Yorkshire Summer Time starts on Sunday 25th March 2018. OK, so does British Summer Time, but bear with me… It finishes on Saturday 27th October 2018 and lasts for 217 days. The great thing about Yorkshire/British Summer Time is that it is handily located on the calendar when the days are longer and, hopefully, a little warmer. Great for cycling. Great for cycling Yorkshire. At this point you might want to catch up by reading this.
Done that? Excellent. Nothing has changed… aside from the dates. It’s too cold to go out exploring at the moment. I’m just about managing to cycle to work occasionally but with another icy blast imminent (from Siberia I hear), attempting to cycle the routes of the National Cycle Network in Yorkshire before the start of ‘Yorkshire Summer Time’ (I can see that being the title of the book – or ‘Yorkshire Cycling Time’ perhaps?) is too much to hope for. Aiming to finish not by December 31st but by the time the clocks change again at the end of October makes equally good sense for exactly the same reason. I could even, perhaps, aim to finish at the Cycle Expo in Harrogate between the 12th and 14th October (see previous post). But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; those final two weeks of October might, by that time, be sorely needed.
Everything else is as it was. It will still be route 1 from Hull to Whitby that I attempt first, just a month or so later than planned. Setting off from the southern side of the Humber Bridge also hasn’t changed continuing north through the suburbs and hanging gardens [you sure?] of Hull…
But what’s that? An email from Cycling UK? An email telling me that should I wish to turn left after having crossed the Humber Bridge and along the A63 in the direction of Brough, Highways England wants to prevent me from doing so! For the record, I don’t want to do so. Route 65 of the NCN manages to avoid it by using adjacent routes… but that’s not the point. Should Highways England be going round banning cycling from its (surely ‘our’) roads? Cycling UK thinks not. This is the A63:
It doesn’t look particularly appealing from the perspective of a cyclist but it isn’t a motorway; it’s an A road. The grounds upon which the ban has been based by Highways England are that cyclists ‘cannot keep up with traffic‘. I never knew… Over to Duncan Dollimore of Cycling UK:
“It’s nonsensical to ban bikes from a road because they can’t keep up with the motor traffic. Where does it stop if that’s accepted as a valid argument? This is one of the main reasons Cycling UK is objecting to Highways England’s proposed ban of cycling on the A63, but also because it contravenes their own strategy and guidance.”
The detailed response from Cycling UK to Highways England can be read here. If, like me (and Cycling UK), you think that Highways England shouldn’t be going around proposing to ban cyclists from our roads you can raise your hand (and objection) via this tool on Cycling UK’s website.
I can’t say I’ll be using the A63 when I set off across Yorkshire in a few weeks’ time… but I’d rather Highways England not remove my choice to do so should I so wish. Surely they should be investing their time and money in making roads like the A63 more cycling-friendly in the first place. No? Time to have your say: