Trams

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Robert D France, Dec 23, 2003.

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  1. theres a new tram link being proposed near where i live (Birmingham town centre to the airport,
    along the A45). Having never ridden anywhere near a tram i am wondering what the implications are
    for my riding. For example if the tram doesnt have a dedicated lane, how does it overtake a bicycle?
    or are the tracks far enough away from the kerb that it can pass safely? i am undecided as to
    whether i support the plans yet, but am quite worried by the public consultation questionaire i have
    got hold of, which asks if i would prefer flyovers or underpasses at major junctions and
    roundabouts. i was under the impression that both these options were out of fashion these days, and
    that street level solutions were prefered. anythoughts? also having skinny road tyres, will i get
    trapped in the tracks?
     
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  2. On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 09:41:18 -0000, in
    <[email protected]>, "Robert D France"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >theres a new tram link being proposed near where i live (Birmingham town centre to the airport,
    >along the A45). Having never ridden anywhere near a tram i am wondering what the implications are
    >for my riding. For example if the tram doesnt have a dedicated lane, how does it overtake a
    >bicycle? or are the tracks far enough away from the kerb that it can pass safely?

    From my limited experience of trams, they tend to have a dedicated lane in the centre of the
    carriageway. Much of the A45 does indeed have a wide grassy central reservation so I doubt it will
    cause the problem you refer to.

    >i am undecided as to whether i support the plans yet, but am quite worried by the public
    >consultation questionaire i have got hold of, which asks if i would prefer flyovers or underpasses
    >at major junctions and roundabouts. i was under the impression that both these options were out of
    >fashion these days, and that street level solutions were prefered. anythoughts?

    Absolutely, trams and other traffic can co-exist at the same level through tyhe use of
    traffic lights.

    >also having skinny road tyres, will i get trapped in the tracks?

    Ride over them at at least 30 degrees.

    --
    Due to a typing error on the Children's Hospital menu Saturday evening now offers "Beef burger in a
    bum". Email: Put only the word "richard" before the @ sign.
     
  3. On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 09:41:18 -0000, in
    <[email protected]>, "Robert D France"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >theres a new tram link being proposed near where i live (Birmingham town centre to the airport,
    >along the A45).

    >also having skinny road tyres, will i get trapped in the tracks?

    You could buy a trike, drop your single wheel in one of the tracks and go hands free!

    --
    Due to a typing error on the Children's Hospital menu Saturday evening now offers "Beef burger in a
    bum". Email: Put only the word "richard" before the @ sign.
     
  4. Pk

    Pk Guest

    Richard Bates wrote:
    > On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 09:41:18 -0000, in <[email protected]>, "Robert
    > D France" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> theres a new tram link being proposed near where i live (Birmingham town centre to the airport,
    >> along the A45).
    >
    >> also having skinny road tyres, will i get trapped in the tracks?
    >
    > You could buy a trike, drop your single wheel in one of the tracks and go hands free!

    Great idea! When the tram comes along behind you, you can stop pedalling too!

    pk
     
  5. Robert D France wrote:

    > theres a new tram link being proposed near where i live (Birmingham town centre to the airport,
    > along the A45). Having never ridden anywhere near a tram i am wondering what the implications are
    > for my riding. For example if the tram doesnt have a dedicated lane, how does it overtake a
    > bicycle? or are the tracks far enough away from the kerb that it can pass safely? i am undecided
    > as to whether i support the plans yet, but am quite worried by the public consultation
    > questionaire i have got hold of, which asks if i would prefer flyovers or underpasses at major
    > junctions and roundabouts. i was under the impression that both these options were out of fashion
    > these days, and that street level solutions were prefered. anythoughts? also having skinny road
    > tyres, will i get trapped in the tracks?
    >
    >
    Trams are fun, but pretty damn dangerous since (a) they can't swerve or stop quickly and (b) the
    tracks eat wheels if you're not careful. Be careful out there.
     
  6. In article <[email protected]>, Zog The Undeniable <[email protected]> writes

    >Trams are fun, but pretty damn dangerous since (a) they can't swerve or stop quickly and (b) the
    >tracks eat wheels if you're not careful. Be careful out there.

    On the other hand, they don't do anything unpredictable. I've shared roads with them around Croydon
    and never had a problem.

    ttfn

    Martin

    --
    Reporter: "What do you think of western civilisation?" Gandhi: "I think it would be a good idea."

    Martin Harlow [email protected]
     
  7. >(b) the tracks eat wheels if you're not careful.

    (c) the tracks eat human flesh too. As found out at a personal level by my offspring, who left a
    fair amount of his DNA embedded in tramlines on the outskirts of Cologne this summer. His scar
    is noticeable.

    Cheers, helen s

    --This is an invalid email address to avoid spam-- to get correct one remove dependency on fame &
    fortune h*$el*$$e**nd***$o$ts***i*$*$m**m$$o*n**[email protected]$*$a$$o**l.c**$*$om$$
     
  8. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 09:41:18 -0000, "Robert D France"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >will i get trapped in the tracks?

    My great grandfather used to tell a tale of riding along on his bike, getting a wheel caught in the
    tramlines, and doing a header, catching his nose in turn the rails. He claims that they had to push
    him to Fulham before they could get him out...

    Nowadays, of course, nobody believes a word of it.

    Guy
    ===
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk
     
  9. Terry

    Terry Guest

    > >> also having skinny road tyres, will i get trapped in the tracks?

    The tracks put down in Nottingham recently look like another serious hazard to me. If you ask your
    grandad he'll tell you. I expected some modern trick that would reduce the risk but they look just
    like the originals from the 1900's.You would need motorbike tyres not to drop into them. At least
    some of the roads have no room to pass a bike. A leaflet was produced describing ways you can reduce
    the risk.My feeling is that if you set a trap for the unwary throwing a few leaflets around should
    not give absolution. TerryJ
     
  10. John Mallard

    John Mallard Guest

    "Robert D France" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > theres a new tram link being proposed near where i live (Birmingham town centre to the airport,
    > along the A45). Having never ridden anywhere near a tram i am wondering what the implications are
    > for my riding. For example if the tram doesnt have a dedicated lane, how does it overtake a
    > bicycle? or are the tracks far
    enough
    > away from the kerb that it can pass safely?

    Well, the B'ham to Wolverhampton tram route runs mostly along an old abandoned rail route. However,
    for the last 1.5 miles in Wolverhampton it does take to the roads. Although it doesn't actualy use
    the route that I cycle B'ham - Wolves, I have paid particular atention to this section on the
    occasions that I have traveled by tram rather than bike, with the possible effect on cyclists in
    mind. Where ever possible the lines take to the centre of the road, well away from most cycles.
    However there is a short stretch (where the road space is limited) where the lines run more or less
    in the Primary Position. There does still appear to be enough room for the tram to overtake a
    cyclist. Personally I'd probably stop and let it run past., but if you were braver than me and could
    ride for a few yards in a reasonably straight line you'd be OK. At least you know that the tram is
    not going to move in on you or anything, it can only go perfectly straight.

    > i am undecided as to whether i support the plans yet, but am quite worried by the public
    > consultation questionaire i have got hold of, which asks if
    i
    > would prefer flyovers or underpasses at major junctions and roundabouts. i was under the
    > impression that both these options were out of fashion these days, and that street level solutions
    > were prefered. anythoughts?

    I agree with you. In the Wolverhamton road section they do not use either flyovers or underpasses.
    The trams go straight over the centre of rounderbouts using traffic light controll. I think it
    works well.

    > also having skinny road tyres, will i get trapped in the tracks?

    Well yes, obviously. As others have said, where you need to cross them, do so at a sensible angle. I
    don't think you'll find that there will actually be many places where you'll need to do this.

    It's good that you make your concerns known. Reply to the consultation document. I would also
    suggest that you treat yourself to a trip from Snow Hill to Wolves to see the system actually
    working and to get a first hand view of what is proposed.

    Cheerful Pedalling John Mallard
     
  11. On 2003-12-23 09:41 +0000, Robert D France wrote:
    > theres a new tram link being proposed near where i live (Birmingham town centre to the airport,
    > along the A45).
    >
    > Having never ridden anywhere near a tram i am wondering what the implications are for my riding.
    > For example if the tram doesnt have a dedicated lane, how does it overtake a bicycle? or are the
    > tracks far enough away from the kerb that it can pass safely?

    From my brief experiences on a bike in Amsterdam and Sheffield, there's usually enough room to stop
    by the kerbside and let a tram pass, and sometimes enough space to keep moving while doing so.

    Trams are fairly slow in shared areas, and they move more predictably than other motor traffic too,
    if you can figure out how they articulate. Normally it's easiest to sit between the rails and move
    with the traffic.

    > i am undecided as to whether i support the plans yet, but am quite worried by the public
    > consultation questionaire i have got hold of, which asks if i would prefer flyovers or underpasses
    > at major junctions and roundabouts. i was under the impression that both these options were out of
    > fashion these days, and that street level solutions were prefered. anythoughts?

    Underpasses/flyovers for who? Bikes or trams? I'll assume trams. Roundabouts are complicated enough
    anyway without the added delights of slippery rails, so you might want to consider suggesting that
    the trams be sent underground at that point.

    > also having skinny road tyres, will i get trapped in the tracks?

    Well, it's something to watch out for. The thing to do is cross them at a fairly wide angle to
    reduce the risk of your front wheel ending up in the slot.

    --
    Andrew Chadwick You never hear a Cricket crowd chanting "who's the bastard in the hat?"
     
  12. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    Andrew Chadwick wrote:

    > On 2003-12-23 09:41 +0000, Robert D France wrote:
    >
    >>theres a new tram link being proposed near where i live (Birmingham town centre to the airport,
    >>along the A45).
    >>
    >>Having never ridden anywhere near a tram i am wondering what the implications are for my riding.
    >>For example if the tram doesnt have a dedicated lane, how does it overtake a bicycle? or are the
    >>tracks far enough away from the kerb that it can pass safely?
    >
    >
    > From my brief experiences on a bike in Amsterdam and Sheffield, there's usually enough room to
    > stop by the kerbside and let a tram pass, and sometimes enough space to keep moving while
    > doing so.
    >
    > Trams are fairly slow in shared areas, and they move more predictably than other motor traffic
    > too, if you can figure out how they articulate. Normally it's easiest to sit between the rails and
    > move with the traffic.
    >
    >
    >>i am undecided as to whether i support the plans yet, but am quite worried by the public
    >>consultation questionaire i have got hold of, which asks if i would prefer flyovers or underpasses
    >>at major junctions and roundabouts. i was under the impression that both these options were out of
    >>fashion these days, and that street level solutions were prefered. anythoughts?
    >
    >
    > Underpasses/flyovers for who? Bikes or trams? I'll assume trams. Roundabouts are complicated
    > enough anyway without the added delights of slippery rails, so you might want to consider
    > suggesting that the trams be sent underground at that point.
    >
    >
    >>also having skinny road tyres, will i get trapped in the tracks?
    >
    >
    > Well, it's something to watch out for. The thing to do is cross them at a fairly wide angle to
    > reduce the risk of your front wheel ending up in the slot.
    >

    Also be aware of the junctions between tram/ped and tram/road areas. In croydon the trams and
    traffic are controlled by lights, but the tram ones are not your red amber green things, and if
    you're cycling along a tram path you may inadvertantly leave the ped/tram part and end up travelling
    on tram-only, or cycle across a tram/ped or tram/traffic junction without realising you don't have
    priority which might lead to some hairy (or more than scary) moments!

