'Cycle lanes delaying emergency services' is one of the most frequently parroted lines you'll hear from those who, for whatever reason, don't like people having access to safe infrastructure. BUT here's Jeremy Vine on hand to show how they can help out...
Cycle lanes are GREAT for the emergency services.
Watch the police van — from my commute through Hyde Park this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/I11NKAI523
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) May 25, 2022
Vine wrote: "Absolutely support the use of cycle lanes for emergency services. The roads are usually so jammed in London that police, ambulance, fire get stuck. It is yet another argument for segregated cycle lanes."
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) May 25, 2022
If they proceed with caution/ vigilance surely ok? It naturally follows from retrofitting streets with segregated cycle lanes in tight urban London, that we compromise and learn to share the roads. Politely yours, a cyclist.
— FI_tinydancer (@FItinydancer) May 25, 2022
Last year, Cycling UK submitted freedom of information (FOI) requests to the 12 ambulance trusts operating in England, Scotland and Wales, asking whether councils were engaging with them before installing new cycling and walking facilities and whether the new lanes had been the cause of any delays.
Ten responded. Not one was against the new lanes, while a third expressed strong support for them because of their public health and road safety benefits.
That FOI request came months after Cycling UK accused the Mail on Sunday of peddling "alternative facts" on impact of cycle lanes on emergency services after it quoted a spokesman for the College of Paramedics claiming that cycling infrastructure and low traffic neighbourhoods were delaying ambulances and putting people’s lives at risk.
The following day, the College responded to the article through its Twitter account, and expressed disappointment at how the comments made on its behalf had been reported.
I'm sure some of you will be laughing at the idea of an ambulance fitting in your paltry local cycle lane...but does Jeremy have a point?
Colombian Santiago Buitrago was the winner on stage 17 after he and Gijs Leemreize spoilt the Giro media team's pizza party (scroll down if that makes zero sense).
Giro social media team right now pic.twitter.com/iYSANLDmyN
— Felix Schillings (@Felixschill) May 25, 2022
Jan Hirt was third, while the persevering Hugh Carthy came fourth. In the GC, Jai Hindley and Richard Carapaz could not be seperated (again), although João Almeida finally dropped more than a handful of seconds, letting Mikel Landa move onto the podium.
Giro d'Italia stage 17: 11.5km to go...Mathieu van der Poel is solo, climbing the final ascent to Monterovere, with a second stage win of the race (and a country-offending wager) on the line...
🍍Hey @mathieuvdpoel, we throw you a challenge, if you win another stage, the social team will eat a pineapple pizza.
— Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) May 23, 2022
The Giro press team, looking at a week packed with mountains, seemed quite smug putting this one on the table...soon there could be a pineapple pizza on their table...
Without jinxing it...
You can start peeling the pineapples!
— Ricardo Bernardo 📷 (@zone41) May 25, 2022
— Tomas Sloot (@TomasSloot) May 25, 2022
Full details to come. pic.twitter.com/fvGf5SPmOR
— Team BikeExchange-Jayco (@GreenEDGEteam) May 25, 2022
Eight stages after dropping out of the GC picture Simon Yates has abandoned the Giro. Despite another failed maglia rosa tilt, the Team BikeExchange-Jayco rider leaves the race with two stage wins, including one in a time trial...he's a confusing rider to pin down...
Hugh Carthy could be the latest Brit to win a stage of this year's race. Summitting the penultimate climb of the day, Carthy is pushing on in a group with Mathieu van der Poel, yesterday's winner Jan Hirt, KOM leader Koen Bouwman and GC yo-yo Guillaume Martin, amongst others...
Warwickshire Road Safety partners showed their support to the runners, walkers and cyclists who set off at intervals from Warwickshire Police Headquarters in Leek Wootton on Wednesday 18 May 2022 to support the Andy Cox Challenge.
Warwickshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Alex Franklin-Smith, Chair of Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership and Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe, and Assistant Chief Fire Officer Barnaby Briggs thanked the participants who then set off on their 10-mile run or 20-mile cycle ride to raise awareness of road safety and much-needed funding for national charity RoadPeace for road crash victims in the UK.
Warwickshire was not the only county taking part. The high-profile event led by road safety campaigner Detective Chief Supt Andy Cox saw police officers and staff from across the UK join forces to run, cycle, walk or travel by any other means across their force area, between 16-22 May 2022, and has raised over £60,000.
