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Cycling - Thames path Neckinger to London Bridge

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Wednesday 11 September 2013 8.47pm
beetroot wrote:
theedy wrote:
The one thing I would like London cyclists to do is to give way on the left when a bus is approaching a bus stop. How the bus drivers manage it I don't know, but the number of times I have seen a cyclist try to race through the diminishing gap as he/she approaches a stop is frightening. And it will be the driver 's fault, and he will lose his livelihood.

Come on guys, think.

Absolutely insane idea. Most bus drivers are good enough to wait the short time it takes for the cyclist to move on. Those that persistently pull in squashing a cyclist against the curb should be sacked.

As a retired black cab driver it would be very easy to presume that I would be anti cyclist, I'm not, well certainly not all cyclists.
Critical mass? Hmmm, a special place is hopefully being readied for them in Hades.
Anti bus drivers as well? They could sometimes come off as nuisances to us, but they were doing a job, and had, and have, every right to be on the road too.
It cannot be easy for a bus driver to move into the kerb to set down or pick up passengers with the amount of cyclists perfectly legitimately riding close to the kerb.
I remember what it was like if someone hailed me as I was driving along.
I would immediately check the rear view mirror, indicate left, in a split second switching eyes to the nearside door mirror checking for cyclists.
I knew that it was extremely bad form to squeeze them into the kerb, and I would NEVER do it.
Equally, as the person with the raised hand was doing so in order to give me money, I'd NEVER shrug my shoulders and keep going.
I'd wait, hoping a), for a long enough gap between cycles to enable me to get to the kerb, or b), for a cyclist, or group of cyclists to see what I was trying to do, and either ease up, or shift to the right to go around me.
For a bus driver it must be worse, having cyclists who can see that their lane will be blocked while bus passengers alight or board, and so pedal like lunatics to get past the bus on the inside before they have to rein in and stop.
Wednesday 11 September 2013 10.33pm
Rambling Phil wrote:
boroughonian wrote:
...the other morning I was walking along SBR where that blue cycle lane is,there must've been twenty cyclists and only a few of them were in the cycle lane,it was like a race,too rushy.

(speaking as a pedestrian and occasional user of the hire bikes)

You do know that there is no law or rule that says that cyclists have to use cycle lanes, where provided, don't you?

Frequently, it's not safe or pleasant to use them (eg the lanes hold drains, broken glass, cars nosing out of side roads, parked cars or cars turning left, or they force you down the LHS of long vehicles - which is spectacularly dangerous).

Absolutely on the money.

I'm 85% pedestrian, 10% cyclist and 5% motorist. But my view is that better equipping london for cyclists is the long run solution.

There are lots of problems, and solutions:
- Broken glass on cycle lanes.
- Lorries posing a threat.
- Buses sharing a lane and pulling over regularly, leaving cyclists with the option of stopping to a halt (which pedestrian or motorist would do that mid flow?) or swerving out.
- No respect for advanced stop lines. Black cabs, you are the worst in my experience. Fine anyone found in them, not just those seen entering.
- Jaywalking fines on cycle routes? I often find myself gambling on whether I can cross before the cyclists get there, and subconsciously I am more likely to take the risk because I know they don't pose the threat that a motorist would.
- Loads of cars parking or stopping on red routes or double yellows, causing cyclists to have to swerve out or stop. Black cabs again, I'm looking at you.
- Poor signage. Improved, but surely a cheap fix to direct cyclists along back and sides and recognised routes.
- Too many cyclists and motorists with poor road awareness. Force all motorists to do a basic cycling or cycling awareness course before granting a license. Extreme, maybe.
Thursday 12 September 2013 11.11am
Tim Purcell wrote:
Well the stuff about the roads is irrelevant to this thread.
With respect it is not your place to say what is or is not relevent to a thread on this forum and a bit rich since in your second post "Nope pedestrians and motorists in the main pay attention to the lights. Cyclists in the main don't. They are the problem."

As to trying to enter into a reasonable discussion about cyclists in London with yourself Im not even going to go there. It blatantly obvious that when someone uses the terms fascist (twice) crack pots, mad heads and loopy, then a rational discussion is not going to be possible. I do however have some sympathies with your complaint but have to agree with another poster the problem is not Cyclists! Just some cyclist . So please stop hurling insults at cyclist in general.
Thursday 12 September 2013 12.23pm
There is a sociology thesis waiting to be written on why cyclist V pedestrian V motorist threads on the internet always provoke such heated emotions.
Thursday 12 September 2013 1.11pm
I think that there should be a section in the driving test dealing with cyclists and road awareness for drivers but equally i beleive there should be a test and training for cylists - it is utter madness that on busy London roads anyone can just get on a bike and start cycling with no experience or training .

however there are so many ignorant drivers ,cyclists and pedestrians in London that i think we are destined to keep on arguing!
Thursday 12 September 2013 2.16pm
Loads of cars parking or stopping on red routes or double yellows, causing cyclists to have to swerve out or stop. Black cabs again, I'm looking at you.

