A Cycling & bikes forum. CycleBanter.com

Go Back   Home » CycleBanter.com forum » Regional Cycling » UK
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

A Sustrans dilemma



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old September 5th 05, 09:42 PM
Mike Causer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A Sustrans dilemma

This coming weekend Sustrans celebrates "opening" 10,000 miles of cycle
routes in the first 10 years of their existence. As part of the
celebrations there are four rides organised to Cambridge and subsequently
a ride from Cambridge to Preston (Lancs). One of these rides passes
within 100 metres of my house so it would seem churlish not to join them.

However the Sustrans route is carefully chosen to include the nastiest
junction and the most horrible road in the village in which I live
(which is easily bypassed on a quiet road). It then progresses through
four "Cyclists Dismount" signs in exactly one kilometre (5 in 2.5 km).
And they haven't even reached Cambridge yet, where more horrors await.

So, by joining in the ride am I endorsing the stupidities, or is it worth
highlighting the really daft parts by not using them and sticking to the
road?


Mike
Ads
  #2  
Old September 5th 05, 10:00 PM
Tony Raven
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A Sustrans dilemma

Mike Causer wrote:
This coming weekend Sustrans celebrates "opening" 10,000 miles of cycle
routes in the first 10 years of their existence. As part of the
celebrations there are four rides organised to Cambridge and subsequently
a ride from Cambridge to Preston (Lancs). One of these rides passes
within 100 metres of my house so it would seem churlish not to join them.

However the Sustrans route is carefully chosen to include the nastiest
junction and the most horrible road in the village in which I live
(which is easily bypassed on a quiet road). It then progresses through
four "Cyclists Dismount" signs in exactly one kilometre (5 in 2.5 km).
And they haven't even reached Cambridge yet, where more horrors await.

So, by joining in the ride am I endorsing the stupidities, or is it worth
highlighting the really daft parts by not using them and sticking to the
road?


Funny, I was pondering the exact same thought myself for this weekend.
I've decided that since I believe Sustrans routes are generally crap and
misguided it would be hypocritical for me to turn out for the PR
exercise they are running at the weekend as much as it would be fun to
join all the cyclists who will be there.


--
Tony

"I did make a mistake once - I thought I'd made a mistake but I hadn't"
Anon
  #3  
Old September 5th 05, 11:06 PM
Sandy Morton
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A Sustrans dilemma

In article
[email protected] com.invalid, Mike
Causer wrote:
So, by joining in the ride am I endorsing the stupidities, or is it
worth highlighting the really daft parts by not using them and
sticking to the road?


IMVHO Sustrans are a group of people without married parents.

--
A T (Sandy) Morton
on the Bicycle Island
In the Global Village
http://www.millport.net
  #4  
Old September 6th 05, 12:05 AM
tom
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A Sustrans dilemma

On Tue, 06 Sep 2005 00:06:23 +0100, Sandy Morton wrote:

In article
[email protected] com.invalid, Mike
Causer wrote:
So, by joining in the ride am I endorsing the stupidities, or is it
worth highlighting the really daft parts by not using them and sticking
to the road?


IMVHO Sustrans are a group of people without married parents.


Well it's great to see such massive support for a primarily cycling
oriented sustainable transport charity.

Perhaps what might make a better debate is whether this country should
ever have been in such a state that it required a charity, staffed with
many volunteers, to maintain a public transport infrastructure.
  #5  
Old September 6th 05, 06:36 AM
wafflycat
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A Sustrans dilemma


"Sandy Morton" wrote in message
...
In article
[email protected] com.invalid, Mike
Causer wrote:
So, by joining in the ride am I endorsing the stupidities, or is it
worth highlighting the really daft parts by not using them and
sticking to the road?


IMVHO Sustrans are a group of people without married parents.


I must admit, I have very ambigous views on Sustrans. I like the idea of the
Sustrans maps. I don't like the way the thing is carried out in practice on
many an occasion. The usual paint a bike on a path and it's a 'facility' and
how the routes between towns are often very convoluted and not the best
route from A to B by bike. It also fosters the idea that bikes do not belong
on roads, so over all, I'm not a fan of Sustrans.

Cheers, helen s

  #6  
Old September 6th 05, 06:47 AM
Chris Armstrong
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A Sustrans dilemma


I cycled along the Selby/York railway line at the weekend on the
Sustrans path. My young lad isn't up to going on the road and this was
great for him, - gets his interest up in cycling without me being
worried about him being on the road and at the mercy of car drivers,
and I don't need to get on his back, keeping on about keeping in etc.
The path had a scale model of the solar system which stretched for 10
miles which had informative stuff for him (and me) so it wasn't a case
of just being cycles painted on the floor. We had a great day, and got
some exercise, so I would say thanks to Sustrans, and whilst they may
not be perfect, I think overall they do more good than harm.


--
Chris Armstrong

  #7  
Old September 6th 05, 07:45 AM
Tony Raven
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A Sustrans dilemma

Chris Armstrong wrote:
I cycled along the Selby/York railway line at the weekend on the
Sustrans path. My young lad isn't up to going on the road and this was
great for him, - gets his interest up in cycling without me being
worried about him being on the road and at the mercy of car drivers,
and I don't need to get on his back, keeping on about keeping in etc.
The path had a scale model of the solar system which stretched for 10
miles which had informative stuff for him (and me) so it wasn't a case
of just being cycles painted on the floor. We had a great day, and got
some exercise, so I would say thanks to Sustrans, and whilst they may
not be perfect, I think overall they do more good than harm.



There are bits that are OK but large parts of it are poorly executed by
people who don't actually seem to use a bicycle or they would know
they'd got it wrong. There is the classic barrier problem which makes
them easily accessible only to single bikes without panniers, the
surfaces are often poor (at the Newcastle end of the C2C a horrible
black gungy surface that gets over everything in the wet) and the
junctions can be a nightmare (in Kings Lynn a single width blind bend
with a bollard in the middle just as you round the bend). Signing
leaves a lot to be desired too such that locals tend to be quite good at
redirecting lost cyclists.

I like the idea, I dislike Sustrans, their attitude and the way they
have gone about implementing it. As a short leisure ride as you used it
bits are fine, as a transport network, fuggedit.

--
Tony

"I did make a mistake once - I thought I'd made a mistake but I hadn't"
Anon
  #8  
Old September 6th 05, 09:05 AM
Simon Brooke
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A Sustrans dilemma

in message , tom
') wrote:

On Tue, 06 Sep 2005 00:06:23 +0100, Sandy Morton wrote:

In article
[email protected] com.invalid, Mike
Causer wrote:
So, by joining in the ride am I endorsing the stupidities, or is it
worth highlighting the really daft parts by not using them and
sticking to the road?


IMVHO Sustrans are a group of people without married parents.


Well it's great to see such massive support for a primarily cycling
oriented sustainable transport charity.


They aren't a cycling oriented sustainable transport charity. They may
have been that twenty years ago, but they aren't now. A lot of what
they're doing is very anti-cyclist and the majority of what they're
doing has nothing whatever to do with sustainability or transport. In my
part of the world, where Sustrans routes are on the roads they're mostly
OK, although not necessarily the road a cyclist would have chosen. But
where the route diverts off the road onto special cycle paths, they are
often actively dangerous, far more dangerous than the road. I hold up as
a special example of this the hill just west of Creetown, where the (two
way) cycle path is precipitous, very twisty through a wood with poor
sight-lines, and the tarmac is covered with moss, mud and slime. Someone
is going to get killed on there.

--
(Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

;; Friends don't send friends HTML formatted emails.
  #9  
Old September 6th 05, 09:15 AM
Peter Clinch
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A Sustrans dilemma

tom wrote:

Well it's great to see such massive support for a primarily cycling
oriented sustainable transport charity.


I am very happy that such a remit has general support from the UK
public. I am a lot less happy that they have routes where my ability to
cycle is reduced compared to taking the roads. Rather destroys a lot of
the point.

Perhaps what might make a better debate is whether this country should
ever have been in such a state that it required a charity, staffed with
many volunteers, to maintain a public transport infrastructure.


It might make a better debate, but compared to actually resolving the
problems of Sustrans paths it's a lot less likely to get anywhere
productive. Removing "Cyclists Dismount" signs and their associated
access gates with an encore of realising that paranoid road avoidance
isn't /always/ either helpful or even a safety improvement is a bit
easier than turning back time and changing the country's entire
transport culture.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/

  #10  
Old September 6th 05, 09:17 AM
tom
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A Sustrans dilemma


I don't like the way the thing is carried out in
practice on many an occasion. The usual paint a bike on a path and it's a
'facility'


If only it were that easy, it could have saved Sustrans a whole lot of
money.

and how the routes between towns are often very convoluted and
not the best route from A to B by bike.


but your favourite route from A to B may differ from mine.

It also fosters the idea that
bikes do not belong on roads


In what sense? The National Cycle Network takes in a lot of roads, and
mainly quiet ones - which is nice. My first touring ride was
on a Sustrans path (Bristol to Bath), I had an awful mountain bike and all
my gear in a rucksack to camp overnight. I had an excellent time and I was
hooked, didn't look back. I doubt I'd have had such an excellent time if
I'd gone for a ride down the A4., wobbling all over the road.

While many Sustrans paths may not be suitable for racing, I don't think
that is entirely surprising, given that road cyclists like umm roads.
As far as I can see, Sustrans is about creating a movement, helping people
to make their first steps into cycling and then supporting them (I've
cycled a number of National Cycle Network routes, and will continue to).
While some of the network isn't suitable for commuting, it does provide
the original incentive to start riding which gives you the confidence to
take it one step further, which is exactly what I did. That said, in many
places their network is used for commuting, I can't comment for other
parts of the country but down here, the Bristol - Bath path is a very busy
one, with traffic flowing in both directions.

I do not believe it harbours the idea that cyclists have no place on the
road. When learning to drive a car, who doesn't search for an off-road
place to begin, to have those introductory lessons where you are working
out how to change gear, to brake etc?

There appears to be 2 schools of thought, those who think it is wrong to
remove cyclists from the 'street scene' by building paths away from roads,
and those that believe that a path away from a road is bliss. Personally,
if the quality of the path is good, I'd far rather be away from the road,
for reasons of safety and enjoyment.

I agree that some of the National Cycle Network has problems, I've cycled
on some awful tracks, and it frustrates me. On the whole, I am a big fan
of Sustrans though. If you don't want to cycle on their network, don't,
but certainly don't complain that they are inadequate, unskilled, not
interested in their jobs or otherwise, because that is clearly
disrespectful to an organisation which is trying to encourage the use of
the bicycle, and are very alone in this quest.

Tom
 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sustrans White Rose Route George Sproat UK 0 August 14th 05 08:27 PM
Guardian article on Sustrans John Hearns UK 2 June 10th 05 01:28 PM
Sustrans website offline? Mike Causer UK 2 January 3rd 05 04:42 PM
Sustrans Rangers. Simon Mason UK 9 October 23rd 03 11:48 PM
Sustrans routes Zog The Undeniable UK 51 September 26th 03 11:08 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2022 CycleBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.