Highways England propose to prohibit cyclists from using the A63 Trunk Road and associated slip roads. An incidental impact of their ban would prevent me from cycling the one mile from my home in Brough, to St Helen’s Church in Welton – where I work. There are dozens of people locally who cycle between Melton, Welton and Brough who will have to find an alternative form of transport.
The reasons are essentially that cyclists can’t keep up with the traffic flow and that it is dangerous for cyclists and a hazard to road safety.
This is no trivial matter. It opens the door to banning cycling on any road with a National Speed limit. Dual Carriageways may look hazardous, but with their long lines of sight and with two lanes for traffic they can be some of the safest roads to cycle along – if you don’t mind riding in ugly places. Once the precedent has been set, Highways England can respond to any complaint from councils or motorists that ‘slow moving vehicles are a hazard’.
Touring the country by bicycle will be under threat from random prohibition orders wherever some ‘concerned motorist’ thinks that cyclists are a hazard. If you ever wanted to cycle from Lands End to John o’Groats, or from Coast to Coast, or if you ever wanted to ride a bike from one town to the next… it will all be under threat. And then… walking, horse riding and other slow moving vehicles will be prohibited too.
Instead of seeing cyclists as the hazard, why not recognise the genuine hazard – people behind the wheel of a car not driving appropriately to the conditions – or unable to stop in the distance they can see. How about tackling poor driving standards instead of banning people from the freedom to travel.
If this prohibition order worries you, please write to:
Operations Directorate (Yorkshire & North East),
3rd Floor South,
8 City Walk,
Quote Order Title:
“The A63 Trunk Road (North Cave Interchange to Daltry Street Interchange) (Prohibition of Cyclists) Order
Letters must be received by Monday 19th February 2018.
These images above have been downloaded and reproduced from social media where they have been widely shared by others to raise awareness and campaign for freedom to cycle. These documents may be inspected by calling into West End News in South Cave or Elloughton Post Office in Elloughton, near Brough – both in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
So how busy is the A63?
Anyone who has driven along in a car will no doubt explain that it is a fast and busy road. But perspective is the key, take yourself out of the car at rush hour, and put yourself beside the road at any other time of day… and then it becomes ‘just another road’.
There is no denying that the A63 carries a lot of traffic, but it would be unfair to say that the A63 is busy constantly. There are regular rhythms to the traffic and, as a person on a bicycle, there are rhythms to when I might choose to cycle along this road and when I would choose not too. On a Sunday morning in Winter the A63 is gritted and much safer to use than any other road or cycle path. When I’m travelling in a hurry, it is the shortest and quickest route between Welton and Melton.
I still fail to understand why Highways England think that prohibiting cyclists is the right thing to do, it seems as though those in authority can only ever imagine this road at rush hour when ‘common sense’ says cyclists are at high risk. But it isn’t always rush hour, and people who travel by bicycle, like me, are quite competent at assessing risk.
I continue to hope that Highways England will reconsider this anti-cycling initiative and not enforce thier proposed TRO on the A63 in East Yorkshire.