Dynamo AGM – Wednesday 2 November


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Useful government website of cycling tips

I like this government website because it states clearly that a cyclist should ride centrally in narrow lanes. Yes! See http://think.direct.gov.uk/cycling.html#tips for more.


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Big Bike Revival Ride – Friday 21 October evening

An easy social ride starting from the Three Mariners pub in Lancaster at 7.00 p.m. going to Caton for a meal and returning by 10.30 p.m. More details and how to register at http://www.cyclinguk.org/event/ride/big-bike-revival-ride-lancaster-social.

This is organised through Lancaster’s 20s-40s Social Meetup Group.

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Tearing one’s hair out . . .

Not a cycling matter, but . . .

I contacted the Online Fault Reporting System at Lancashire County Council re the traffic lights at the Penny Street Bridge crossings.  The green man only appears if you press the button.  This means that if you get to the crossing a second after cars have stopped at the red light, you can’t just press the button and expect the green man to appear – even though it’s safe to cross.  So what happens – if you’re able-bodied – is that you cross with the red man.  Or – if you’re slower or less confident – you wait unnecessarily.  Not exactly pedestrian-friendly.  I suggested that the green man should be linked to the red lights so that “he” appears automatically.  This is the reply I got:

“Whilst I can appreciate your concerns this junction has been designed to provide a signal on demand only.  . . .  There probably was a very good reason at the time why the design engineer wanted to ensure that the traffic was stationary before allowing the green man to appear. I am sorry that you are delayed but I doubt very much that any changes to the operation will be made in the near future.”

I’m still wondering what the engineer’s “very good reason” could possibly have been!

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Proposed new zebra crossing on the Pointer roundabout

Dynamo is dismayed at Lancashire County Council’s plans for the new zebra crossing on the north side of the Pointer roundabout.  Zebra crossings are great, but this one will involve the removal of the existing useful cycle lanes – which suggests that Dynamo’s dream of cycle lanes down South Road will never happen.

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Nelson Street car park, Lancaster

The route through the car park takes you from the Town Hall to the canal.  When the car park was resurfaced last year, the old bicycle symbol on the tarmac disappeared.  It took a lot of time and a few emails, but the cycle markings have re-appeared better than before:


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Poor state of the canal towpath

A member’s recent experience which was sent to the Canals and Rivers Trust:

I was cycling southwards along the towpath en-route from Carnforth to Hest Bank. Between bridges 127 and 126, where the towpath surface is badly rutted, as it is for much of the way to Lancaster, when the rear wheel of my bike caught in a rut causing it to skid. Fortunately I was travelling at no more than 5mph but in order to prevent ending up in the canal I had to throw the cycle to the floor and jump off. I landed head first but fortunately on the grass between the surfaced path and the water’s edge and with the front wheel of my bike overhanging the water. If I had not been able to take appropriate action, or if I had been travelling faster, both the bike and myself would have ended up in the water.

There were no other cyclists or pedestrains in the vicinity and I believe the incident was caused by the poor state of repair of the towpath, which as you will know is signed as a long-distance cycle path between Lancaster and Carnforth.

Fortunately there was no damage to the bike and my cycle helmet prevented any damage to my head or face. I did however suffer a strained finger, which took the force of the fall.

I feel I ought to report this as the condition of the towpath could cause similar accidents to others and could leave the Trust open to personal injury claims.

We’d all echo his comments about the poor state of the towpath.  The response from the Canals and Rivers Trust was to copy it to the local engineering manager . . . but does s/he have the resources to fix it?

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