The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Bikerider7, May 23, 2004.

  1. Bikerider7

    Bikerider7 Guest

    [Note: I have not been on Blackfriars bridge, and the
    article seems quite vague on the "problem" with this
    particular cycle lane....]

    Scandal of our deadly cycle lanes

    The dangerous road layout that has claimed one life in
    London is now being promoted across the country as a model
    of good design

    Mark Townsend Sunday May 23, 2004 The Observer

    Vicki McCreery had predicted the journey home might kill
    her. Days before she was crushed by a five-ton bus, she had
    told friends a new cycle lane over Blackfriars bridge in
    London would claim lives. As hundreds of people gathered for
    her funeral in north London yesterday, relatives demanded to
    know why a lane meant to protect cyclists from other road
    users had cost the 37-year-old physiotherapist her life.

    The lane had been in place barely two weeks before she died
    almost instantly following a rush-hour collision near the
    crest of the bridge. Safety campaigners are stunned that
    permission was granted for a narrow cycle lane sandwiched
    between two fast-moving carriageways and one of London's
    busiest bus routes. Worse still, a steady convoy of buses is
    allowed to veer across the thin path reserved for cyclists.

    As McCreery forecast, a fatality was inevitable. Her death
    has already become emblematic for groups which claim the
    tragedy exposes the hypocrisy behind government
    initiatives to raise the number of cyclists. Deputy Prime
    Minister John Prescott has promised a 200 per cent
    increase by 2010, a figure already dismissed as too
    ambitious. Failure to convert more people to two wheels is
    blamed largely on the introduction of lanes similar to
    that on which McCreery died.

    Those cyclists courageous enough to use Blackfriars bridge
    admit to shuddering as they reach its northbound
    approaches. As McCreery would have done in her final
    moments, they talk of feeling intensely exposed as dense
    commuter traffic flashes by on their right while buses
    undercut them on their left.

    'She felt intimidated by the new crossing. She was extremely
    concerned about her safety, but it was the only route she
    could cycle home,' said a friend.

    Despite the design's obvious risks, it has emerged that the
    layout at Blackfriars is encouraged by the government -
    recommended as a best practice design in traffic advisory
    leaflets distributed to local councils.

    Road safety groups claim similar layouts, described as
    'death traps' by users, are being rolled out across Britain.
    Near-identical replicas of the design can be found from
    Bristol to Brighton. Residents near each site are amazed
    that tragic accidents have not happened yet.

    Their warnings of more deaths may prove fruitless. More than
    14 months ago safety campaigners warned Transport for London
    that changes to the Blackfriars cycle lane could prove
    dangerous and might not solve the route's inherent danger.

    They cited the case of grandfather Kim Thi, who died 15
    months ago after being struck by a motorbike at almost the
    exact point where a bunch of tulips now marks the place
    where Vicki McCreery died.

    Shortly before her death, she had seen a fellow cyclist
    knocked off her bike by a bus. McCreery, the senior
    physiotherapist at St Thomas' Hospital, south London,
    offered to be a witness for the shaken but fortunate
    fellow cyclist.

    In other European countries similar collisions are unlikely.
    Denmark and Holland are among those offering cyclists
    segregated tracks. High kerbs and special filter lanes
    ensure traffic cannot get near them.

    Failure to mimic such designs partly explains, say road
    safety groups, why UK cyclists are 10 times more likely to
    be killed or injured than those in Denmark. Danish cyclists
    would find it astonishing that UK law still allows motorists
    to drive on to many cycle lanes. They too might question the
    continued practice of squeezing such lanes on to busy roads
    that can barely accommodate two lines of traffic.

    Such practices, maintain experts, help explain the stream of
    casualties among British cyclists. This month at least seven
    have been killed after being struck by traffic. Most stood
    no chance.

    The toll is relentless: every two and a half days a cyclist
    is killed. During the same period 115 are injured. Latest
    figures reveal that 141 cyclists are killed each year. More
    than 17,000 are injured.

    How many of these accident happen in cycle lanes is unclear:
    the government does not collate such figures. Nor does it
    have a central database on cycle lane designs which have
    been condemned as dangerous.

