Monday, October 01, 2007

Parking and the Highway Code

As a minor continuation of my previous post I'd thought I'd check out the revised addition of the Highway Code, for starters it's been sucked into the hole that is and secondly they've removed the index.

Anyway what with our new decriminalised parking system better ensure what I can and can't do and this leads to the difference between Parking and Loading/Unloading. The first thing to deal with is terminology, from context "park" means to stop the car turn off the engine and leave the vehicle; "stop" means to stop the car and turn off the engine; "wait" means to stop the car, but leave the engine running (and not leave it as that's covered elsewhere).

Fun as you can't "wait or park on yellow lines during the times of operation [238]" but "You MUST NOT stop or park on...[240]" a variety of things that don't include yellow lines. Inference suggests you can stop on yellow lines,provided you don't leave the car and aren't waiting for someone - feel free to pull out that newspaper and start reading with impunity.

Next we get "You MUST NOT leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road. [242]" other then getting all those angels dancing on the head of a pin to define "unnecessary" what is meant by "leave". If you're still in the vehicle have you left it?

I haven't even covered loading and unloading which gets it's own section no. 247 whereby "Do not load or unload where there are yellow markings on the kerb and upright signs advise restrictions are in place" which again infers you can load/unload anywhere else except perhaps where your vehicle is causing an obstruction unless, perhaps, you don't leave it.


Anonymous said...

Yep, the revision to the Code is controversial. See the Cambridge Cycling Campaign website for more details.

The changes discussed there seem like small points, but when you cycle it's much more obvious just how stupidly designed many cycle paths and lanes are, and going out into the main carriageway when there are novices pootling along below 5mph using the unsafe cycle path or lane does nothing to improve motorists' view of cyclists, nor one's legal standing. For quite some time it has been the case that the Government's policies on cycle safety have been at odds with observed data, especially in relation to helmet use and shared-use foot-and-cycle paths.

FlipC said...

But as we both know cycle lanes haven't been created for cyclists they've been created to increase the total length of cycle lanes within that county/district. If they'd offered a similar incentive with roads we'd have dead-ended offshoots along every major road just to add a few extra yards to the total.

Pure cyclists don't pay road tax, insurance, or fuel duty; in that respect their contribution and worth to the government is zero. They're lumped into the pedestrian bracket.

Anonymous said...

We also don't kill 600 people a year, emit 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, or take up 3500km of motorways, nor do we generate all of this congestion I hear so much about on your blog. And I was rather hoping not to have to remind you that road tax is only a token contribution to road building and maintenance, most of which is paid for out of the whole of public funds, to which cyclists, like all income tax payers, contribute.

FlipC said...

Hey no arguments from me there, but you're talking about things that cyclists don't do and we're talking about politicians. Motorists put money directly into the kitty as their own group; cyclists don't.

Anonymous said...

TBH, I don't think that's really the problem wrt cycle lanes, as politicians essentially say yay or nay to whatever the road planners come up with. It may be the funding element that leads road planners to add cycle lanes as a "feature", but it's their ignorance of the needs of cyclists (and of pedestrians) that leads them to make lanes narrower than the width of a bike, shorter than the length of a bike, and closer to a lay-by than the width of a car door. (Well, not usually all three at once, but you get the picture.) IMO the solution is not more campaigning but a qualification or accreditation for road planners, issued by a nationally recognised body such as Sustrans, to say, "this dude knows what cyclists need," and enough awareness by councillors to make it worthwhile for road planners to take the accreditation.

FlipC said...

Perhaps not ignorance simply the fact that they're 'not important' and are as you say simply added as a feature - "We're building a road, we've got some extra room let's bung a cycle lane down the side. No real extra cost and we might be getting some money out of central funds for it"

An accredited scheme sounds good, but why bother? Remember cyclists as the group "cyclists" make no contributions into that system. Bad publicity might sting and a good cycle network may swing some votes, but the councillors need to be aware of that.

I see nothing negative on the Sustrans site; no shameful cycle routes; no examples of 'not what to do'. Guidelines they've published and working with local councils is mentioned, but nothing about what happens if their guidelines aren't followed or the council just doesn't want to listen.

Stick and carrot my friend, and I see neither here.