Author Topic: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes  (Read 9290 times)

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Offline Geoff Reid

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Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« on: March 12, 2014, 03:19:40 AM »

Ironic, but on the very day I intended to upload this video I managed to take a tumble on a Swindon cycle path close to my home :)

Anyway, I made this video to illustrate that off-road cycle routes aren't always quicker than taking the roads, but are almost certainly usually much safer than the road. 

I found it interesting to note the number of hazards, (e.g overtaking vehicles), a cyclist (me) can encounter in just 8 minutes. 

I'd be interested to see how many hazardous incidents you can count on both routes.  I haven't speeded this video up, but it's not very long.

)



Offline Weebleman

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2014, 03:57:39 PM »
General comment Geoff, the thing that stood out for me was that there appeared to be a LOT more handlebar vibration when cycling on the roads compared with cycle tracks. Is this a measure of how bad the roads have got, or is it just a case of the tracks being smoother through lighter use?
Interesting to see the two movies side-by-side. Well done.

Offline Muggins

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2014, 05:39:20 PM »
One hazard I didn't notice was:   On the Abbey Meads  cycle routes where most where put in before the housing, we think they skimped on the base, most of them were above the ground and  sort of kerb laid and then infilled, before and since the top layer has sort of split in line along their length and widened - get your front wheel in one of them and you are going where it takes you!   

Some where quickly filled in with a wet slurry sort of mix. on some it worked, on some it worked for a while. 

Of course if you use them every day, you get used to where they are, but if not!  Well, head over handlebars!
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Simon

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2014, 08:40:56 PM »
I've lived in W Swindon for over 10 years and it's never occurred to me to cycle on the likes of Tewkesbury Way when the cycle routes are there as an alternative.

I didn't spot any hazards, but then I was too busy trying to keep track of where you were in each of the videos, both at once (not an easy task). I'm sure the hazards are there though.

Could I suggest a small time saving on the non-road route? Whilst cycling through Shaw Ridge, take the 2nd last turning to the right before crossing the bridge over Tewkesbury Way, meander down the curves of Chandos Close and Bosworth Road, and when you reach the bottom, there's a shared foot/cycle path almost immediately opposite which cuts across the corner of Freshbrook and takes you under Tewkesbury Way to the W Swindon Centre, to rejoin the route you took after going all round the top of Shaw Ridge Leisure Park and doubling back to go round the Link Centre.

Might even make the non-road route quicker than the road route :)

Wishing you a speedy recovery from your recent tumble  :)
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Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2014, 08:56:42 PM »
One hazard I didn't notice was:   On the Abbey Meads  cycle routes where most where put in before the housing, we think they skimped on the base, most of them were above the ground and  sort of kerb laid and then infilled, before and since the top layer has sort of split in line along their length and widened - get your front wheel in one of them and you are going where it takes you!   

Some where quickly filled in with a wet slurry sort of mix. on some it worked, on some it worked for a while. 

Of course if you use them every day, you get used to where they are, but if not!  Well, head over handlebars!

I remember this being a problem in Abbey Meads especially where the footpaths run parallel to the brook. I am fairly certain that the footpaths were put in to the same specific as other parts of the borough, but the council has increased the specification.

The old spec was 20mm of surface course (tarmac), 60mm of binder course (tarmac) and 225mm of sub-base (crushed stone). They now use 275mm of sub base and sometimes incorporate a plastic geo-grid.

The concrete edgings are laid on a concrete bed which is rigid and the tarmac is flexible. If there is any movement it tends to result in a crack parallel to the edgings. The problem occurs throughout the borough, but was worse in Abbey Meads. The clay shrinks and swells and the footpaths can't take it. In Abbey Meads, a lot of the paths follow the brook or have dense vegetation nearby. The vegetation sucks the moisture out of the clay leading to shrinkage.

Around the time that Abbey Meads was being built, cracks also started opening up in other areas of the town where there had previously been no problems. I think we had a few hot/dry summers around that time.

