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Council puts bollards in middle of bike lane

Cheshire East Council placed the bollards there to stop cars using the path as a short cut, but a local campaigner says it's an accident waiting to happen...

A line of bollards, which have been placed in the middle of a bike lane in Crewe, are an “accident waiting to happen”, according to a local campaigner.

Cheshire East council placed ten black bollards on a cycleway on a residential road, it says because of cars mounting the verge, and to warn of cars entering and exiting driveways along the route.

However, Cycling UK member, Matthias Bunte, told the Crewe Chronicle the council has overestimated the threat caused by motor vehicles, at the expense of cycle safety.

Council spends £55k turning cycle lane into car parking

He told the Chronicle: “They are difficult to see especially in group riding because they are masked by the rider in front.”

He says bollards should only be used as a last resort and claims just four incidents of vehicles using the grass verge as a shortcut have been reported in as many years.

“Bollards reduce the effective width of the cycleway and can be dangerous to cyclists, especially at this location as it is poorly lit at night.”

He says the bollards should be removed and the situation monitored over a year before a decision is made to install them. No incidents have been reported of cyclists crashing into the bollards.

Cllr Sam Corcoran said: “It’s a new cycle path that has been put in and somebody has decided to put bollards down the middle of the cycleway which is a bad idea and a waste of money.

He added though the route is in a sensible place the council has “undone all the good work” by putting the bollards down.

A Cheshire East Council spokesman said: “Bollards have been installed on this cycleway in order to prevent unauthorised and improper use by motor vehicles.

“Several incidents have been reported to the council in the past and this decision was taken following consultation with local residents who had expressed concern about safety.”

The council says a safety audit did not highlight any concerns, but another will be conducted as part of the review process.

Sam Jones, Cycling UK Campaigns Coordinator told road.cc: “While it seems the council had good intentions in installing the bollards, we hope they will listen to our local representative in their second safety audit and come to a workable solution that will facilitate safe cycling, not unnecessarily endanger it.”

 

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18 comments

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fenix | 7 years ago
1 like

doesn't look that bad to me. They seem to have reflectives and colour on. 

 

I'd imagine if they weren't there then cars would be claiming that as additional parking space. 

If you look where you're going - you're good to go ? 

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Peowpeowpeowlasers | 7 years ago
2 likes

> "Bollards have been installed on this cycleway in order to prevent unauthorised and improper use by motor vehicles."

Better install bollards on every single pavement in the UK then, because nobody ever seems to stop motorists driving on them.

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brooksby | 7 years ago
1 like

//i4.crewechronicle.co.uk/incoming/article11475175.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/JS92396892.jpg)

 

There you go yes

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burtthebike replied to brooksby | 7 years ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:

//i4.crewechronicle.co.uk/incoming/article11475175.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/JS92396892.jpg)

 

There you go yes

Thanks.

UN-FU***ING BELIEVABLE.

Why do the idiots who proposed and impelmented this still have jobs?  A blind, deaf educationally challenged moron with no empathy could see the problems with this.  Surely someone who lives in East Cheshire can get these complete, total and utter cretins sacked.

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kitsunegari | 7 years ago
0 likes

No photos to show us how bad it actually is? 

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darrylxxx | 7 years ago
0 likes

Maybe it should just be renamed as a "cycling slalom lane". There, fixed it in true local council fashion.

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Notgettinganyfaster | 7 years ago
0 likes

@burtonthebike

We are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. This is a cycling forum after all.

I dont share your opinion, and I dont know what number of audits you have been exposed to that allows you to form that opinion but I think you are wrong.

I have seen thousands of Audits from probably over 100 different Auditors, the majority of which are perfectly adequate. There are a few rotten eggs, as there are with any industry, but I dont think this is representative of the industry in general.

I will request a copy of the Audits for both schemes (unless you can point me in their direction) to see who did them. Auditing is actually a fairly small community,  and this could be interesting.

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burtthebike replied to Notgettinganyfaster | 7 years ago
0 likes
Notgettinganyfaster wrote:

@burtonthebike

We are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. This is a cycling forum after all.

