Road bridges & restrictions

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Murk, Jan 29, 2003.

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  1. Murk

    Murk Guest

    Although I live only four miles from the Forth road bridge I had never cycled over it, never had the
    need, but I thought I'd try it a couple of weeks ago. Decided to do the loop, ie over the Forth road
    bridge, down the Fife coast and back over the Kincardine bridge.

    My main concern (in terms of quality of design, rather than safety - I hate being treated as a
    second class citizen because I cycle) was the transition from the 12 lane wide approach road at the
    bridge tolls to joining the cycleway over the bridge, and returning to the road after the bridge. It
    turned out to be no problem at all and the provision for cyclists and pedestrians over the bridge is
    pretty good, not merely an afterthought, but what are all those 15mph speed limit signs about?

    My planned journey down the coast seemed to coincide with a marked cycle way, which unfortunately
    led me onto a dirt track section of several hundred yards which was barely passable on a road bike.
    Otherwise the route was good, on quiet roads all the way into Kincardine, rejoining the main road
    only a hundred yards before the Kincardine bridge. Now things took a turn for the worse.

    About forty yards before the bridge is a sign, effectively commanding cyclists to leave the road (I
    forget the exact wording) and use the footway. This sign is immediately followed by a 30mph limit
    sign which is in force over the bridge. Though suspicious, I acquiesced. My suspicions were
    confirmed, the footway over the bridge is extremely narrow, no passing is possible for pedestrians
    or cyclists, but worse was to come.

    Once over the bridge the footpath continues for about a hundred yards then just stops. There is
    nothing to suggest a means for rejoining the road, not even a lowered kerb. Meanwhile, the 30mph
    limit over the bridge has been lifted. So, you are left with the choice of dropping off the kerb
    into the path of a relentless flow of rapidly accelerating traffic, or dismounting and lowering
    the bike onto the road and then rejoining said traffic flow from a standing start. I opted for
    the latter.

    If I choose to repeat this route, I have no intention of leaving the road. I won't be much below the
    speed limit, so I *shouldn't* cause any delay to traffic, however, I'm sure the aforementioned sign
    will provoke a sense of moral outrage (or worse) in the motorists, that I should dare to use *their*
    exclusive space.

    Does anyone cycle this bridge regularly, and if so, how do they choose to negotiate it? Are there
    similar problems with bridges elsewhere?

    M
     
    Tags:


  2. M R Quin

    M R Quin Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Murk wrote:

    > About forty yards before the bridge is a sign, effectively commanding cyclists to leave the road
    > (I forget the exact wording) and use the footway.

    That must be new (or I've just never noticed it). I was riding across the Kincardine bridge a couple
    of times a week through most of last year - on the road.

    --
    Mike Quin <[email protected]
     
  3. "Murk" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > About forty yards before the bridge is a sign, effectively commanding cyclists to leave the road
    > (I forget the exact wording) and use the footway......

    Is it mandatory or advisory? Those signs which say "cyclists dismount" are an example of being told
    to do something which is not mandatory.
     
