5 years of the National Cycle Network

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5 years of the National Cycle Network

Post by ajaybali on Sun May 02, 2010 11:50 am

15 years of the National Cycle Network might be something to celebrate it if wasn’t such a sorry excuse for cycling infrastructure! Too much of it is mountain-bike-only and has barriers, gates and even footbridges (Edinburgh and I think it was Bridgwater I’m looking at you) where the cyclist is expected to dismount and haul their vehicle through/over before continuing on their way.
There is a reason we don’t have gated roads anymore, why do we have to put up with it when cycling?
I’ve given up on the National Cycle Network because I cannot use an unfamiliar route with the simple expectation of being able to get a trike onto it, along it and out at the other end.
And why is the signing so poor? I’m fed up of the number of people at work who dabble going out on their bikes who come up to me and ask what a sign with a picture of a bike and a number means. People want to go to places. Numbered routes are meaningless to most of them. Give them a destination and a distance – just like all the countryside finger posts we used to have. Just saying I’m on ‘Route 65′ and can go in either direction along it tells me nothing in the same way that telling me I’m on the A12 without any other clues isn’t entirely helpful.
Sorry, I think I ranted, but I’ve found Sustrans and the NCN to be the biggest rip off in cycling infrastructure I’ve encountered. We could have done things properly, following the Dutch model and not got as far as we have, but at least the damn things would be useable.


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