 

 

Perhaps you haven't seen the "Facility of the Month" website and book?  As I've already pointed out, there are many schemes which have followed the RSA process but are not safe for pedestrians or cyclists.  There are any number of articles on this website, and others, showing these schemes.

Cognitive dissonance springs to mind.

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hawkinspeter replied to Notgettinganyfaster | 7 years ago
1 like
Notgettinganyfaster wrote:

@burtonthebike

We are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. This is a cycling forum after all.

I dont share your opinion, and I dont know what number of audits you have been exposed to that allows you to form that opinion but I think you are wrong.

I have seen thousands of Audits from probably over 100 different Auditors, the majority of which are perfectly adequate. There are a few rotten eggs, as there are with any industry, but I dont think this is representative of the industry in general.

I will request a copy of the Audits for both schemes (unless you can point me in their direction) to see who did them. Auditing is actually a fairly small community,  and this could be interesting.

As someone who has has little knowledge of audits, I would expect at the very least that a safety audit would highlight safety problems. It seems to me that in this case the audits have completely failed.

What is the actual purpose of a safety audit if they don't highlight safety issues?

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StuInNorway | 7 years ago
0 likes

If they are concerned about cars driving along the route, then ONE bollard in the middle to close off a potential shortcut would work, simply place it on a small traffic island,  and paint chevrons either end, allowing cyclists to clearly see the lane splits in 2 . . . Alternatively as with most decent cycle lanes being built today, actually paint a central dividing line, and then do as above with the bollard . .  Oh and don't make teh bollard "hide in the dark black" better with "glow inte dark yellow" so any approaching lights make it abundantly visible. 

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brooksby | 7 years ago
2 likes

But cars enter and exit drives on most cycle paths like this one, and park in them, with all the associated problems/risks for cyclists, so I'm not sure why Cheshire East thought that adding these bollards as a whole new risk was a good thing?

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burtthebike | 7 years ago
4 likes

"The council says a safety audit did not highlight any concerns, but another will be conducted as part of the review process."

There is a serious problem with the safety audit process, and it is not fit for purpose.  As I know from experience, safety audits do not consider the safety of pedestrians or cyclists, and the guidance for them must be changed.

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Notgettinganyfaster replied to burtthebike | 7 years ago
1 like
burtthebike wrote:

There is a serious problem with the safety audit process, and it is not fit for purpose.  As I know from experience, safety audits do not consider the safety of pedestrians or cyclists, and the guidance for them must be changed.

How do you get to that conclusion? What experience is that? as you are very wrong. Have a read of HD19 properly.

As with any industry you get good Auditors and bad Auditors. Lots of schemes are Audited by small 'one man' Ltd companies as they are cheap, and the Auditors want to keep in favour with who is paying the bill, so can be less critical to try and get future work - I have seen this far too many times. This is the bit that is wrong, not the discipline.

Bollards in the cycle facility are a hazard if placed in the direction of travel. There are serious questions to be had about the ability of whoever Audited this scheme as that is seriously wrong.

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burtthebike replied to Notgettinganyfaster | 7 years ago
1 like
Notgettinganyfaster wrote:
burtthebike wrote:

There is a serious problem with the safety audit process, and it is not fit for purpose.  As I know from experience, safety audits do not consider the safety of pedestrians or cyclists, and the guidance for them must be changed.

"How do you get to that conclusion? What experience is that? as you are very wrong. Have a read of HD19 properly."

How do I come to that conclusion?  Because I've been involved with road schemes and trying to get cyclists' safety taken seriously for thirty years or so.  HD19 is part of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, which strictly only applies to major roads, and most cycling occurs on minor roads, so local authorities ignore it.   The one thing that might help is to make Non-Motorised User Reviews mandatory, but they aren't, and even when there are clear problems for cyclists and pedestrians, NMU reviews are not done.

For instance this scheme http://road.cc/content/news/187943-police-officer-cycle-path-too-risky-u... had no less than six road safety audits, but not a single one of them reported the blatantly obvious hazards caused by the scheme.  If six RSAs didn't find the problems at this junction, and no NMU review was done despite the obvious problems, then the audit system is most certainly not fit for purpose.

