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Cyclists' Safety - Does Government Really Care?

Wales has a joint strategy for Cycling and Walking This implies pedestrians and cyclists are cared for equally. But is this true?

The first poster, below, released by a Welsh local authority, is aimed at safeguarding pedestrians. Could a similar one ever be produced for cyclists? Many cyclists would say no, believing government places its own interests above the interests of cyclists - hence our second spoof poster.

Do let us know of your experience of seeking help on a matter affecting your cycling.

 

OBSTRUCTING CYCLE PATHS

  Cycle Paths are for cyclists, pedestrians, and wheelchair users. Highway Officers sometimes check for obstructions.

Badly located posts, broken glass, thorns, and all manner of things can cause inconvenience and even serious injury.

Highway Officers can take persistent offenders to court, but are very loath to do so.

If you have a problem with an obstructed cycle path, we would prefer you to sort it out yourself as we are rather busy with more important things

Don't Ring Us - We'll Ring You!

Below are just a few examples of hazardous posts riders have to negotiate on cycleways. They are installed to prevent access by cars. But cars are rarely driven along cycle ways - even where there are no posts. Where trespass does occur, it is most likely to be a localised problem, not a general one, and involve motor cycles, not cars.

Chris (left) is an experienced rider and very familiar with this route at Kinmel Bay. He collided with this post in October 2009. He incurred a head injury and was admitted to hospital for three days for observation.

 

Again, a mature rider with years of experience, and very familiar with these posts, collided with one in high winds and incurred a head injury requiring surgery. The posts have now been removed.

 

 Take a close look at this scene on Penmaenmawr promenade. Within the same Conwy CBC recently, a cyclist suffered two broken arms and ribs within seconds when he also thought he was safe to proceed.

 

 

Dyserth. Bollards now removed. Note the painted lines allowing priority to a vehicle exiting the private property to the left. The practice of extending private curtilege to the kerb edge is usually only on cycleways - not pavements or pedestrian paths. It disproportionately places the duty of care on the cyclist rather than the property owner, and risks a pile-up if cyclists are riding in a group. The use of such marking is legally questionable.

 

Lon Eifion, Gwynedd. These posts are on a slope where cyclists should be able to relax and safely freewheel without encountering these within seconds!

 

Eastern approach to Penmaenmawr promenade (NCN5). There is a chicane barely twenty paces further on down a short slope. The centre post serves no purpose whatsoever, and can catch cyclists, distracted by the sea views to the right, unawares. During the hours of darkness riders also likely to be dazzled by the powerful lighting on the A55 to the left.

 

Lon Eifion. Look closely. Imagine you are unfamiliar with this cycleway. Even on a bright day there is deep shade with the heavy over mantle of trees. Perhaps you are tired at the end of a long day's ride. It's dusk - or even pitch black. Conditions may be stormy. You may be wearing spectacles impairing your vision in the rain. You won't expect a metal post to be in the middle of the path ahead. But beware. You are at significant risk of serious injury within seconds - with little chance that someone will pass by to assist you.

 

Metal bollards take no prisoners. 

Gwynedd CC has been warned this bollard is a potential death trap, but is taking no action to remove (280311)

 

New Brighton. Coastal wind turbulence for example, could easily deflect a rider into this signpost. The post is both dangerous and unnecessary. Surface signage is safe signage. (050711)

 

Rhyl - Four navel destroyers at the marine lake

 

And even the Dutch have problems with these dangerous and mostly unnecessary posts: see

 http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/warning-cyclists-watch-out-%E2%80%98safety%E2%80%99-poles

 

 

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