Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

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thelawnet
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Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby thelawnet » 15 Oct 2017, 12:24am

So I was cycling down here today:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.26908 ... 312!8i6656

Expecting to go straight (ok left then immediately right), but following GPS which set me left.

As you can see on the blue cycle post, it says 'For Guildford follow 223'

This turns out to be a Sustrans route, not that I've ever knowingly used one.

It says here:

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/route-223

"Distance: 44 miles
Type: Main and quiet roads
"

And there's very little description of the actual route.

It just says

'Starting at Chertsey in the north, at the connection with Route 4, the route follows south along the road to Woking Town Centre (where there is a connection with Route 221) passing through Horsell Common and Ottershaw. The route then continues south on to Guildford. '

So there's no adequate description, e.g., 'the route uses a shared route pavement for 600 metres crossing three side roads, before joining a narrow 40mph flat road with no cycle lane for 1.2km', or similar. No indication whatsoever.

Anyway, coming back to my journey, I've just come down the hill and there's the Sustrans sign. It says 'Follow 223'. But where is 223? There is no arrow. It could be left, right, or straight.

Turns out that you need to turn left, turn right and then cycle on the pavement on the right hand side of the road. The sign is just about visible here:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.26873 ... 312!8i6656

Suffice to say I spotted neither sign, and am just cycling on the road, as roads tend to go places, which is not really guaranteed with shared facilities.

So I cycle along, the road isn't particularly nice to cycle along as it's a fairly narrow 40mph with reasonable traffic. The opposite pavement is empty, but it doesn't appear to be a cycling facility - no signs, no bicycles painted on, nothing. https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.26801 ... 312!8i6656

A bit further down the road there is a shared cycle sign:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.26836 ... 312!8i6656

Hmm, ok I think, but god knows how far I would be able to cycle on there, there's no practical way of crossing the road, so I just keep cycling along.

A bit further down the road there is a chance to cross and use the shared pavement

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.26782 ... 312!8i6656

However it's not signed at this obvious access point so it's not clear that it still is a shared pavement, and the curb is not dropped at this easy access point, so again I don't use it.

A bit further down the road there is a shared sign

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.26762 ... 312!8i6656

and you could join the pavement here, but as far as I know I am going straight ahead up ahead so being on the wrong side of the road is not particularly helpful.

Finally the satnav tells me to turn right. Turns out it's going on an off-road route along the side of the A3 (noisy) through a nature reserve (quite nice apart from the A3 noise, and numerous gates).

Anyway, there are some traffic lights ahead that are red so I signal and move right and turn right onto the road.

As you can see:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.26520 ... 312!8i6656

There is a Sustrans sign on the left side of the road for road users, as well as a sticker on the speed sign on the shared use pavement.

Anyway, I complete my turn successfully only to have a angry man in an ageing BMW a few cars behind shout at me 'Use the cycle lane'. I shout back 'F*** off', to which he replies with 'W***er'.

Obviously there wasn't actually a cycle lane just some signs on a pavement, but would you have used such a facility? I actually did use it on my way back, being in the direction of travel, despite being rather narrow, but still slightly preferable to cycling on a rather busy single-lane 40mph road. 0.8 miles isn't particularly far, of course, but the issue with such facilities is that unless you are familiar with them there is never any guarantee that they will cover any worthwhile length of the journey.

You want to go 2 miles along a given road? The 'shared pavement' may disappear without warning or send you on some random detour. Unless intimately familiar with the individual facility, they are too unpredictable to be the facility of first resort, whereas roads are highly predictable in going where you want to go.

Incidentally, it was interesting that after going off-road through the nature reserve (not mentioned by Sustrans, nor are the numerous gates which would be difficult for disabled cycle routes), they choose to directly join the main road here:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.24417 ... 312!8i6656

As you can see it's not entirely clear where to go. Cycle on the pavement and then be written up in the Daily Mail as an evil killer cyclist, as it appears in fact that the pavements, though very similar in width to those earlier, are here NOT shared use. Nope, here there's an in-road cycle lane (except not actually at the point where the national Sustrans route meets the main road, because that would make things too simple). It disappears randomly as you go down the road.

The alternative would have been to come out here:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.24253 ... 312!8i6656

on a quiet side road (hill) but full of parked cars with dooring opportunities.

crazydave789
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Re: Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby crazydave789 » 15 Oct 2017, 12:56am

I had to do that south of beverly heading for the humber bridge on the A roads and built up areas. I agree it is a bit disconcerting but I am becoming less and less amoured of sustrans routes after route 6 in Nottingham being totally unsuitable for touring bikes.