    Roger Geffen, campaigns manager at the national cycling
    body, the Cyclists' Touring Club, said a cultural shift was
    needed so that local authorities considered cycle lanes more
    carefully. They had 'been left to the most junior planning
    officers, and we need better guidance on dealing with major
    junctions.'

    Tony Russell, who advises councils on safer cycle lanes for
    the club, said: 'There are situations where designs put the
    cyclist in a more dangerous position. Most accidents,
    though, are caused by motorists not being careful.'

    McCreery's husband, Sandy, knows all too well the
    risks posed by

    culture and has studied city centre traffic dangers. In an
    eerily prescient passage he once wrote: 'Allowing hard,
    heavy speeding vehicles to come into contact with fleshy
    mortals is a recipe for disaster.'

    This week he will take his wife's ashes to her native
    Australia. On his return, he plans to visit Blackfriars
    bridge for the first time since Vicki died. They married
    just over a year ago and had talked of starting a family.

    Meanwhile, experts from Transport for London will go on
    investigating whether the new layout, initially verified in
    an independent safety audit, needs updating.
     
    Tags:


  2. I find it worrying that the article suggests segregation is
    the solution. Dedicated cycleways have their place, but we
    must never lose sight of the fact that all vehicles
    (regardless of their means of propultion) have equal rights
    to use the road.
     
  3. Mseries

    Mseries Guest

    Nathaniel Porter wrote:
    > I find it worrying that the article suggests segregation
    > is the solution. Dedicated cycleways have their place, but
    > we must never lose sight of the fact that all vehicles
    > (regardless of their means of propultion) have equal
    > rights to use the road.

    Thing is in Denmark when a cycle lane is provided, they MUST
    be used and you don't have the right to ride on the road.
     
  4. "MSeries" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Nathaniel Porter wrote:
    > > I find it worrying that the article suggests segregation
    > > is the solution. Dedicated cycleways have their place,
    > > but we must never lose sight of the fact that all
    > > vehicles (regardless of their means of propultion) have
    > > equal rights to use the road.
    >
    > Thing is in Denmark when a cycle lane is provided, they
    > MUST be used and
    you
    > don't have the right to ride on the road.
    >

    Which is wrong IMHO.

    IIRC Ireland has similar rules.
     
  5. John Mallard

    John Mallard Guest

    MSeries wrote:
    > Nathaniel Porter wrote:
    >> I find it worrying that the article suggests segregation
    >> is the solution. Dedicated cycleways have their place,
    >> but we must never lose sight of the fact that all
    >> vehicles (regardless of their means of propultion) have
    >> equal rights to use the road.
    >
    > Thing is in Denmark when a cycle lane is provided, they
    > MUST be used and you don't have the right to ride on
    > the road.

    This has always been my greatest fear. That one day the
    buggers will realise that they only need to spend a bit more
    money on cycle farcilities and then vote us off the road
    altogether.

