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Cycle Campaigning - How to spot a cycle path is being built in your area.

I’ve been meaning to write this since last May, but it’s taken me eleven months to get a camera to the area and take the photos!

Here are my handy hints of how to spot that your local council is creating a cycle path in your area.

cycle path bus stop
On day one workmen turn up and create a hard standing so that the bus stop can be relocated. This is excellent as bus stops so commonly obstruct cycle paths, and most paths in this area have those great “Cyclist Dismount” signs either side of them.

cycle path lamp post
Over the course of the next week or two the workmen return daily and widen the footway. Look at what a neat job they’ve made of tarmacing around the lamp post. Mind you, also look at how the tarmac has been rolled by hand, meaning that the undulations give a vibration through the bike preventing any speed above ten miles an hour. (I suppose this is in accordance with the DfT Guidelines which state “Ride at a sensible speed for the situation and ensure you can stop in time. As a general rule, if you want to cycle quickly, say in excess of 18 mph/30 kph, then you should be riding on the road.”)

Of course, moving the lamp post might have been a sensible action? As well as moving all the others!

Finally, still mid way through the works, your local friendly cycling rep (i.e. me) meets with a council employee at an unrelated meeting, and gets into conversation.
“Is that a cycle path they’re creating in Rayleigh Road?”
“I thought as much, even though you haven’t consulted me (yet again). I’m quite looking forward to the paint going down and seeing how you’ll avoid the lamp posts, although I expect I’ll have to be writing another response to the council pointing out the advantages of consulting cycling groups before creating unusable cycle facilities”

There followed a stunned silence, and a period of thought.

Although the workmen turned up for work the next morning, they finished earlier than normal that day and have not returned. Eleven months on the path remains as it was that afternoon; unsigned, unpainted, and turning abruptly from the wide tarmac to the original path width.

The most upsetting thing about this? No it’s not that the councils refuse to talk to the people who these farcilities are supposedly for, but that it’s my council tax that is wasted on works such as these!


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