Cyclists will be given green light to ignore one-way signs

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Cyclists will be given green light to ignore one-way signs

Post by falkor » Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:52 pm

From The Times
September 17, 2009
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Cyclists will be permitted to ride the wrong way along one-way streets under a change intended to encourage more people to give up their cars or use them less.

The Government will announce today that cyclists will be permitted to ignore no-entry signs: a practice already followed by many, including David Cameron, the Conservative leader.

The Department for Transport is authorising a trial in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Mr Cameron’s home authority in West London, in which a small plate saying “Except cyclists” will be attached to poles carrying no-entry signs.

If the trial is successful, the department intends to extend the policy to the rest of Britain and permit thousands of one-way streets to become two-way for bikes. It believes that long diversions around one-way systems are a significant deterrent to new cyclists, who might be less confident about breaking the rules.

This is the first time that the department has permitted an exception to the no-entry rule. Existing cycle “contraflow” lanes require authorities to build separate entrances for cyclists so that they do not have to break traffic rules. The cost of building these entrances, though, has deterred all but a tiny number of authorities from creating contraflow lanes.

Hackney Council in East London pioneered the introduction of contraflow lanes and now has the highest rate of cycling of any London borough.

Sadiq Khan, the Transport Minister, said: “The pilot contraflow cycling system will help to reduce journey times for cyclists while allowing them to travel safely and legally on the most convenient routes. If this pilot is successful then councils across the country could be offered the opportunity to use similar measures on their roads.”

The Times revealed last year that Kensington & Chelsea was seeking permission to operate a pilot scheme. Daniel Moylan, the deputy leader of the Conservative-controlled council, said then that he was persuaded of the need to make the change after noticing that hundreds of cyclists a day were ignoring no-entry signs on Thackeray Street, which his home overlooks.