    --
    Cheerful Pedalling John Mallard
     
  6. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Guest

    "bikerider7" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > [Note: I have not been on Blackfriars bridge, and the
    > article seems quite vague on the "problem" with this
    > particular cycle lane....]
    >
    > Scandal of our deadly cycle lanes
    >
    > The dangerous road layout that has claimed one life in
    > London is now being promoted across the country as a model
    > of good design
    >
    > Mark Townsend Sunday May 23, 2004 The Observer
    >
    > Vicki McCreery had predicted the journey home might kill
    > her. Days before she was crushed by a five-ton bus, she
    > had told friends a new cycle lane over Blackfriars bridge
    > in London would claim lives. As hundreds of people
    > gathered for her funeral in north London yesterday,
    > relatives demanded to know why a lane meant to protect
    > cyclists from other road users had cost the 37-year-old
    > physiotherapist her life.
    >
    > The lane had been in place barely two weeks before she
    > died almost instantly following a rush-hour collision near
    > the crest of the bridge. Safety campaigners are stunned
    > that permission was granted for a narrow cycle lane
    > sandwiched between two fast-moving carriageways and one of
    > London's busiest bus routes. Worse still, a steady convoy
    > of buses is allowed to veer across the thin path reserved
    > for cyclists.
    >
    > As McCreery forecast, a fatality was inevitable. Her death
    > has already become emblematic for groups which claim the
    > tragedy exposes the hypocrisy behind government
    > initiatives to raise the number of cyclists. Deputy Prime
    > Minister John Prescott has promised a 200 per cent
    > increase by 2010, a figure already dismissed as too
    > ambitious. Failure to convert more people to two wheels is
    > blamed largely on the introduction of lanes similar to
    > that on which McCreery died.
    >
    > Those cyclists courageous enough to use Blackfriars bridge
    > admit to shuddering as they reach its northbound
    > approaches. As McCreery would have done in her final
    > moments, they talk of feeling intensely exposed as dense
    > commuter traffic flashes by on their right while buses
    > undercut them on their left.
    >
    > 'She felt intimidated by the new crossing. She was
    > extremely concerned about her safety, but it was the only
    > route she could cycle home,' said a friend.
    >

    One must also take responsibility for ones own safety. If
    there was a section of road that you believe was dangerous,
    why not get off before it and walk past that bit? Surely its
    madness to cycle on a bit of road you believe to be
    dangerous, just because someone painted the words 'cycle
    lane' on it?
    --
    Tumbleweed

    Remove my socks for email address
     
  7. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    Tumbleweed wrote:

    >
    >
    > One must also take responsibility for ones own safety. If
    > there was a section of road that you believe was
    > dangerous, why not get off before it and walk past that
    > bit? Surely its madness to cycle on a bit of road you
    > believe to be dangerous, just because someone painted the
    > words 'cycle lane' on it?

    I've cycled this, though well out of rush hour (mid-
    afternoon on a saturday of a bank holiday weekend, so
    probably about as non-busy as you can get). I was conscious
    of being very vulnerable between two lanes - cycling over
    the bridge with a lane each side made it feel quite
    precarious. I know the bridge (and it's traffic) well,
    since I drove
    in/around london very frequently as an engineer (and will
    likely do so again shortly) - where I would assume from
    the conditions when I cycled it to be fairly innocuous
    and reasonably safe, I had mental images of what it's
    REALLY like in normal traffic as I cycled over it, and
    they were none too pleasant, and downright scary!

    I also had to deal with a bus that I followed through the
    junction on the south side heading north, which stopped in
    it's bus stop to the left of the cycle lane, while I caught
    up and cycled past.

    I found that quite concerning, and initially I hung back
    while I made sure it was probably going to stay put till
    I was past it, then cycled past as fast as I could to
    get in front (and thus hopefully within the driver's
    field of view).

    Also, I found being quite slow on the initially stage where
    you climb to the top of the bridge makes things worse. The
    cycle lane is quite wide (as cycle lanes go) but being a
    solitary cyclist with so much car/bus/van space around you
    feels unsafe. I spent a lot of time looking in my
    mirror/around me as I crossed the bridge, expecting at any
    moment to have to deal with idiot drivers of larger vehicles
    cutting across my path. I was surprised when this didn't
    happen. I think I'd have to seriously evaluate if there's a
    better way to cross the bridge if I ever cycled it again -
    whether that's staying in the far left lane until you get to
    the far side of the bridge before moving right to avoid
    going down the slip road, or dismount and cross as a
    pedestrian, I don't know... as I said, more investigation
    would be needed.

    On the other hand, there's not really any excuse for not
    being aware of what's around you on a multi-lane road like
    that, especially since it's very common in london to have
    cars/buses/taxi's cutting other cars/buses/taxi's up - the
    bus really shouldn't have pulled across the cycle lane
    without looking (and seeing) a cyclist.

    I have to say, if I was as concerned as she seemed to be,
    I'd have been on foot - it's quite common for me to revert
    to pedestrianing around junctions that I don't feel safe
    cycling, but I can understand the resentment that would lead
    to not wanting to be forced to be a slow bike-pushing
    pedestrian by a bad cycle lane.

    --

    Velvet
     
  8. "John Mallard" <[email protected]> wrote:

    | MSeries wrote:
    | > Nathaniel Porter wrote:
    | >> I find it worrying that the article suggests
    | >> segregation is the solution. Dedicated cycleways have
    | >> their place, but we must never lose sight of the fact
    | >> that all vehicles (regardless of their means of
    | >> propultion) have equal rights to use the road.
    | >
    | > Thing is in Denmark when a cycle lane is provided, they
    | > MUST be used and you don't have the right to ride on
    | > the road.

    Also in Holland IIRC.

    | This has always been my greatest fear. That one day the
    | buggers will realise that they only need to spend a bit
    | more money on cycle farcilities and then vote us off the
    | road altogether.

    But why - if the road has no attached cycle way you could
    go on the road, if it does it'll be better than the road
    (for security anyway). I suppose you might say that drivers
    will get used to not having to think about cyclists so will
    be worse when they have to share, but separate lanes will
    get many more cycling and we just might end up like Holland
    and Denmark.

    --
    Patrick Herring, Sheffield, UK http://www.anweald.co.uk
     
  9. >| This has always been my greatest fear. That one day the
    >| buggers will realise that they only need to spend a bit
    >| more money on cycle farcilities and then vote us off the
    >| road altogether.
    >
    > But why - if the road has no attached cycle way you could
    > go on the road, if it does it'll be better than the road
    > (for security anyway). I suppose you might say that
    > drivers will get used to not having to think about
    > cyclists so will be worse when they have to share, but
    > separate lanes will get many more cycling and we just
    > might end up like Holland and Denmark.

    It's 'cos impatient/late buggers like me like to get there
    at more than 12mph. On my (v. short) commute I try and keep
    my speed at 20mph. There's no way I could do that on most
    cycle paths and it would be the height of stupidity to do it
    on a shared use footpath, even if it was deserted enough to
    be possible.

    Added to the reduction in speed negotiating junctions would
    be more time consuming. On the road I can just do a left
    turn, right turn or go straight ahead at speed (if nothing
    coming). On a cyclepath I'd have to slow down a lot/stop to
    let traffic past and check it was clear when I could just
    sail past with right of way on the road.

    I don't find the roads unsafe and do find many cycle lanes
    off the road too slow to bother with. Trundlies may have a
    different view I s'pose.
     
  10. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Patrick Herring wrote:
    >
    > But why - if the road has no attached cycle way you could
    > go on the road, if it does it'll be better than the road
    > (for security anyway). I suppose you might say that
    > drivers will get used to not having to think about
    > cyclists so will be worse when they have to share, but
    > separate lanes will get many more cycling and we just
    > might end up like Holland and Denmark.

    Bach, Rosbach, Joergensen. Vejdirekforatet, Denmark, 1988

    Traffic safety of cycle tracks in Danish cities. Before and
    after study of 105 new cycle paths in Denmark, introduced
    1978-81, totalling 64km. Cyclist casualties increased 48%
    following introduction of paths.

    Wegman, Dijkstra. SWOV, Netherlands, 1992. Originally
    presented to Roads and Traffic 2000 conference, Berlin,
    1988; Revised version included in Still more bikes behind
    the dikes, CROW, 1992.

    In built-up areas cycle tracks 25% safer than unsegregated
    road between junctions, but 32% more dangerous at junctions.
    Cycle lanes 36% more dangerous between junctions, 19% safer
    at junctions. Seriousness of accidents greater if tracks or
    lanes present compared with no facilities. Cycle lanes
    narrower than
    1.8m particularly hazardous. Outside towns, cycle track
    safety depends on car and cycle numbers. New cross-town
    routes in Den Haag and Tilburg had produced no safety gain
    and had not encouraged much new cycling.

