Monday, 26 July 2010

Car Sick Highway Engineers

Even in a car sick motor centric society like ours this takes some beating.  There are roadworks on Staines Bridge which means it has been narrowed.  The Highways Engineer has scrubbed out the cycle lane markings and instructed cyclists to dismount.
The above is a still from one of my Headcam videos here
I make some further intemperate comments on youtube; but really how can Highways Agencies employ people who think like this ?


  1. Luckily that isn't a regulatory sign (neither is the hated CYCLISTS DISMOUNT blue sign - that's classified as a "cycling sign") so you are quite free to ignore it. But it does show an appalling lack of understanding about the rights of cyclists on public highways from whoever put it there.

    Give the normally-huge amount of red tape needed to erect road signs, surely this sort of thing shouldn't be possible?

    Or perhaps this creates the possibility of cyclists legally putting up "car drivers get out and push" or "pedestrians take off your shoes" signs...?

  2. The DFT site ( has the following guidelines. Interesting the DFT recognises that cyclists will generally ignore the signs!

    "Where access is permitted for motor vehicles,
    "Cyclist Dismount" signs should not be used.
    The hazards to cyclists at roadworks are rarely
    great enough to justify this measure. In any
    case, cyclists are likely to ignore such
    instructions. The only situation where cyclists
    should be advised to dismount is where the
    carriageway is closed off but the footway
    remains open. In such cases a white-on-red
    temporary sign "CYCLISTS DISMOUNT AND
    USE FOOTWAY" may be used."

  3. This is a temporary road sign and should comply with the specifications set out in the sign manual TSRGD Chapter 8. The wording and design are non compliant - and the NO ROAD MARKINGS sign should be sufficient. Some of the signs do rather push the issue of obstructing traffic (pedestrian traffic that is never considered when placing signs for motor traffic - rarely placed on the carriageway)

    Local Roads Authorities are perhaps the worst offenders in complying with the statutory specifications for protecting and signing at road works, and you might just check through the complete signage. There should be at least one sign with contact details of the responsible contractor or client - let's see who they are, as some contractors/utilities are exemplary in their standards (often after a major claim - Scottish Gas after a fatal road crash) but all to sadly they are greatly outnumbered by those who sink to the nadir, especially for the pedestrian or cycle route.

    Your dismount signs were not the legally correct ones but in Glasgow we had the correct Diagram 966 erected where a cycle route joined the carriageway totally contra to the specification (Chapter 4 page 155 IIRC) Diagram 966 is advisory only and not for use on the carriageway - LTN 2/08 - the DfT handbook on cycling provision deprecates its use, and it may disappear from the next revision of TSRGD)

    Hoever the real classics are a) at MOTO services on the motorway, where the corporate image appears to igore international road signage standards - erecting a sign which if interpreted to the international standard prohibits drivers from Giving Way at a junction, when the intended meaning is precisely the opposite, and here is one which effectively bans cycling by setting a minimum speed limit of 30mph - erected by a developer and it seems accepted by the adopting roads authority. for the picture

  4. I've always read 'Cyclists dismount' as a statement of fact - I do indeed dismount my bike at the end of every ride.

    > Hoever the real classics are a) at MOTO services on the motorway, where the corporate image appears to igore international road signage standards

    There is a nice discussion on service station signage at:

  5. It's for your own safety on a busy road that has been narrowed. You may not like it but the roads were built for motorised transport. If you want to ignore the sign then please feel free but just remember who will come off worse in a coming together of a car and a bicycle.

    1. i always thought roads pre-dated motorised vehicles

  6. @phatboy roads were originally built for cyclists, then people who felt the need to take up disproportionate amounts of space with polluting engines and large metal structures around them muscled in on them. I don't imagine your last sentence is intended as a threat but the wording is unfortunate.

  7. So phatboy, the Romans build roads for
    motororised transport did they?