    Velvet
     
  13. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 20:34:12 +0000, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >My great grandfather used to tell a tale of riding along on his bike, getting a wheel caught in the
    >tramlines, and doing a header, catching his nose in turn the rails. He claims that they had to push
    >him to Fulham before they could get him out...

    If they'd just connected one of his legs to the power cable he could have got to Fulham without the
    need to push.

    --
    Dave...
     
  14. On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 09:41:18 -0000, "Robert D France"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >theres a new tram link being proposed near where i live (Birmingham town centre to the airport,
    >along the A45). Having never ridden anywhere near a tram i am wondering what the implications are
    >for my riding. For example if the tram doesnt have a dedicated lane, how does it overtake a
    >bicycle? or are the tracks far enough away from the kerb that it can pass safely? i am undecided as
    >to whether i support the plans yet, but am quite worried by the public consultation questionaire i
    >have got hold of, which asks if i would prefer flyovers or underpasses at major junctions and
    >roundabouts. i was under the impression that both these options were out of fashion these days, and
    >that street level solutions were prefered. anythoughts? also having skinny road tyres, will i get
    >trapped in the tracks?
    >

    overall, i'm pretty supportive of trams. a tram carries, say, 100 people and i'd prefer 1 tram to
    contend with than 100 cars.

    as with all road design issues, the devil will be in the detail. you need to really keep an eye on
    what is proposed on a metre-by-metre basis and shout loud and early if you don't like it.

    don't worry about the fact that wheels can get trapped in tracks; if they are well positioned, this
    won't be a problem.

    as far as junctions are concerned, if a tram track is put in at street level it'll require pretty
    major road redesign and signalisation. just make sure that bikes are accounted for in the design and
    the chances are you'll get a better junction than before.

    the only people who can ensure it is ok for local cyclists *are* local cyclists. so [see other
    threads] get engaged and make sure other cyclists do the same.
     
  15. In news:[email protected],
    John Mallard <[email protected]> typed:
    > "Robert D France" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    > binary.blueyonder.co.uk...
    >> theres a new tram link being proposed near where i live (Birmingham town centre to the airport,
    >> along the A45). Having never ridden anywhere near a tram i am wondering what the implications are
    >> for my riding. For example if the tram doesnt have a dedicated lane, how does it overtake a
    >> bicycle? or are the tracks far enough away from the kerb that it can pass safely?
    >
    > Well, the B'ham to Wolverhampton tram route runs mostly along an old abandoned rail route.
    > However, for the last 1.5 miles in Wolverhampton it does take to the roads. Although it doesn't
    > actualy use the route that I cycle B'ham - Wolves, I have paid particular atention to this section
    > on the occasions that I have traveled by tram rather than bike, with the possible effect on
    > cyclists in mind.

    I've cycled it 2 or 3 times before I found a better way from Walsall-Wolves (not obvious). Where it
    is close to the kerb, there's a very fine hatching on the tarmac to show the area over which the
    body of the tram does not pass, and it's easily big enough to cycle through, but I agree with you,
    and I'd let it run past me. In general it seems very easy to coexist with. I don't remember any
    oblique crossings (not that there's many crossings at all), like the one in Manchester heading into
    town on the A6 where the tram's coming out of Picadilly station. Also the bits where it runs along
    the road have more space to the left than is possible in West St on the Sheffield system, but both
    of those have much more track on the road.

    >> i am undecided as to whether i support the plans yet, but am quite worried by the public
    >> consultation questionaire i have got hold of, which asks if i would prefer flyovers or
    >> underpasses at major junctions and roundabouts. i was under the impression that both these
    >> options were out of fashion these days, and that street level solutions were prefered.
    >> anythoughts?
    >
    > I agree with you. In the Wolverhamton road section they do not use either flyovers or underpasses.
    > The trams go straight over the centre of rounderbouts using traffic light controll. I think it
    > works well.

