Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hats Off to Alderman Leach School - But What a Journey!

Bicycles in Alderman Leach School today - a freezing cold day!

Just home from a run from town to Alderman Leach via Branksome (on road) and back again (largely off road) to drop off leaflets for the coming Cycling Symposium. The contrast between off road and on road couldn't have been starker.

First, I have to salute the efforts of staff, parents and kids at Alderman Leach School, where cycling has risen from 0% to 11% in 2 years. And of course to Louise Neale, the School Travel (and now cycling) Officer. The school travel plan can be downloaded here.

The journey began with a near accident going out on Woodland Road. Could the owner of vehicle registration number P909 CH9 please start looking more carefully for cyclists when joining a main road. I was no more than 5 yards away when she pulled out in front of me, causing me to break violently. Yet she continued on as if nothing had happened. I resolved to come back ON THE PAVEMENT when I reached this junction.

Further on, some strange markings along the westbound pavement/road of West Auckland Road suggest that there could be some provision in the future for all those kids cycling to school on the south side of the road (the cycle path is on the other side). Explanations welcome!

Returning on the cycle path, as I crossed the entrance to Faverdale along the marked cycle crossing, some kind lady driver stopped well back from these lines to let me through. It seemed quite natural to both of us that I should have right of way.

By the time I reached Cockerton, I felt much safer staying off the roads. But what it shows is that there are car drivers and car drivers, just as there are cyclists and cyclists. So how about a traffic framework to encourage better behaviour instead of assuming bad behaviour? You know it makes sense!

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