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Time to try a car-less commute?

Time to try a car-less commute?

Thursday 29 March 2018

Time to try a car-less commute?

Thursday 29 March 2018


The Guernsey Bicycle Group is encouraging those who can, to leave their cars at home and ride, or walk, to work if you are able to.

A spokesman for the group has said those who live in the area near La Vrangue could take advantage of the road currently being closed to motor vehicles, by cycling that way along a quieter road.

Posting on the Guernsey Bicycle Group's Facebook page Sam Field said he is "loving the roadworks on La Vrangue" adding that the area is currently "gloriously traffic free!" He also said he loves it when the roads are closed describing it as "cycling commuting bliss." 

Posting in other Facebook forums, Mr Field has tried to gather interest from further afield, hoping to entice regular car drivers to embrace the idea of an alternative commute to work or other appointments. 

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Mr Field has tried this previously, most notably when the Vale Road closed in October 2017 for a few months. It eventually reopened earlier this month, having forced motorists to make diversions to avoid the roadworks throughout the winter months. However, cyclists had been allowed to ride through most of the road closure with the agreement they dismount at certain parts. It was hoped this would encourage more people to leave their cars at home and cycle between the north and south of the island if they often use the busy Half Way junction.

On that occasion, and again while he is trying to entice people to cycle to work using road closures as an incentive, Mr Field acknowledges that not everyone can benefit from this idea. The pushang enthusiast commented saying the "usual caveats applies: if you’re delivering sofas, or fish or something, or hauling tools, or mobility challenged or have a car full of kiddies, probably not for you." But he added: "If you’re one of the hundreds of people that drive a mile or two to work in your car and probably could ride (or walk), the road closure makes for a great little ride for you!"

Traffic and Highway Services said it was happy to clarify the situation regarding cycling through road closures explaining that: "Where it can safely occur, Traffic and Highway Services is endeavouring to allow cyclists to continue to use closed roads and not have to use a diverted route. This follows a successful trial at Vale Road and is part of an initiative to promote cycling as a viable and easy alternative form of transport."

There are some guidelines to follow though: "If cyclists can pass the works safely appropriate signage is put in place which allows cyclists to enter the closed road. This is done by adding an additional plate to the road closed signs stating  ‘except cycles’, which allows cyclists to legally pass the signs.  

"If there is sufficient room to cycle past the work then no further signage is needed.  However, in most cases, it is likely that there will be a pinch point past the works and/or contractors working with noisy/heavy equipment.  Therefore, for the safety of everyone, cyclists may be asked to dismount for these stretches. At that point, signs are then in place stating cyclists must dismount and push their cycle through the section of road works, remounting when signs state it is then safe to do so."

 

 Mr Field adds that in his opinion more people are starting to ride and he thinks little changes like allowing people to cycle through road works are helping:

"Where a major road is closed to cars it makes for a great cycle commute route, especially for those who would like to try , especially for those who would like to try riding to work but are a bit nervous about the traffic. The northern part of the island is perfect for cycle commuting as well because it is, by and large, flat."

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