A34

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Simon, Jun 1, 2003.

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  1. Simon

    Simon Guest

    Driving back along the A34 (I *did* cycle 50 miles yesterday) from a family get together in Oxford
    today I noticed small lanes, painted with bicycle symbols, before each slip road. The lanes take
    cyclists directly across the slip to avoid problems crossing the end of the lane. The odd thing
    about this is that there didn't appear to be cycle lanes alongside the road itself, just a narrow
    band of tarmac between the painted edge of the inside lane and the verge. Surely this isn't intended
    to be a cycle lane? A pretty poor concession to cycle lane provision if it is.

    Anyone else noticed this?
     
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  2. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Simon wrote:
    > Driving back along the A34 (I *did* cycle 50 miles yesterday) from a family get together in Oxford
    > today I noticed small lanes, painted with bicycle symbols, before each slip road. The lanes take
    > cyclists directly across the slip to avoid problems crossing the end of the lane. The odd thing
    > about this is that there didn't appear to be cycle lanes alongside the road itself, just a narrow
    > band of tarmac between the painted edge of the inside lane and the verge. Surely this isn't
    > intended to be a cycle lane? A pretty poor concession to cycle lane provision if it is.
    >
    > Anyone else noticed this?

    I don't know the A34 but these things sound exactly the same as the ones on part of the A10
    (although I haven't noticed them for a while because I rarely bother using them - but I think
    they're reasonable if you need them).

    They are purely for assisting cyclists at slip lanes and are not necessarily part of any cycle lanes
    on the main carriageway, and they are optional. Cycling is legal on A-roads unless specifically
    prohibitted, and the band of tarmac and white line is just the normal hard shoulder or excess road.
    Cycles are supposed to use the lane proper there.

    Better to have some facility provided than none at all, in this particular case, I think.

    ~PB
     
  3. It'd be better if the government admitted that the A34 (and A14, A55, A12,
    A2 ..) is practically a motorway, and should be upgraded to motorway standard with an alternative
    route provided for non-motorway traffic.
     
  4. Simon

    Simon Guest

    That's what I was thinking. I can't believe it's classed as a simple A road.

    Who in their right mind would cycle along that?

    "Nathaniel Porter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > It'd be better if the government admitted that the A34 (and A14, A55, A12,
    > A2 ..) is practically a motorway, and should be upgraded to motorway standard with an alternative
    > route provided for non-motorway traffic.
     
  5. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Simon wrote:
    > That's what I was thinking. I can't believe it's classed as a simple A road.
    >
    > Who in their right mind would cycle along that?

    No comment on whether I'm in my right mind or not :) - but I do like to use large dual carriageways
    sometimes. They can be much flatter and more direct than alternative routes: something different for
    a change if fancy some continuous fast cycling (good with a tailwind, I find). 70mph ones with 6+
    narrow lanes do bother me, though!

    >> It'd be better if the government admitted that the A34 (and A14, A55, A12, A2 ..) is practically
    >> a motorway, and should be upgraded to motorway standard with an alternative route provided for
    >> non-motorway traffic.

    Would cost a 'ole 'eap of money (widening, full hard shoulder, etc). In the meantime, I'm grateful
    that we are at least *allowed* to cycle on them.

    Ironically, I reckon it might actually be safer to cycle on motorways than most trunk A-roads if
    ones stays to the extreme left-hand side of the hard shoulder. I have accidentally cycled on a
    couple of motorways before (Hold on! I can explain! Well, give some excuses anyway*) and felt as
    safe as houses - just ultra-wary of getting nicked.

    * Due to me getting lost & confused + road works + bad or non-existent signage. I did a bit of the
    M25 when a certain stretch was first opened, bit of A40(M), and the entire length of the M41!

    ~PB
     
  6. Andy Key

    Andy Key Guest

    In message <bbdvnd[email protected]>, Pete Biggs
    <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> writes
    >They are purely for assisting cyclists at slip lanes and are not necessarily part of any cycle
    >lanes on the main carriageway, and they are optional. Cycling is legal on A-roads unless
    >specifically prohibitted, and the band of tarmac and white line is just the normal hard shoulder or
    >excess road. Cycles are supposed to use the lane proper there.
    >
    >Better to have some facility provided than none at all, in this particular case, I think.

    I do know the A34, and yes, the cycle lanes only appear at to "assist" cyclists at the slip lanes,
    on the principle that these are the most dangerous points. They do this by taking the cyclist to a
    position where
    s/he has to give way to traffic coming on via the slip road, rather than vice versa. The theory is
    that this reduces accidents caused by dozy motorists ploughing into (sorry, "in collision with")
    cyclists as they come onto the A34. I think no facility at all would be better. It's just another
    example of transport planners treating cyclists as second-class citizens, who should be channelled
    out of the way of "proper" road users. And I'm not aware of any evidence that this facility
    reduces accidents.

    At one junction south of Newbury, the cycle lane actually takes cyclists up a hill then down again
    just to avoid the slip road.