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Notgettinganyfaster replied to burtthebike | 7 years ago
0 likes

I apologise in advance for this very boring post on a cycling forum.

 

"HD19 is part of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, which strictly only applies to major roads, and most cycling occurs on minor roads, so local authorities ignore it. "

And the link you posted is off the M5, which is HE (probably). I dont know my boundaries but I would assume this is very close to the HE boundary .... so HD19.

Again I think you are wrong. Authorities must consider road safety as one of their duties within the Highways Act. Most if not all do this through the RSA process among other things. HD19/03 was commended to other Authorities, HD19/15 removes this commendation. Many Authorities have devised their own local Standard which they follow, but, in the absence of a local standard the national standard must be used, in which case this is HD19. If an Authority has built a scheme without an RSA then they are on very weak ground.

There are numerous examples of local standards, some of which are excellent.

 

"The one thing that might help is to make Non-Motorised User Reviews mandatory, but they aren't, and even when there are clear problems for cyclists and pedestrians, NMU reviews are not done."

NMU Audits form part of the design function, not the RSA process. They are used to assist the design of a scheme. I agree they should be done, but in addition to the RSA process.

 

"For instance this scheme http://road.cc/content/news/187943-police-officer-cycle-path-too-risky-u... had no less than six road safety audits, but not a single one of them reported the blatantly obvious hazards caused by the scheme.  If six RSAs didn't find the problems at this junction, and no NMU review was done despite the obvious problems, then the audit system is most certainly not fit for purpose."

NMUs, Quality Audits etc... are all design functions, the reason a design is rubbish is because of the designer, this is where the majority of failings lay. The designer should be competant to design out these issues, an RSA should be a final logic check to make sure nothing slips through - but that is not the case. Designers depend on RSA to point out problems with schemes and thats not right.

Dont get me wrong, this should have been identified but as I said before there are good Auditors and there are bad Auditors.

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burtthebike replied to Notgettinganyfaster | 7 years ago
1 like
Notgettinganyfaster wrote:

"And the link you posted is off the M5, which is HE (probably). I dont know my boundaries but I would assume this is very close to the HE boundary .... so HD19."

The road affected is the A38, not the motorway, so wrong, not HE.

"Authorities must consider road safety as one of their duties within the Highways Act. Most if not all do this through the RSA process among other things."

They must consider road safety and they use RSAs to do this.  So how come so many RSAs are done, but the results are dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians?  What is supposed to happen and what actually happens are two very different things, and your faith in the process is touching, but fundamentally mistaken.

"If an Authority has built a scheme without an RSA then they are on very weak ground."

As I keep repeating, many schemes have had an RSA yet the result is more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians.

"The designer should be competant to design out these issues, an RSA should be a final logic check to make sure nothing slips through - but that is not the case. Designers depend on RSA to point out problems with schemes and thats not right."

But the RSAs are not pointing out the problems, so the system has failed.

"Dont get me wrong, this should have been identified but as I said before there are good Auditors and there are bad Auditors."

There were two sets of auditors at this junction, from the local authority and HE, which also did some work at the same time and neither of them found any problems for cyclists.  I haven't checked the previous work of the HE auditors, but the local authority auditors were experienced and had previously pointed out problems for cyclists in other schemes, but in this case, they didn't even mention cyclists; they just didn't exist.  If they can ignore the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, having followed the RSA process, the process is not fit for purpose.

I've seen quite a few RSAs which similarly ignore or simply don't understand hazards for cyclists.  RSAs do not work for cyclists and pedestrians.

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Fish_n_Chips | 7 years ago
0 likes

Should make cycling fun with a quick 'S' manoeuvre angel

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hawkinspeter | 7 years ago
6 likes

I don't see why they put the bollards in the middle of the lane rather than at the edge (i.e. bordering the road). Also, couldn't they stick a couple of cameras up to catch anyone driving/parking on the lane and just fine them? People tend to change their behaviour if there's a good chance that they'll get caught (and if they hear about other people being fined).

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