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If there are good cycling facilities should cyclists be banned from the road?

February 15, 2011

Some people have decided it’s time to campaign for high quality cycling facilities as
the main way to increase the number of cyclists in the U.K. Somewhat surprisingly this has created a bit of a storm amongst cyclists.

The reason for the controversy comes around because of compulsion. One of the supporters, Dave42W, has already conceded that making facilities mandatory is ok:

I admit what I have clearly said before. When a country has a high quality standard of separated cycle path I have no problem if the law requires cyclists to use the facilities where they exist.

This is a huge mistake. The government will legislate first and improve second as the attempt to introduce compulsion by the back door of the update to the highway code has already shown.

Then councils will continue in their current path of appalling facilities and use those facilities to force cyclists off the road. Again we have already seen attempts to do this.

I can completely support building high quality cycling facilities and it is a huge leap from where we are now where I can’t think of a single facility that is high quality so there is simply no way we should be conceding the right to ride on the road.

If the facilities are good they will be used if they are not they will not and if you really want to get people out of cars telling them they can’t ride on the road is not the right way forward and will do far more harm than good.


From → Cycling

  1. We in Florida are extra careful as car drivers kill more cyclist every year here. Sad but true.

  2. Adrian permalink

    Here in Australia the road laws state that if an on-road bike facility is provided “you must use it if practicable”. Just that law is problem enough, as “practicable” is determined by the rider who may consider that a lane full of any or all of broken glass, sand, trees, parked cars, etc. to be “impracticable”. The average non-cyclist, of course, has vaguely heard of the law and believes that a bike rider MUST use an on road (and in many cases) off-road bike path if there’s even the vestiges of one around.

    Sadly, too many cyclists start to believe that the converse also holds – that if there’s no special purpose magic bicycle paint on the road then they can’t ride there.

  3. I never thought I’d see the day…

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