Tuesday 18 January 2011

Abbey Wood Bike/pedestrian path changes

We've sent the team to the North Fringe for a few days, to see what the fuss is about regarding Abbeywood and Bollards. In order to cover this accurately, we have had to recruit someone on a bicycle, for which we apologise. If it makes the audience feel better, they think they are being paid to be a courier for paperwork. Normally we just pay them to carry old phone books around, as it slows them down, and about once a week they have to deliver high-strength home-grown Montpelier herbs, an action which would get them put away for 20-25 years if they were caught with them, a thought which always cheers us up when we send them out.

Returning to Abbeywood, some people may recall the fuss made last year when someone cycled into a bollard that S Gloucester council stuck in. These are white bollards with a white stripe, no hi-viz markings, and on a path that is only intermittently illuminated. Well, yes, a crash was inevitable. Yet we agree with some the comments made in the Evening Post and Daily Mail -while we sympathetic to the lecturer's injuries, they have only themselves to blame for being on a bicycle.

We actually saw some of the bollards going in, but didn't think it was interesting enough to cover. Now that we see it is, we can go through the back records and find the video.

Now that the bollards are here on the eastern side of the MoD land, we are disappointed to see that it does so little to discourage cycling. Instead our courier can travel down the bike path at speed, slow down for the road, where apparently off camera someone driving a car actually gives way to the bicycle, hinting this green paint is giving some mistaken impression about rights of way to MoD staff.

Last year, this path had a proper anti-bicycle gate, which the subversives used to ignore by going through the vegetation, forcing the MoD deployment of an anti-vegetation-cycling feature, before they went and removed it, eventually adding this new bollard.

The bollard does not stop people cycling to the North Fringe. The only way to prevent that would be to improve A4174 traffic by widening it and banning bicycles from the ring road, while downgrading any adjacent bike paths. We may have some good news there, in a week or two.

For now, this side of Abbey Wood does little to discourage cycling. We shall visit the other side, which was where the crash took place to see if it is any better.

1 comment:

Rhode Long said...

Don't blame the designers - they have done their best to ensure the bollards are not visible to cyclists. If you notice there is clever optical illusion techniques being employed as removal of the white line behind the bollard for that section means that your eye assumes the bollard is the line. Also the continuous line for hundreds of metres before the bollard lulls you into a false sense of security.

If it were too obvious an attack on cyclists then they may complain. Instead this subtle obstacle means that those who may be starting out will crash and blame themselves. Brilliant!