    But you'd have to be insane to cycle up the A34. Or a time triallist...

    --
     
  7. Tim Woodall

    Tim Woodall Guest

    On Tue, 3 Jun 2003 01:21:49 +0100, Pete Biggs <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:
    > Simon wrote:
    >> That's what I was thinking. I can't believe it's classed as a simple A road.
    >>
    >> Who in their right mind would cycle along that?
    >
    > No comment on whether I'm in my right mind or not :) - but I do like to use large dual
    > carriageways sometimes. They can be much flatter and more direct than alternative routes:
    > something different for a change if fancy some continuous fast cycling (good with a tailwind, I
    > find). 70mph ones with 6+ narrow lanes do bother me, though!
    >
    >>> It'd be better if the government admitted that the A34 (and A14, A55, A12, A2 ..) is practically
    >>> a motorway, and should be upgraded to motorway standard with an alternative route provided for
    >>> non-motorway traffic.
    >
    > Would cost a 'ole 'eap of money (widening, full hard shoulder, etc). In the meantime, I'm grateful
    > that we are at least *allowed* to cycle on them.
    >
    > Ironically, I reckon it might actually be safer to cycle on motorways than most trunk A-roads if
    > ones stays to the extreme left-hand side of the hard shoulder. I have accidentally cycled on a
    > couple of motorways before (Hold on! I can explain! Well, give some excuses anyway*) and felt as
    > safe as houses - just ultra-wary of getting nicked.
    >
    I seem to recall somewhere (australia? canada?) trialling allowing cyclists onto motorways where
    there was a full width hard shoulder. IIRC the cyclists had to leave at each sliplane and rejoin so
    they were never crossing/being crossed by motorway traffic.

    I did do a quick search to see if I could find it again (I couldn't) but I did find the following
    from http://www.trl.co.uk/pdf/TRLNews_mar02.pdf

    "Each year more than 500 people die in the UK from hitting trees, lampposts, signs and other
    roadside hazards."

    Who said drivers could pick a safe speed for the conditions?

    Regards,

    Tim.

    > * Due to me getting lost & confused + road works + bad or non-existent signage. I did a bit of the
    > M25 when a certain stretch was first opened, bit of A40(M), and the entire length of the M41!
    >
    > ~PB
    >
    >

    --
    God said, "div D = rho, div B = 0, curl E = - @B/@t, curl H = J + @D/@t," and there was light.

    http://tjw.hn.org/ http://www.locofungus.btinternet.co.uk/
     
  8. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > I did a bit of the M25 when a certain stretch was first opened, bit of A40(M), and the entire
    > length of the M41!

    Respec' :)

    --
    Dave...
     
  9. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Andy Key wrote:

    >> They are purely for assisting cyclists at slip lanes and are not necessarily part of any cycle
    >> lanes on the main carriageway, and they are optional. Cycling is legal on A-roads unless
    >> specifically prohibitted, and the band of tarmac and white line is just the normal hard shoulder
    >> or excess road. Cycles are supposed to use the lane proper there.
    >>
    >> Better to have some facility provided than none at all, in this particular case, I think.
    >
    > I do know the A34, and yes, the cycle lanes only appear at to "assist" cyclists at the slip lanes,
    > on the principle that these are the most dangerous points. They do this by taking the cyclist to a
    > position where s/he has to give way to traffic coming on via the slip road, rather than vice
    > versa. The theory is that this reduces accidents caused by dozy motorists ploughing into (sorry,
    > "in collision with") cyclists as they come onto the A34. I think no facility at all would be
    > better. It's just another example of transport planners treating cyclists as second-class
    > citizens, who should be channelled out of the way of "proper" road users.

    The ones on the A10 (and I suspect A34 too if they're similar) are designed to help cyclists who are
    already on the main carriageway and would otherwise have to cross the slip lane at a shallow angle
    to continue on, NOT those cyclists who are joining it. This can help because getting stranded in
    no-mans land and waiting for a never-appearing gap in the traffic can be a nightmare.

    > And I'm not aware of any evidence that this facility reduces accidents.

    There are so few cyclists on these kind of roads that any stats would be meaningless.

    ~PB
     
  10. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Andy Key <[email protected]> wrote:

    : But you'd have to be insane to cycle up the A34. Or a time triallist...

    You beat me to it. See threads passim.

    Of course, for better or worse, TT'ers don't use the painted strips.

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org Power is delightful. Absolute power is absolutely delightful -
    Lord Lester
     
  11. Pete Beggs,

    > No comment on whether I'm in my right mind or not :) - but I do like to use large dual
    > carriageways sometimes. They can be much flatter and more direct than alternative routes:
    > something different for a change if fancy some continuous fast cycling (good with a tailwind, I
    > find). 70mph ones with 6+ narrow lanes do bother me, though!
    >
    I have a special licence to ride a bicycle on the freeways of New Jersey. It's legal to ride on some
    or all freeways in a good many states in the USA, especially in the west, where there are few
    alternate roads, and traffic is lighter.

