Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

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

Postby mjr » 17 Jun 2019, 5:41pm

robgul wrote:The key word in the original post is "Please .... " - being a request, not an order - nowhere does it say that it's obligatory for hi-viz, helmets and lights - so looks like another mountain being made out of a mole-hill post :?:

It may say "please" but it says "ensure" so it seems more of a polite instruction and the Brittany Ferries terms say that you must "follow any instructions given to you on your ticket and other travel documentation". It's also rather odious that this also seems to be sent selectively by email as travel documentation after booking, rather than being published.

Thanks to bretonbikes for taking this up. Hopefully it is just some foolish helmet+hi-vis zealot working for BF acting off their bat and they can be put back in their metal box ASAP.

bretonbikes wrote:It is the law in France to have hi-viz in cars - so I have no problem with BF wanting this. It is the law (in certain circumstances) to wear hi viz in France and the law to have working lights. All that I have no problem with (though of course you will not see lights on 95% of French bikes...).

Forced hi-viz is an excellent reason not to cycle in France any more :( Do BF require car passengers to wear hi-viz while crossing the port? Or the whole car?
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby bretonbikes » 17 Jun 2019, 5:59pm

mjr wrote:
robgul wrote:The key word in the original post is "Please .... " - being a request, not an order - nowhere does it say that it's obligatory for hi-viz, helmets and lights - so looks like another mountain being made out of a mole-hill post :?:

It may say "please" but it says "ensure" so it seems more of a polite instruction and the Brittany Ferries terms say that you must "follow any instructions given to you on your ticket and other travel documentation". It's also rather odious that this also seems to be sent selectively by email as travel documentation after booking, rather than being published.

Thanks to bretonbikes for taking this up. Hopefully it is just some foolish helmet+hi-vis zealot working for BF acting off their bat and they can be put back in their metal box ASAP.

bretonbikes wrote:It is the law in France to have hi-viz in cars - so I have no problem with BF wanting this. It is the law (in certain circumstances) to wear hi viz in France and the law to have working lights. All that I have no problem with (though of course you will not see lights on 95% of French bikes...).

Forced hi-viz is an excellent reason not to cycle in France any more :( Do BF require car passengers to wear hi-viz while crossing the port? Or the whole car?


Just to clarify that last post - the law here is that you need hi-viz when visibility is reduced in built up areas. It's one of those laws that means anything to anybody so don't worry, pottering around France without Hi-viz is still perfectly legal and the police seem to be ignoring the law in the rare cases where it might actually be applied (though here again you have to be aware of responsibility for accidents issues). And of course the law is an ass as usual as the one time hi-viz really does work is in bright sunshine going in and out of the shadows of trees;-)
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

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

Postby Mike Sales » 17 Jun 2019, 6:00pm

Helmets, I think, are not mandated in France. It would be annoying to have to buy one merely for the boat trip. It might put you off using that company's ferries.

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

Postby bretonbikes » 17 Jun 2019, 6:05pm

robgul wrote:
bretonbikes wrote:You have to be VERY careful about this sort of thing.

If you had an accident and were seriously injured - perhaps by the transfer bus - and you weren't wearing a helmet although you were told (I don't think 'please' removes the implied obligation one iota) - BF would have a very strong case for making you partially responsible.

I have contacted the BF office and they have told me that they 'know nothing about it' so this is quite possibly a case of someone writing some minor advice above the heads of the company. However if so the legal implications still stand.

I will let you know how this develops with BF



NOT contacting BF may have been the better option to reduce the possible can of worms becoming an issue that then changes the (current) status quo . . .

Rob


Personally I think ignoring this in the hope it'll go away isn't an option;-) If you are injured and they told you to wear a helmet you are already partially liable. The can of worms has already changed the status quo and was opened by the original .pdf.

As I said I am on the case and will get the information from the horse's mouth - they are already obviously concerned as they replied in 15 minutes... I've now sent a copy of the offending .pdf and no doubt they will get back with clarification and hopefully we'll be able to get on with having fun on ourbikes...
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

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

Postby bretonbikes » 17 Jun 2019, 6:05pm

Mike Sales wrote:Helmets, I think, are not mandated in France. It would be annoying to have to buy one merely for the boat trip. It might put you off using that company's ferries.


Helmets are only mandatory for under 14's
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

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

Postby LittleGreyCat » 17 Jun 2019, 6:38pm

In UK ports workers on foot have to wear high viz jackets and safety helmets.
Perhaps that got carried across?

No reason that they can't provide a high viz jacket and a white plastic safety helmet for the walk from the terminal to the ferry.
Tourist attractions often provide safety helmets when there is a (perceived) risk of head injury.

I assume that the risk is higher for cyclists because they are pushing their cycles up the ramp alongside lorries and cars, whereas normal(!) foot passengers go via a separate gangway.

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

Postby tatanab » 17 Jun 2019, 6:46pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:I assume that the risk is higher for cyclists because they are pushing their cycles up the ramp alongside lorries and cars, whereas normal(!) foot passengers go via a separate gangway.
You are only required to push on the metal ramp onto the ferry and on the ferry deck. The metal ramp has slots between panels, so it makes sense. You are not required to push on the tarmacked permanent ramp, and I've never seen anybody doing that. When boarding, pedal and motor cycles tend to be loaded before cars etc. Unloading, you fit in where you can. I have used Brittany Ferries many many times and never had a problem, except when I tried to ride on the car deck which I was quickly told is forbidden - health and safety don't you know.

