Cycling - South Bank

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Monday 18 December 2006 2.09pm
12:45 today, I was cycling along the South Bank, just past the Founders Arms and beside where the Birches outside Tate Modern are, a guy in an non-logo'd fleece began shouting, "Excuse me sur, excuse me sur", (he was Scottish) in a more aggressive than requesting tone ... I chose to ignore him and saw he was in the process of pulling out an ID.

Does anyone know what he would want?

Incidentally, I don't stop for strangers.
Monday 18 December 2006 2.38pm
No idea, but I'd have kept pedalling too!
Monday 18 December 2006 7.26pm
Also no idea, but does anyone know which bits of the South Bank are a cycle path and which are not?

The London cycle map indicates that the only section which is cycleable is between Blackfriars Bridge and the Millennium Bridge, but I see cyclists on other sections all the time. It's often very dangerous.

Am I right that they are technically breaking the law, or is the map inaccurate?
Tuesday 19 December 2006 1.07am
Well good luck to them if they are breaking the law... as we all know the law is an ass.

It amazes me that people whinge about cyclists being dangerous, when idiots driving cars kill and maim each day on our streets.

Hopefully all of the south bank of the river will have a cycle path one day.
Tuesday 19 December 2006 5.25am
There was supposed to a be a cycle path along the Thames sponsored by the charity Sustrans but this plan seems to have been quietly shelved.
Tuesday 19 December 2006 9.23am
JaneS wrote:
Also no idea, but does anyone know which bits of the South Bank are a cycle path and which are not?
The London cycle map indicates that the only section which is cycleable is between Blackfriars Bridge and the Millennium Bridge, but I see cyclists on other sections all the time. It's often very dangerous.

Am I right that they are technically breaking the law, or is the map inaccurate?

There is a message strand on the Southwark Cyclists e-forum here that contains a summary of where people THINK it's legal to cycle along the South Bank.
Tuesday 19 December 2006 4.10pm
I think previous arguments on this board have established that both bikes and cars can cause accidents, and anyone in charge of either should be careful and respect other road/path users.

I agree that there should be a cycle lane - the reason it's dangerous at the moment is that there are a lot of corners and bikes share the space with pedestrians. There is no separation of the South Bank. I saw a bike hit a push chair the other day, fortunately the mother saw him coming and managed to manoevre it so that the bike only hit the rear side of the pushchair, so noone was hurt, but it could have been very nasty. This was in the area by the Oxo Tower where bikes sometimes seem to cycle under the covered section (outside the hairdresser, gallery etc), and where there are too many large pillars and corners for bikes to go along as fast as they seem to do.

I'm not remotely trying to say that bikes should be banned from the South Bank - it's a lovely place to cycle - but I just wondered where they were supposed to go exactly. Lanes would be wonderful for everyone, no doubt the bikes find all the pedestrians a real holdup, especially during rush hours when there are so many commuters walking that route, runners, etc.

That link is very helpful. I'm not sure I understand the attitude of 'the law's stupid, I'll do what I think makes sense', but I'm sure we all do it at times with regard to road rules etc.
Tuesday 19 December 2006 7.38pm
I walk the South Bank most days. The vast majority of cyclists ride perfectly well and understand the route is not a cycle route per se and are prepared to slow down where there is congestion, particularly the narrow bit close to Blackfriars Bridge. There are a very few maniacs, and I do object to having bells pinged at me when it isn't a designated cycle route.

Almost worse are the runners who seem to expect you to vaporise if they could be held up for a fraction of a second. One or two have discovered that I may have my freedom pass but I did play rugby and running into me may have surprising consequences.

All in all very little problem and I hope some officious idiot is not going to stop people's pleasure at using a great walk.

On the other hand said officials would probably like to solve the problem by banning cyclists and pedestrians. There would be no problems then.
Tuesday 19 December 2006 8.52pm
An idea from the Independent a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure "dream" is the word I would use for it:

In old cities such as London, the roads are simply not wide enough to accommodate bigger cycling lanes, and even if we wanted more segregated cycle paths, there often isn't room for these either.

One idea that might make a difference in the capital, however, is to make greater use of the Thames. A letter from a reader last week suggested building a cycle path along the south bank, which would protrude out over the river. Although it remains a pipe dream for now, bicycle highways such as this are perhaps the only way of providing a safe cycling network.


[url=http://motoring.independent.co.uk/comment/article2037767.ece][/url]
Wednesday 20 December 2006 4.51pm
The whole idea of seggregated provision for bicycles - whether 'bicycle highways' or not - continues to confound me.

In principle I am a fan, and I use such facilities wherever plausible. The new Balckfriars Bridge provision (northbound) is one such facility that I use and greatly appreciate, for example, although I know it has its detractors.

On the other hand, I also jump off the bike and W-A-L-K when convenient, necessary, desirable or mandatory. This revolutionary thought seems to escape a lot of cyclists who just carry on regardless.

It isn't actually necessary to cycle the whole length of the South Bank. Dismounting and walking costs little time. The apologists for cyclists who ride 'illegally' (not actually established) through pedestrianised zones along that stretch, such as More London, don't convince me one iota. If, as they argue, they only want to use the South Bank to enjoy the view, well a few extra minutes on their journey won't hurt then, will it? If, in contrast, they're in more of a hurry, well that's understandable and they can use the quiet roads marked clearly on the free cycling maps, just one street back from the waterfront, and stop being a threat to my two small kids as they toddle round!

I use that route myself to get to work, and can vouch for it.

I think all this is a no-brainer. What complexity am I missing in this debate?
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