The Start of Something (and the end of something) (and the start of it again)

It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now and I know that it kinda represents a turning point in my life a bike geek.

Today, it was nice and sunny and I wasn’t in a hurry home, and so I took the rare opportunity to fulfil an ambition of mine.

I have started collecting stupid cycle lanes!!!

This one is on my way home from work. I’ve done the dangerous bit and crossed a fairly major roundabout; I’ve done the nice long, quiet, slightly inclined drag up past the new Churchward estate; and I come, at some speed to this:

Crazy Cycle Lane Approach

(The photo’s taken from the pavement, I’m normally on the road)

Nice, eh!  A quiet shared bus/cycle lane which normally has virtually no buses on it.  I’ll speed round and be home in no time.

But wait…


What’s this???Crazy Cycle Lane Disappearing

The “cycle” bit of the shared cycle lane stops and directs you up to the pavement?

But why?  Perhaps it’s because the road is busy and too dangerous for cyclists?

Crazy Cycle Lane Empty Road

Hmm…maybe not.  Maybe that is, in fact, one of the quietest and safest parts of my ride home.  Oh well.  Let’s continue and see where we go.

Crazy Cycle Lane Re-emerges

Oh my…right, so, when we get to the little roundabout at the end of the bus lane you want the cyclists to join the buses in going round the roundabout.  Take bikes off the road when it’s perfectly safe and then chuck them back on again when a bus is doing a 270 degree right hand turn.

Oh.  Yes, yes, I concede.  The cyclist must give way so that makes it safe…

…but no less stupid!

And the thing I love most is that they kinda just forgot that there ever was a bike lane, stopped painting the lines and left you to it.

Nice one Swindon Council!

Of course, I stay on the road.  I’ve rarely seen a bus at 6pm or later in the evening going in either direction down here and I’m pretty sure I’m entitled to do so, plus it’s safer for any pedestrians that might be around.

Interestingly, thought I cycle the opposite direction every morning, I’d never looked back at this and payed attention to where I’m supposed to go if I’m headed the other way:

Crazy Cycle Lane Looking Back

Now it’s hard to see, but just on the other side is a little blue sign which presumably is there to tempt cyclists and pedestrians that way…look closer:

Crazy Cycle Lane Looking Back Close

So to get onto that path you’d have to skip the first exit and then kinda head across where the oncoming traffic pulls onto the roundabout (out of picture to the right)  and slightly the wrong way up the bus lane.

Again, I’ll stick to the roads thank you!

Swindon’s cycle network isn’t actually all that bad, but this is one of a few places where madness took over that I hope to highlight over the coming weeks.