Monday, 30 June 2014

Cycling in Bracknell

I was coming in to Bracknell town centre, on my bicycle, approaching along the path in this picture, from the other side (i.e. towards the camera).

I was accosted by a pedestrian insisting it was illegal to cycle there.

I pointed to the sign showing the start of the pedestrian zone and pointing out that the other way the sign clearly says the pedestrian zone ends (as per picture).

She was having none of it, insisting she had spoken to police about this before.

What do you do?!

Personally, what I think we need is a "cyclists give way to pedestrians" zone for the town centre so that careful cyclists can cycle in to town. Sadly I don't think such a thing exists in the road traffic laws.

Update: Apparently they have something like that in Cambridge, Thanks Julian Huppert

12 comments:

  1. It depends what was on the other side. There is a pedestrian zone sign that permits push bikes. See http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@motor/documents/digitalasset/dg_191926.pdf

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    1. Wait, what? As you can see from "zone ends" picture, this has a bike and car on the symbol, which suggests bicycles would be allowed. I assumed not, and police have stopped people in the town, but if it is not actually "all vehicles" that would be excellent!

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    2. That's a good point. I didn't check out the second page of the link I sent, and wrongly assumed the zone end was a generic zone end sign.

      Looks like push bikes are allowed in that pedestrian zone.

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    3. I suggest carry a copy of the highway code around with you, so you can point out the law to the crazy folk who stop you.

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    4. From street view I can see most entrances have pedestrian zone (bikes/cars) *and* a non cycling sign. Odd as there is a no vehicles version that would do it in one go. Hmmm.

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    5. They probably opt for a specific separate "no cycling" sign since, from what I've observed (as both a pedestrian and cyclist) too many cyclists seem to think that any prohibition which doesn't specifically target cyclists alone doesn't apply to them - like red traffic lights, pedestrian crossings... I know I stuck to the rules properly when cycling, and I'm guessing RevK will too, but for the population as a whole spelling out "yes, cyclists, this sign DOES apply to you" seems necessary. (I'd guess most of the cost is in installing the big concreted-in pole, then sticking two separate pictures on the metal isn't that much more than a single sign.)

      From the way one local cyclists merrily charges across a crossroads against the lights, regardless of the stream of traffic he's crossing, he seems to think cyclists also enjoy exemption from the laws of physics. On the bright side, the hospital is nearby for when he finally manages to convert himself to a bumper sticker...

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    6. It is odd - I was taught rules of the road when I learned to cycle long before learning to drive, and I do stop at red traffic lights. etc. The rules are not that hard and a cyclist has the option to convert to a pedestrian at a whim, which is handy in some cases.

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    7. There was a crossroads near where I used to live that, when the lights went read for traffic, lit up a green cycle. I'm *still* not sure what was intended by that, as it appeared to be saying 'yes you can cross this crossroads against the lights and get squished'.

      They've since removed the light, but I wonder if someone got killed first.

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    8. Saw an article on the bbc about dedicated cycle lights on a busy roundabout in east london where there is a separate cycle phase so cyclists can cross the roundabout before the main car phase.

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  2. Stupid question: When there is a cycle path along a road, does cyclists have to use it or have a choice to continue to use the main road?

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    1. No, when there is a choice of roads to use, you are not required to use one rather than the other. Cycle paths painted on a footpath are a nightmare as they have uneven road surface, obstacles (lamp posts, buss stops, etc), pedestrians, often too narrow, loads of stops and starts and give ways, not easy to people exiting driveways to see you, and generally not idea, where as the road is continuous, has side roads give way to you, and does not have obstacles (even stationary cars are usually easy to pass).

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    2. Here got a single carriage way very busy A road, with a large cycle path next to it and regularly traffic hold up by cyclist staying on the main road, with cars unable to overtake due to incoming traffic.
      Stretches for a few miles, next to fields so really none of the inconvenient you mentioned :-(

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