During the week, as Det Chief Supt Cox cycled or ran 30 miles a day across the UK on routes where fatal and serious road collisions have occurred, he was joined by a variety of high-profile fundraisers including NPCC lead for Roads Policing Chief Constable Jo Shiner, and on Wednesday, 18 May, Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio and C5 presenter when they talked about the importance of dashcam footage and Op Snap.
You sure you don't want a jacket? Not even arm warmers? Okay...
Heavy rain and 9°C atop Passo Del Tonale at the minute...and there's a sharp 15km descent followed by a steady downhill for 57km afterwards...let's hope the soigneurs or team car can get some layers over in time...
— Parrotgone (@Parrotgone) May 25, 2022
Bike storage on trains is a topic which always gets people talking...probably because it's hard to have a positive experience...
Miller recalled taking "a bike on a GWR train recently, having booked a place, and had the pleasure of using the hook system. One bike took up most of the space, I wouldn't like to be wrestling two in there. I could only just get a 39mm deep rim with 34mm tyre onto the hook, anything deeper would have been impossible."
hawkinspeter summed it up nicely: "It's actually quite impressive that they managed to make bike storage that fits as few bikes as possible."
BalladOfStruth reckons: "getting a bike on a train has been made intentionally dificult."
"I currently commute to work by bike roughly 5 miles into the office. I'm due to move in August to the west coast of Wales, but keeping the same job on a remote contract. For the few days I will be required to be onsite, I was hoping to use the train as there's a 'station' a few miles cycle from where I'm moving to and a station at the end of the street the office is on.
"Because it's such a long train journey, it's quite difficult to miss the commuter trains and I obviously wont be able to get a bike on one of those. The only train I can realistically take is the indirect 10:00am train with four changes which means rolling the dice on being able to squeeze the bike onto five separate trains or ending up stranded 100+ miles from home or work.
"Despite being one of the more anti-car people around, who is willing to go to a fair bit of effort to find an alternative to a car journey, I think I'm going to drive."
AlsoSomniloquism said: "I've mentioned before, Virgin used to allow 'Only two bikes' into the storage area in the front engine compartment and only if booked in advance and have a destination ticket on it. Oh and not on certain 'rush hour' trains. I did use it once and you could have fitted six bikes minimum in the space allowed. However when I did follow all the rules and got back into Birmingham (where luckily the train ended). The 'train manager' decided to leave the train and I couldn't get my bike off as the door could only be opened from within with one of those key things. I said luckily the train ended as the driver (whose end I was at) appeared from his cab to leave and let me out."
Dnnnnnn added: "I've had that 'locked in' experience a few times, fortunately also only at the end of the route.
"On GWR's intercity trains, they only allow four bikes to be booked on, although I've counted 10 (badly designed) spaces on some. You're not meant to bring a bike without a reservation, of course, so there are intentionally six empty spaces and half a dozen disappointed potential passengers."
And it seems your experience of ScotRail might be slightly different to ours (admittedly based on photos and shiny press releases)...
BigSigh said: "I'd echo the advice that people not to turn up expecting all ScotRail trains have these carriages! The 153 (the one with all the bike spaces) only runs on the Glasgow to Oban route, only at certain times and, with the current emergency timetable, even some of those services have been removed for the foreseeable future. That said, the 156's always run on the Oban route (as well as ex.the Fort William and Mallaig route) and each unit (not carriage) has space for six bikes. But even then, remember to book. And take off any frame bags. Pretty much all the other trains are much more limited for bike spaces. I know there's been a lot of fanfare with the introduction on the bike carriages and praise here, but it's by no means the full picture."
mikecassie echoed the sentiment above: "The Inverness to Aberdeen train has only two spaces on the whole train and I couldn't fit my Bokeh with 38mm tyres into the hooks. The other storage method of a big horizontal U doesn't work if you have frame bags. The trains run and what appears to be 50 per cent capacity at most and they could easily give up more space for bikes but they don't. Unless you are running a road bike with narrow bars and 23mm tyres on shallow rims the bike storage hooks are a joke."
— Adam Blythe (@AdamBlythe89) May 25, 2022
Someone go give him a hug...