There were also problems with the footpath from Pond Street to Whitworth Road via Sevenfields. The council laid a thin layer of epoxy on the tarmac. The epoxy was much stiffer than the flexible tarmac and cracked. In my opinion, the council got the specification wrong but they will never admit it. However, the problem was made worse by proximity to the brook, fairly dense vegetation at the Pond Street end and unusually hot/dry weather when the work was done.

House foundations in clay soils are a minimum of 900mm deep to reduce the effects of shrinkage and frost. Footpaths are only 0.3m deep and will move with the seasons.

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2014, 09:08:01 PM »
Ironic, but on the very day I intended to upload this video I managed to take a tumble on a Swindon cycle path close to my home

Hope it wasn't too serious.

Quote
Anyway, I made this video to illustrate that off-road cycle routes aren't always quicker than taking the roads, but are almost certainly usually much safer than the road.

My girlfriend used to cycle to work and was always complaining about the amount of broken glass on the cycle paths.

I am sure that the cycle routes must be safer than the roads, but time of year might be a factor. The roads would presumably be gritted in icy weather, but the cycle routes might not be. In heavy rain, a cyclist would be less visible to motorists and more vulnerable than in clear weather. In rush hour you must be inhaling a lot of exhaust fumes on the roads.

I assume that the roads are more direct and flatter gradient. The cycle routes tend to cross the roads via footbridges (or subways) with a steep ramps on the approach. Any benefit gained on the downhill stretch is often ruined by a 90 degree bend at the bottom which forces the cyclist to brake and lose speed.

I am not surprised that the cycle routes are a bit slower, but probably a more pleasant experience.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2014, 12:11:45 AM »

Could I suggest a small time saving on the non-road route? Whilst cycling through Shaw Ridge, take the 2nd last turning to the right before crossing the bridge over Tewkesbury Way, meander down the curves of Chandos Close and Bosworth Road, and when you reach the bottom, there's a shared foot/cycle path almost immediately opposite which cuts across the corner of Freshbrook and takes you under Tewkesbury Way to the W Swindon Centre, to rejoin the route you took after going all round the top of Shaw Ridge Leisure Park and doubling back to go round the Link Centre.

Might even make the non-road route quicker than the road route :)

Wishing you a speedy recovery from your recent tumble  :)


Teehee....that turning towards Chandos Close was where I took my tumble and, (another irony), I was actually intending to ride the route you suggested above :)  That turning is also the start of a nice ride down through Freshbrook and the fringes of Toothill to get to the Blagrove to Mannington linear park cycle route.  I filmed it recently but made a couple of minor route errors so I'm going to film it again soon.

Thanks for your kind words, my knee is improving rapidly but my right eye has swollen shut so no driving and work for a couple more days. That'll teach me for riding over slippery sticks with impunity  :embarassed: but also a good example of why it's important to wear a lid.  Pretty sure I'd have incurred a serious head injury if I hadn't been wearing one.

 
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 01:10:13 AM by Geoff Reid »

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2014, 12:35:43 AM »
Ironic, but on the very day I intended to upload this video I managed to take a tumble on a Swindon cycle path close to my home

Hope it wasn't too serious.

Quote
Anyway, I made this video to illustrate that off-road cycle routes aren't always quicker than taking the roads, but are almost certainly usually much safer than the road.

My girlfriend used to cycle to work and was always complaining about the amount of broken glass on the cycle paths.

I am sure that the cycle routes must be safer than the roads, but time of year might be a factor. The roads would presumably be gritted in icy weather, but the cycle routes might not be. In heavy rain, a cyclist would be less visible to motorists and more vulnerable than in clear weather. In rush hour you must be inhaling a lot of exhaust fumes on the roads.

I assume that the roads are more direct and flatter gradient. The cycle routes tend to cross the roads via footbridges (or subways) with a steep ramps on the approach. Any benefit gained on the downhill stretch is often ruined by a 90 degree bend at the bottom which forces the cyclist to brake and lose speed.

I am not surprised that the cycle routes are a bit slower, but probably a more pleasant experience.

I only have the last few months to go by but from years of dog walking I've formed the impression that most of the broken glass appears in the warmer months

Spot on regarding seasonal (weather) factors. I won't touch the cycle routes if there's a frost or risk of black ice - I'm pretty sure none of them are treated.  I do check the forecast and tend to use the car if the morning temperature indicates the danger of ice although I have been caught out when the morning are lower than forecast.   I'm quite happy at 5 or 6 degrees though - I'm still carrying enough excess fat that staying warm isn't a problem.

I'm not exactly frightened of riding on the roads but I do take steps to make myself as visible as I can (time for another video) because I see so many dusk/night-time/dawn cyclists who, amazingly, seem completely oblivious to their near-invisibility to other road users and also, (by having reasonably good lights), I prefer to be able to spot darkly dressed pedestrians before I run into them.  Even at 05.00 hrs it's possible to be surprised by pedestrians who seem to pop out of nowhere and even at other times of the day there are a remarkable number of runners, walkers and other cyclists for whom the concept of shared space appears to be utterly alien.

Personally I really like riding our cycle routes and am thoroughly enjoying my commutes and pleasure rides to ride and learn as many of them as I can. I could complete my commute in just 6.25 miles but regularly leave a bit earlier and stretch it to 9 or 10 miles by taking a scenic route.
 


   

Offline Muggins

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2014, 08:16:03 AM »
One hazard I didn't notice was:   On the Abbey Meads  cycle routes where most where put in before the housing, we think they skimped on the base, most of them were above the ground and  sort of kerb laid and then infilled, before and since the top layer has sort of split in line along their length and widened - get your front wheel in one of them and you are going where it takes you!   

Some where quickly filled in with a wet slurry sort of mix. on some it worked, on some it worked for a while. 

Of course if you use them every day, you get used to where they are, but if not!  Well, head over handlebars!

I remember this being a problem in Abbey Meads especially where the footpaths run parallel to the brook. I am fairly certain that the footpaths were put in to the same specific as other parts of the borough, but the council has increased the specification.

The old spec was 20mm of surface course (tarmac), 60mm of binder course (tarmac) and 225mm of sub-base (crushed stone). They now use 275mm of sub base and sometimes incorporate a plastic geo-grid.

The concrete edgings are laid on a concrete bed which is rigid and the tarmac is flexible. If there is any movement it tends to result in a crack parallel to the edgings. The problem occurs throughout the borough, but was worse in Abbey Meads. The clay shrinks and swells and the footpaths can't take it. In Abbey Meads, a lot of the paths follow the brook or have dense vegetation nearby. The vegetation sucks the moisture out of the clay leading to shrinkage.

Around the time that Abbey Meads was being built, cracks also started opening up in other areas of the town where there had previously been no problems. I think we had a few hot/dry summers around that time.

There were also problems with the footpath from Pond Street to Whitworth Road via Sevenfields. The council laid a thin layer of epoxy on the tarmac. The epoxy was much stiffer than the flexible tarmac and cracked. In my opinion, the council got the specification wrong but they will never admit it. However, the problem was made worse by proximity to the brook, fairly dense vegetation at the Pond Street end and unusually hot/dry weather when the work was done.

House foundations in clay soils are a minimum of 900mm deep to reduce the effects of shrinkage and frost. Footpaths are only 0.3m deep and will move with the seasons.


You're telling me!! I remember every painful inch of that particular cycle route, from the planning, the start day, and every excruciating day after that until it was finished and a couple of years afterwards when we tried to get it finished to the spec they promised.  That dog walking network I mentioned elsewhere, came out in full force and play during this time and never a day went past when I didn't get a phone call or two, it got so that I allowed a couple of hours for a dog walk myself due to the interest being taken in it.  I can't remember it being particularly dry that year, but the geology etc. of Seven Fields is well known and it only follows the route of the stream from Kennett Ave car park, where it is little more than a big ditch from the start of the playing field up to Whitworth Road, where they had no choice but to put it closer to the stream because of the Poplar Trees. They were reluctant, and so where we, to put it on the other side of the Elms and take more precious playfield space away.

It was supposed to be a County Class Cycle route, 3 metres wide and lit, (Sustrans spec. and some of their funding, along with 106, I think) but we got them to reduce that due to the impact on the Nature Reserve - and the poplar trees helped with that  too. In some places we had to stop them opening gaps in fields with Ancient edge hedgerows, to a so-say requirement of 21 ft.  And it preserved the route of a very ancient bridle road.

