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Residents oppose cycle lane plans that would make cyclists “sitting ducks” for motorists accessing driveways

One local claimed that motorists reversing into the driveway across the cycle path couldn’t help avoid collisions if cyclists were “aiming at you at 30”

Locals from Coventry don't seem very pleased with the thought of a new cycle path... because they are concerned that motorists reversing into their driveways wouldn't be able to see the cyclists coming at them at 30 mph, making them "sitting ducks" for a collision.

Plans for the the last phase of the wider 6km Binley cycleway have been ongoing since the last couple of months. If the Clifford Bridge Road stretch is approved, it will link the centre with University Hospital.

Coventry City Council unveiled plans for a new design for the cycle — the third one they've come up with — at a public meeting attended by around 50 people earlier this week, reports the BBC.

Residents were informed that the council no longer planned to narrow Clifford Bridge Road to accommodate the cycleway. The council also said that more parking spaces will be made available in comparison to the original plan, with a kerb now separating the cycle lane from the pavement for much of the route.

> “Our roads will be safer if we all look a bit more”: Cycle lane plans “a recipe for disaster,” say residents – because reversing motorists can’t see cyclists “aiming at you at 30”… due to parked cars on road

However, the residents still voiced safety concerns for the cyclists, who according to them will be under threat from the drivers reversing into the driveways.

Clifton Bridge Road driveways, Coventry (Google Maps)

One local Dawn McCann, who's launched a petition against the plans, said: "I think they keep tweaking it to try and fob us off and not tackle the actual issue of safety.

"No one who lives on Clifford Bridge wants to run cyclist over, nobody would intentionally injure anybody, but the way the cycleway is being designed at the moment, all of those cyclists are sitting ducks."

In fact, McCann has been at the forefront of the campaign against the cycle lane since November when she claimed that collisions between cyclists and motorists were more or less inevitable.

“At the moment cars reverse on the pavement,” McCann said at a council meeting. "When you build the cycle lane, they will have to reverse across a footpath and a cycleway onto Clifford Bridge Road. Even if you reverse on Clifford Bridge Road [into the drive], between parked cars you don’t know if a bike’s coming."

"The visibility thing has been the main thing that the Clifford Bridge Road residents are worried about, I don't know how you get round that," she added. "If you're reversing out across [the cycle lane] with a bike aiming at you at 30, it doesn’t matter how many times you look, there are going to be collisions."

She added that driveways on that stretch of the road are "tiny" and the cycleway would be "relatively close" to them. "It's not because it's a cycleway, it's the positioning, of no vision at all," she said.

Driver speeding on cycling lane in Coventry (Twitter: @adamtranter)

> "Traffic on road? Just use a cycle lane": Motorist facing court after speeding through segregated bike lane

The Binley cycleway had also been in the news after a motorist was caught on camera speeding through it, presumably using it as a way to dodge the traffic and sparking wide outrage amongst concerned cyclists. West Midlands Police later confirmed that the suspect had been identified and was facing charges.

Meanwhile, Labour councillor Robert Thay raised concerns about how the scheme would work at rush hour.

“They’re going to increase the amount of cyclists, you’re going to be trying to get out when cyclists will all be piling to the hospital, and you won’t be able to see them,” he said.

“So you will have to reverse back blindly, hoping that there’s not all of these cyclists who are apparently going to be using the cycle path onto Clifford Bridge Road.

“It’s a recipe for disaster between half seven and half eight in the morning and half four and half five in the evening, because they are the busiest times on that road.”

However, West Midlands’ walking and cycling commissioner Adam Tranter was at least on hand to provide a simple solution for those “blindly” reversing motorists – show some extra caution.

“When we are reversing, when we do stuff, just that extra look or that extra bit of caution, even though it will feel uncomfortable could be beneficial,” he said.

> Proposed city centre e-bike ban will “discourage cycling and penalise responsible cyclists,” says cycling and walking commissioner

Tranter also distinguished between "e-motorcycles" doing high speeds and "the average cyclist and a pedestrian", who travel on a "human scale".

"Often when cyclists and pedestrians are together there’s a bit of give and take with eye contact," he added. "You can't have that level of contact when you’re doing speeds in a car over 20-miles-an-hour, it's been proven.

"So if you slow the speeds down, if you get people to look and visualise, it’s a bit of give and take and generally from the data it seems to work. The data seems to suggest that our roads will be safer if we all look a bit more."

In November, Coventry joined the list of cities to introduce anti-cycling measures, by passing a controversial Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) preventing e-bike use in pedestrianised areas.

> “They have all the resources in the world to pick on cyclists”: Council slammed for stopping and fining cyclists on pedestrianised city centre street

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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33 comments

Avatar
Bungle_52 | 4 months ago
1 like

I think the question we should be asking here is why do we need a cycle lane on a quiet residential street.

