fillthathole.org website

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
mig
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fillthathole.org website

Postby mig » 18 Jul 2012, 9:17am

does anyone know if a report of a dangerous 'area' on a road would be taken forward to the local council via the website or not?

i ask as i commute along a main road near manchester upon which there has been tram tracks constructed over the past few years. in one area these tracks veer diagonally left leaving a rider with a choice of bouncing over them at a speed with which they can keep up with the traffic (which is never safe) or being gradually pushed towards the kerb right in front of vehicles edging out of a side street 'for a better view.'

there are clearly going to be several incidents here over years to come. indeed i believe local papers have reported a few falls on the lines already. i'd like a proper, full 'STOP' line on the sidestreet and warning signs regarding the tracks.

is this feasible via that website? how do people usually deal with tram tracks in their own locale with motorists right behind?

sirmy
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Re: fillthathole.org website

Postby sirmy » 18 Jul 2012, 10:20am

It's probaly best to contact the council directly and explain your concerns and ask them for a reason why something hasn't been done already

BigFoz
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Re: fillthathole.org website

Postby BigFoz » 19 Jul 2012, 11:28am

Log it with fill that hole, and also email / write directly to the roads dept of the council, copying your MP + MEP etc and pointing out that this poses a danger to vulnerable road users and puts folks in danger. Unless the council is East Renfrewshire, this works ace. An atom bomb under the desk wouldn't get East Ren off their butts to maintain the roads.

irc
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Re: fillthathole.org website

Postby irc » 19 Jul 2012, 12:28pm

A report logged on fillthathole may help any future injured cyclist claim damages from the council as they won't be able to claim they were unaware of the problem. Worth logging for that reason alone IMO.

sirmy
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Re: fillthathole.org website

Postby sirmy » 19 Jul 2012, 7:43pm

Wouldn't bother contacting an MP, all they'll do is forward your letter to the council, the local councillors have far more weight wth a council, who do you think sets their budgets?

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Alex L
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Re: fillthathole.org website

Postby Alex L » 19 Jul 2012, 8:46pm

Fill that hole? The first 1 mile from my house has at least 40 pot holes, would I have to fill them in all individually :lol:

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McVouty
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Re: fillthathole.org website

Postby McVouty » 19 Jul 2012, 8:56pm

sirmy wrote:Wouldn't bother contacting an MP, all they'll do is forward your letter to the council, the local councillors have far more weight wth a council, who do you think sets their budgets?
.
MPs (and MSPs, and MWAs if that's what Welsh Assembly members are called, I doubt if MEPs are interested in roads at a level below the regional economic level) will indeed forward your letter to the council. Councillors and officers (whose behinds councillors love to kick) will take complaints with a covering letter from an MP etc. more seriously than letters from random members of the public however well informed those RMOTPs are. Councillors do indeed set officers' budgets, but MPs and MSPs (I don't know what influence MWAs have) influence how large those budgets are - the larger part of councils' income comes from general taxation which is distributed by central government, rather than money raised locally.

As for East Renfrewshire, its electors (collectively, not individually) get the councillors, MSPs, and therefore the roads, which they deserve.

nez
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Re: fillthathole.org website

Postby nez » 19 Jul 2012, 10:52pm

A mailing from a local LibDem councillor tells me potholes aren't considered a priority (i.e. at all) for repair locally (Colchester) unless the'yre 50mm deep. That's two inches or 15% of the radius of a road bike wheel. I think the best way of getting potholes filled must be to take a shovel out with you.

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RickH
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Re: fillthathole.org website

Postby RickH » 20 Jul 2012, 10:46am

nez dans le guidon wrote:I think the best way of getting potholes filled must be to take a shovel out with you.

Perhaps by using soil & a few nice plants to fill the holes to make a point! :wink:

I've found that holes, etc. reported on fillthathole have been dealt with quickly round here (Bolton) &, as has been mentioned previously, the council has no excuse that they didn't know about it in the event of a claim (which, if nothing else, may spur them on to deal with it).

Rick.

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gaz
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Re: fillthathole.org website

Postby gaz » 20 Jul 2012, 12:00pm

irc wrote:A report logged on fillthathole may help any future injured cyclist claim damages from the council as they won't be able to claim they were unaware of the problem. Worth logging for that reason alone IMO.


In this case I'd beg to differ. Fillthathole is for reporting potholes and road defects. In this case the OP believes the tram scheme which was put in a few years ago poses a hazard to cyclists using the road. I don't doubt his opinion but it's neither a pothole nor a defect.

If the OP makes a report, fillthathole's on-line reporting system has limited space. He'll be able to identify the hazard area, attach photographs and briefly explain the problem. There will not be space for a detailed critique, citing evidence of cyclists involved in accidents/near misses at this location or similar locations elsewhere. That report will be sent to the local authority's Highways Department.

The Highwaymen will see the report. They'll think to themselves there's no defect, the scheme is exactly as we designed it x years ago. There's no hazard, the scheme met the relevant standards when it was installed and passed the necessary safety audits. It will then be filed.

