Road ahead closed

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
NewHorizon
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Road ahead closed

Postby NewHorizon » 2 Jul 2018, 1:57pm

Increasingly Local Authorities seem to be completely closing roads for repairs or resurfacing, rather than opting for traffic management. Whilst detours are usually available, they may not be expedient for cyclists - I was on holiday cycling in Cambridgshire a little while ago with 37 miles done and 10 miles to go, when I found my route closed for repairs. Because of the surrounding fens, the official detour was 43 miles! At best I could only reduce this to 30 miles, not something I wanted to do, as it was raining, getting dark and I'd run out of food. I asked the contractors if I could get through, and they said yes, if I walked (which turned out to be a couple of miles). In fact, part of the road was not even walkable and I had to take to a muddy field. My question is, is there a legal obligation to keep the road open, if only for pedestrians or do the Local Authority have the power to stop all access?

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mjr
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Re: Road ahead closed

Postby mjr » 2 Jul 2018, 2:11pm

Both. The New Roads and Street Works Act places a legal obligation on them to follow the Code of Practice on Safety at Street Works which says things like "You must ensure suitable provisions are made for the safety of cyclists passing or crossing the works. Particular care is needed where cycle lanes or cycle tracks are affected by street works or road works because these routes may be especially popular with cyclists. Cyclists might have to use other parts of the carriageway, a temporary cycle track, or an alternative route. You should consider whether access on the carriageway can be preserved for cyclists, even if it needs to be closed to motor vehicles. See page 70. Where the carriageway is closed but the footway remains open, a ‘Cyclists dismount and use footway’ white-on-red temporary sign can be used."

But they do also have the power to close the road completely.

And I think the enforcer of the legal obligation is the Department for Transport currently headed by a man who smacks cyclists with car doors which seems to have consistently failed to enforce it. :-(

If you can get this changed and Dutch-style temporary routes consistently provided, you'll be a minor hero!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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tatanab
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Re: Road ahead closed

Postby tatanab » 2 Jul 2018, 2:38pm

I believe they have an obligation to maintain pedestrian access. Where a ped can go, so can a cyclist. I always ignore these road closed signs until I can see what the issue is. I came across some bridge repairs that were a prime example of this. I had to wait a few moments because they were working overhead, but that is all. Last Sunday - road closed sign, but only because the piece of road remaining was not wide enough for a car. No problem to me. I always speak to the work man or whoever is managing the road block (if it is manned) and have yet to be denied.

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Mick F
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Re: Road ahead closed

Postby Mick F » 2 Jul 2018, 3:29pm

We had some Road Closed signs, and as usual as a cyclist, I carried on.
Trouble was, there was a culvert being cut right across the road 6ft wide and 6ft deep.
There were adequate diversions posted, and I had no real problems following them, so backtracked to bypass the ditch.

Some years ago ............. and I was only chatting about this the other day with the LEJOG Wimps ............. that sometimes there's a road traffic accident and a fatality. The police quite rightly close the road of course.

I was riding to JOG and was 60miles from home and the A38 was closed at Waterloo Cross north of Tiverton.
The traffic chappy was sending traffic off to the east and as far as I was concerned as a cyclist towing a trailer and completely unsupported, I was rather put out. Obviously I understood about the accident and the fatality, but I was upset for my own (selfish) part. Mid afternoon and still 30miles to ride - not including a detour.

I had a chat with the traffic chappy and said I'd try and find my own way round using maps.
This I did, but still came out onto the A38, but saw a copper in a car ................. here.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.92450 ... 312!8i6656
I asked him nicely, and he said that as they were just finishing off, I could go through. He radioed ahead.
For ages on the way into Taunton, the road was deserted.

This is a nightmare to the long-distance cyclist. Unexpected road closures, for whatever reason.
Mick F. Cornwall

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robgul
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Re: Road ahead closed

Postby robgul » 2 Jul 2018, 4:12pm

Have to say my stance is to just carry on as there's a better than good chance that a cyclist can get through ... but two "fun" instances :

1 Riding to the S of France in 2008 - road closed about half way down France ... bridge being reconstructed across a stream about 10metres wide - workmen were very helpful and assisted us in walking our laden tourers across a concrete beam about 2 feet wide

2 End to end in 2010 near Ludlow - lane with road closed sign - diversion on the map was about 3 miles and lumpy - carried on to find a bank of mud across the road about 6' high and stacked into the hedge either side of the lane - as luck would have it there was a house with a garden gate before the mud bank and a garage gateway after it ... wheeled the bikes through the house's garden to the amusement of the workmen leaning on their shovels

Go for it - seldom a problem (a bit like bikes in hotel rooms, don't ask - just assume!)

Rob

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mjr
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Re: Road ahead closed

Postby mjr » 2 Jul 2018, 4:18pm

Mick F wrote:The traffic chappy was sending traffic off to the east and as far as I was concerned as a cyclist towing a trailer and completely unsupported, I was rather put out. Obviously I understood about the accident and the fatality, but I was upset for my own (selfish) part. Mid afternoon and still 30miles to ride - not including a detour.