    Tony
     
  11. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    Patrick Herring wrote:

    > "John Mallard" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > | MSeries wrote:
    > | > Nathaniel Porter wrote:
    > | >> I find it worrying that the article suggests
    > | >> segregation is the solution. Dedicated cycleways have
    > | >> their place, but we must never lose sight of the fact
    > | >> that all vehicles (regardless of their means of
    > | >> propultion) have equal rights to use the road.
    > | >
    > | > Thing is in Denmark when a cycle lane is provided,
    > | > they MUST be used and you don't have the right to ride
    > | > on the road.
    >
    > Also in Holland IIRC.
    >
    > | This has always been my greatest fear. That one day the
    > | buggers will realise that they only need to spend a bit
    > | more money on cycle farcilities and then vote us off the
    > | road altogether.
    >
    > But why - if the road has no attached cycle way you could
    > go on the road, if it does it'll be better than the road
    > (for security anyway). I suppose you might say that
    > drivers will get used to not having to think about
    > cyclists so will be worse when they have to share, but
    > separate lanes will get many more cycling and we just
    > might end up like Holland and Denmark.
    >

    Because if the drivers know there's a cycle lane and you're
    on the road, they'll hurl abuse at you (get on the cycle
    path you ****ing ****er etc) and occasionally one'll run you
    off the road just for good measure...

    And most off-road cycle ways are bumpier, ruttier, full of
    glass/thorns/other muck, badly maintained, and force you to
    cycle very slowly for fear of a reversing out the drive
    accident, and to stop every time you get to a side road.

    The condition of the cycle path might be of no consequence
    to those with suspension or mtb's, but on a tourer they're a
    bloody pain in the neck to ride any distance at all on.

    --

    Velvet
     
  12. Richard

    Richard Guest

    Patrick Herring wrote:

    > "John Mallard" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > | MSeries wrote:
    > | > Nathaniel Porter wrote:
    > | >> I find it worrying that the article suggests
    > | >> segregation is the solution. Dedicated cycleways have
    > | >> their place, but we must never lose sight of the fact
    > | >> that all vehicles (regardless of their means of
    > | >> propultion) have equal rights to use the road.
    > | >
    > | > Thing is in Denmark when a cycle lane is provided,
    > | > they MUST be used and you don't have the right to ride
    > | > on the road.
    >
    > Also in Holland IIRC.
    >
    > | This has always been my greatest fear. That one day the
    > | buggers will realise that they only need to spend a bit
    > | more money on cycle farcilities and then vote us off the
    > | road altogether.
    >
    > But why - if the road has no attached cycle way you could
    > go on the road, if it does it'll be better than the road
    > (for security anyway).

    Not at all - see the report into, eg, the Milton Keynes off-
    road bike paths. Crime is higher. Accidents are higher at
    junctions.
     
  13. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Velvet wrote:

    > The condition of the cycle path might be of no consequence
    > to those with suspension or mtb's, but on a tourer they're
    > a bloody pain in the neck to ride any distance at all on.

    While not in any way disagreeing with your point, it should
    be pointed out that "tourer" and "suspension" need not be
    mutually exclusive terms, and you don't even need to get a
    recumbent. Moulton T21 and R&M Delite Black (or Grey) are
    both full-sus dedicated touring uprights, for example.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext.
    33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177
    Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  14. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Sun, 23 May 2004 23:07:10 +0100 someone who may be "Tumbleweed"
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >One must also take responsibility for ones own safety. If
    >there was a section of road that you believe was dangerous,

    All sections of road are dangerous, not in themselves but
    because of the people using them. The question is
    relative danger.

    >why not get off before it and walk past that bit?

    I'm sure the road builders would love that. Another way to
    get these dammed cyclists off the road.

    --
    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.
     
  15. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Sun, 23 May 2004 21:43:19 +0100 someone who may be "MSeries"
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >Thing is in Denmark when a cycle lane is provided, they
    >MUST be used and you don't have the right to ride on
    >the road.

    Germany changed that rule. I thought similar consideration
    was being given in Denmark and the Netherlands.

    --
    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.
     
  16. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Mon, 24 May 2004 00:05:58 GMT someone who may be [email protected]
    (Patrick Herring) wrote this:-

    >But why - if the road has no attached cycle way you could
    >go on the road, if it does it'll be better than the road
    >(for security anyway).

