The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain has launched a new online tool “Insert loved one here” that draws attention to particularly terrifying cycling infrastructure, like the bike lanes at the Morrison’s Roundabout
We’re actually fairly fortunate in Dumfries that there isn’t too much of this sort of paint on the road that ends up making things worse for cycling not better (it seems like anyone who’s ever been knocked off their bike in Dumfries has been knocked off at this roundabout – and no wonder as following the lanes around the outside of the roundabout actually puts you in a dangerous position if you’re not turning left). There are plenty of problems with our existing cycling network – from slow crossings to a lack of joined-up routes – but most of the time the effect is inconvenience rather than outright danger. And there are plenty of scary roads, although they mostly don’t have cycle lanes on them – with the exception of Brooms Road, where the bike lanes take you into the left-turn lane, potentially putting you in conflict with turning traffic
However, we do need to be vigilant against attempts to ‘cater for cycling’ by simply putting paint on the road that ends up either achieving nothing or actually puts cyclists into a dangerous position. Plans for a route to the hospital along the Dalbeattie Road, for instance, is just an on-road lane which will probably end up underneath parked cars for most of its length.
Every year our summer rides (and remember – the first one is tomorrow!) remind us just how well-designed a cycle route has to be before you can comfortably take a young child on it, or a novice, or even someone who just likes to ride slowly and safely and not have to tangle with traffic. We are all mostly cyclists ourselves, and some of us even go round Morrison’s roundabout (if there’s no alternative), but we also all have families who aren’t so foolhardy (and who sometimes wish we weren’t either) At Cycling Dumfries, we believe cycling should be for everyone, not just the quick and the brave, and we want to see a whole network where all our loved ones can happily cycle.
Where would you love to – or hate to – have your loved ones cycle in Dumfries?