It's often worth asking the police at such closures whether cycles will be allowed through after the casualties have been removed before the road is clear enough for motorists to be allowed back. Sometimes it's already possible (ambulances often head to hospitals quickly) and sometimes it's worth waiting instead of making a long detour. I've been let through at least twice.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Tigerbiten
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Re: Road ahead closed

Postby Tigerbiten » 2 Jul 2018, 4:21pm

I'm another one who ignores the signs and keeps going until I can see how well the road is blocked ...... :D
Today was ok because I could cycle past the hole in the tarmac.
The time before that wasn't as good as the whole road was being rebuilt, so no going through and I had to turn back.

But it's not only roadworks, floods can cause a similar problem for a cycle tourist.
Do you keep going and hope it doesn't get to deep or do you try and divert around the flooded patch.

Luck ........ :D

mattsccm
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Re: Road ahead closed

Postby mattsccm » 2 Jul 2018, 5:36pm

I keep going. Usually ok, especially if its out of office hours when work tends to be done. Just once I met a bolshie work man who was down right rude before I even got to him. Wasn't worth the toss so I took to the roadside woods. He didn't like that but as I so politely pointed out it was FC property and nowt to do with him. If he had let me through nothing would have happened . As I was in the woods he had to stop all the machinery. Maybe I could have been more considerate but the closed road sign gave no indication where the road was blocked and there were 2 minor roads in that section.

tatanab
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Re: Road ahead closed

Postby tatanab » 2 Jul 2018, 5:39pm

Two more stories from French tours -
Signs for several km "road closed at x distance". When I got there they were rebuilding a level crossing and there was a big sign up which said "closed to cycles and pedestrians too". They could have added "haha!"
On another trip, the road was being rerouted and lowered which would have meant an unpleasant detour. I asked if I could get through and was told I could. After about 500 yards I came across a wall of soil about 4 feet high, which was the level they were lowering. Workmen on the site helped me get my kit up to the top which was very decent of them.

rjb
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Re: Road ahead closed

Postby rjb » 2 Jul 2018, 5:42pm

BT are the worst - they wont let anything through when they are replacing cables on poles. Most of the other utilities are very cooperative and allow you to walk past at worst or if room will let you ride past.
At the last count:- Focus Variado, Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

Cosmicbike
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Re: Road ahead closed

Postby Cosmicbike » 2 Jul 2018, 6:26pm

Experienced this yesterday on my monthly imperial century ride. Just crossed the A3 near Compton and after a short downhill saw the 'Road Ahead Closed' sign, so ignored it. Another couple of miles downhill and it was indeed properly closed, with 6ft Heras fencing and all. Fortunately the helpful 'Road note suitable for diverted traffic' signs rather gave away the way around it without going back to the A3.

thirdcrank
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Re: Road ahead closed

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Jul 2018, 6:41pm

AFAIK, if it relates to planned roadworks, rather than an emergency, a road closure - and that includes things like creating a temporary one-way street - needs a temporary traffic regulation order under s14 Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984. The time limits are under s15.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1984/27/section/14

fastpedaller
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Re: Road ahead closed

Postby fastpedaller » 2 Jul 2018, 7:00pm

Last year there was an incident' (I refuse to use the A word) where a lady had driven straight into a trailer parked at the roadside - the lad was loading it with garden waste and was thankfully on it (rather than behind it) when it happened, so escaped with minor injury. After umming and aaring the Police let me wheel the bike through, avoiding a 3 mile detour. The motorist wasn't even charged - how is it ok just to drive into a clearly visible trailer on the back of a 4x4?

gbnz
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Re: Road ahead closed

Postby gbnz » 2 Jul 2018, 7:21pm

robgul wrote:Have to say my stance is to just carry on as there's a better than good chance that a cyclist can get through ...


I'm another one. Riding over the Alps from Italy to France ten years ago was one of the best, though I didn't appreciate the wild boar sunning themselves on the tarmac. That said a couple of local road closures have been semi liquid tarmac jobs and not worth cycling on (Had to walk the verge)

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Road ahead closed

Postby The utility cyclist » 2 Jul 2018, 7:49pm

we've had two roads that go over the A1 closed, no access by bike at all nor even for pedestrians. worse was when they closed both at the same time, their prediction of how long they would be closed is now 2 months overdue. They reopened one but left the road ahead closed signs up further down so not helpful and I presume it was repair to something other than the road surface as that is as shockingly bad as it was before.

The one that is still closed 2 months after it was due to reopen can sort of be bypassed if you come along the 'greenway' but that means a totally different route to the road in the first instance so can't be got past directly on foot. The greenway is basically a footpath route that has in a few areas had some mods to it that goes around the town, it's godawful and not much cop for cycling on. if two people meet by whatever mode then on most of it it simply isn't wide enough.
At the still closed road you have to battle your way past the works fencing that gives you about 60cm width tops, underfoot it's unstale and easy to twist your foot, it comes out and then you can cross the road to get back onto the footpath on the other side. I don't usually use off road routes but had gone to the dump and thought I'd cut along for a few hundred metres on the greenway as opposed to doubling back and making a 2 mile detour.
Won't do that again as it was more hassle than it was worth. :roll: