Friday 19 November 2010

The blind bends of Clifton Vale

We love taking visitors from the US through Montpelier at speed, watching them in teror stamping the ground where the brake pedal should be, as we drive our van through at 40 mph with millimetres between us and the parked cars on either side while texting ahead to our destination. But sometimes we like variety, and other fun place is Cornwallis Crescent and Clifton Vale. That blind Z-bend/T-junction when you are coming up the hill is fantastic. No visibility, you have to get the line exactly right or you get stuck.

This week we are making it more entertaining by making our US visitor cycle round, so watching someone from "cycle-friendly Oregon" encountering urban UK roads, so we took the opportunity to take them down this and see if they'd survive.

The first issue here is that one of the cars in front gets its line completely wrong. For reference, here are the tactics

  1. Descending from Goldney Ave: hold back until you see a gap, then commit, but swing out before turning in, Alpine style. This early swing out ensures that you finish the turn on your side of the road, which is better for bad visibility situations, and here, ensures you can get round.
  2. Coming from Cornwallis Crescent: head through, don't show weakness.
  3. Coming up from Clifton Vale: head up, keep left ready to swerve right into Goldney Ave.
After the entertainment of a car having to back up twice, our U.S. tourist gets the give way markings wrong and almost loses out to the car on Corwallis Crescent. More importantly, by waiting where he is, he's lost visibility of what's happening on Clifton Vale, which can be tactically unwise. This time, he survives as the cars in front have stopped motor traffic heading up, but next time may not be so safe.


Bristolcyclista said...

Bristol Traffic said...

we keep the reg# of our van a secret to avoid interfering with the data collection exercise. However, we can confirm that we do like the pub down that lane, as it is where
we bought Bristol Blogger a beer