get in Milton Keynes.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2608 posts] 3 weeks ago
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The problem in Stevenage as with most cycling infra is that it isn't in straight lines, it's not fully connected and it's far harder/less convenient than it is to drive.

I just went to get some tyres for a lads MTB I'm helping him to rebuild (I gave him my old downhill bike), I thought as I need to be at the train station I'll use the back lane, except it's not marked where it is, you have to go down a long set of stairs, go through the back of the carpark to where it's located.

If you exit the other side of the station there is no connection to the cycle network, you have to cycle through a massive and very busy lesiure park.

Caxton is held up as some sort of cycling do-gooder, frankly it's bollocks. He made damn sure that motors had very wide lanes, nice direct routes and connections to every part of the town with zero restrictions and barely any elevation change, the complete opposite of what the cycle lanes are.

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Woldsman [285 posts] 3 weeks ago
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In the olden days Hull was known as ‘Cycle City’ - or something. It’s certainly flat, but its network of “facilities” are a bit of a curate’s egg. Some stuff about it:

http://cycleseven.org/the-commute-part-deux

 

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BehindTheBikesheds [2608 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Woldsman wrote:

In the olden days Hull was known as ‘Cycle City’ - or something. It’s certainly flat, but its network of “facilities” are a bit of a curate’s egg. Some stuff about it:

http://cycleseven.org/the-commute-part-deux

Born and bred there, amongst other places like Scunny, Grimsby, Immingham etc cycling was massive and even into the late 80s the % of cycling was huge, very few places in the country had higher cycling rates. Even though it's above national average it's an absolute horrible place to cycle now.

The old railway lines could have been done properly but are simply garbage, tree roots push up the tarmac 3-4" from the outskirts thus making it un-navigible by anyone wanting to go faster than 8mph, other lanes come out at roads that lead to a waste recycling centre and rejoin at the end of the road only to take you across the main carriageway and the lane to then end completely leaving you in no-mans land and the wrong side of a dual carriageway and no way to get back across to go in the direction you want.

Other paint pretending to be infra puts you on the outside of parked vehicles so you have to ride wide to avoid dooring.

The new (well 8 years ago) Hedon road upgrade was promised to have a full length connected cycle lane all the way to Saltend, that never happened and is broken up bits of shared use. The 'infra' takes you across the entrances to businesses along the old Hedon road and small streets with no protection or priority to cross, they even put a shared use bollard right in the middle of the cycle section ffs.

None of the main through roads have any safe sections to cycle on, not one, it's the typical wild west and the city centre is yet another joke for encouraging cycling into the city.

Hull as the 4th best cycling city is laughable nonsense, if it was that good the rate of cycling would be far more than the 6% modal share which is pitiful!

I do it because it's my old manor and visit the folks every two months and it's still the easiest way to get across the city, but frankly it's a fucking shithole place to cycle IMHO.

 

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Chris Hayes [341 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes

...I'll put my hand up for London: traffic at a standstill, improving cycling lanes for commuters and lots of big parks too...

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Chris Hayes [341 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes

...I'll put my hand up for London: traffic at a standstill, improving cycling lanes for commuters and lots of big parks too...

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CygnusX1 [1091 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes

Has to be London right now due to existing infrastructure and modal share.

But I have high hopes for Manchester and Saint Chris of Boardman.

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CygnusX1 [1091 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes
Morgoth985 wrote:

Although in fairness I should acknowledge that the famous "Clown Takes a Pratfall" video is in Reading . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PFRdEUN240

 

Ah, comedy gold. I enjoyed watching that again.

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simonmb [679 posts] 3 weeks ago
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CygnusX1 wrote:
Morgoth985 wrote:

Although in fairness I should acknowledge that the famous "Clown Takes a Pratfall" video is in Reading . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PFRdEUN240

Ah, comedy gold. I enjoyed watching that again.

He should have been wearing a helmet.

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CygnusX1 [1091 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
simonmb wrote:
CygnusX1 wrote:
Morgoth985 wrote:

Although in fairness I should acknowledge that the famous "Clown Takes a Pratfall" video is in Reading . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PFRdEUN240

Ah, comedy gold. I enjoyed watching that again.

He should have been wearing a helmet.

He was a giant helmet