  4. Jo Hardman

    Jo Hardman Guest

    Sounds similar to the Severn bridge - easy to get on at the Bristol end, an absolute nightmare to
    get off at theWelsh end. The very mention of sends shivers down my spine at the memory of one of my
    worst cycling experiences ever. Jo "Murk" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Although I live only four miles from the Forth road bridge I had never cycled over it, never had
    > the need, but I thought I'd try it a couple of weeks ago. Decided to do the loop, ie over the
    > Forth road bridge, down the Fife coast and back over the Kincardine bridge.
    >
    > My main concern (in terms of quality of design, rather than safety - I hate being treated as a
    > second class citizen because I cycle) was the transition from the 12 lane wide approach road at
    > the bridge tolls to joining the cycleway over the bridge, and returning to the road after the
    > bridge. It turned out to be no problem at all and the provision for cyclists and pedestrians over
    > the bridge is pretty good, not merely an afterthought, but what are all those 15mph speed limit
    > signs about?
    >
    > My planned journey down the coast seemed to coincide with a marked cycle way, which unfortunately
    > led me onto a dirt track section of several hundred yards which was barely passable on a road
    > bike. Otherwise the route was good, on quiet roads all the way into Kincardine, rejoining the main
    > road only a hundred yards before the Kincardine bridge. Now things took a turn for the worse.
    >
    > About forty yards before the bridge is a sign, effectively commanding cyclists to leave the road
    > (I forget the exact wording) and use the footway. This sign is immediately followed by a 30mph
    > limit sign which is in force over the bridge. Though suspicious, I acquiesced. My suspicions were
    > confirmed, the footway over the bridge is extremely narrow, no passing is possible for pedestrians
    > or cyclists, but worse was to come.
    >
    > Once over the bridge the footpath continues for about a hundred yards then just stops. There is
    > nothing to suggest a means for rejoining the road, not even a lowered kerb. Meanwhile, the 30mph
    > limit over the bridge has been lifted. So, you are left with the choice of dropping off the kerb
    > into the path of a relentless flow of rapidly accelerating traffic, or dismounting and lowering
    > the bike onto the road and then rejoining said traffic flow from a standing start. I opted for
    > the latter.
    >
    > If I choose to repeat this route, I have no intention of leaving the road. I won't be much below
    > the speed limit, so I *shouldn't* cause any delay to traffic, however, I'm sure the aforementioned
    > sign will provoke a sense of moral outrage (or worse) in the motorists, that I should dare to use
    > *their* exclusive space.
    >
    > Does anyone cycle this bridge regularly, and if so, how do they choose to negotiate it? Are there
    > similar problems with bridges elsewhere?
    >
    > M
     
  5. Andy

    Andy Guest

    "Jo Hardman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Sounds similar to the Severn bridge - easy to get on at the Bristol end,
    an
    > absolute nightmare to get off at theWelsh end. The very mention of sends shivers down my spine at
    > the memory of one of my worst cycling experiences ever. Jo

    Hmm....as far as I'm aware bikes can't go over the new Severn Bridge at all (it's a motorway with no
    non-motorway junctions at each end isn't it?) so presuming you mean the old bridge I'd be interested
    to know why you find it a nightmare. I suppose the Chepstow roundabout that marks the end of the
    cycle path can be a bit busy. Sustrans have done a bit of work here recently.

    Infact, on the route I regularly take between Bristol & the Severn Bridge as a whole Sustrans have
    done quite a bit of work over the last few years with some nice traffic free stretches regularly
    springing up. Are people in other parts of the country finding this? Andy
     
  6. John B

    John B Guest

    Jo Hardman wrote:

    > Sounds similar to the Severn bridge - easy to get on at the Bristol end, an absolute nightmare to
    > get off at theWelsh end. The very mention of sends shivers down my spine at the memory of one of
    > my worst cycling experiences ever.

    I have crossed several times in the past and also went over last the summer and have never found
    difficulties. At the Welsh end the route off the bridge crossed one road with a drop kerb then joins
    a cycleway on the eastern side of, but seperate to the A466. There is a Sustrans Millennium Marker
    here. This seemed well swept and clear of obstruction as far as the roundabout for the turn down
    into Chepstow.

    However, crossing the Avon Bridge was different with a very convoluted and poorly signposted
    route from the south, through a fairly run down housing area and garage courtyards. There was
    also a lot of glass.

    You didn't try and go over the new bridge did you? Now that would be a nightmare as its
    motorway only.

    John B
     
  7. "Andy" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Jo Hardman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Sounds similar to the Severn bridge - easy to get on at the Bristol end,
    > an
    > > absolute nightmare to get off at theWelsh end. The very mention of sends shivers down my spine
    > > at the memory of one of my worst cycling
    experiences
    > > ever. Jo
    >
    > Hmm....as far as I'm aware bikes can't go over the new Severn Bridge at
    all
    > (it's a motorway with no non-motorway junctions at each end isn't it?)

    the old bridge is also motorway, but with access for cyclists to what used to be a dedicated cycle
    track, which is now shared use. I well remember objecting to the lack of cycle provision on the new
    bridge, and receiving various fatuous responses, including ".....but it doesn't go anywhere" which
    was so obtuse as to strike me dumb for several seconds.

    so
    > presuming you mean the old bridge I'd be interested to know why you find
    it
    > a nightmare. I suppose the Chepstow roundabout that marks the end of the cycle path can be a bit
    > busy. Sustrans have done a bit of work here recently.

