Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

dave holladay
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Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby dave holladay » 26 Sep 2009, 2:24pm

I was pondering the other day about the mis-use of Diagram 966 (Cyclists Dismount) with some officers attempting and maybe succeeding in fining or prosecuting on the strength of an advisory sign placed without a traffic regulation order, and so I posted a call to see the extent to which cycling is being driven from all purpose roads.

On this thread I've started to list some of the places where 966 is wrongly used, and where it duplicates the message which is provided, or can be delivered by a warning sign or a regulatory sign both of which provide a clearer and precise message

Wareham Level Crossing - the crossing is provided by a permissive licence for foot traffic and I believe that the railway by-law banning cycling applies - but no notices appear to this effect at present - only diagram 966 with signs positively inviting you to ride across along the posted cycle route, and directly adjacent to the 966

Shoreham Yacht Club - on NCN2 - 966 signs and paper notices stuck beneth threatening a £30 fine enforced by PCSOs who have been seen there. It would be bizarre to have a traffic order or by-law banning cycling on a main cycle route

Aiskew LC - 966 signs (masked by vegetation and main lights for warning of trains) Some have implied that the 966 applies to the carriageway others suggest it applies to the footway (hardly a decent footway for walking on.

Harlow - the famous forest of 966 signs could be replaced by a warning shriek triangle and a supplementary plate "vehicles emerging from driveways for x00 metres"

"Blind corner" "Blind Summit" and "Steep Hill" can all be given as warnings with advice that could include "Dismount Adviseable" or "Reduce Speed"

Perhaps the can can be made for complete abolition of the use of 966 and use of 'normal signs instead

Lets see what rolls up (and does not dismount)

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Cunobelin
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Re: Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby Cunobelin » 26 Sep 2009, 3:02pm

3.6.1
The CYCLISTS DISMOUNT sign

The CYCLISTS DISMOUNT sign to diagram 966 is another over­used sign. On a well designed cycle facility, it is very rarely appropriate. The sign is possibly the least favoured among cyclists – each time it is used, it represents a discontinuity in the journey, which is highly disruptive.

3.6.2 In general, the sign should only be used in relatively rare situations where it would be unsafe or impracticable for a cyclist to continue riding.
3.6.3 If it looks as if the sign might be needed, practitioners should first check to see whether the scheme design could not first be modified to make its use unnecessary. In general, the sign should not be used where a cycle track joins a carriageway directly.
3.6.4 Where the sign’s use appears unavoidable, practitioners should be able to defend their decision and explain why it cannot be avoided by design.


Local Transport Note 2/08
Cycle Infrastructure Design

You could take up the above"challenge" from the DfT and ask for the justification under section 3.6.4

thirdcrank
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Re: Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby thirdcrank » 26 Sep 2009, 3:36pm

IMO this sign is an admission by the person responsible that they are utterly incompetent. Nothing more, nothing less. When I first started as a CRN rep in Leeds I managed to have a fair few removed by the cycling officer, but the motor vehicle officers were pretty adept at installing more elsewhere.

As far as makeshift supplementary signs threatening "enforcement" of some non-existant offence it seems to me that the situation is quite clear:

Section 64 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, defines a traffic sign and requires that all traffic signs should conform with the regulations. (Which are set out in minute detail in the same Act.)

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/ ... -pb1-l1g79

Section 69 of the same Act, empowers the traffic authority to require any unauthorised signs to be removed and to carry that out themselves (at the person responsible's expense) if they fail to comply. And to round it off nicely, if the traffic authority drags its collective feet, the Secretary of State can direct them to act.

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/ ... -pb1-l1g84

I thinks it's also worth mentioning that just because somebody with a shiny neb on their hat says that this or that is the law, it does not always make it so. If somebody is reported for summons for a non-existant offence, the system ought to ensure it goes nowhere because a summons cannot easily be issued for a completely non-existant offence (can happen though.) OTOH, if somebody receives a ticket and pays it without question, there is no real check to ensure it was correctly issued.

I think we are likely to see more cases where there is an official looking sign saying 'No cycling' or whatever, and a PCSO will work backwards from that assuming that if there is a sign, it must be a statement of the law. For anybody who thinks they may be in that position, it's important not to argue or become abusive but to accept the ticket then do some swift research about the law. It is important to act quickly because otherwise the enforcement procedure clanks on to the next phase.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby Cunobelin » 26 Sep 2009, 5:08pm

An one remember this from the Warrington Cycle Campaign's website

I believe it was in Harlow and has now been removed

Image

cjchambers
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Re: Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby cjchambers » 26 Sep 2009, 5:19pm

My personal pet hate with these signs are those which appear at the end of a cycle track or shared path. It's almost like saying "this is as far as you can cycle - walk and push or turn back" when in fact what they really mean is "rejoin the main carriageway if you wish to proceed". Although I suppose that rather depends on whether the person designing the facility wants to encourage people to cycle on the road!

I'm still waiting for 'Motorists Disembark' signs to appear, whereupon drivers and their passengers would get out and push their vehicles to negotiate a hazard. I know it's not quite a fair comparison given the relative weights stc, but I think it's safe to say that if there was something so hazardous to motorists that such extreme caution was required, it would never be allowed. Although I'm of the opinion that <i>most</i> current cycle facilities are more hazardous than the alternative roads, I don't think I've ever come across an obstacle so dangerous it couldn't be negotiated normally.

Sign 996 is a sign of failure!

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Mick F
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Re: Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby Mick F » 26 Sep 2009, 5:30pm

What gets me, is that when you see "Cyclists Dismount", you never see "Cyclists Remount"!

There's a foot-bridge over the A38 Parkway at Manadon, Plymouth. I always cycle round the roundabout over the A38, but once I decided to follow the cycle route over the foot-bridge. As you enter the bridge, there's a Dismount sign - I paid little attention to it and carried on over the bridge - but I noticed that at the other end, there's nothing to tell you that the restriction is ended.

I rarely, if ever, use cycle facilities, but since then, I've paid attention to the signs. There's never any indication that the restriction is over!
Mick F. Cornwall

dave holladay
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Re: Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby dave holladay » 26 Sep 2009, 6:01pm

The use of Cyclists Dismount signs is not permitted on the carriageway - if you think it through its a nonsequiteur - the carriageway has to be fit for the purpose of all traffic - including riding a cycle, so you cannot put up a Cyclists Dismount sign.

So that leaves the footway where cycling has been permitted and a footpath which is adopted as a cycle path (or in technical terms a road with motor vehicles excluded).

Should we campaign to get 966 completely eliminated from the road signs manual?

Dare I suggest a No 10 petition?

The sign 966 Cyclists Dismount is often used where a hazard exists and in this case the message is better delivered by using a warning sign and appropriate supplementary plate. Alternatively it is used in addition to or in place of signs which ban cycling in particular places, generally duplicating the signs with statutory power or used illegally to enforce a cycling ban with no legally recognised traffic order. In almost every case the sign is superfluous and easily replaced with signs giving a clearer message - we wish to see this sign deleted from the National Road Signs Manual.

Pete Owens
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Re: Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby Pete Owens » 26 Sep 2009, 9:40pm

dave holladay wrote:The use of Cyclists Dismount signs is not permitted on the carriageway

Really? someone ought to tell Cambridgeshire county council. see:
http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.co.u ... ly2007.htm
Should we campaign to get 966 completely eliminated from the road signs manual?

Actually I am quite a fan of the cyclists dismount sign.
It has no legal significance in terms of what cyclists can and cannot do - it merely informs us that the "facility" is unfit for it's intended pupose, and that the engineer is honest enough to put a big sign up telling us all of his complete incompetance. Simply removing the sign does nothing to address the problem that made it nescessary in the first place.

Whenever I try to persuade a highwayman that a cycle path is rubbish, the dismount signs provide powerful supporting evidence.

thirdcrank
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Re: Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby thirdcrank » 27 Sep 2009, 12:19am

One of my first successful bits of campaigning, in 1995, before I even had email never mind the internet, was a folder of photographs with some pithy commets, entitled "CYCLISTS DISMOUNT" It worked, in that the signs in the pics came down quite quickly, but as I've said above, others sprang up elsewhere.

I cannot envisage how anybody would even start to set out a justification for using these signs on a road. If they are creating some sort of off-road "facility" it hardly facilitates anything if it creates a conflict with pedestrians. If they want to prohibit cycling they should prohibit it. Then they would have the more obviously absurd situation of a cycle route where there was no cycling.