May be it's something to do with the standard of driving.

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Velo-drone replied to Bungle_52 | 4 months ago
6 likes

It is far from a "quiet residential street" - it's a car-heavy thoroughway into the city centre.  That's pretty much the whole point of introducing the largely separated cycleway - it's a wonderful cycling route in, even better if you can keep out of the flow of motor traffic.

Just a typical case of anti-everythingers ... I've cycled down there before there was any cycle lane, and drivers hated having a cyclist get in their way on their nice long straight speedway into town.  Now that cycle lanes are being proposed they're anti that too.  

Reality: they want cyclists to not exist.  That's the only thing that will satisfy them.

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mattw replied to Bungle_52 | 4 months ago
4 likes

18,000-20,000 vehicles a day is NOT a "quiet residential street".

https://roadtraffic.dft.gov.uk/#16/52.4155/-1.4499/basemap-countpoints

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Bungle_52 replied to mattw | 4 months ago
2 likes

Apologies. My bad, I was just going on the picture.

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HarrogateSpa | 4 months ago
1 like

Road.cc's model of journalism is to present to us what some anti-cycling person said and hope that we will be outraged.

I don't say that there is never a case for telling us the anti-cycling arguments being, but the way this website does it is relentless and cynical.

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 4 months ago
6 likes

Anti cycle lane 'campaigners' always seem to have the best interests of cyclists in mind. They are so thoughtful. 

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Hirsute | 4 months ago
8 likes

Reminds me of a conversation I've tried to have on the local rag. We can't have a 2 way cycle lane on a one way road because drivers turning into it will only look left. I asked how drivers manage not to run over the pedestrians coming from both directions on a busy street...

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marmotte27 | 4 months ago
12 likes

Entitlement thy name is motorist.

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don simon fbpe | 4 months ago
12 likes

Quote:

"If you're reversing out across [the cycle lane] with a bike aiming at you at 30, it doesn’t matter how many times you look, there are going to be collisions."

How the hell do these people get through life?

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chrisonabike replied to don simon fbpe | 4 months ago
11 likes

They drive! Out of my way, it's your look-out...

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hawkinspeter replied to don simon fbpe | 4 months ago
3 likes

don simon fbpe wrote:

Quote:

"If you're reversing out across [the cycle lane] with a bike aiming at you at 30, it doesn’t matter how many times you look, there are going to be collisions."

How the hell do these people get through life?

With a scattering of casualties in their wake?

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neilmck | 4 months ago
5 likes

The road is very wide with space parking on both sides. However most residents have removed the walls from their front gardens and turned then into a big drive so the parking spaces cannot be used, hence the parked cars hiding cyclists is a non issue.

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chrisonabike | 4 months ago
10 likes
a non-advanced driver wrote:

So you will have to reverse back blindly, hoping that there’s not all of these cyclists who are apparently going to be using the cycle path onto Clifford Bridge Road.

Hmm... if only there were some kind of alternative to driving in a direction where you can't see. But even if (clearly a novel idea) you backed in to your drive you're still going backwards, and as everyone knows you can't see behind you.

Perhaps - maybe far in the future - this problem will eventually be solved (perhaps we'll develop clairvoyance, or evolve transparent heads). They're right, until then sadly it's just the cyclists' choice - they can cycle there OR they can be safe. Because we *have to drive*.

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IanMK replied to chrisonabike | 4 months ago
8 likes

There seems to be very little reference to HC section 201. Imagine if cyclists routinely ignored the highway code 😉

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Backladder replied to chrisonabike | 4 months ago
8 likes

chrisonabike wrote:

Hmm... if only there were some kind of alternative to driving in a direction where you can't see. But even if (clearly a novel idea) you backed in to your drive you're still going backwards, and as everyone knows you can't see behind you. .

Now then, you know full well that if they reverse onto their drive one day their house is going to jump out at 30mph and they'll hit it!

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Daclu Trelub replied to chrisonabike | 4 months ago
1 like

chrisonabike wrote:

Hmm... if only there were some kind of alternative to driving in a direction where you can't see.

I've heard of wondrous devices that reflect things behind you, and in the modern age, some boffins have invented items they call 'cameras', which all sounds a bit far-fetched to me.

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chrisonabike replied to Daclu Trelub | 4 months ago
3 likes

Rear-seeing devices?  If mirrors had wings...!

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MattieKempy | 4 months ago
10 likes

Aside from the fact that these sort of cycle lanes make me cringe for the reasons given by the local residents, I'd agree it's not an ideal cycle lane. However, lines of sight for motorists look pretty good, very few cyclists will be going at 30mph (or even 30kph tbf) and the motoring locals seem to be getting their excuses in early.

