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Cyclists and motorists equally baffled by new cycle road markings in Gloucester

Gloucestershire County Council says changes are meant to flag possible presence of cyclists where road is too narrow for a 1.5m cycle lane

Gloucester residents have been left confused by cycle safety improvements which appear to have resulted in the loss of cycle lanes. A spokesman for Gloucestershire County Council said that new cycle symbol markings had been added to the centre of the carriageway to highlight “the likely position of cyclists” on that stretch of road.

Gloucestershire Live reports that Bristol Road is being resurfaced from the Cole Avenue junction to the Clifton Road traffic lights with new road markings also being added.

Where previously there had been red cycle lanes on either side, these have now gone, replaced by shorter stretches of cycle lane and occasional bicycle symbols in the middle of the carriageway.

Paul Loosemore, the owner of local bike shop Striking Bikes, expressed confusion at what had been put in place.

"We had a letter to the business before they did the work about 'Bristol Road cycle improvements phase 2', but now there are no cycle lanes. I cycle in from Stroud every day so I go along most of the stretch they've just done. I don't get it.”

Gloucestershire County Council’s spokesman said the new markings had been introduced where the road wasn’t wide enough for a 1.5m cycle lane.

"Where dedicated cycle lanes cannot be provided on the edge of the carriageway (primarily because of available carriageway widths) then there is an acceptance that cyclists in the main prefer to cycle in the middle of the carriageway to ensure they are given at least as much room as a motor vehicle.”

Loosemore said he was not convinced. "If the logic is that it's a shared space and they are trying to mix the cyclists with traffic then someone needs to educate the motorists,” he said.

"You can't just paint pictures of bikes in the middle of the road and expect drivers to behave differently. It's baffling. It's bizarre. I'd like to know what the logic is, and what the research is that went into it."

Writing on Gloucestershire Live’s Facebook page, Marie Louise Canning said: "It's a bike painted on the floor. If drivers don't see actual cyclists, they aren't going to see painted ones either.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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21 comments

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antigee | 6 years ago
1 like

[no interest to anyone else] waves back  Hi hdb 'tis is a small big world!...off Union just other side of Canterbury... at 55+ might not spot me...I'm 55+, sometimes on an old Merlin Malt rigid MTB with a basket and slicks aiming for 30+ or if I'm trying to near the target speed for a residential area a grey On One Bish Bash Bosh[/no interest to anyone else]  

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hdb replied to antigee | 6 years ago
0 likes
antigee wrote:

[no interest to anyone else] waves back  Hi hdb 'tis is a small big world!...off Union just other side of Canterbury... at 55+ might not spot me...I'm 55+, sometimes on an old Merlin Malt rigid MTB with a basket and slicks aiming for 30+ or if I'm trying to near the target speed for a residential area a grey On One Bish Bash Bosh[/no interest to anyone else]  

Too funny - I'm 55- (but not by much) and sometimes ride with a group of 55++ that meet in front of Red Rooster on Sunday mornings. You've probably seen my wife riding her blue commuter with panniers etc on Mt Albert dodging the private school mums in front of Camberwell Grammar. I'm mostly on a rocket sled (Giant Propel with deep dish carbons) heading out too early in the morning for the Maling Room Ride or hills.. Chances are we know some people in common  3

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WillRod | 6 years ago
2 likes

On a less busy road near Ipswich, behind the Martlehsam Tesco they put in a different solution.

 

dashed line cycle lanes in both directions and cars have to wait until it’s clear to overtake. Having driven down it when there were cyclists, it seemed to work, but only due to low traffic. Other drivers seemed confused though.

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arowland replied to WillRod | 6 years ago
0 likes
WillRod wrote:

... Other drivers seemed confused though.

The number of drivers that can't tell the difference between mandatory and non-mandatory cycle lanes! It's a good argument for introducing refresher driving tests every few years, just to force drivers to revise their highway code and keep abreast of changes. (I would propose that such retests would not be identical to the initial test but concentrate on areas of current concern -- a bit section on cyclists, obviously -- and anything new, e.g. sat nav, smart motorways and be regularly revised. Just my two penn'orth.)

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Hirsute replied to arowland | 6 years ago
0 likes
arowland wrote:

The number of drivers that can't tell the difference between mandatory and non-mandatory cycle lanes!

What's a mandatory cycle lane then?

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hawkinspeter replied to Hirsute | 6 years ago
0 likes
hirsute wrote:
arowland wrote:

The number of drivers that can't tell the difference between mandatory and non-mandatory cycle lanes!

What's a mandatory cycle lane then?

It's bordered with a solid white line. It's mandatory as cars/vehicles are not allowed to cross the solid white line (as opposed to mandatory for cycles to have to use it).

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Hirsute replied to hawkinspeter | 6 years ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
hirsute wrote:
arowland wrote:

The number of drivers that can't tell the difference between mandatory and non-mandatory cycle lanes!

What's a mandatory cycle lane then?

It's bordered with a solid white line. It's mandatory as cars/vehicles are not allowed to cross the solid white line (as opposed to mandatory for cycles to have to use it).

Ah, thanks.

Not the best short description of the actual usage!

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the little onion | 6 years ago
6 likes

The idea that there isn't enough room for a proper cycle path on that road is rubbish, looking at the photo

 

All they have to do is get rid of the car parking spaces, and there is enough room for proper segregated facilities. It is a question of there being a tiny bit of commitment from the council towards cycling.

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FrankH | 6 years ago
1 like

There are some of those in Kelvedon, Essex. I just assumed the council had some white paint that needed to be used up and a couple of workmen sitting around doing nothing.  1

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nniff | 6 years ago
2 likes

I've always thought that those markings were much like the legend 'Here there be monsters' on old nautical charts. 

Sometimes I feel like Moby Dick, pursued by a lunatic Captain Ahab in a Ford Focus.  The way things are going, they'll pass a law to make me wear white ​ hi-viz to make it harder for me to get away.

 

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CotswoldsCyclist | 6 years ago
6 likes

You really have to wonder at some people.

According to Marie Louise Canning:

"most the cyclists I see on a daily basis, unfortunately are so irresponsible it's virtually impossible for car drivers not to end up hitting one."  (from the Glos Live article)

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don simon fbpe replied to CotswoldsCyclist | 6 years ago
2 likes
CotswoldsCyclist wrote:

You really have to wonder at some people.

According to Marie Louise Canning:

"most the cyclists I see on a daily basis, unfortunately are so irresponsible it's virtually impossible for car drivers not to end up hitting one."  (from the Glos Live article)

Didn't Jasper Carrott use this sort of stuff for sketches?

"I had to swerve several times before I finally hit the tree.." sort of muppetry.

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antigee | 6 years ago
0 likes

bit hard to tell from the article but presume talking about what seem to be called "Sharrows" - believe they originated in Portland (US not Dorset) - round here (Melbourne Aus') some local councils adopted them ahead of being approved by the State authority and there was some concern they would have to be removed but now they are spreading - seem to work and in theory are self explanatory though you always have to remember 50% of drivers are below average intelligence and the other 50% don't care  1 

a couple of examples local to me - particularly like the downhill take the lane (primary) sharrow and uphill a cycle lane - albeit too narrow  2

 

//farm5.staticflickr.com/4515/38560130066_4117b8483d_z.jpg)

 

//farm5.staticflickr.com/4586/38616928001_c83f3684f0_z.jpg)

 

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Bluebug replied to antigee | 6 years ago
0 likes
antigee wrote:

bit hard to tell from the article but presume talking about what seem to be called "Sharrows" - believe they originated in Portland (US not Dorset) - round here (Melbourne Aus') some local councils adopted them ahead of being approved by the State authority and there was some concern they would have to be removed but now they are spreading - seem to work and in theory are self explanatory though you always have to remember 50% of drivers are below average intelligence and the other 50% don't care  1 

That's completely unfair.  

It depends where you have to ride.

antigee wrote:

a couple of examples local to me - particularly like the downhill take the lane (primary) sharrow and uphill a cycle lane - albeit too narrow  2

 

//farm5.staticflickr.com/4515/38560130066_4117b8483d_z.jpg)

 

//farm5.staticflickr.com/4586/38616928001_c83f3684f0_z.jpg)

 

There are loads of those signs in London particularly where the roads are too narrow for the bit of blue paint that are the cycle superhighways.

I think they are pointless in London as if you don't expect to see bikes now,  then you shouldn't be driving.

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hdb replied to antigee | 6 years ago
1 like
antigee wrote:

a couple of examples local to me - particularly like the downhill take the lane (primary) sharrow and uphill a cycle lane - albeit too narrow  2

//farm5.staticflickr.com/4515/38560130066_4117b8483d_z.jpg)

Heh, that bit on Mont Albert is about a K from my house, is part of my wife's bike route home and a section I ride a lot. Most drivers are pretty good about it but about once a week I get someone who thinks they can beat me in their car to the one lane bit from Balwyn Road and are really surprised that I'm at 55+ before them  3

Antigee - Where are you? We're roughly at Chertsey and Mt Albert, just before the light at Union.

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BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago
2 likes

When will they ever learn, paint doesn't do shit to keep people on bikes safe.
Not just education of motorists by forcing all to go through new trauning but continual police pulling motorists over, even if theyve done nothing wrong, to hand out leaflets, hi-vis stickers and advice about safety and general threats about running red lights, mounting the 'pavement' and wearing helmets ...
Oh wait, they only do that bs for the vulnerable cyclist.

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3mkru73 | 6 years ago
3 likes

I can see the sense in this move as a cyclist. But will motorists understand? Maybe a warning sign post as well before thise sections might help the few drivers who pay attention to signs? 

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Sevenfold | 6 years ago
0 likes

Birmingham CC have done the same on a section of Kingsbury Road - painted symbols on the road.

Confused the hell out of me when I first saw them.

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KINGHORN | 6 years ago
11 likes

Pretty simple really! The road cannot accomodate a cycle lane, so instead of having pointless cycle lane that is actually dangerous, the council are saying (as does the highway code) "that cyclists are allowed to use the whole carriageway and don't have to keep left at all times"!

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matthewn5 replied to KINGHORN | 6 years ago
0 likes
KINGHORN wrote:

Pretty simple really! The road cannot accomodate a cycle lane, so instead of having pointless cycle lane that is actually dangerous, the council are saying (as does the highway code) "that cyclists are allowed to use the whole carriageway and don't have to keep left at all times"!

The road seems to accommodate a line of parked cars, so it can accommodate a 2-way segregated bike track, if a bit narrow. We need to make more and better use of road space than lease it at well below market rates to drivers to leave their cars there forever.*

Bike tracks are a better use of road space than parking ever was. It's time we banned on-street parking!

 

 

*Most cars spend 97% of their time stationary

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alansmurphy | 6 years ago
4 likes

So rather than looking for a cyclist (or any other road using object), drivers are encouraged to look at paint in the road to encourage them to look at the road...?

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