Cycle Facilities in the UK

Website by Andy Preece

Strathclyde needs to be viewed in the context of the rest of the United Kingdom. Cycle facilities are not what this country is known for! Just take a look at this lot...

Jumping through hoops! Sometimes you wonder whether cycle facilities are installed to encourage or discourage cycling. Here is an example of a supposed cycle path which has had barriers placed across it. Why?
Just who is going to leave the main road into town, zig-zag down to the sea-front, negotiate hair-pin bends, fight their way through the fishing rods at the marina, and then climb back up to road level? Must be even more fun in the winter!
It's 50 degrees Would any other class of vehicle be asked to follow this shape of lane?
Could the post not have been moved out of the way? Would the same designer leave a sign-post in the middle of a motorway? Believe it or not they resurfaced tatty paving slabs with asphalt for the cycle path but didn't bother moving the posts!
Words fail me for this one And just where does this cycle path lead? See older photo.
Letís send those pesky cyclists down a back lane, where cars park, but there's enough room to squeeze past when cars park according to the marked out parking spaces... Pass the design manual
Who in their right mind would design or approve this? Then there is the tokenistic. This cycle lane is so short it might as well not be there. Plus it is actually the wrong side of the "give way"í line and the lay-by marking.
There's this really busy roundabout. So busy that it's been signalised. But the cyclists are complaining it's dangerous. I know... we'll put advanced stop lines and everything will be alright. I feel really safe, not
The cycle lane goes under the car? This cycle lane was outside of the parked cars but suddenly veers towards the kerb. Remember, a single yellow line means some parking is allowed. There will be parked vehicles here at some times of day.
Look how the cycle lane suddenly dives into the side of the parked cars. Could it not have stayed outside of the parking until the end of the street? The cycle lane goes into the car?
Ah, that's better! Now if you build good cycle facilities in places people want to go then you will find they get used. This cycle lane allows cyclists to go straight on at a junction with a left-turn filter lane.
Even in the middle of winter. This path leads from a large bridge crossing a river estuary down to some quieter roads which lead into town, avoiding the need to use the busy dual-carriageway and roundabouts. Count those tyre tracks
Correct signing too When blocking off streets, make sure cyclists are able to continue using the route. This street stops short of the tram line, but a cycle path connects across the tram line to avoid forcing cyclists to go the long way round on busier roads.
Then there are signs. This sign is actually for cyclists going from the airport. A town name would have been better. Where does this route go?
Wrong way! This sign points the wrong way along a one-way street.
The "no entry" signs here are wrong. Cyclists are allowed entry into the contra-flow cycle lane. Yes Entry
One way street with contra-flow cycle lane These signs contradict each other, and the correct one is hidden behind a pillar! The road is a one way street but it has a contra-flow cycle lane which road users must be made aware of. Would the council be liable if a cyclist was injured by a motorist thinking the cyclist was cycling the wrong way down a one way street?
Cyclists can turn right here The sign on the left tells cyclists exiting a college they can't turn right when they can. Not many bus services run through the college car park.
The sign on the right is a complete nonsense. It tells everyone there is a cycle lane going right but doesn't exempt cyclists from the mandatory left turn. The "one way" plate should be replaced with one saying "except cycles".
Cyclists can turn right here too
Now this is better. Here the direct route for cyclists is indicated on the same sign that gives the route for motor vehicles which avoids some narrow streets unsuitable for through motor traffic, but perfect for cycling along. Text book example - see 'Know Your Traffic Signs'
What a mess! But not far away is this complete mess! Look how untidy the signs are here. Why weren't blue panels used on the main sign as they were above?
How do you avoid signs being twisted round? Use square poles, or two poles for larger signs. So many cycle signs get twisted round - here's the low-cost answer
Why ban cyclists when lorries are allowed? Many pedestrian precincts ban cycling but cyclists ignore this rule (well motorists break just about every rule in the book and get away with it) and no-one gets hurt. So why ban cycling in pedestrian precincts? It is allowed in some places, such as here where cycling is allowed outside of the busiest shopping times. Let's face it, if lorries are allowed in for loading purposes, whatís the problem with cycling?
Some pedestrian precincts allow cycling at any time, with cyclists being told to give way to pedestrians (it's their precinct after all). See also the Traffic Advisory Leaflet on Cycling in Pedestrian Areas. Why ban cyclists at all?
Just diabolical! Just why do councils find cycle parking so difficult to get right? This cycle parking not only is less secure than using a convenient sign-post, it's also hidden under the entrance ramp.
Some stations have had their cycle parking removed. Why? Apparently there was a security threat from exploding bikes. However, the taxi rank remains just the other side of the wall, and taxis make much bigger bombs. We don't want your custom
Where's the parking gone? There used to be cycle parking stands here but the council removed them when the paving slabs were renewed and they weren't replaced for some considerable time, leaving just a fence.
If proper stands are positioned in the right places they will get used. Are those Christmas decorations? Oh yes, it's the middle of winter again. Well used
A bit of a crush! Sometimes councils only install one token stand when several are needed.
Why not go to town on the cycle parking thing? Here is a sculpture to show off where the cycle parking is. Bit o' class!
See it in Crewe Missed the last train? Well grab a bike!
Or catch a lift! Going down

Following a tip-off, a special page has been compiled for Milngavie. Similar pages have now been compiled for Charing Cross, Leverndale and Pollok, Cowcaddens, seen through Google's Street View and Cycle Facilities Abused.

For more pathetic excuses for cycle facilities see these pages for Glasgow, Edinburgh, Warrington, Brighton, Minsk (auto-translation) and more.

Contrast pictures of the Clyde Tunnel cycle tunnel with the Tyne Tunnel cycle tunnel.

Once you've finished that, take a read of The Cycle Campaign Network's Campaign for High Standards.

Website by Andy Preece