This subject came up last year, or maybe the year before.

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

Postby Tangled Metal » 17 Jun 2019, 9:17pm

It says lights if dark, am I correct? Isn't it the law to use lights on bikes on the dark in France?

We never used helmets last year in Brittany. Actually our then 5 year old son often had his helmet tied to the bike rack.

Hi viz? Interesting how on the docks and most industrial locations wear hi viz. Yet cyclists in those locations don't want to. Are the workers being oppressed or is there some advantage to dockworkers wearing hiviz?

What classes as cyclists hiviz for ferry purposes? Yellow and retro-reflective or simply with retro-reflective on normal cycling clothing? If the latter would you have any problem with it?

Helmets? Well kids have to wear them in France so it's just adult helmet use that's bugging people. Last year not many wore helmets among the cyclists taking the same ferry to and from Roscoff as us. We certainly didn't.

We're looking at possibly Normandy, Belgium or Holland round to Belgium this year. I doubt we'll have helmets or if we do they'll get very little use. Possibly our new 6.5 year old son might be forced to wear one near towns or ferries.

Liability? Is France one of those countries with presumed liability for motor vehicles hitting cars? Would that apply on the docks waiting and going on?

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.

If breton bikes gets a clarification and finds out helmet use isn't enforced you'll be happy. Is it just helmets or hiviz and lights at night? A £3 work vest weighs nothing and lights i expect you own and use at night anyway.

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

Postby bretonbikes » 17 Jun 2019, 9:48pm

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

Postby Ivor Tingting » 17 Jun 2019, 10:06pm

robgul wrote:
bretonbikes wrote:You have to be VERY careful about this sort of thing.

If you had an accident and were seriously injured - perhaps by the transfer bus - and you weren't wearing a helmet although you were told (I don't think 'please' removes the implied obligation one iota) - BF would have a very strong case for making you partially responsible.

I have contacted the BF office and they have told me that they 'know nothing about it' so this is quite possibly a case of someone writing some minor advice above the heads of the company. However if so the legal implications still stand.

I will let you know how this develops with BF



NOT contacting BF may have been the better option to reduce the possible can of worms becoming an issue that then changes the (current) status quo . . .

Rob


^^^^^ Wot he said.
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

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

Postby Ivor Tingting » 17 Jun 2019, 10:15pm

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.


Sorry but I don't share your indignation at being an oppressed cyclist because of these regulations. I think they are common sense and hardly onerous to comply with come on! You might find that any travel insurance you might have requires you to wear a helmet when cycle touring. How do you propose fighting that? I just don't see the problems you seem to do. There are a lot of bad things happening in the world. This is not one of them. You need to get some perspective.
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

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

Postby Tangled Metal » 17 Jun 2019, 10:21pm

I don't remember pedestrians in among motorised transport on the dockside in Plymouth last year. Whereas I felt very exposed the way we got brought forward then stopped then a bit further then stopped just before the ramp while various vehicles snuck past. Newcastle had separated pedestrians.

But despite that the dock personnel ask wore hiviz. 'elf' n safety gone mad right? I wear hiviz at work in office staff who does go into a manufacturing area and occasionally into the yard with trucks. So does everyone at work. We're not all in and among vehicles like the dock personnel though. It's probably why I see no issue with carrying a cheap hiviz vest just for port use. I don't personally think the exception exception * is something to get worked up over.

*By this I mean the argument something is bad because another sub group doesn't have the same requirements.

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

Postby mjr » 17 Jun 2019, 10:27pm

Ivor Tingting wrote:I think they are common sense and hardly onerous to comply with come on!

Would you object to having to bag your bike during the journey? It's just common sense and hardly onerous to comply with, after all.

You might find that any travel insurance you might have requires you to wear a helmet when cycle touring. How do you propose fighting that?

Buy more evidence-based insurance instead, preferably telling the helmet zealots why they lost your custom. It doesn't cramp one's trip as much as one of the dozen ferry links requiring special clothes and only telling you after you booked.
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Re: Brittany Ferries Now Require Helmet, High Vis and Lights

Postby ossie » 17 Jun 2019, 10:35pm

Poole and Cherbourg are big old ramps for Brittany Ferries. You don't see pedestrians walking up, down or across these routes well at least I never have over the last decade. They have separate access.

When you come off a ferry you are in the traffic flow at all terminals in every ferry port so I get the 'advice' for lights at night but they cant enforce it. The high viz / helmet stuff is nonsense.

If they actually risk assess cycling access / departure points as needing high viz and helmets they need to change their access / departure points.

I think the problem is that some cyclists do come off their bikes on these ramps and it can be daunting for some when faced with them. There's usually a rush or some kind of pressure to disembark. Additionally often traffic is halted on the embarking process to let bikes on, you can sometimes sense the frustration in deck crew during this process.
Last edited by ossie on 18 Jun 2019, 9:26am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Tangled Metal » 17 Jun 2019, 10:40pm

Hardly a chore neither. Google cycle store or hardware store. Any local ones to the ferries would know the situation and chances are you'd find a cheap set of items to comply. Helmet is the hardest to sort out but iirc most French super or hyper marches stock cycling kit very cheaply if you're caught out a few hours out from a ferry port I bet you'd get what you need.

Annoying but not as hard as finding an insurance provider offering something the mainstream insurances don't offer I reckon. Generally most that give cycle touring cover are probably going to insist on similar requirements.