If there is a subsequent accident the infamous section 58 defence isn't the only one available to the Highwaymen but they wouldn't be looking to use a section 58 defence as there is no defect. They will leap for the design standards and safety audits to prove that they aren't responsible. An unqualified and unevidenced report of a hazard on fillthathole isn't going to carry much weight. As well as that they will use the Highway Code:-

82 Level crossings/Tramways. Take extra care when crossing the tracks (see Rule 306). You should dismount at level crossings where a ‘cyclist dismount’ sign is displayed.

306 All road users, but particularly cyclists and motorcyclists, should take extra care when driving or riding close to or crossing the tracks, especially if the rails are wet. You should take particular care when crossing the rails at shallow angles, on bends and at junctions. It is safest to cross the tracks directly at right angles. Other road users should be aware that cyclists and motorcyclists may need more space to cross the tracks safely.


If a cyclist wasn't crossing at right angles and fell off the Highwaymen will see no reason to accept liability, the cyclist should have crossed at right angles.

If a cyclist was crossing at right angles and got knocked off by a motorist the Highwaymen will see no reason to accept liability, the motorist should have allowed the cyclist enough space and time to cross at right angles.

It's the courts who will determine liability (unless the insurers settle first) but in this case the Highwaymen will be unphased by a simple fillthathole report.



If you want the Highwaymen to make changes then a bit of public backing and a detailed critique of the scheme, citing evidence of cyclists involved in accidents/near misses at this location or similar locations elsewhere will help immeasureably. Fillthathole won't help at all.
Hand wash only. Do not iron.

mig
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Re: fillthathole.org website

Postby mig » 20 Jul 2012, 6:36pm

i tend to agree with gaz here. although i've filled in the report i think any inspector will deem it "according to spec" and file it unfortunately.

the mail danger is being forced to the left to within a footor so of the kerb. the majority of drivers edge out of the side street (all side streets!) hence the rider is right on their front bumper. i suppose even a STOP sign wouldn't properly deter that.

although i'm aware of the highway code's advice to cross tram lines at 90 degrees i find it hilarious. i can only imagine the reaction of manchester's rush hour drivers as i swerve to make that manouvre in front of them!

i just hope all riders appreciate the danger at this spot and react as best as they can. still i fear problems and will pursue it in other fields.

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gaz
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Re: fillthathole.org website

Postby gaz » 20 Jul 2012, 7:48pm

mig wrote:i just hope all riders appreciate the danger at this spot and react as best as they can. still i fear problems and will pursue it in other fields.

Expect a long haul but it'll be worth it when you succeed. Good Luck!
Hand wash only. Do not iron.

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Cunobelin
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Re: fillthathole.org website

Postby Cunobelin » 22 Jul 2012, 12:34pm

I have found it pretty useless.

Having reported the same part of road / pavement destroyed by illegal parking for some 5 years on the original site and this one, we now have 10 inch deep ruts and still no action!

Any reminder or correspondence is to wash their hands of it an d suggest the local Councillor as a fob-off

BigFoz
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Re: fillthathole.org website

Postby BigFoz » 22 Jul 2012, 7:42pm

As for East Renfrewshire, its electors (collectively, not individually) get the councillors, MSPs, and therefore the roads, which they deserve.
#

That they do. I'm not one of them, I just have to ride through the place to get to work (to get most places actually). I'm in East Ayrshire, and while their roads aren't great, any report to them is courteously and reasonably quickly dealt with. Though we do have ongoing disagreements re the sensibility of surface dressing perfectly good roads leaving berms for cyclists to play in...

sirmy
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Re: fillthathole.org website

Postby sirmy » 23 Jul 2012, 7:12pm

McVouty wrote:
sirmy wrote:Wouldn't bother contacting an MP, all they'll do is forward your letter to the council, the local councillors have far more weight wth a council, who do you think sets their budgets?
.
MPs (and MSPs, and MWAs if that's what Welsh Assembly members are called, I doubt if MEPs are interested in roads at a level below the regional economic level) will indeed forward your letter to the council. Councillors and officers (whose behinds councillors love to kick) will take complaints with a covering letter from an MP etc. more seriously than letters from random members of the public however well informed those RMOTPs are. Councillors do indeed set officers' budgets, but MPs and MSPs (I don't know what influence MWAs have) influence how large those budgets are - the larger part of councils' income comes from general taxation which is distributed by central government, rather than money raised locally.

As for East Renfrewshire, its electors (collectively, not individually) get the councillors, MSPs, and therefore the roads, which they deserve.



Perhaps what I should have said was tha a leter from an MP will be polietly answered, a phone call from a councillor will be much more likely to illict action as the councillor is more likely to follow it up if they get a standard "nothing wrong here" type reply, an MP is unlikely to contact the council again. For most effwect find out who the relevant portfolio holder is gice them an ear bashing