    The roundabout where the cycle track rejoins the road is an absolute nightmare, and requires serious
    traffic-calming or complete removal. It seems more that somewhat pointless to give people a
    relatively good experience of cycling to throw them out at an incredibly dangerous roundabout, which
    is intimidating even for experienced cyclists. It used to be relatively easy to rejoin the road
    before the roundabout, but not so easy now. Even entry to the cycle track from the roundabout is
    quite tricky, as you leave a busy roundabout, and 30m later have to turn right onto the track, at a
    bend. It used to be possible to go past the exit for the cycle track, taking the next exit, and
    rejoin the track from the main road, much safer, but this has been blocked off, presumably in the
    name of "safety".

    It is also only a matter of time before there is a collision where the cycle track crosses the new
    road into the housing estate recently constructed on the outskirts of Chepstow. The sightlines and
    difficulty of deciding the direction of what is relatively fast traffic make this quite hairy, and
    again, I suspect that the barriers forcing you to follow the line the highways engineers want, is a
    "safety" measure. If this was designed by Sustrans, then I think they have a problem.
    >
    > Infact, on the route I regularly take between Bristol & the Severn Bridge
    as
    > a whole Sustrans have done quite a bit of work over the last few years
    with
    > some nice traffic free stretches regularly springing up. Are people in
    other
    > parts of the country finding this?

    Yes, there are some nice traffic-free stretches, but if it is made even more dangerous when you
    rejoin the road, as you will have to sooner or later, is it really a benefit?

    cheers

    Rich

    > Andy
     
  8. Murk

    Murk Guest

    "Adrian Boliston" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Murk" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > About forty yards before the bridge is a sign, effectively commanding cyclists to leave the road
    > > (I forget the exact wording) and use the footway......
    >
    > Is it mandatory or advisory? Those signs which say "cyclists dismount" are an example of being
    > told to do something which is not mandatory.

    As I said, I can't remember the exact wording, but it's not just the standard "cyclists dismount"
    sign. It's a big, blue, rectangular sign with a white border which runs to three or four lines of
    text. I suspect it's not compulsory, but should there be an *incident* on the bridge, I'm sure the
    lawyers would use it.

    M
     
  9. Jo Hardman

    Jo Hardman Guest

    No, I am not quite daft enough to try to cycle on a motorway! It is 6 years since I crossed this
    bridge, and things may have changed in that time. It was dark, and the basic problem was not the
    traffic, but not being able to find a way back on to the road at all. There was no lighting on the
    cycle/pedestrian route, and I eventually found myself in Tesco's loading bay - from where escape was
    relatively easy. I had made other mistakes on that particular day, as a result of which I was tired
    and dehydrated, and cycling long after I would normally have set up camp. These factors probably
    changed my perception of the bridge! Yes, I entirely agree with your description of the Southern end
    of the Avon bridge. Jo "John B" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > Jo Hardman wrote:
    >
    > > Sounds similar to the Severn bridge - easy to get on at the Bristol end,
    an
    > > absolute nightmare to get off at theWelsh end. The very mention of sends shivers down my spine
    > > at the memory of one of my worst cycling
    experiences
    > > ever.
    >
    > I have crossed several times in the past and also went over last the
    summer
    > and have never found difficulties. At the Welsh end the route off the bridge crossed one road
    > with a drop
    kerb
    > then joins a cycleway on the eastern side of, but seperate to the A466.
    There
    > is a Sustrans Millennium Marker here. This seemed well swept and clear of obstruction as far as
    > the roundabout
    for
    > the turn down into Chepstow.
    >
    > However, crossing the Avon Bridge was different with a very convoluted and poorly signposted route
    > from the south, through a fairly run down housing
    area
    > and garage courtyards. There was also a lot of glass.
    >
    > You didn't try and go over the new bridge did you? Now that would be a nightmare as its
    > motorway only.
    >
    > John B
     
  10. Andy

    Andy Guest

    As someone who gives £3 a month to Sustrans amongst other charities I'm a bit concerned by the view
    that my money is infact making things worse rather than improving them for cyclists. (Ofcourse it
    could be incorrect to assume that Sustrans are responsible for any particular bit of cyclepath work
    you see...but then again if it's on one of their numbered routes...)

    I must confess to not being particularly observant to detail so I'll pay attention next time I pop
    over to the Forest of Dean and see what I think. Surely though as far as the top Chepstow roundabout
    is concerned for anyone following the Sustrans route over the bridge and then on to the Wye Valley
    road they've put in a bit where bikes are directed to cross the Lydney/Gloucester road and then
    across a new short bit of cycletrack to miss out the roundabout altogether and join the Wye Valley
    Road further up.

    Hope they never get to build the Wye Valley Cycleway though. The bits of old railway track between
    Chepstow & Symond's Yat are quite nice as they are. Andy

    > > Hmm....as far as I'm aware bikes can't go over the new Severn Bridge at
    > all
    > > (it's a motorway with no non-motorway junctions at each end isn't it?)
    >
    > the old bridge is also motorway, but with access for cyclists to what used to be a dedicated cycle
    > track, which is now shared use. I well remember objecting to the lack of cycle provision on the
    > new bridge, and receiving various fatuous responses, including ".....but it doesn't go anywhere"
    which
    > was so obtuse as to strike me dumb for several seconds.
    >
    > so
    > > presuming you mean the old bridge I'd be interested to know why you find
    > it
    > > a nightmare. I suppose the Chepstow roundabout that marks the end of
    the
    > > cycle path can be a bit busy. Sustrans have done a bit of work here recently.
    >
    > The roundabout where the cycle track rejoins the road is an absolute nightmare, and requires
    > serious traffic-calming or complete removal. It seems more that somewhat pointless to give people
    > a relatively good experience of cycling to throw them out at an incredibly dangerous roundabout,
    > which is intimidating even for experienced cyclists. It used
    to
    > be relatively easy to rejoin the road before the roundabout, but not so
    easy
    > now. Even entry to the cycle track from the roundabout is quite tricky,
    as
    > you leave a busy roundabout, and 30m later have to turn right onto the track, at a bend. It used
    > to be possible to go past the exit for the
    cycle
    > track, taking the next exit, and rejoin the track from the main road, much safer, but this has
    > been blocked off, presumably in the name of "safety".
    >
    > It is also only a matter of time before there is a collision where the
    cycle
    > track crosses the new road into the housing estate recently constructed on the outskirts of
    > Chepstow. The sightlines and difficulty of deciding the direction of what is relatively fast
    > traffic make this quite hairy, and again, I suspect that the barriers forcing you to follow the
    > line the highways engineers want, is a "safety" measure. If this was designed by Sustrans, then I
    > think they have a problem.
    > >
    > > Infact, on the route I regularly take between Bristol & the Severn
    Bridge
    > as
    > > a whole Sustrans have done quite a bit of work over the last few years
    > with
    > > some nice traffic free stretches regularly springing up. Are people in
    > other
    > > parts of the country finding this?
    >
    > Yes, there are some nice traffic-free stretches, but if it is made even
    more
    > dangerous when you rejoin the road, as you will have to sooner or later,
    is
    > it really a benefit?
    >
    > cheers
    >
    > Rich
    >
    > > Andy
    > >
    >
     
  11. Forth Road Bridge. The 15 mph speed limit is for the traffic that uses the bridge service road, AKA
    the foot path or cycle path. When there is work going on, the service road is festooned with workers
    cabins, equipment and vehicles. The 15 mph makes sense, when you consider how easy it would be to
    collide with someone exiting a cabin or the lift (which is inside the piers.) It is a very long drop
    to the bottom of the ditch!

    Kincardine Bridge. The bridge has received a lot of maintenance and it was decided to reinforce the
    bridge handrails with a crash barrier. The outcome of that was a steel barrier along the roadside,
    reducing the width of the carriageway.

    Fife Council, being a bit more switched on to cyclists placed a yellow sign to direct cyclists onto
    the foot path with dropped kerbs, but the eagle eyed will notice there are no shared use signs on
    the Fife side of the bridge, so you are committing an offence by cycling on the footpath. Stirling
    Council, they have placed shared use footpath signs on their side of the bridge but not much by way
    of dropped kerbs.

    Either way, I would use the western footpath, and possibly the old road from Higgins Neuk to the BP
    service station/ Bathe bathroom showroom and the footpath to the Airth Roundabout or the Pine n' Oak
    lay-by and the farm road to Skinflats / Grangemouth. You can cycle underneath the bridge avoiding
    the need to cross the carriageway, either that or use the pelican crossing.

    Anything but cycle upon THAT road!

    --
    Cheers,

    Wallace Shackleton. Kinross, Scotland.

    www.cyclekinross.org.uk
     
  12. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Wed, 29 Jan 2003 10:29:58 +0000 someone who may be "wallace.shackleton" <[email protected]>
    wrote this:-

    >Forth Road Bridge. The 15 mph speed limit is for the traffic that uses the bridge service road, AKA
    >the foot path or cycle path.

    Then why is there a big cycle symbol painted above the "15mph" paint?

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E I will always explain revoked
    keys, unless the UK government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  13. David "(remove SEND and NO and SPAM to reply by e-mail)" Hansen wrote:
    > Then why is there a big cycle symbol painted above the "15mph" paint?

    Perhaps it's like that chalk outline of the body in the murder films?
     
  14. Ianb

    Ianb Guest

    "David Hansen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Wed, 29 Jan 2003 10:29:58 +0000 someone who may be "wallace.shackleton" <[email protected]>
    > wrote this:-
    >
    > >Forth Road Bridge. The 15 mph speed limit is for the traffic that uses the bridge service road,
    > >AKA the foot path or cycle path.
    >
    > Then why is there a big cycle symbol painted above the "15mph" paint?
    >
    >
    > --
    > David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E I will always explain revoked
    > keys, unless the UK government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.

    As I have understood the law for many cycling years, the speed limit does not apply to cycles -
    the offence is "reckless cycling" rather than "exceeding the speed limit". I believe the
    technical reason is that we do not carry speedometers. So the "15" applies to service vehicles,
    mopeds etc not the cyclists, horseriders and pedestrians! What is the format of the bike sign?
    It may simply be an advisory sign that this is used by cyclists, or cyclists "compulsory" or
    simply cycle route (waymark)
    --
    IanB

    swap my names around to reply to me
     
  15. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    IanB <[email protected]> wrote: .
    >
    > As I have understood the law for many cycling years, the speed limit does not apply to cycles
    > - the offence is "reckless cycling" rather than "exceeding the speed limit". I believe the
    > technical reason is that we do not carry speedometers. So the "15" applies to service
    > vehicles, mopeds etc not the cyclists, horseriders and pedestrians! What is the format of the
    > bike sign? It may simply be an advisory sign that this is used by cyclists, or cyclists
    > "compulsory" or simply cycle route (waymark)

    You're right, there is no law for speed restriction on bicycles (or lawnmowers). The signs
    themselves have no legal force, they are simply legally required advisories for motorised vehicle
    speed restrictions placed on a stretch of road. Since you can't apply a speed restriction to a
    bicycle, the signs have no meaning to a cyclist whatever the symbols around
    it.

    Tony
     
  16. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Thu, 30 Jan 2003 17:43:47 -0000, "IanB" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >As I have understood the law for many cycling years, the speed limit does not apply to cycles

    Or, indeed, to motorists, if you believe P**l Sm*th.

    >the offence is "reckless cycling" rather than "exceeding the speed limit".

    Ah, for the days of "riding furiously" :)

    >I believe the technical reason is that we do not carry speedometers.

    And that where such speedometers are fitted there are no standards laid down for their accuracy.

    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.
     
  17. The Mark

    The Mark Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    > On Thu, 30 Jan 2003 17:43:47 -0000, "IanB" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> As I have understood the law for many cycling years, the speed
    limit
    >> does not apply to cycles
    >
    > Or, indeed, to motorists, if you believe P**l Sm*th.
    >
    >> the offence is "reckless cycling" rather than "exceeding the speed limit".
    >
    > Ah, for the days of "riding furiously" :)
    >
    >> I believe the technical reason is that we do not carry speedometers.
    >
    > And that where such speedometers are fitted there are no
    standards
    > laid down for their accuracy.
    >

    And when they fail they do it in style. I think mine must have had a short cuircut, After working
    fine for 5 or 6 years today it gave me a max speed of 961 mph, I wish :)
    --
    Mark
     
  18. Just zis Guy, you know? <[email protected]> wrote:
    ><[email protected]> wrote:
    >>I believe the technical reason is that we do not carry speedometers.
    >And that where such speedometers are fitted there are no standards laid down for their accuracy.

    ... which is true, but kind of funny, given how much more accurate ours are when well set up.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
  19. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    David Damerell wrote:

    >>> I believe the technical reason is that we do not carry speedometers.
    >> And that where such speedometers are fitted there are no standards laid down for their accuracy.

    > ... which is true, but kind of funny, given how much more accurate ours are when well set up.

    And the fact that we are sufficiently interested to actually look at ours occasionally.....

    --
    Guy
    ===
    I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
    about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
    wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

    http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
     
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