I have absolutely no desire to walk into this minefield, I haven't ridden a cycle since I was about 10.
I walk a lot, I take a bus on occasion, and I use black cabs a great deal.
However, I am 100% sure that black cabs are legally entitled to pick up and set down on red routes and double yellow lines.
Check with the TFL website, it will be on there I guess.
No one, including black cabs, is allowed to wait on a red route or double yellow though.
So if you phone for a black cab to pick you up in one of those places, you'd better be there when he arrives, otherwise he'll have to leave, or take a chance on a ticket.
Thursday 12 September 2013 3.24pm
Having cycled around London a great deal, I tend to find cabbies and bus drivers more often than not some of the best, most responsible road users - certainly with regard to looking out for cyclists. They are experienced, are used to all sorts of other unpredictable road users, and are bright enough to realise that skipping a red light or speeding rarely gets them anywhere quicker other than to the next red light.
Thursday 12 September 2013 3.58pm
Tim Purcell seems to have hijacked the thread he started himself by turning it into an anti-cyclist rant. All good fun, but his original post about cycling on the London Bridge-Neckinger stretch of the Thames Path was perfectly valid. I thought I'd wait till I had a chance to recce the area (on foot) before commenting.

The legality and the advisability of cycling on stretches of the riverside 'promenade' which also form parts of the Thames Path are debatable. There are areas - the towpaths in west London, and various stretches around Deptford and Limehouse - where it's not only legal but encouraged (see TfL's official cycling maps). There are other areas - Lambeth/South Bank - where it's apparently permitted, but can be hazardous, and at times impracticable because of the crowds of pedestrians.

Between London Bridge and the Neckinger bridge/Mill Street, the Thames Path is (as I understand it) all on private land (remember how it was all barricaded off for the Queen's Jubilee last year). So it's up to the landowners, who allow its use by the general public, to decide if they will allow cyclists - and if not, to make their intention clear.

I walked this stretch today, looking for 'no cycling' notices. I eventually discovered, in Mill Street, a couple of small, but elegant, metal signs explaining that the route was open to pedestrians only, and that cyclists should dismount. On the little bridge itself I met two elderly cyclists wheeling their bicycles.

In the More London/City Hall area there are indeed notices explaining that it is private land and that skateboarding, roller-blading and cycling are forbidden. They are very discreet stainless steel panels. I spotted three (but there are no doubt more). Two were at knee level attached to low stone walls, and two were adjacent to each other and positioned so that you only saw them as you left the area.

I looked in particular for any signs visible to a cyclist approaching from Shad Thames. Shad Thames itself is of course problematic. The central section is gated. This afternoon the east gate was shut, and has a tatty A4 notice hanging on it indicating that the road is only open to traffic at certain times, and that at other times Shad Thames is for use by pedestrians only and that the gates will then be locked. The west gate was wide open, has no notice about use by pedestrians only, and in any case if shut would leave a gap which is clearly intended for cyclists. Once on Shad Thames (at a time when the gates are legally open and the road open to all traffic) a cyclist can pass under the Tower Bridge arch without bumping up a kerb, negotiating a barrier, or passing a 'no cycling' sign - not even, as far as I could see, one of More London's elegant stainless steel knee-level notices.

There is a well-known official 'no cycling' sign - see p 96 of the Highway Code. All that Tim Purcell needs to do is persuade the landowners to put one up prominently at each access point - if they are serious about enforcing a ban on cycling. Or they could decide to open up parts of the area for shared cyclist/pedestrian use - there's an official sign for that as well - with the usual understanding that pedestrians would have priority.

John C (an occasional weekend cyclist)
Thursday 12 September 2013 4.12pm
It's interesting that, in general, we tend to think that everything's OK unless there's a sign saying you can't do it.

How nice would it be if people took some personal responsibility and used a little common sense? Re. cycling on the South Bank, who cares if people cycle along there at (the - admittedly - rare) times when it's quiet? I can't see any point in banning cycling late at night/early in the morning, for instance. On the other hand, it's probably not appropriate at lots of other times because there are so many pedestrians. Would we rather have a bit of common sense, or would we rather have signs everywhere?

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 12 September 2013 4.14pm
John C wrote:
On the little bridge itself I met two elderly cyclists wheeling their bicycles.
John, don't you mean 'hordes of speeding mad heads'?
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