    I think there's probably more big junctions to pass through on the A45 coming out of Birmingham
    (Swan at Yardley, etc), so there may be a need for multilevel solutions at those places. I think
    both underpasses and flyovers for trams can be much smaller than ones for road vehicles as they only
    need one lane in each direction, less width, etc. Also, there was an existing roundabout on the
    Wolverhampton ring road whereas there are some busy light controlled junctions on the A45

    >> also having skinny road tyres, will i get trapped in the tracks?
    >
    > Well yes, obviously. As others have said, where you need to cross them, do so at a sensible angle.
    > I don't think you'll find that there will actually be many places where you'll need to do this.

    Sensible crossing angles are something that you should definitely press for, although I think the
    need for them is generally acknowledged, so it shouldn't be a fight.

    > It's good that you make your concerns known. Reply to the consultation document. I would also
    > suggest that you treat yourself to a trip from Snow Hill to Wolves to see the system actually
    > working and to get a first hand view of what is proposed.

    Sadly of course you can't take the bike to try cycling alongside it at the Wolves end.

    Ambrose
     
  16. Sue

    Sue Guest

    In message <[email protected]>, Zog The Undeniable <[email protected]> writes
    >>
    >Trams are fun, but pretty damn dangerous since (a) they can't swerve or stop quickly and (b) the
    >tracks eat wheels if you're not

    They can stop very quickly, with a magnetic brake which clamps the car to the track. For emergencies
    only, since the passengers keep moving until they hit the seat or stanchion in front of them.
    Cyclists need to keep a safe distance when riding behind a tramcar.

    They also need to keep an eye open for slot rails in roads shared with trams; maybe an extra visual
    reminder such as different coloured tarmac would help? (Traditionally it was granite sets, polished
    by motor-tyres and slippery with drizzle and horse dung. What good old days?)

    On the other hand, the presence of trams (or better still, trolleybuses) in a town quickly rids it
    of pedestrians who walk straight off the kerb without looking. The drivers soon learn to spot those
    who are about to do something silly, and give them a fright by letting their bell gong or hooter off
    right in their ear.

    --
    Sue ];:))
     
  17. Steve R.

    Steve R. Guest

    Terry wrote in message ...
    > .You would need motorbike tyres not to drop into them.

    It's not the width of the groove which is critical, as you can always cross them at an angle, but
    the fact that they are made of steel and very slippery especially when damp or wet. I know of
    several scooter riders who've come a cropper on them in Weymouth.
     
  18. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Wed, 24 Dec 2003 11:21:10 +0000 someone who may be "[Not
    Responding]" <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >the only people who can ensure it is ok for local cyclists *are* local cyclists. so [see other
    >threads] get engaged and make sure other cyclists do the same.

    In the case of Sheffield they did at the early stages and were told that their needs would be met.
    Then a design and build contract was let and the needs of cyclists were totally ignored.

    --
    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.
     
  19. On Sat, 27 Dec 2003 09:30:59 +0000, David Hansen
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Wed, 24 Dec 2003 11:21:10 +0000 someone who may be "[Not Responding]"
    ><[email protected]> wrote this:-
    >
    >>the only people who can ensure it is ok for local cyclists *are* local cyclists. so [see other
    >>threads] get engaged and make sure other cyclists do the same.
    >
    >In the case of Sheffield they did at the early stages and were told that their needs would be met.
    >Then a design and build contract was let and the needs of cyclists were totally ignored.

    true, the situation can arise where you try and fail but if noone even tries you are
    garanteed to fail.
     
  20. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Wed, 24 Dec 2003 22:29:37 GMT someone who may be "Steve R."
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >I know of several scooter riders who've come a cropper on them in Weymouth.

    The railway tracks at Weymouth are just that, railway tracks. Tram tracks are rather different. In
    particular the width and depth of the "grove" in a tram track is much less.

    --
    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.
     
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