Road closed to cyclists.

Andy Tallis

Road closed to cyclists.

Postby Andy Tallis » 8 Jan 2006, 5:22pm

Cycling up to university in Bangor I travelled through Abergavenny on Friday night before staying in Brecon youth hostel. This would mean approaching on the B4598 then about 0.5m on the A465 beofore turning off onto a B road that runs alongside it from Llanfoist to Gofilon. On arrival I found the road closed to cyclists and a compulsory diversion took me south on the A40 then back north on the B4269 to Llanfoist - adding about 4m in the place of 0.5m. Not too bad for me but an irritation and about 15min increase in journey time. This was also in place when I travelled through Abergavenny in September.

I found out from a local that the diversion is likely to be in place for a good long time as the road is having the number of lanes increased. Assuming that the reson for the diversion is to avoid a cyclists delaying the flow of traffic through the roadworks (I find it hard to think of a genuine safety reason otherwise) this strikes me as somewhat unfair: During expensive modifications to a road to make it better for drivers cyclists suffer a 3-3.5m diversion (admittedly well signed) to avoid "holding up" this traffic for about 0.5m. Are they really entitled to keep us off an A road? A bicycle is a vehicle under the road traffic act.

Andy :-)

gar

Re:Road closed to cyclists.

Postby gar » 8 Jan 2006, 6:47pm

You might have been able to get off and walk at the crucial bit, even carry it. That's my luggage Sir. I'm walking.

zeb

Re:Road closed to cyclists.

Postby zeb » 8 Jan 2006, 7:48pm

Andy

I always take road signs and markings to be advisory. i.e. Why be in an accident when you can just disobey what all the signage is telling you.

Having said that all I know is they have to go to extreme lengths to stop a pedestrian using a road. I've walked on roads through building sites only to find a 20 foot fence and then decide to take my shopping the long way round.

As to cycling all I can say is that I would probably have cycled through and then argued if necessary.

Zeb

Andy Tallis

Re:Road closed to cyclists.

Postby Andy Tallis » 8 Jan 2006, 8:17pm

I was tempted to cycle through and prepare a spiel of cyclists rights for anyone who dared challenge me, but I was scared of getting told off and unfortunately those who'd challenge you are likely to have metal boxes with which to do so.

Pedalling Pete

Re:Road closed to cyclists.

Postby Pedalling Pete » 9 Jan 2006, 7:12am

To close a road requires the prior publication of the orders, and comments can be made. This process is flawed and out of date. There may be a specific agreement for a local Highways Authority to notify the local CTC, or HQ. But the local CTC elected officers may not always have the time or skills to properly object, if necessary with a campaign involving local media. If the road is a trunk road, the government Highways Agengy tend to ignore local groups in consultations.

In any case the procedures date back to the first half of the last century: Folk didn't travel far from home, so the notice could be published in the local paper, and it would get talked about in the local pub!

Nowadays we all travel across county borders almost daily. Consequently we are not made aware of such closures outside our local communities; but we are affected by those closures.

What is needed is an internet based system to show any proposed and planned closures on a map. This could allow anyone with an interest to see if they might be affected, and to respond.

At present the nearest we have is the Government's Highways Agency website

www.highways.gov.uk/traffic/traffic.aspx

If you select your area on the map, there is a box to tick to see "Future events and Works".

Something along similar lines is needed to allow us to be made aware at the earliest stages of any planned closures and diversions on the general road network, not just the major arteries.

On a recent clubrun the British Waterways folk had a jobsworth from a security firm sitting in his van on a bridge stopping anyone, including cyclists, from passing his van to get over the canal. He threatened to call the Police if we challenged his authority. The warning signs back down the road were not correctly positioned, but of course "That's not my job, mate"!

In the end such issues can only be dealt with if someone has the time and energy to write letters to elected councillors if in your area, or to your MP if another area, and create a stink sufficient for the media to raise the issues. Unfortunately most people are too realistic to believe the media have any interest in cyclists' problems.

gar

Re:Road closed to cyclists.

Postby gar » 9 Jan 2006, 7:55am

On a recent clubrun the British Waterways folk had a jobsworth from a security firm sitting in his van on a bridge stopping anyone, including cyclists, from passing his van to get over the canal. He threatened to call the Police if we challenged his authority.

Call bluff, although we had a similar round here with the Pylon constructors. Some of the wiring is valuable/pricy, and the security firm was very officious. I really do not need to know that the wiring is valuable.

Tony Smith

Re:Road closed to cyclists.

Postby Tony Smith » 9 Jan 2006, 1:45pm

Andy, I live near here on the B4598 you mention. I've never cycled that stretch of A465, though I do go round the interchange at the A40 junction every weekday. If going west I'll usually either take the route through llanellen-llanfoist or go through the town centre. I'm guessing you'll be heading back down again some time (to somewhere near Salisbury?) so would suggest you try following the B roads from Gilwern to Llanellen. At the junction with the A4042 you'll see a single track road opposite you, slightly to the right. Follow this up over Llanfair Cross and down to the Chain Bridge where you join the B4598 to continue your way to Usk. Yes, it involves a short steep hill climb but cuts off a couple of miles so probably compensates.