Thursday 20 January 2011

Abbeywood: West Side Bollard Run

We sent our expendable cyclist up to Abbeywood again to see the other side of the MoD site/car park. Sadly, our fellow traveller, Kayla Maratty, would have been on her four week holiday, so if she's a UWE student, she wouldn't have got a chance to run this cyclist over.

Note how the cyclist swerves out of the cycle side before the first corner. After we took them into the MoD site where we got them to confess to being an enemy of the economy, we asked them about this. Apparently going round a blind corner on the wrong side of the path is stupid. Maybe, but S Gloucs has put the signs up, so follow it.

Further on, you can see the new bollards. Some now have coloured tape on, some reflectors. But it's moot. Their existence is now known and widely publicised. Nobody else is going to run into them, even in snow -unless the council moves them or adds some more -perhaps on that first corner?

Knowing of the existence of the feature, does our test subject obey the signs? Follow the approved lanes? No they don't! Instead they treat it as some kind of opportunity to go through them as if they were some kind of obstacle course, "practising singletrack manoeuvres at near-race-speed", they said, whatever that means. Such actions were wrong before the bollards went up, now that bollards are in, it should be a crime. And to think that the S Gloucs bollards actually encourage such action -that simply appals us.

Notice how we say S Gloucs bollards. We thought initially that these were MoD features, it being Ministry of Defence land and all (which is why cycle campaigner Terry Miller got detained by their site police for behaving suspiciously and taking photographs here last week). Yet as the video shows, the signs and bollards go on out of the site, right up to the A4174 Ring Road, one of the two proposed Ring Roads we actually got part of. That means it came from the council, presumably out of their cycling budget.

This is what introduces such a moral dilemma for us. It makes cyclists feel less welcome -good, and it doesn't take away any driving options -great. But is it enough? Apart from that one person who crashed into one, how many cyclists are going to give up their commute from this feature? And it stops us driving down the bike path here.

This is an ongoing topic and we will cover it more. Our experiment to see if anyone in S Gloucs is capable of reacting to reports of vehicles parked on the bike path is going well, so far, no reaction from anyone. But more research is needed.

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