    What do you mean by security?

    If you mean safer from motorists the answer is no according
    to the figures. If you mean safer from muggers the answer is
    no, for fairly obvious reasons.

    >separate lanes will get many more cycling

    So it is claimed.

    --
    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.
     
  17. > [Note: I have not been on Blackfriars bridge, and the
    > article seems quite vague on the "problem" with this
    > particular cycle lane....]
    >
    > Scandal of our deadly cycle lanes <snip>

    Good article, which sounds like it was written by a cyclist,
    though I think the figure that UK cyclists are 10 times more
    likely to be killed or injured than those in Denmark is
    probably an exaggeration. Data I have studied (per person km
    cycled) indicates the ratio is more like 2 or 3.

    The problem on Blackfriars Bridge is essentially the high
    speeds, the long, exposed nature of the cycle lane between
    an ahead and a left-turn lane, and the way buses have to
    cross the lanes to stop to the left of the left lane and
    then get into the ahead lane again. The design cannot
    overcome the inherent conflict between trying to have a
    priority cycle route running ahead and a high-capacity left
    filter for other vehicles on the same road, and is a prime
    example of confused thinking about such things.

    The article also brings up problems with the position of CTC
    in the statements by Geffen and Russell (both of whom I
    know). The author rightly attacks the British systems
    compared to the far better segregated bike engineering of
    The Netherlands and Denmark. But CTC has always tended to
    oppose the segregating of cyclists and motor vehicles on
    British roads, wrong-headedly (in my view) fearing it that
    creates more danger and marginalisation for the cyclist -
    when anyone who looks at the situation in continental
    countries can see that exactly the reverse is true - the
    danger and marginalisation occur here, where we try to
    combine cyclists and motors in the same unsegregated space,
    not there. Russell saying "most accidents are caused by
    motorists not being careful" is a silly statement as it
    misses the point. We all know that. The object of cycle
    engineering is to protect cyclists from the mistakes of
    motorists.

    David Arditti
     
  18. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    "Tumbleweed" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > One must also take responsibility for ones own safety. If
    > there was a section of road that you believe was
    > dangerous, why not get off before it and walk past that
    > bit? Surely its madness to cycle on a bit of road you
    > believe to be dangerous, just because someone painted the
    > words 'cycle lane' on it?

    If I walked every stretch of unsuitable cycle lane it would
    convert about 6 miles of my daily total from cycling to
    walking. I'm sure one of the reasons we see so many pavement
    cyclists these days is that that is the solution they have
    adopted to these dangerous cycle lanes.

    --
    Dave...
     
  19. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Mon, 24 May 2004 12:21:47 +0100 someone who may be David Arditti
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >But CTC has always tended to oppose the segregating of
    >cyclists and motor vehicles on British roads, wrong-
    >headedly (in my view) fearing it that creates more danger
    >and marginalisation for the cyclist

    Most figures are against you with regard to danger. Some
    have been given in this thread.

    As for marginalisation, there are plenty of examples of "get
    in the cycle lane" comments from motorists in this group.

    --
    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.
     
  20. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    > Velvet wrote:
    >
    >> The condition of the cycle path might be of no
    >> consequence to those with suspension or mtb's, but on a
    >> tourer they're a bloody pain in the neck to ride any
    >> distance at all on.
    >
    >
    > While not in any way disagreeing with your point, it
    > should be pointed out that "tourer" and "suspension" need
    > not be mutually exclusive terms, and you don't even need
    > to get a recumbent. Moulton T21 and R&M Delite Black (or
    > Grey) are both full-sus dedicated touring uprights, for
    > example.
    >
    > Pete.

    True, but even so, I'm not sure the majority of tourers that
    are about on the roads actually have full-sus.. and I fail
    to see why I should have to buy a bike with suspension just
    to be able to ride on shoddy tarmac.

    If they're going to put in cycle facilities then at the very
    least the surface should mean all bikes should be able to
    use them, not just a sub-set of bikes.

    IMNSHO :)

    --

    Velvet
     
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