Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

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pete75
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby pete75 » 17 Jun 2019, 10:50pm

bretonbikes wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:
There's a lot of heat about this on here. Personally I look at the rules and assuming it's private land on docks then it's up to them. You sail with the ferry company based on lots of small print already. Perhaps if they had helmet lockers so you leave them at the port for your wait on the dock and walk up the ramp. Or loaner helmets. Personally I don't get so uptight over helmets. Guess because I got into the habit while kayaking although climbing I never had one.


The only thing about this is that no other passenger in any circumstances is expected to wear/buy protective gear of any kind. On several of the routes foot passengers walk through the port - cross traffic lanes (as Plymouth) etc yet they don't need anything. Yet cyclists are being asked to 'ensure' they buy a helmet for passing through the port?

Just a bit of thoughtlessness I think when writing what someone thought was 'common sense' without actually thinking about it. I'll get it clarified.


I bet motorcyclists are expected to wear helmets.

Bez
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby Bez » 17 Jun 2019, 11:33pm

To be honest I'd have thought the pragmatic solution would be that if Brittany Ferries feel the need to enforce their guidelines then they could have a stock of hi-viz vests and hard hats (as worn by port/ship staff) available, which could be handed out to anyone passing through without their own and then handed back once on deck. Personally I don't massively object to wearing the stuff to pass through the port and onto the ship (I mean, I do object, but I'll pick my battles and I accept that it's an abnormal environment), but I do object to having to lug that stuff around the whole time I'm on the bike either on the way to Portsmouth or in France.

And, yeah, being an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" kind of guy I'm also wondering whether someone making a song and dance about it will end up creating the opposite effect to what they wanted. Hey ho. If you knacker my trip in a couple of weeks I'll be back here to put a bat up your nightdress ;)

Tangled Metal
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby Tangled Metal » 18 Jun 2019, 8:26am

Lug it around? Hiviz vest bought cheaply from hardware stores weighs little and packs small. Lights? You mean you're not carrying them on tour anyway? Do you not think there's a risk of getting caught out in the dark at all? Or heavy rain on the day for extra visibility?

Helmet is the only bulky object. There are folding ones apparently but perhaps that bit a port loaner is best. Certainly the other kit isn't a chore to carry, just the helmet.

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Mick F
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby Mick F » 18 Jun 2019, 9:32am

Portsmouth to Caen last year as foot passengers.
What's the difference if you're pushing a bike?
You could have been pushing a pram!
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Bez
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby Bez » 18 Jun 2019, 9:42am

Tangled Metal wrote:Lug it around? Hiviz vest bought cheaply from hardware stores weighs little and packs small. Lights? You mean you're not carrying them on tour anyway?


I always have lights. A vest is pretty packable but I like to minimise the kit I need to carry. A helmet is a proper faff.

I get your point, but it's an imposition on an entire trip for the sake of a few hundred yards, when there are plenty of other measures available to minimise risk, a number of which are already in place. Two-wheelers normally get their own lanes for boarding; they're normally loaded when cars/lorries aren't coming on board; there are staff all over the place to signal to people driving cars or riding bikes; the staff enforce the perfectly reasonable policy of dismounting and pushing on the slippery ramps; and so on.

Meanwhile, car passengers are free to leave their cars and wander around in the waiting areas, and have to move around on deck, with no special equipment. They're fundamentally subjected to the same risks but aren't subject to the same policies. As is normally the case, sling your leg over a bike and people think you need to be protected from the things that everyone else doesn't.

There are several small inland ferries in this country and abroad where foot passengers are carried along with motor vehicles in broadly shared space. Those foot passengers aren't expected to carry a helmet and hi-viz clothing around all day just to travel on these ferries, and the sky hasn't fallen in as a result.

bretonbikes
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby bretonbikes » 18 Jun 2019, 9:56am

This isn't really the place for a debate on the efficacy or otherwise of helmets - more an example of how 'mission creep' can effectively make them compulsory without any laws being involved. Helmets compulsory in ferry ports, train/bus stations, on council cycleways, organised rides, for insurance etc - it can be a dangerous 'drip, drip' to a fait accompli.

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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby bretonbikes » 18 Jun 2019, 12:00pm

pete75 wrote:
bretonbikes wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:
There's a lot of heat about this on here. Personally I look at the rules and assuming it's private land on docks then it's up to them. You sail with the ferry company based on lots of small print already. Perhaps if they had helmet lockers so you leave them at the port for your wait on the dock and walk up the ramp. Or loaner helmets. Personally I don't get so uptight over helmets. Guess because I got into the habit while kayaking although climbing I never had one.


The only thing about this is that no other passenger in any circumstances is expected to wear/buy protective gear of any kind. On several of the routes foot passengers walk through the port - cross traffic lanes (as Plymouth) etc yet they don't need anything. Yet cyclists are being asked to 'ensure' they buy a helmet for passing through the port?

Just a bit of thoughtlessness I think when writing what someone thought was 'common sense' without actually thinking about it. I'll get it clarified.


I bet motorcyclists are expected to wear helmets.


