Bradford Council have linked Shipley to Bradford, by adding the Canal
Road Cycleway onto the existing Greenway.
The result is a usable route. It's generally safe and convenient. The
Cycleway has priority over drives and side roads, except in places
where the route designers lost their nerve, and made it give way.
At the heart of Harrogate, bang on the Yorkshire Worlds route,
there's a 36cm cycle lane. It's brilliant that Harrogate is
welcoming the world in September, but what about everyday bike
riders all year round?
In the town centre this afternoon, I saw a near miss by the War
Memorial. A driver turning from West Park into James Street was
within a few centimetres of knocking down a man crossing the road.
The driver stopped just in time.
He shouted angrily out of the window of his pick-up truck, 'This is
3 tonnes, you know.' He also said he hadn't even been doing 30mph.
I believe we have allowed ourselves to get things quite wrong in
this area. If you have bought and are driving a 3-tonne vehicle in a
busy town centre, is that your responsibility, or is it up to
everyone else to accommodate you?
Further, a lot of us don't seem to understand that speed limits are
only limits, not targets. You drive to the conditions, not to the
speed limit. 30mph is inappropriate in a crowded shopping area.
Unfortunately, the British mindset appears to be that it is up to
victims not to be run over, not up to drivers to refrain from
running people over. When you're crossing the road, how often does
someone drive right at you, to make you scurry out of the way? And
would threatening someone with any weapon other than a car be deemed
acceptable? We need to think afresh.
The justice system - police, CPS, and courts - are hugely reluctant
to punish acts of violence if they are committed with a vehicle.
Totally different standards apply to the driving of a vehicle, as
compared to the operation of any other dangerous machinery.
Put simply, I suggest that drivers should take responsibility for
the danger they cause with their vehicles. Where they have priority,
that is not a licence to crush a human being.
Hedge-blog: Alan Partridge and passing distance signs
27th February 2019
It's not the first time Bournemouth's passing distance signs have
been in the news. Last time, it was because someone had stuck
Ainsley Harriott's head on the cyclists on the signs. This time, Alan Partridge is
the face of the campaign.
The serious point is that signs asking drivers to leave at least a
metre and a half when overtaking a person on a bike are possible. I
didn't know that before the Ainsley Harriott story.
I am under no illusions that such signs would be a silver bullet,
but there are places where I'd like to see them - places where road
design combines with drivers' impatience and lack of awareness to
produce frightening close passes time and again. I've written about such signs, and
contacted the DfT to suggest them. The DfT dismissed the idea,
without mentioning that signs like these are already possible.
So come on Harrogate, come on North Yorkshire, let's take whatever
steps are necessary, and get some of these signs put up. Add in some
police enforcement against close passes, and we might start to make
I've enjoyed reading the diaries of John Dickinson, from Timble
(1844 to 1912). He lived through the introduction of motor cars in
Yorkshire, and commented on their pros and cons - comments which
still resonate today.
Toyota are promoting their Aygo car on the basis of the text
message conversations you can have when you're driving. Why are
they building distracted driving into their designs, with, in
effect, a mobile phone screen just above the gear stick? And is a
video portraying distracted driving an acceptable advert?
I set out for a long ride after overnight rain. The first soft,
sinking feeling came only 6 miles in, and I got another puncture
before the roads started to dry. This got me thinking, why are
punctures more likely in wet conditions, and how can you prevent
There's been an awful lot of comment on Chris Froome's Salbutamol
case, almost certainly too much. Cycling journalists ask hard
questions of Froome, but give the UCI a free ride about the leak
of the confidential process. For below the line commenters,
everything is evidence of cheating - good and bad performances
We're being treated to a daily Giro d'Italia podcast from BBC
BeSpoke, for the duration of the race. It's hosted by Tom Fordyce,
and the regular guest is Jeremy Whittle, and the duo form a sort
of Lady Macbeth & Macbeth partnership, plotting to bring down
Bike lanes in the Netherlands are designed with thought and
intelligence to create a joined-up, easily usable network. I
took a few photos of cycle infrastructure in Zandvoort, and I've
added some comments about the intention of the planners. In the
UK, we should pay particular attention to the way they give bike
routes continuity, instead of making them give way to every side
An otherwise delightful Sunday morning bike ride was blighted by
the sight of too many fresh animal carcasses, the creatures killed
by speeding cars. Could we change the law, or change our driving
culture, and save our wildlife? Read about save
our wildlife - don't drive so fast.
I visited London on a work trip in November, and it was the
opportunity to test out the North-South Cycle Superhighway (CS6). My
impressions are necessarily superficial - those of a two-journey Big
Smoke bicyclist, not a local. Read my 5
thoughts on CS6, and the experience of cycling in London.
An open letter to Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate &
Knaresborough, and minister in the DfT with responsibility for
cycling. Two months in, and we have a 'head in hands' moment. Anyone
who rides a bike and has seen your crass and offensive 'cyclists
hang back' video will be dismayed. It's unclear about the story it's
telling, makes a joke out of violence, gives highly dubious advice,
encourages bullying of vulnerable road users, and alienates cyclists
instead of persuading them. Read an open
to Andrew Jones, cycling minister.
'Oh my God, this is the best place ever,' I overheard on the
Nidderdale Greenway. 'I really want to come down here with my
camera.' There is something special about the view from the Nidd
Viaduct, and the fact that a younger generation appreciates it too
is encouraging. Read about overheard
the Nidderdale Greenway.
Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far. It was more than
30 degrees celcius in North Yorkshire, which can't be right. I went
for a bike ride, thinking I'd get a breeze, and everything would be
fine. I did get a breeze, but the abnormally hot weather made a
difference in various ways. Read my 5
thoughts on riding in hot weather.
I was out for a Sunday morning ride, and when passing a dog-walker,
apparently in a civilised and amicable fashion, he growled 'gerra
bell' at me, even though I had a bell and I'd used it. What lessons
can be learned from this encounter (or are there no useful
conclusions which can be drawn)? Read about gerra
bell - an encounter on the Nidderdale Greenway.
The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain published draft design
principles for mass cycling last month. They suggest categorising
roads as 'through', 'distributor', or 'access', and providing for
cycling according to the road category. Read more about the Cycling
of Great Britain's design principles...