— GCN Racing (@GcnRacing) May 25, 2022
Sometimes these starts aren’t too bad. If the peloton gets organized and blocks the road or with the GC having such huge time gaps, as long as the top 10 riders are not in the break, Ineos will be happy and just let anybody who wants to go in the break, go. https://t.co/77btEza5Qn
— Dan Martin (@DanMartin86) May 25, 2022
Here's what Dan thinks could happen on stage 17. It's breakaway bingo time...pick your riders and hope they make it. I'll go Koen Bouwman, Giulio Ciccone and Bauke Mollema. The two final climbs are hard enough to see some GC fireworks, will Carapaz and Hindley finally get rid of Almeida?
Get your thoughts in for our latest podcast discussion topic...
Cycling is generally the bee's knees of course... but is there anything you hate about being a cyclist? We'll start, best and most creative suggestions get a mention on our next podcast episode! #cycling pic.twitter.com/mHq6t11QJL
— road.cc (@roadcc) May 24, 2022
I'll go first: being cold on the bike. I know some of you will tell me to get better gloves, but you know when you can't feel your fingers, so can't change gear, think about eating etc...yeah, that...it's horrible...
Some of your suggestions...
Trains and cycling pic.twitter.com/zobgAgHRsm
— carolynworfolk🚲 (@CarolynWorfolk) May 24, 2022
Having to lie to my wife about the cost of my collection of bikes/kit
— Rory McCarron (@CyclingLawLDN) May 24, 2022
I hate squeaks/creaking noises that sound like they are from the bottom bracket, but never are the bottom bracket! 🤷♀️
— A Kelly (@Alan_Kelly) May 24, 2022
Image: Zac Williams/SWpix.com
Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert have gone from, no offence, a fairly forgettable cycling team to one of the most enjoyable underdogs in the sport in the space of 12 heady months. First, Taco van der Hoorn's magical upset on stage three of last year's Giro d'Italia.
Then, at the Vuelta, Rein Taaramäe followed in his teammate's footsteps, winning stage three and, with it, wore the red leader's jersey the following day. Then, this seaon we've all been charmed by Biniam Girmay's meteoric rise to the top of the sport, climaxing with THAT Giro win (and unfortunate celebration)...and to top it all off Jan Hirt won yesterday's stage, while Domenico Pozzovivo sits sixth on GC.
Sorry, I got carried away with my Intermarché love-in...
Here's the news I was meant to be bringing you...according to his team, Biniam Girmay underwent a further medical screening in Belgium on Tuesday, following the eye injury he sustained during the Giro. There, it was decided he will need further rest and the history-maker is expected to resume training within the next ten days.
So you want to see a new part of the country, or maybe you're doing an event which finishes a fair distance from home and don't want to ride your bike even further, or maybe you need to get somewhere at the other end of your train journey. There are countless scenarios where taking your bike on a train makes sense, and really should not be as difficult as it is...
If you're lucky your train will be empty and sympathetic staff might just let you keep an eye on it in the carriage. But even then it can be nice, especially on long journeys, to not have to worry about getting up at every station to make sure you aren't blocking anyone getting on or off. If that's my 'ideal option' then what's the 'bad option'? I'm sure this sort of set-up will need no introduction...
Cargo bikers, mountain bikers, bikepackers, and pretty much anyone who doesn't fit the narrow race bike mould might as well not bother. Oh, what's that? It can be hard/impossible for many people to do the storage gymnastics required to get a bike up onto the racks? Nah, can't be, there's more than enough room for two in there...
road.cc reader Dan got in touch with the following far-too-familiar tale...
"We took the train down from Exeter to Penzance and found this tiny little space for our bikes," he said. "There is no way we could get both bikes up on the rack. Luckily the guard wasn't too fussy but what was wrong with the guard's van in the old days? I think you'd struggle to get two racing bikes in that space let alone a MTB or light cargo bike."
Of course, this isn't a new problem. In 2019, London North East Railway said it would work to identify where modifications can be made to the cycle storage on some of its new trains after Cycling UK said that the painfully familiar system now in use was "downright dangerous".
Editor Jack is one of the hundreds to have had a nightmare bike-transporting train journey. He once made the mistake of trying to get "a very lovely Argon 18 gravel bike with a snazzy Rotor 13-speed groupset to road.cc towers without getting it dirty" via a GWR service to London Paddington.
I'll let you enjoy the misery in all its glory, but for a taster: "road.cc reviews usually use a star-based system, but I've introduced another category especially for the purposes of reviewing GWR's bike storage (opinions my own, not necessarily representative of my employer). Until next time!"
It seems some operators need to take a leaf out of ScotRail's spacious and practical book...
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.