October 28, 2010 at 10:34 am #74316
I regularly cycle as part of my cummute and have had a number of close calls with buses and taxis. I have also noticed quite a lot of opinion about cycle helmets. I have put together a short survey to get some insight in this and it would be great to hear your thoughts about safety and colect some responses to the survey. This is purely for interest and I will share the results within this forum. If you would like to complete the survey simply go to: Thanks
October 28, 2010 at 10:54 am #80763
My major concern is high traffic speeds, especially along Grosvenor Road and Millbank. I have seen at least one traffic camera on this route and a 30mph sign. But it feels that traffic here rarely travels at less than 50mph and I’m certain 70-80mph is common.
It’s not as if drivers gain any great advantage from their antics. The red light phases at both Vauxhall Bridge Road and Chelsea Bridge Road intersections are long, so no matter how fast they go drivers will invariably have to wait at the next lights.
However as a cyclist I find it intimidating. I’m not usually one to moan, but in true Mrs Trellis of North Wales fashion I’ve dashed off an appeal to Westminster Council to ask what they’re going to do about reinforcing whatever speed limit there is.October 28, 2010 at 11:39 am #80764
Helmets are a big debate. I hope you don’t equate helmet wearing directly with cycle safety…
I don’t think it’s possible to drive at 70-80mph along Grosvenor Road and Millbank, unless you have a supercar or a motorbike. I drive along this stretch quite often, and even at night most cars are doing about 40mph. Sure you get the odd crazy person driving a lot faster but they are the exception. If I remember right this stretch of road had a 50mph limit a few years ago! There’s too much traffic during the day to go faster than about 25mph.
I used to feel the same way as you cycling along Embankment. Cars weren’t going particularly fast but because there was no cycle lane I used to be terrified of that stretch, and even though I was doing nothing wrong cars would beep at me and drive really close to me. Now there’s a cycle lane it’s much saferOctober 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm #80765
Dan ThomasParticipantOctober 28, 2010 at 12:10 pm #80766
So it must all be in my imagination, right?
The short bits of new wide cycle lane which appeared along the Embankment and Victoria Embankment, coincidentally just as the bike hire scheme was introduced, are a small improvement, but the routes I’m talking about still don’t have bike lanes and have far fewer crossings to help reduce traffic speed.
Occasionally long queues of vehicles are backed up from the lights, but the rest of the time they travel at very high speeds. And I’m not just talking about expensive, high performance cars being and their well off owners high tailing it back to Chelsea from another day playing with the economy in the City, of which there are probably more than you seem to think. It’s everyone.
And if one vehicle swings out to give me and my bike some room, the driver behind takes that as an opportunity to try and pass it on the inside, giving poor me even less room. There is very much an atmosphere of lawlessness.
I don’t have a problem with traffic elsewhere that keeps to the posted speed restrictions and overtakes cyclists safely, with or without the aid of cycle lanes (of which I’m not generally a fan).October 28, 2010 at 12:49 pm #80767
Don’t often travel west of Parly Sq. The Embankment eastwards, from westminster to temple however links my office and our HQ so I’m uo and down there two or three times a month. Although the traffic lights are close together and motorists average speeds low there are far too many who have a floooor iiitt!!!/brake to ABS point driving style. I’m regularly close passed only to overtake the vehicle at lights than have him zoom by again.
I’d guess a fair few hit well over 40.October 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm #80768
1. How often do you use or expect to use the cycle hire scheme?
Other (please specify)
But there is no button on other so I get
“This question requires an answer.”
As this survey seems entirely concerned with helmet wearing I gave up. No I don’t wear a helmet.October 28, 2010 at 2:36 pm #80769
Why don’t you film your ride and then post it on YouTube, and then we can see whether it’s your imagination or not :p
As I said, I used to be really scared riding along Embankment for exactly the same reason as you. The perception as a cyclist is that the cars are driving extremely fast, but try and cycle on a road where cars actually do drive 60-70mph and you’ll soon see the difference. I think it’s just that the cars are passing too close to you, which is what used to happen to me on Embankment before they put the cycle lane in. The closer a car gets, the faster it appears.
(I use car to mean any motor vehicle really).October 29, 2010 at 10:05 am #80770
I too found the survey seemed to be about helmets, and didn’t have an option for the reason I don’t wear one, so I exited.
As for the speeds you cite, yes, it’s probably your imagination. I can’t see 70-80mph even being possible along that stretch unless it’s 3am. IME, most traffic is doing 30-40mph when it’s light traffic, slower when it’s heavy traffic.October 29, 2010 at 10:16 am #80771
Those who don’t wear helmets, why not complete it anyway so it doesn’t like all the respondents are pro-helmet? It only took about 3 minutes..October 29, 2010 at 10:16 am #80772
Those who don’t wear helmets, why not complete it anyway so it doesn’t like all the respondents are pro-helmet? It only took about 3 minutes..October 29, 2010 at 11:36 am #80773
You can’t complete it, because there’s no button next to the Other box so it won’t let you proceed if you select ‘Other’. The results will thus be meaningless.October 29, 2010 at 11:55 am #80774
Replying to @Trikeman‘s post: Thanks for all the comments, some really interesting feedback. Also good point about not being able to move on on the survey if you want to type “other”, my error which i have resolved so this will now work. I agree with the benefit of hindsight that this is very helmet orientated but I guess I was just interested as this seems to be such a lively debate at the moment with quite a lot of people questioning the usefulness of wearing helmets. Anyway maybe some of the points raised, particularly around driver behaviour etc would be an interesting future survey/point of discussion.October 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm #80775Quote:
Why don’t you film your ride and then post it on YouTube, and then we can see whether it’s your imagination or not
Now there’s a thought. Can’t afford the equipment to do it, though.
As for:Quote:I don’t think it’s possible to drive at 70-80mph along Grosvenor Road and Millbank,
Most modern vehicles are capable of travelling at 100mph at least, so it’s very possible.
With 25 years’ experience both driving and cycling round central London, including this very route, I think I have a fair idea of how fast traffic can go. When westbound traffic moves away from the lights at Vauxhall Bridge, there’s a long stretch of clear road in front of them, and it only takes a few seconds to hit 60mph. Which, alas, most seem to want to do.
I have a feeling that the under-perception of speed is that when people drive that route, all they remember is the times when they were stuck in a tailback or when it was clogged with traffic, but not the bits where they exceeded the speed limit.
Anyway, my main point was that speeding vehicles, and you can’t deny they often do, are my biggest cause of concern to my cycling safety.October 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm #80776Quote:Axleb: I agree with the benefit of hindsight that this is very helmet orientated but I guess I was just interested as this seems to be such a lively debate at the moment with quite a lot of people questioning the usefulness of wearing helmets.
The helmet debate has been done at great length on every cycling forum I’ve ever visited. It never changes anyone’s views, and generally results in ill-tempered posts. My personal view (not speaking as a moderator) is that those who want to wear them do, those who don’t don’t, and we leave it there.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.