    New Jersey is the only place I've herard of that requires a licence, though. To get one, just write
    in and ask. Once you have it it's good for life.

    The licence is not good on every freeway. The immediate approaches to New York City and Philadelphia
    tend to be forbidden, and so are the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.

    As for those bike bypasses on British slip roads, I'm not too impressed with them. As with things
    done at roundabouts their main purpose is to delay cyclists and convert any accident into "the
    cyclists fault". I will concede that the insane design of British slip roads is pretty dangerous,
    but so it is for motorists as well.

    Jeremy Parker
     
  12. John B

    John B Guest

    Arthur Clune wrote:

    > Andy Key <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > : But you'd have to be insane to cycle up the A34. Or a time triallist...
    >
    > You beat me to it. See threads passim.
    >
    > Of course, for better or worse, TT'ers don't use the painted strips.

    Not even the ones in the middle of the road ;-)

    John B
     
  13. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Tue, 03 Jun 2003 16:20:17 +0000, Jeremy Parker <[email protected]> wrote:

    >As for those bike bypasses on British slip roads, I'm not too impressed with them. As with things
    >done at roundabouts their main purpose is to delay cyclists and convert any accident into "the
    >cyclists fault". I will concede that the insane design of British slip roads is pretty dangerous,
    >but so it is for motorists as well.
    >

    Hi Jeremy

    Aren't our UK slip roads the same as your US on and off ramps? My point is that using either
    countries' solution, if you are cycling straight on, you have to cycle across a lane where other
    traffic is possibly moving at speed in front of or closely behind you.

    Hope that makes sense. I doubt it.

    I appreciate you're talking about the bike bypasses so: What's the US solution to the problem of
    bikes having to ride across the on/off ramps?

    James

    --
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/c.butty/Dscf0632.jpg
     
  14. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    In news:[email protected], Arthur Clune <[email protected]> typed:
    >
    > Of course, for better or worse, TT'ers don't use the painted strips.
    >

    ....and one TT'er, Rachel Glaister, was killed on the A14 at Cambridge by a car joining the dual
    carriageway :-(

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "All truth goes through three steps: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
    Finally, it is accepted as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer
     
  15. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Tony Raven <[email protected]> wrote:

    : ....and one TT'er, Rachel Glaister, was killed on the A14 at Cambridge by a car joining the dual
    : carriageway :-(

    I'm afraid that I view TT'ing on roads like the A14 as tantamount to suicide anyway. It's pure luck
    as to wether you get killed or not.

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org Power is delightful. Absolute power is absolutely delightful -
    Lord Lester
     
  16. Blagger

    Blagger Guest

    Since they replaced some nice Berkshire countryside with the A34 Newbury bypass I've never seen a
    single bike on that bit of the dual carriageway.

    I suppose if you don't know where your going you might want to share the road with loads of HGVs
    but a quick look at an OS map will reveal some really pleasant cycling a few hundred yards either
    side of it.

    I suppose some lobby has made the DOT add cycle lanes to big new roads so that they can prove
    they're supporting sustainable transport.
     
  17. blagger <[email protected]> wrote: ( Since they replaced some nice Berkshire countryside with the A34
    ) Newbury bypass I've never seen a single bike on that bit of the dual ( carriageway.

    I suppose that just goes to show how easy it is not to see the cyclists.
     
  18. Jeremy Parker wrote:
    > I will concede that the insane design of British slip roads is pretty dangerous, but so it is for
    > motorists as well.
    >
    > Jeremy Parker

    British ones are insane? Try German autobahn junctions and you'll never complain again...

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  19. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Wed, 04 Jun 2003 10:23:42 +0100, blagger <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I've never seen a single bike on that bit of the dual carriageway.

    Cyclists are well-known to be invisible ;-)

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  20. David Marsh

    David Marsh Guest

    Hi Jeremy,

    [Interleaved quoting: please read to end for all comments] Jeremy Parker wrote in uk.rec.cycling:
    about: Re: A34

    > As for those bike bypasses on British slip roads, I'm not too impressed with them. As with things
    > done at roundabouts their main purpose is to delay cyclists and convert any accident into "the
    > cyclists fault".

    Well, I have to say *I* tend not to fancy cycling 'across' ~200m of sliproad 'flare' to continue in
    a straight line while various fast-moving vehicles debate (and hopefully do not fail) to decide
    whether they should pass behind or in front of me at 70mph as the exit or merge onto the dual
    carriageway!

    On the rare occasions I've had to cycle on high-speed dual carriageways I've always informally
    practiced the manoeuvre of crossing straight across onramps and then remerging, and depending on the
    volume of traffic, the same on offramps too..

    > I will concede that the insane design of British slip roads is pretty dangerous, but so it is for
    > motorists as well.

    Out of curiosity, what in particular do you find insane about them compared to other slip roads
    (ignoring the fact that high-speed junctions are dangerous for slower-moving vehicles and people
    in general)?

    --
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