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Dave Jones

PROPOSED BAN ON CYCLISTS USING A63 ROAD

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Cycling Time Trials (CTT) have published details of a proposed Traffic Restriction Order (TRO), the effect of which would be to ban all cyclists using the A63 road near Hull - between North Cave interchange and Daltry Street interchange.

Whilst this stretch of road includes the entire length of a time trial course (the V718 and its derivatives), this proposal needs to be seen in a wider context.  The A63 road, which is the major route between  Leeds and Hull, might be somewhat obscure to most cyclists (and other road users) who do not live in the area, and this TRO might appear to be of no significance or concern to anyone in other parts of the country,   Whilst time trial events on the relevant stretch of road would obviously be affected, and would cease, there is a wider principle at stake here.

Cyclists have a right to use any highway that is not a motorway.  The choice of whether or not to cycle on any particular stretch of road, taking into consideration traffic flows, for instance, should be that of the individual cyclist.

Highways England, in their Statement of Reasons for this TRO, cite the fact that in the past five years there have been six incidents involving cyclists, one of which resulted in a fatality.  What Highways England fail to state is that over the same period there were 297 incidents involving motor vehicles on the same stretch of road.  The six incidents involving cyclists can therefore be seen in context.  They also state that the average speed of vehicles on this road is 65 mph.  In response, that suggests, taking into consideration, for example, that HGV vehicles are subject to speed limits below 65 mph, that there must be a large proportion of motor vehicles travelling well in excess of the 70 mph limit for this dual carriageway. 

Whilst it is not clear whether cyclists were at fault in any way in all six incidents, it might be more appropriate for Highways England to redirect their attention towards the law-breaking drivers, who, by their irresponsible and dangerous actions are putting the lives of both cyclists and other drivers in jeopardy.

This is yet another case of the victims, instead of the law-breaking perpetrators, having their rights and liberties restricted and curtailed.

If this proposal is approved, it could set a precedent for further restrictions on cyclists across the country.   Any road, deemed by those in authority to be 'dangerous' to cyclists, could be next on the list for a Traffic Restriction Order.  This issue is not about the loss of a time trial course; it is about the fundamental rights of cyclists to have unrestricted access to all roads that are not designated as motorways.

If you wish to challenge this proposal for the A63, please write to

The Office of the Director,  Operations Directorate (Yorkshire and North East), Highways England, 3rd Floor South, Lateral, 8 City Walk, Leeds LS1 9AT,   

(An email address has not been given).    All comments must be received by Highways England by Monday, 18th February 2018. 

Note :    Highways England do not clarify if their figure of 2,500 vehicles per hour (42 per minute) is the total for both carriageways of the dual carriageway, or if it is for each carriageway.  I suspect that it is the former that applies, that is, 1,250 per hour in each direction.   Do they really mean 2,500 vehicles per hour throughout a 24-hour period, or have they been somewhat selective with the times of day for their gathering of statistics ?    I will try to find out more about this.

The CTT article can be viewed on their website - www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Dave Jones
Incorrect postcode for Highways England - should be LS11 9AT, not LS1 9AT.

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