At one of our meetings with them, someone (SBC) carried in a board, with a 'tile' affixed, a foot square of the decking they were proposing.  It was called Fibredec and this was meant to show where it ran through to Reserve and reduce the motorway effect on the landscape - this finish was more or less what they had used on the limedust paths through the Reserve so matched that too. What they actually laid was something totally different and we launched in the moment they started laying it. It must have been something substantially cheaper, because as they walked away from it, it started to curl like old lino. No matter what we did, they would not repair it or replace it - and this was whilst they were still on site.  Cllr Renard was involved. No one seemed to have the power to get the job done to the specifications we knew they had set. It looks shocking now especially for a fairly new route.  Come to think of it, I probably have those promised specs here somewhere.

A few of the guys in our group were 'engineers' by profession and I know from working with them that they did know a potential problem when they saw one - and were very good at solving them too.  Even if the bases where up to standard, there was no proper drainage through them, and I doubt that the stream was the problem, it was the gradient and the way the surface water got off the fields into the stream that undermined the edges of the cycle route.  This has been proved this year when a lake in the playing fields has remained stuck behind them for most of the winter, it does filter through and under sooner or later, but takes some strength with it.

So you are dead right about the spec being wrong. We jolly well knew it was, and told them so from day one. Probably got the proof of that in writing somewhere. incidentally it didn't crack so much as curl up, if you walk along it now, the cracks are because the tarmac underneath has cracked and taken the sandy stuff with it.

You are righ,t that a lot of them follow the streams, or more importantly the hedgerows and this was to help preserve those wildlife routes, and they did mostly go to close to both, in fact they were really mean about any space left for anything, they wanted to put one in along the parish boundary, so close to the tree/hedging trunks that it would have been permanently overhung at knee and eye level. As it was Penhill Copse lost it's defensive hedgerow, much to our chagrin. And the houses are ridiculously close too.

A similar finish to the one we were promised, on a part of the route in Furrow Field has done better and the  (Yellow brick Road*) installed in circa 1984 only now needs replacing despite there being a couple of small springs along its route.

* this is not a road, it is not brick and the yellow has sort of worn out.

Fact is, they all need a looking at again. The whole b$%^&y thing was a nightmare from beginning to end.

Look what I found:-  taken from our AGM minutes, 2004

"Bill updated the meeting on the Cycle route, we had received contradictory information, at a meeting in February we were told that the repairs to the route were already to go, that it was only waiting for the dry weather – this was to protect the meadows.  We had recently received an Email that said:-

 -----Original Message-----
From: Steve Bolderston
Sent: 11 May 2004 10:47
To: Sheila Fanning
Subject: RE: Cycle Path

Sheila
I spoke to John this morning about the surfacing on the Pond Street cycletrack and he asked me report back with the up-to-date situation.
In Autumn 2003 a series of tests were carried out by Scientifics' laboratories on material taken from positions agreed between TSG and ourselves. The results of these tests showed that the thicknesses of the bituminous materials were correct and that the wearing course complied with the specification. They did, however, show that the sand asphalt that was used as a regulating layer (with the approval of Cirencester Civil Engineering) over the first 200m of path did fail the grading test on one sieve size. Because the failure of the resin surfacing occurs in patches along the whole 1250m length of the cycletrack this cannot be the cause of the problem although it may possibly have exacerbated things in that section. The bond between each layer of material was, with the exception of only 1 of the 16 tests, found to be good.
As these tests, and several site meetings, failed to discover the reason for the failure TSG decided to approach a specialist consultant, Halcrow, to carry out further trials. These were done earlier in the Spring and Steve Whitehead of TSG tells me that the results are expected by the end of next week. When these results are known a meeting is going to be held to look at the findings of Halcrow's testing and once the cause of the failure is established, remedial works can be carried out. (There is no point in proceeding on site until we can be sure that the cause(s) of the original failures are not repeated. Also the resin needs to be applied in dry conditions, ideally during the Summer months).
I will let John know as soon as a date has been set for the meeting.
Regards
Steve Bolderston"

Steve was the officer to contact a the time. Didn't know him very well, and I think that was the only time he was our contact for a job.

And that thing he calls the 'regulating layer' was not supposed to be a technical thing but an enhancement to reduce the 'look' of it.


« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 10:07:43 AM by Muggins »
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Offline Simon

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2014, 09:25:32 PM »
Teehee....that turning towards Chandos Close was where I took my tumble and, (another irony), I was actually intending to ride the route you suggested above :) 


We're talking about the same junction then (I've seen the video of your tumble now, and it's the very same one).

If you were to go straight on at that junction instead of turning right, there's another potential hazard after about 10-15 metres. It seems like a pretty much constant trickle of water from the left side of the path downhill to the right, which turns into a quite respectable stream when there's been any amount of rain in recent days. Wetly annoying for pedestrians with holes in their shoes, and positively dangerous when the temperature drops below zero and it turns into a sheet of ice right across the path.
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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2014, 11:28:40 PM »
Teehee....that turning towards Chandos Close was where I took my tumble and, (another irony), I was actually intending to ride the route you suggested above :) 


We're talking about the same junction then (I've seen the video of your tumble now, and it's the very same one).

If you were to go straight on at that junction instead of turning right, there's another potential hazard after about 10-15 metres. It seems like a pretty much constant trickle of water from the left side of the path downhill to the right, which turns into a quite respectable stream when there's been any amount of rain in recent days. Wetly annoying for pedestrians with holes in their shoes, and positively dangerous when the temperature drops below zero and it turns into a sheet of ice right across the path.


Yep. That's the patch which, after sliding across it at 5 a.m in the morning, inspired me to use the roads when it's really cold  :)

Offline Muggins

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2014, 06:13:12 PM »
Or take a spade out with you and dig it a channel along side the cycle route?
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Offline Midlander

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2014, 11:22:48 PM »
A few weeks ago you wouldn't have been able to take that off road route.

The Link Centre Subway was heavily flooded and it remained that way for weeks. All the council did was put a load of temporary fences in front of the flood, and the strong winds simply blew the fences into the water, where they remained submerged. I'd hate to think what would have happened to anyone who cycled down that hill at speed then tried to cycle through the flood!

I've had to cycle on the roads quite a bit recently due to various issues, and had quite a bit of abuse from car drivers, who seem to think the roads are for them only. During the last six months, West Swindon has been a bit of a dangerous place for cycling!

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2014, 11:59:32 PM »
A few weeks ago you wouldn't have been able to take that off road route.

The Link Centre Subway was heavily flooded and it remained that way for weeks. All the council did was put a load of temporary fences in front of the flood, and the strong winds simply blew the fences into the water, where they remained submerged. I'd hate to think what would have happened to anyone who cycled down that hill at speed then tried to cycle through the flood!

I've had to cycle on the roads quite a bit recently due to various issues, and had quite a bit of abuse from car drivers, who seem to think the roads are for them only. During the last six months, West Swindon has been a bit of a dangerous place for cycling!

I did ride through it, at speed with my feet up. (I'd done this more or less successfully in the flooded underpasss on the way to the Western Flyer a few weeks earlier and thought I could get away with it in the Whitehill Way subway)  As you said, the barriers had blown over but weren't in the water when I went through it.  I wasn't carrying enough speed to get all the way through and had to put a couple of crank rotations in before I had cleared the flood.  Luckily I wear reasonably waterproofed fabric walking boots when I'm riding so my feet didn't get wet.

I wonder if some helpful herbert chucked the barriers in?, anyway, the next day I exited the cycle route early onto Carronbridge Road and then cycled down Corton Crescent/Rivenhall Road and Westlea Drive before re-joining the route on Mannington Lane.

West Swindon does seem to have more than its fair share of aggressive drivers, particularly at roundabouts.

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2014, 09:13:37 AM »
Quote
I did ride through it, at speed with my feet up.

The problem there, with the lack of velocity, appears to stem from the fact that you didn't mention going "Weeeeeeeeeeee" as you had your feet up. I think that it is part of the Vileycle Proficiency Test. :spin:
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2014, 09:33:57 AM »

Oh....I'm pretty sure I shouted something, (to the shock of a couple of elderly onlookers), at the instant I realised I needed to dip my paws.  It certainly wasn't 'Weeeeeeeeeeee!' though......  ;D   

Offline Simon

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2014, 09:32:50 PM »
The Link Centre Subway was heavily flooded and it remained that way for weeks. All the council did was put a load of temporary fences in front of the flood, and the strong winds simply blew the fences into the water, where they remained submerged.

On a few days (when I was in pedestrian mode) I was able to use those submerged fences as stepping stones to traverse the flooded subway without getting my shoes full of water. They seemed quite neatly lined up along the pedestrian side of the subway, almost as if someone had deliberately arranged them that way (kudos to whoever did that, it wasn't me, honest!).

Totally agree that the council's response to flooded subways (put up a "road closed" sign, which is still kicking around nearby) was completely inadequate.
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Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2014, 08:35:22 PM »
Totally agree that the council's response to flooded subways (put up a "road closed" sign, which is still kicking around nearby) was completely inadequate.

To be fair, I am not sure what they can do in the short term apart from close the subway.

The subways are usually deeper than the sewer system, so the gullies drain to a wet well which pumps the water back up to the sewer. If the pumps have failed, you can't really expect SCS to replace them until the water subsides.

In the longer term, lack of drainage/pump maintenance is an issue. The council used have a couple of people who did this full time. I doubt if those jobs still exist.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2014, 09:40:36 PM »
Yep, Sounds fair enough to me. :)  I have to admit that I see flooded subways more of a challenge and a bit of fun than an outrageous inconvenience for which someone must be held to account or blamed.

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Offline Simon

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2014, 11:50:12 PM »
Totally agree that the council's response to flooded subways (put up a "road closed" sign, which is still kicking around nearby) was completely inadequate.

To be fair, I am not sure what they can do in the short term apart from close the subway.

The subways are usually deeper than the sewer system, so the gullies drain to a wet well which pumps the water back up to the sewer. If the pumps have failed, you can't really expect SCS to replace them until the water subsides.

In the longer term, lack of drainage/pump maintenance is an issue. The council used have a couple of people who did this full time. I doubt if those jobs still exist.

Another example of how we're paying in different ways for the council tax not going up? Finding alternative routes to my bus stop because the subways were flooded has probably cost me more in lost earnings than a sensible increase in council tax would have cost me.
We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2014, 08:13:23 PM »
Another example of how we're paying in different ways for the council tax not going up? Finding alternative routes to my bus stop because the subways were flooded has probably cost me more in lost earnings than a sensible increase in council tax would have cost me.

Absolutely. The council describe these changes as efficiency savings but in reality they are just cuts to service.

I received my council tax bill this week and notice that approx. 40% of the council's expenditure is on care for the elderly. As the population ages that figure is going to increase, so council tax rises will be inevitable. There is nothing left to cut.

Offline Midlander

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Re: Road Speed versus The Safety Of Off Road Cycle Routes
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2014, 10:17:03 AM »
Totally agree that the council's response to flooded subways (put up a "road closed" sign, which is still kicking around nearby) was completely inadequate.

To be fair, I am not sure what they can do in the short term apart from close the subway.

The subways are usually deeper than the sewer system, so the gullies drain to a wet well which pumps the water back up to the sewer. If the pumps have failed, you can't really expect SCS to replace them until the water subsides.

In the longer term, lack of drainage/pump maintenance is an issue. The council used have a couple of people who did this full time. I doubt if those jobs still exist.

I can tell you exactly what they can do - don't put temporary fences up! The fences are only going to be blown into the water by the strong winds, or some idiot is going to throw them into the water for fun. Why do you need them? Everyone can see that the subway is flooded, and if someone has a good pair of wellies, there's no reason why people couldn't just wade through them. However fallen fences submerged in cloudy water are a trip hazard, and as for cyclists, well I've ridden through the subway near Withymead whilst that's been flooded with no problems, but I wouldn't chance the Link Centre one with the fences in there.