55 cyclists during rush hour but how many used the…Hull247Cars
55 cyclists during rush hour but how many used the cycle lanes?
It is a debate that has had us all up in arms over the past year but for now we all have to get used to the fact that cycle lanes, for the time being, are here to stay. The green lanes that now feature along some of the city’s busiest roads has caused widespread anger and frustration. Drivers blame them for the Hull’s dreadful traffic congestion and many take issue with cyclists who don’t use them. I too have shook my head and gritted my teeth, exhaling a breath of anger as a cyclist passes on the pavement instead of the green tarmac that has been designated to them. To sign up for the Hull Live newsletter, click here Setting my irritation aside, I was tasked with carrying out a test during the Friday evening rush hour to see whether these lanes are worthwhile and whether they are being used. The result surprised me. To begin this test I went straight to Blundells Corner, a crossroads of cycle lanes and an epicentre of Hull’s traffic issues linking Spring Bank, Ferensway, Beverley Road and Freetown Way. Taking a seat outside the jobcentre at 5.30pm it was not long before the first cyclist flew down towards Spring Bank using the correct lane. Cyclists at Blundells Corner In fact, in the ten minutes spent at that corner a total of 17 bicycles rode past and only three opted to use the pavement instead. A highlight was the sight of a man in his 30’s riding slowly along the path of Spring Bank in a lowrider bicycle as if he was in south central Los Angeles. Round one went to the lane-abiding cyclists. Next was a stroll down Ferensway and already three cyclists went past using the cycle lanes before I settled on a seat outside Hull Paragon. As time went by, tallying up the numbers, it looked as though it would be another win for the city’s good riders, 4-0 up just moments before I would spring back to my feet. However, the score was levelled in a flash as a group of four kids rode along the path just inches away from the green tarmac where they should have been, possibly infuriating those who had to shift to one side to avoid them. Walking back along Ferensway towards Freetown Way it looked as though this would be a score draw at 6-6. Six out of 13 cyclists in Ferensway did not use the cycle lanes However, just before reaching the traffic lights, which would signal the end to round two, an angel on two wheels came flying past riding along the green lane, making it a 7-6 victory for the good guys and two for two. The action along Freetown Way was lacklustre and only three cyclists rode past in the first eight minutes, all using the cycle lanes. Walking back towards Blundells Corner to end round three it was a clean sweep as six out of six cyclists used them. The final round was a walk along Spring Bank towards Princes Avenue, a route that has frustrated me in the past few weeks with having to side step away from an oncoming cyclist on the pavement. But, to my surprise, it was quickly 7-0 to cycle-lane users as I passed the junction for Freehold Street, a terrific start. Reaching the now closed down Polar Bear pub I was prepared to write up another clean sweep at 13-0, but then the party was spoiled. Only three cyclists did not use the designated cycle lanes in Spring Bank Looking across the street a cyclist on the path rode past the pub and then another just brushed past my right shoulder. A disappointing end to round four but a comfortable victory for the good guys at 16-3. In the hour spent jotting down the figures 55 cyclists were spotte