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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 17:12 
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:gatso2: Belfast Telegraph: Writeback, June 9

Lower Speed Limits will help make cycling safer


The Northern Ireland Cycling Initiative welcomes the letter from Fiona Norris (Writeback, May 19), highlighting the inconvenience to pedestrians of people cycling too fast on pavements.

Most cyclists only use pavements when they feel insecure on the road. The Northern Ireland Cycling Initiative is lobbying for three things which we believe could remedy this problem:

1. Separate cycle paths along strategic routes;

2. Speed limits of 20mph to make cycling on the road safer.

3. Training for cyclists of all ages to make them feel more secure and confident on the road.

Cycle-friendly countries that have introduced 20mph speed limits have found that up to 40% of journeys are by bicycle and childhood obesity is much lower than the level in Northern Ireland.



SALLY LIVA
The Norther Ireland Cycling Initiatve Steering Group,
Newtownabbey



Question: Is this woman nuts, is she joking or serious or just plain stupid?

Discuss.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 18:57 
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I've never heard of her but my vote would be +1 for 'nuts'.

I was in the NICI probably 10 years ago when it was first formed. There was a lot of common sense about it in those days. I doubt anyone from then has anything to do with it now.

I jumped ship when it was obviously being hijacked by Sustrans who famously slap a few signs up that say 'National Cycle Network' and then slink back off to an awards ceremony in London.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 19:42 
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Separate cycling paths - well engineered work well as proven on continent.

Training should be compulsory for all cyclists as too many just do not know how to do so safely and things change as constant. If we are driving and riding with the changes - we tend to adjust accordingly. If you have not ridden for a while - stuff learned at old Proficiency Test just does not cut it.

So on those two issues raised by this person - no issue.

The 20 mph one?

20 mph speed limits exist in Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy etc on town centre routes - and you could not really drive much faster on these anyway. As they have a cafe culture - there's no such thing as "empty" as there is here either.

But they are sensible with regard to their faster routes and we could only sustain this if we are prepared to fork out for some serious re-engineering.

As you know from my complaints .. Lake District has a number of cycle lanes and a 20 mph speed limit. The result is a suicidally narrow cycle lane and increased danger. As for the 20 mph limit.. I do tend to drive at around this speed because of the walkers and holidaymakers in Lakeland villages in peak times.

Unfortunately, Brit culture is very different from Eurpean culture - and I know this from being married to Wildy. Our towns have not been designed to accommodate these lanes either.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 22:10 
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Okay... This person is from Newtownabbey, and so am I... I can apply some local knowledge to our 'many' cycle paths... Firstly we have a cycle path on the non-motorway part of the A8 from Larne to Sandyknowes roundabout... This is a non restricted road, and part of it is dual carriageway... So do they want to introduce speed limits on that road?

There is a cycle path from Belfast out towards Jordanstown university, and a large section of it is beside a dual carriageway at 40mph... They can't exactly drop the limit along there, although, watch this space, they probably will... A large part of this cycle path is also seperated from the motorway and runs along the coastline, well away from traffic...

Another part of cycle path runs up 'Station Road' which is a perfectly wide piece of single carriageway at 30mph... I don't see why they should lower the limit there... The cycle path is quite far from the moving cars... The path then continues up the ONeill road, which is 40mph... In the x years it has been there I've never seen a cyclist on it...

We did have cyclist training, I did cycling proficiency in primary school, it was great fun, and it sort of teaches you the basics of being on a road with cars... Scary!

I sometimes cycle along NSL s/cs and I really don't feel any great fear when cars go past me... I know I'm doing everything right, as long as they are sensible they'll be past me and well out of my way... Only really had one big scare, and that was when my brothers brake cable snapped on his bike... The brake pad went into the spokes, locked the front wheel and he went over the handlebars... He was then lying in the middle of a NSL road, just around a blind corner... That was no driver's fault, it was just sheer bad luck... Anyway I got him off the road, and other than chipping one of his teeth he was fairly unhurt... He still hasn't ridden the bike since that day... I don't blame him, I've never really had anything like that happen me on the bike. It was just lucky there were no cars behind him, because it could have been a lot worse...

I guess that is a reason to move cycle paths away from the road, but you can't just lower speed limits everywhere to 20mph because of cyclists... On many city routes 20mph is faster than the traffic moves anyway, and these tend to be the routes that people cycle on surely?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 20:40 
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:gatso2: :listenup: :readit:

How's this for a reply to the Cycling Initiative?

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/ ... ory=694939

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