Please don’t block the bike lanes!

Sometimes, it’s a real battle!

I’m so glad I work shifts! To ride through the centre of Grimsby at peak times every day would be a nightmare! Usually I avoid these times, but when I’m working on a late shift I have to ride through the centre of town at lunch-time. It’s a battle getting through the traffic! (How people cycle on London’s streets I don’t know!)

Yesterday was one such day and frankly it was a unpleasant experience! The general level of ignorant motorists giving no respect to cyclists doesn’t help, and neither does trying to cross Victoria St after exiting the wonderfully named Grime St (coming from the cycleway alongside Asda). Five lanes of traffic with no central reservation! Help! It certainly needs a ‘Bike Island’ there.

But it was one incident in particular that made me angry. There’s no way this should be acceptable behaviour:Eleanor St bike lane dangerously blocked by a works van.

This is Eleanor St it and features a principle bike lane heading into the town centre with two oncoming lanes of motor traffic. And completely blocking the lane is a Virgin Media works van. This situation is very dangerous, as anyone cycling here has to swing out into the oncoming lane to get past the obstruction. I stopped to explain to the two workers from the van this was dangerous and they should not be blocking the cycle path. They replied it was perfectly legal and their vehicle was adequately signed.

It’s true they were signed to the oncoming traffic but not to any cyclist approaching along the bike lane. However, I don’t believe it is legal for them to have parked there. A little further on I encountered two traffic enforcement officers, and I asked them was it legal for a vehicle to park across the bike lane. I was told if it was a blue signed bike lane then it was an offense to park a vehicle there.

Looking along Eleanor St in the other direction on a previous occasion. It is a blue-signed bike lane.

Looking along Eleanor St in the other direction on a previous occasion. It is a blue-signed bike lane.

This lane is indeed a blue-signed  bike lane, so they were illegally parked. This on top of another Virgin Media vehicle photographed blocking the new CS2 extension in London whilst it was actually being opened by Boris! Is it part of the job remit at Virgin or something?

Another Virgin Media vehicle (in the background) photographed blocking the new CS2 extension bike lane in London this week.

Another Virgin Media vehicle (in the background) photographed blocking the new CS2 extension bike lane in London this week. (Photo courtesy of Sam Dansie/Twitter)

The main point I was making then, and the reason for this posting, is to demonstrate this is clearly unsafe behaviour. The amount  of bike lanes we have in NE Lincs is small and they are mostly inadequate, but even the ones we do have are constantly parked over by cars or trucks. You see it all over the area. You don’t see cycles parked across roads, do you? There would be an outcry and probably before long the police would attend to stop you from blocking the highway. So why is it OK to block the bike lanes? Because there’s no action taken when this happens.

So the question I want to pose is this: Can we please have some action to prevent motorists parking in bikes lanes, creating unsafe situations for people who just want to use a bike to get around town?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: