Bedford turbo roundabout - it is done

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PaulCumbria
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Bedford turbo roundabout - it is done

Postby PaulCumbria » 18 Feb 2014, 7:46pm

Anyone getting alarmed by the decision to spend £300k of cycle safety budget on a roundabout that generates higher vehicle speeds, higher throughput of vehicles, and is only used in the Netherlands when a high quality separated cycle facility is provided?

In this instance it appears cyclists will be expected either to take the lane on a roundabout specifically intended (in the Netherlands) to exclude cyclists entirely, or resort to a shared pedestrian route complete with Zebra crossings.

The balls needed to use the roundabout will have to be truly enormous, while the zebras will effectively require cyclists to repeatedly dismount.

And all this using cycle safety money!

More here:
http://departmentfortransport.wordpress ... mment-4976
Last edited by PaulCumbria on 12 Feb 2015, 5:24pm, edited 7 times in total.

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gaz
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Re: Bedford turbo roundabout

Postby gaz » 18 Feb 2014, 9:07pm

Point of information.

At its simplest level a Zebra crossing is a section of carriageway where all vehicles have to cede priority to pedestrians. Cyclists can legally ride across Zebra crossings, pavement to pavement and there is no need to dismount at either side if the relevant paths are also designated for shared use.

However motorists do not have to cede priority to cyclists who chose to use a Zebra crossing in this manner, only pedestrians. Even if they don't know that before the accident happens their lawyers will.

Bedford Council seem to understand the point as their proposed signage sums the situation up very well.

BTW, Tfl's shared Zebra study: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/ ... -study.pdf
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PaulCumbria
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Re: Bedford turbo roundabout

Postby PaulCumbria » 18 Feb 2014, 9:38pm

That's why I said design would 'effectively' require cyclists to dismount repeatedly. In theory you can cycle across the zebras, but you'll be frowned on by pedestrians, disapproved of by the Highway Code, and driven at by fast-moving traffic. If you're involved in any collision, YOU'LL be seen as comprehensively at fault.

Does a design decision that presents such a scenario as "Go Dutch" cycle safety best practice, and using a substantial chunk of cycle safety funding, not alarm you, Gaz?

Bicycler
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Re: Bedford turbo roundabout

Postby Bicycler » 19 Feb 2014, 3:50am

Agree entirely. We can't have a junction which by design necessitates disobeying the Highway Code.

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Re: Bedford turbo roundabout

Postby SA_SA_SA » 19 Feb 2014, 12:46pm

I quite liked the idea of tiger crossings: I presume they are abandoned.

Can a driver really see a cyclist on zebra / tiger, and although able to stop just as for a pedestrian, argue they thought the cyclist shouldn't be there and therefore deliberately ran them down?


Surely a stop sign (red octagon) for cyclists approaching the crossing as crossing users and priority to cyclist once on the crossing would have solved that?

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Re: Bedford turbo roundabout

Postby AlaninWales » 19 Feb 2014, 1:25pm

SA_SA_SA wrote:Can a driver really see a cyclist on zebra / tiger, and although able to stop just as for a pedestrian, argue they thought the cyclist shouldn't be there and therefore deliberately ran them down?

Back in the Dark Ages, I was cycling home from school with a mate, we came through the park to a zebra crossing. Me leaning on the post, mate beside me, clear road. Pedestrian started crossing from the other side, I set off, my mate riding somewhere behind me; as I reached the other side there was an almighty bang, I turned to see mate flying through the air and the shocked face of the pedestrian who was on the crossing behind him. Car had come around the corner at speed (police estimated >50 in a 30mph area, from the skid marks he made trying to stop).

Case went to court. Because we were cycling on the crossing, we 'obviously' hadn't stopped and had ridden out directly in front of the car (said the driver). Despite the adult pedestrian witnesses who had set off onto the crossing before (towards) and after (behind) us who cooberated our claim that we had stopped and were on the crossing at the same time my mate was hit, the court decided that - us having ridden across, it was all my mate's fault. No punishment for the fact that police estimated his speed as >20mph above the limit, no compensation for injuries (or the bike).

So yes that argument has been made and held.

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Re: Bedford turbo roundabout

Postby Bicycler » 19 Feb 2014, 2:01pm

SA_SA_SA wrote:Can a driver really see a cyclist on zebra / tiger, and although able to stop just as for a pedestrian, argue they thought the cyclist shouldn't be there and therefore deliberately ran them down?
Surely a stop sign (red octagon) for cyclists approaching the crossing as crossing users and priority to cyclist once on the crossing would have solved that?

Once you're on to people deliberately running down or threatening people there's no defence. No priority on the road is absolute and priority should be ceded rather than cause a collision. The HC includes words to that effect. A cyclist crossing a zebra is in the same situation as a cyclist crossing a street anywhere else; should give way to the road traffic but should not be mown down if they don't. Far more likely than a provable act of driving at a cyclist is an inattentive motorist who hits a cyclist on a crossing like in Alan's case. Depending on the claims made by the motorist it may or may not make a difference to a 'careless driving' prosecution but it would almost certainly class as 'contributory negligence' if the cyclist sought compensation.

A STOP sign means stop and give way so it wouldn't denote any additional priority once in the carriageway. Though I think that a 'give way' sign (a STOP would be unnecessary at quiet times) on the cycle path would be a good idea if the roundabout is installed. There is a danger when connecting two cycle paths that some cyclists may think that this gives them priority and this could cause a collision.