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Karlt | 4 months ago
9 likes

Have these people any idea how hard it is to sustain 30mph on the flat? Ditto claims of pedestrians being nearly hit by cyclists doing 40mph on pavements.

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AidanR replied to Karlt | 4 months ago
8 likes

I had this argument with a bus driver who pulled out on me without indicating. She turned around and accused me of speeding. Uphill. It astounds me how warped people's perceptions of cyclists' speeds are.

A car going at 20mph is 'slow', but a cyclist going at 20mph is 'fast' and so is perceived as quicker. I'm pretty sure that if you asked someone to judge how fast a car moving at 20mph is going, and asked them the same of a cyclist at the same speed, they'd say that the cyclist is going much faster. 

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giff77 replied to AidanR | 4 months ago
4 likes

AidanR wrote:

....It astounds me how warped people's perceptions of cyclists' speeds are.

A car going at 20mph is 'slow', but a cyclist going at 20mph is 'fast' and so is perceived as quicker. I'm pretty sure that if you asked someone to judge how fast a car moving at 20mph is going, and asked them the same of a cyclist at the same speed, they'd say that the cyclist is going much faster. 

And on the other hand they have convinced themselves that a cyclist couldn't possibly be travelling as fast as they were. Once had a female berate me when she realised she wasn't able to complete a pass safely. After dropping back to avoid a collision she then drew alongside at the lights and screamed that I was going to fast for her to pass. 

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wtjs replied to giff77 | 4 months ago
0 likes

And on the other hand they have convinced themselves that a cyclist couldn't possibly be travelling as fast as they were

Sadly, this is the opinion of the police and many drivers, which means that they agree that it's always legal in any road circumstances to cross single and double unbroken white lines to overtake a cyclist, because they're always travelling at less than 10mph (except when they're travelling at their only other binary speed of over 30mph and killing hundreds of disabled pedestrians a year)

https://upride.cc/incident/yl16rnv_infiniti_closepassdwlcross/

https://upride.cc/incident/ku15ekc_royalmailbigvan_dwlcrossclosepass/

https://upride.cc/incident/px62cea_stagecoach42_uwlcrossclosepass/

https://upride.cc/incident/m121bul_jaguarmmt_uwlcrossclosepass/

https://upride.cc/incident/a19lcw_mercedesmmt_closepassuwl/

https://upride.cc/incident/md68fwc_apcovernight_whitelinecross/

 

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Velo-drone replied to Karlt | 4 months ago
3 likes

Karlt wrote:

Have these people any idea how hard it is to sustain 30mph on the flat? Ditto claims of pedestrians being nearly hit by cyclists doing 40mph on pavements.

No, they don't.  See the many people talking about cyclists doing 20mph, as if all cyclists travel at this speed. 

I'm a pretty enthusiastic cyclist, and I rarely maintain even 20mph for long.  The vast majority of non-club cyclists (i.e. most cyclists) will never even hit 20mph other than down a big hill. 

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the little onion | 4 months ago
17 likes

How do these people entering and exiting driveways not manage to constantly crash into motorised traffic? Maybe they should use the same technique (I think it is called "looking") when pulling out into a cycle lane

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hawkinspeter replied to the little onion | 4 months ago
12 likes

the little onion wrote:

How do these people entering and exiting driveways not manage to constantly crash into motorised traffic? Maybe they should use the same technique (I think it is called "looking") when pulling out into a cycle lane

Obviously cars are only going to be pootling along at 20mph, whilst those reckless cyclists don't care if they hit anything and race along at 30mph all the time.

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don simon fbpe replied to hawkinspeter | 4 months ago
7 likes

I thought cyclists never use cycle paths... Or is that a different thread for a different discussion on a different day? It's so hard to keep up.

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chrisonabike replied to don simon fbpe | 4 months ago
5 likes

If I've got this right they only use them to jump red lights and run over pedestrians - especially those with disabilities.

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don simon fbpe replied to chrisonabike | 4 months ago
4 likes

Gotcha.

Now I have something to do tomorrow! smiley

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Velo-drone replied to don simon fbpe | 4 months ago
1 like

don simon fbpe wrote:

I thought cyclists never use cycle paths... Or is that a different thread for a different discussion on a different day? It's so hard to keep up.

You've hit on why this proposal is quite so triggering for them.  It's a cycle path that is good enough that cyclists might actually want to use it.

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hawkinspeter replied to don simon fbpe | 4 months ago
4 likes

don simon fbpe wrote:

I thought cyclists never use cycle paths... Or is that a different thread for a different discussion on a different day? It's so hard to keep up.

Well we usually try to hold up as many cars as possible by riding in the middle of the road too slowly, but when there's drivists using their driveway or blind people trying to cross a bike lane, then we go as fast as possible (30-40mph) along the cycle path.

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