Because it's a legal requirement in the UK and France... Just like you're supposed to wear your seatbelt.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby Tangled Metal » 18 Jun 2019, 1:38pm

I have a hiviz at work that's easily below 200g and packs to small enough to fit in my jeans pocket with wallet and keys. A small bulge in the pocket because if the wallet and vest but you get my point, it's very very light and packable. If that's a problem you're a real sight weeny. Also, where backpacking weight is an issue, cycling weight isn't as much of an issue IMHO. You hear very experienced cyclists in here and elsewhere say that a lot.

Helmet is personal preference though. I suspect that if you had lights and a hiviz vest on while walking up the ramp helmet issues would not present itself.

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Audax67
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby Audax67 » 18 Jun 2019, 1:48pm

It's not just the ferries.

Image

Pretty striking hi-viz too.
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mjr
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby mjr » 18 Jun 2019, 1:50pm

Nice Notre Dame pic. Did you see the trouble some had keeping the helmets on when bowing? The risk assessment probably should have caught that one and recommended use of chinstraps.

Tangled Metal wrote:I have a hiviz at work that's easily below 200g and packs to small enough to fit in my jeans pocket with wallet and keys. A small bulge in the pocket because if the wallet and vest but you get my point, it's very very light and packable. If that's a problem you're a real sight weeny.

Or maybe you don't like short-life plastics. There's a high-profile prime-time series on BBC One at the moment imploring people to reduce how many short-life plastics we use, yet here's yet another company insisting on more of it for no good reason. Their port workers may wear it, but they're in much more hazardous non-public areas around the port for much longer periods of time - as I think someone's already pointed out, if the public areas require PPE, then something's gone badly wrong.

Anyway, what's your work hi-viz called, how much does it cost and how many washes does it last?

Tangled Metal wrote:Helmet is personal preference though. I suspect that if you had lights and a hiviz vest on while walking up the ramp helmet issues would not present itself.

I suspect none of it would be a problem 99+% of the time, but if this sort of nonsense gets into the travel documents unchallenged, it only takes one jobsworth to cause problems at any random point in the future by denying travel to any non-conformant cyclists.
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Bez
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby Bez » 18 Jun 2019, 2:34pm

Tangled Metal wrote:If that's a problem you're a real sight weeny. Also, where backpacking weight is an issue, cycling weight isn't as much of an issue IMHO.


It's not weight, it's faff. It's another thing to buy for no good reason beyond ticking a box, another thing to remember to pack, another thing getting in the way of the stuff I actually want to access in a bag, and so on. At the end of the day I'm a perfectly visible human being, and if some dipstick's going to drive into me in the queue for the ferry it's because they're not looking, not because I'm not wearing a yellow tabard.

Airports can manage just fine with passengers walking across an apron to an aircraft without getting run over by baggage trucks and so on… no need to bring a vest and a helmet for your flight. But walking's what normal people do, so it's safe. Cycling is for terrifying weirdos :)

Tangled Metal wrote:Helmet is personal preference though. I suspect that if you had lights and a hiviz vest on while walking up the ramp helmet issues would not present itself.


Well, as I've said above, I've travelled on the ferries many times with only lights, and issues haven't presented themselves anyway. So, given that the status quo isn't actually bothering me, it's all a bit of a storm in a teacup even from my anti hi-vis/helmet viewpoint :)

mattheus
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby mattheus » 18 Jun 2019, 3:01pm

HobbesOnTour wrote:It's possible the helmet/HiViz/Light is a rule of the Port operator. Whatever your thoughts on HiViz & Helmets they are entitled to make their own rules.

Their own rules? No matter how absurd?

landsurfer
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby landsurfer » 18 Jun 2019, 3:03pm

mattheus wrote:
HobbesOnTour wrote:It's possible the helmet/HiViz/Light is a rule of the Port operator. Whatever your thoughts on HiViz & Helmets they are entitled to make their own rules.

Their own rules? No matter how absurd?


Yes its their port ... you don't have to use it
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slowster
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby slowster » 18 Jun 2019, 3:30pm

landsurfer wrote:Yes its their port ... you don't have to use it

Indeed. By the same token, it's their risk assessment, and you might decide not to rely on it.

Whatever their risk assessment, I think I would be doing my own, and if using the terminal roads meant sharing them with high volumes of artics, other commercial vehicles and car drivers, many of whom are likely to be unfamiliar with the terminal and consequently more distracted than normal from what's in the road in front of them by the need to navigate and read signage, then I think my risk assessment would be to say stuff the magic hat and any hi-viz, and either walk or ride on the pavement. If it's a large port, the distances will probably mean that there are few pedestrians walking the whole way into the port so the pavement is likely to be pretty clear, and if it's a small port I would rather live with a short walk than die with a plastic hat.
Last edited by slowster on 18 Jun 2019, 3:37pm, edited 2 times in total.

bretonbikes
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby bretonbikes » 18 Jun 2019, 4:05pm

OK now here it is from the Horse's mouth and much as I feared...

Hi Geoff,

Steve has confirmed that it is a requirement by our insurers and something we have to bring to cyclists’ attention. They can choose to ignore it but if they have an accident in the port/going on and off the ship without a helmet on and are injured, any claim will be affected.

Regards,


So it isn't a 'please' it's 'compulsory' unless you are prepared to give up rights to full insurance cover. Not at all clear from the text of that .pdf.