One problem with cyclists having priority on zebra crossings (I take it that is a 'tiger crossing'?) would be the speed and visibility of approaching cyclists. Pedestrians travel at walking pace, are easy to spot next to the crossing and even then only have priority once actually on the crossing, so are expected to wait for the traffic to stop. Problems aplenty could be caused by cyclists proceeding at speed over crossings at junctions where they have priority so maybe some kind of "cyclists wait for traffic to stop before crossing" sign could be useful.
Last edited by Bicycler on 19 Feb 2014, 2:05pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bedford turbo roundabout

Postby mjr » 19 Feb 2014, 2:02pm

PaulCumbria wrote:Anyone getting alarmed by the decision to spend £300k of cycle safety budget on a roundabout that generates higher vehicle speeds, higher throughput of vehicles, and is only used in the Netherlands when a high quality separated cycle facility is provided? [...] More here:
http://departmentfortransport.wordpress ... f-cretins/

Concerned, but not alarmed because I've seen similar things happen before (Cambridge Catholic Church, Weston Package (North Somerset), King's Lynn Southgates, ...).

I see that Sustrans point to people from CTC, Cycle Nation, British Cycling and Sustrans for approving use of cycle safety funds. I'm a member of a CN group so I've asked CN about that and I hope that CTC officers will hear about it because of CN-CTC collaboration, but if any CTC members can ask directly why this has happened, that would be good.
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PaulCumbria
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Re: Bedford turbo roundabout

Postby PaulCumbria » 19 Feb 2014, 6:52pm

We can discuss the niceties about how, in theory, you might try to make zebras safe, accessible and useful for cyclists. But this is a scheme that isn't doing that.

It is using £300k of cycle safety budget to build it, and expects cyclists to either:

a) mix it with motor traffic on a busy roundabout with higher speeds and higher traffic densities than on roundabouts we currently (have to) use, or

b) repeatedly dismount to use a number of standard zebras on foot, or

c) cycle across those same zebras, dicing with traffic exiting a roundabout at even higher speeds and densities than normal, in the knowledge that any collision will almost certainly treated as the cyclist's fault.

This is a scheme that has been approved by the CTC, among others. I'm so horrified that such a dangerous mess has been given the nod by CTC, I'm seriously considering terminating my membership.

I'm really just waiting to see whether and how the CTC's Chris Peck justifies the decision before I exit rapidly stage left.

mjr, are those turbo roundabout locations you list?

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Re: Bedford turbo roundabout

Postby thirdcrank » 19 Feb 2014, 7:07pm

SA_SA_SA wrote: ... Can a driver really see a cyclist on zebra / tiger, and although able to stop just as for a pedestrian, argue they thought the cyclist shouldn't be there and therefore deliberately ran them down? ...


Not deliberately run them down perhaps, but in the case of Crank -v- Brooks, a driver who collided with a cyclist wheeling their bike on a zebra successfully argued at the magistrates' court that they were not a foot passenger (AKA pedestrian) and it was only on appeal by the police prosecutor that it was held that such a cyclist was indeed a foot passenger. If they'll try it on when a cyclist is walking across, I doubt they'd have much concern for one riding.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=58598

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Re: Bedford turbo roundabout

Postby gaz » 19 Feb 2014, 7:42pm

PaulCumbria wrote:Does a design decision that presents such a scenario as "Go Dutch" cycle safety best practice, and using a substantial chunk of cycle safety funding, not alarm you, Gaz?

No, it does not alarm me. Clearly there are issues involved in trying to transpose Dutch practices onto the UK road network, not least of which is that Dutch traffic laws are not UK traffic laws. Having now read the summary of the funding bid I'd consider it a bold experiment, I hope it proves to be successful.
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Re: Bedford turbo roundabout

Postby mjr » 19 Feb 2014, 7:50pm

What I mentioned earlier were misuses of cycling funds (in part or full funding) for schemes that primarily benefitted other vehicles. Weston package did include spiral roundabouts but not turbos as far as I know.
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Re: Bedford turbo roundabout

Postby PaulCumbria » 19 Feb 2014, 11:30pm

gaz wrote:Having now read the summary of the funding bid I'd consider it a bold experiment, I hope it proves to be successful.


Bold experiment?! Ye gods!

In case I'm missing something fundamental (I don't think I am), can you point me in the direction of the funding bid summary that you found so persuasive, Gaz?

mjr - ta for that. Like you, I'm well aware of the misdirection of budgets in this way. It's just the murderously misjudged design in this instance that takes the biscuit. Unless of course Gaz can persuade me otherwise.

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Re: Bedford turbo roundabout

Postby gaz » 19 Feb 2014, 11:40pm

PaulCumbria wrote:In case I'm missing something fundamental (I don't think I am), can you point me in the direction of the funding bid summary that you found so persuasive, Gaz?


I don't know if you are missing anything fundamental or not. The funding bid is linked from the article you linked in your OP: http://www.bedford.gov.uk/transport_and ... version=-1

As for finding it persuasive, a design speed of 15mph hardly puts the turbo into turbo roundabout, especially when the existing arrangement is 25mph.

I have no personal experience of the location as it is now nor of this type of roundabout. I have plenty of experience of cycling facilities being inadequate because the highwaymen won't hold up the cars. Perhaps this will succeed, perhaps it will just be an innovative way to deliver inadequacy.
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Re: Bedford turbo roundabout

Postby [XAP]Bob » 20 Feb 2014, 8:34am

If they achieve as good as inadequate then I'll be pleasantly surprised.

This looks doomed to being downright dangerous, not merely inadequate.
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