Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

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gaz
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Re: Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby gaz » 25 Nov 2011, 9:55am

There has been some speculation about the posts being in place for either road or pavement repairs. That's all it is, speculation.

The reflective posts are permanently fixed to the carriageway, it's not a row of traffic cones. Whilst the local authority have yet to respond in any meaningful way they have logged it as a "fault" rather than saying it's a temporary measure whilst repairs are carried out.

The cycle lane has been there about twenty years. It originally appeared when the highway authority change the road from a two lanes each direction single carriageway to one lane each direction separated by islands and cross hatching. The cycle lane was added to put a few more miles on the council's cycleway network rather than because of an identified need for a facility. However it is a mandatory lane and they do require a TRO, only advisory ones can be painted anywhere without any form of order. The lane runs for about 5 miles and never comes close to the recommended 1.5m width. Overtakes can feel too close. Most of the road is 50mph. The point pictured is one of the narrowest sections and is 40mph.

A few years ago this section of carriageway was resurfaced. Once the job was done the men with the white paint appeared. The mandatory cycle lane in the picture was painted back as an advisory one.

After demanding to see the amendment to the TRO, or to have the mandatory lane re-instated, they blamed the white paint men and re-instated it. It was probably painted back a few inches wider than it was before works began but I didn't have the heart to complain again. :wink:

From that incident I believe the local authority doesn't necessarily check it's own records very well. So whatever the perceived problem was that led to the erection of these posts, I'd guess that nobody checked the status of the "edge strip" before giving the go ahead.

My guess at the problem would be parking related rather than pavement. The building behind the trees is a private school, there may be parents who can't be bothered to drive the extra 100 yards around the corner to use it's car park for drop off/pick up.
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Guy951
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Re: Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby Guy951 » 25 Nov 2011, 10:20am

There might be a clue in the top picture. There's a pair of triangular signs leaning against the wall. They look like "road works" signs. If they're using bolt-down bollards instead of ordinary cones it might be a long job.
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mark a.
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Re: Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby mark a. » 25 Nov 2011, 11:22am

Guy951 wrote:There might be a clue in the top picture. There's a pair of triangular signs leaning against the wall. They look like "road works" signs. If they're using bolt-down bollards instead of ordinary cones it might be a long job.


Either that or they were left behind after protecting the guys installing the bollards in the first place!

Edwards
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Re: Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby Edwards » 25 Nov 2011, 1:23pm

AHHH a private school that explains this. The Plebs and Peasants get some yellow paint if they are lucky. If enough children get killed they may possibly get a crossing of some sort.

But these are the more important persons in out society and need protecting from the lower classes that dare to drive along such an important road while the these most precious assets are collected by the not so well of parents who are forced to suffer such abysmal facilities and park in the road.
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gaz
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Re: Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby gaz » 25 Nov 2011, 2:59pm

Since we're getting increasingly desperate to find an explanation I've just discovered that the BBC did some filming on 21 November at the location for a Songs of Praise special (due to be broadcast on BBC One on December 11th). A trawl of the web has found a photo of a cameraman standing in the cycle lane, filming actors on the pavement at about the point where my bike is in the first pic.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the reflective posts went up in the name of Health and Safety, although I'm confused about who's Health and Safety it might have been since they went up shortly before then and they've not be taken down again :? . Probably just a coincidence.
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Phil_Lee
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Re: Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby Phil_Lee » 25 Nov 2011, 11:28pm

I'd bet it's something to do with the school, and a substitute for actually performing some enforcement of the fact that it is a mandatory cycle lane, and therefore illegal to even enter in a motor vehicle, much less park.
Don't want to risk upsetting the wealthy private school parents with FPNs for driving in a mandatory cycle lane, would they? After all, that might work properly instead of providing a series of reflective post separated parking bays.

What are the chances of a FOI request of what they are for, and all the paperwork concerning their placement?

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Re: Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby ChrisButch » 26 Nov 2011, 9:12am

Phil_Lee wrote:What are the chances of a FOI request of what they are for

At the risk of stating the obvious, has nobody tried the rather simpler expedient of ringing the local highways dept and asking them?

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gaz
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Re: Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby gaz » 26 Nov 2011, 11:16am

I haven't picked up the phone but I am in contact with the Highways Department about the posts.

Establishing the reason why they were erected is not my priority. If they have been erected following correct due process then I've no doubt that they will stay, whatever the underlying reason was.

My priority is to secure their removal. To that end I've reported them as a dangerous obstruction, requested details of the amendment to the TRO (the mandatory cycle lane was created by a TRO) and asked for details of the safety audit carried out before they were erected.

The Highways Department have chosen to record the enquiry on their on-line fault reporting system which I can use to track progress. At the present time it is recorded as "under investigation". They aren't far off my usual commute whether made by bike or bus so I can keep an eye on things easily.

At some point this will change to "Enquiry Resolved". If the posts are still there I'll feel obliged to seek detailed answers to my original questions, if they are gone then I'll assume they've accepted that they messed up.
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gilesjuk
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Re: Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby gilesjuk » 26 Nov 2011, 9:09pm

Under freedom of information law you can get information on the decision.

deckertim
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Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby deckertim » 26 Nov 2011, 11:01pm

My wife pointed these out to me earlier in the week. I believe The location is just outside Gad's Hill School, Higham on the road between Rochester and Gravesend. I was going to get some photos as well so I could complain. She regularly drives past here as she takes my son to school in Gravesend. Her theory is they were installed because if the appalling parking of the parents dropping their kids at the school. So rather than enforce the law someone has decided to obstruct the cycle lane instead. I expect this will be in the national press by the end of the week:)

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gaz
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Re: Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby gaz » 27 Nov 2011, 10:43am

deckertim wrote:The location is just outside Gad's Hill School, Higham

What the Dickens, spot on! Feel free to complain, with or without photographs.

Edit - An Inspector has been appointed to investigate. 28Nov2011
Last edited by gaz on 28 Nov 2011, 6:13pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hill Lover
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Re: Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby Hill Lover » 27 Nov 2011, 6:52pm

The solution is simple. All the local authority has to do is to fix them into the road surface on the other side of the white line marking the mandatory cycle lane. Everone happy apart from the motons especially the mothers in their 4x4's dropping their beloved off at the school.

deckertim
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Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby deckertim » 28 Nov 2011, 11:21am

I've just reported this to Kent County Council. I did this on the phone as their website says to do so if the issue is a hazard to public safety.

thirdcrank
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Re: Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Nov 2011, 2:02pm

"Dear Sir

We have investigated your complaint and we have decided that this is all a load of bollards..."

:wink:

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Re: Obstructing the Cycle Lane - You Couldn't Make It Up

Postby thelawnet » 28 Nov 2011, 3:02pm

yakdiver wrote:Sorry, but how do you expect the road/pavement work to be carried out “CLOSE THE ROAD” some of you people think the roads are just for you, for Christ sake get a life .


I have sent two emails to my council about roadworks:

* there was a big depression in the road that was unpleasant to cycle over - this was the fault of a utility company patching up the road poorly and they repaired it fairly swiftly benefiting quite a number of cyclists daily

* they were doing road works and were using the cycle lane to display the warning signs to motorists, this was the fault of the same utility company and the sign was again swiftly moved to a place where it didn't obstruct the cycle lane. Lack of awareness I think, on behalf of the contractors.

Cycle lanes are generally best avoided IME, but if they are there they should not be made unusable by idiot contractors.