Friday 13 August 2010

Cycling time trials and the A11

After a time trial cyclist was run down by a driver

the use of A roads and dual carriageways for such events has been defended.

Don Saunders, organiser of Sunday's event, said: “The safety record on that road [the A11] in actual events is really good and the history of accidents is very low.

“We had signs out and we do risk assessments.
Dual carriageways, historically, are just as safe if not safer than going on single carriageway roads where there are lots of junctions.

The A11 may be 'safe' for mass cycling events but the reason why the A11 generally has a very low casualty record for cyclists is that hardly any cyclists use it. I drove along the entire length of the A11 yesterday (it runs between Cambridge and Norwich) and did not see a single cyclist.

The A11 is a very fast road filled with huge volumes of motor traffic, much of it going faster than 70 mph. It’s also an HGV route and has a lengthy single carriageway section. The tens of millions of pounds spent on ‘improving’ this road never included a penny on building segregated cycle paths, even though the land was there, the cost was relatively small compared to roads infrastructure, and the route is a direct one to Norwich (which is a relatively compact but profoundly car-sick city).

Driving a car – it’s safe, fast and convenient. Quite unlike the experience of cycling.