ANTONISH
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Re: Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby ANTONISH » 15 Oct 2017, 12:35pm

IMO Sustrans is basically a scheme to get cyclists out of the way of motorists.

ian s
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Re: Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby ian s » 15 Oct 2017, 12:58pm

Sustrans routes..... awful. There is one near where I live, why do one side of a rectangle where three will do, and it is not as though the straight route is a problem to cycle.

Get rid of Sustrans as soon as possible

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meic
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Re: Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby meic » 15 Oct 2017, 1:03pm

Get rid of Sustrans as soon as possible


None of their stuff is compulsory, if it doesnt suit you dont use it.
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Spinners
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Re: Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby Spinners » 15 Oct 2017, 2:12pm

ANTONISH wrote:IMO Sustrans is basically a scheme to get cyclists out of the way of motorists.


I can't see any negatives in that :wink:
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mjr
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Re: Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby mjr » 15 Oct 2017, 5:39pm

I have used cycleways on the "wrong" side of the carriageway, both in the UK and abroad, but I have also sometimes ended up having to ride over a verge and cross the road to avoid being filtered off somewhere silly. It's tough to say whether Portugal was actually worse than the UK for that.

I am less likely to use something that looks like a footway with blue signs because they seem to do silly things more often... and actually, I'm less likely to recognise them as a cycle route quickly enough to turn right across the road and use them, like in the first post.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Mick F
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Re: Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby Mick F » 15 Oct 2017, 5:55pm

meic wrote:
Get rid of Sustrans as soon as possible

None of their stuff is compulsory, if it doesnt suit you dont use it.
I agree with both those statements.

However, some motorists EXPECT you to use the cycle tracks, and if you don't they get upset.
Mick F. Cornwall

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mjr
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Re: Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby mjr » 15 Oct 2017, 6:09pm

Mick F wrote:
meic wrote:
Get rid of Sustrans as soon as possible

None of their stuff is compulsory, if it doesnt suit you dont use it.
I agree with both those statements.

However, some motorists EXPECT you to use the cycle tracks, and if you don't they get upset.

And as I've mentioned before, some get upset when you don't use cycle tracks even where there are none, and some get upset when you do use cycle tracks and shout "get ON the road" :roll:. They're just upset whatever. It's probably because driving is upsetting.

Now cue Mr Owens to claim this doesn't happen...
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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reohn2
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Re: Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby reohn2 » 15 Oct 2017, 6:20pm

meic wrote:
Get rid of Sustrans as soon as possible


None of their stuff is compulsory........

No but it's paving(sorry)the way for it!

........if it doesn't suit don't use it

I don't,but my comcern is that one day I'll be forced to by law!
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

flat tyre
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Re: Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby flat tyre » 15 Oct 2017, 8:10pm

I had the misfortune to have to cycle northwards on the Eastern Avenue, Portsmouth a couple of weeks ago https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.8162456,-1.0435723,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sOaJ4Llf6S5E2tlorNYA_bA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656. I was heading against the traffic on a dual carriageway and 50mph speed limit. As you can see no barrier to separate pavement traffic from the road and, not really surprising, a cyclist was killed here earlier this year after a collision with another cyclist knocked him onto the carriageway.

thelawnet
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Re: Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby thelawnet » 15 Oct 2017, 8:15pm

mjr wrote:
Mick F wrote:
meic wrote:None of their stuff is compulsory, if it doesnt suit you dont use it.
I agree with both those statements.

However, some motorists EXPECT you to use the cycle tracks, and if you don't they get upset.

And as I've mentioned before, some get upset when you don't use cycle tracks even where there are none, and some get upset when you do use cycle tracks and shout "get ON the road" :roll:. They're just upset whatever. It's probably because driving is upsetting.


Dunno. Actually it was my first ride of more than a mile since coming back from Indonesia. Over there driving is crazy and people use their horn to say 'get out of the way', but they never seem 'very angry' in the way so many people are in the UK.

Most of the comments I got in Indonesia were 'hello' and waves from children as you cycle past them. Oh there was one time 'Hallelujah' shortly followed by 'Sombong kali, Hallelujah' ('Oi Jesus, why so unfriendly' more-or-less translated), I think comments inspired by my long hair and sandals. :lol:

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Re: Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby eileithyia » 15 Oct 2017, 9:49pm

No, There's one between Puerta Pollensa and Alcudia..... it's fine (just about) using it in the right direction, but using it against the flow of traffic is not something I would want to do....
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

BakfietsUK
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Re: Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby BakfietsUK » 16 Oct 2017, 12:28am

Yes

softlips
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Re: Would you cycle on a 'shared' pavement on the wrong side of the road?

Postby softlips » 16 Oct 2017, 8:18am

No