In Leeds at least, the absurdity is unbounded. I've mentioned before that an officially suggested cycle route to make way for the ill-fated Supertram would have involved three flights of steps with a total of 23. It shows their complete indifference to providing for cyclists. IMO

jochta
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Re: Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby jochta » 27 Sep 2009, 12:31am

Pete Owens wrote:
dave holladay wrote:The use of Cyclists Dismount signs is not permitted on the carriageway

Really? someone ought to tell Cambridgeshire county council. see:
http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.co.u ... ly2007.htm


Isn't the warning triangle also in error in that photo?

Diagram 950 - Cycle route ahead

Clearly there isn't a cycle route ahead of the sign as it has just ended.

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paulah
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Re: Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby paulah » 27 Sep 2009, 9:31am

jochta wrote:Isn't the warning triangle also in error in that photo?

Diagram 950 - Cycle route ahead

Clearly there isn't a cycle route ahead of the sign as it has just ended.


The warning triangle's there to warn motorists of cyclists who have left the safety of an on-road cycle lane with all its magical powers of protection, failed to obey the dismount sign and are now cycling along the road, instead of safely pushing their bike along the road.
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mark_w
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Re: Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby mark_w » 27 Sep 2009, 9:48am

I get the feeling from looking at these photos (and others) that the road planners now just don't go out and look at the location, but plan everything via software on their PC which automatically adds what it thinks are the correct signs for the location, and as such pre-orders the signs for the roads without any checking or proper location planning beforehand. The 'lazy' option, so to speak.

I can't think of any other sane reason why it would be done in such a dumb way. Unless the planners were purposely being obstructive? Either that or do they appear between January and March each year? In which case it could be the planning department spending their budget just for the sake of it?
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thirdcrank
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Re: Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby thirdcrank » 27 Sep 2009, 10:30am

There is a scheme called Cycle Audit and Review. The original idea was that it would apply to all road schemes, since the govt., claimed to be keen on a change of transport mode on a big scale and to do that the whole network would have to be cycle friendly. The big misters who provide for motor traffic paid no attention to this (after all it only referred to push-bikes) and then they realised at the last minute that it meant they would have to do something. Shock horror. They pressured the govt into emasculating the scheme so it only referred to stuff intended for cyclists i.e. cycling facilities. And they cannot even manage to achieve that.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/tpm/tal ... tandreview

On a dafter note, this has reminded me that when I was naive enough to believe that I could make a difference though campaigning, and I had set myself a target of getting all these signs removed, I had the idea of naming my house "Cyclists Dismount." I was going to buy a redundant sign from the council, but things don't work like that. :roll:

jochta
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Re: Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby jochta » 27 Sep 2009, 11:16am

I don't think all uses of the Cyclists Dismount sign are as dumb as some of the examples here. Near me there is a wide decent (shared use) cycle path alongside an A-road. In a small village there is a staggered junction controlled by traffic lights, a primary school, a bus stop layby and a minor road entering into the junction. The cycle path switches from the south side of the road to the north at the junction. The path is used extensively by local cyclists and by children from neighbouring villages cycling to the school.

Just before the gate to the school the path narrows and the cycle path ends with a cyclists dismount sign, the path is a gentle downhill to this point. The cyclists are expected to dismount and push their bikes past the school gate (so as to avoid collisions with children), past the bus stop (to avoid collisions with waiting passengers) to the pedestrian crossing at the traffic lights. Cross using the crossing and push over the minor road and another pedestrian crossing over the B-road entering the traffic lights. The cycle path then recommences (with a cyclists dismount sign facing the other way of course).

It sounds complicated but the total distance to push is only about 100-200m including the two crossings. For children the path is incredibly useful as the road is a very fast and busy A-road. If I'm cycling this way I usually use the path as it's in good condition and preferably to the road here. The alternative would be to remove the bus stop layby, close the entrance to the school (cyclists whizzing past the gate at 20mph would be rather dangerous for the small children leaving and entering the school). Redesign the junction which would need to take land from the school, a pub and probably a few other properties. Unfortunately when they were building the village how ever many hundreds of years ago they weren't thinking about A-roads and shared-use cycling facilities.

The way it has been done is IMO a sensible compromise and is not too much of an inconvenience for the cyclist. There's nothing stopping the cyclist from using the road and negotiating the junction as normal.

Without the cyclists dismount signs, how else could this be signed?

John

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Mick F
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Re: Elimination of Diagram 966 signs - and their abuse

Postby Mick F » 27 Sep 2009, 11:26am

jochta wrote:Without the cyclists dismount signs, how else could this be signed?
"Cyclists - get back on the road where you belong!" :wink:
Mick F. Cornwall