Busway latest

Aside from rants about the Luton to Dunstable Busway’s rough surface and even finding myself on the local BBC 3CR radio station, there’s quite a few things worth mentioning.  Lately I have been cycling to my work in Stevenage twice a week; this is making the most of the perfect weather while it lasts.  Here’s some thoughts:

Cycle parking

There is some new cycle parking facilities at the train station in Luton, popular by the look of it.  These double-decker racks are appearing more these days and cyclists seem to like them.  I too have tried it out and I quite like them.  The Council have been thoughtful and placed them in a more public area which helps give that feeling of safety.

New cycle parking at Luton Railway station looks well used by commuters

New cycle parking at Luton Railway station looks well used by commuters

Some cyclists are almost trying “claim their own spot” by leaving their locks on the rack.  I can see the advantage in not having to cart around a heavy lock if it’s only going to be used at the station but it doesn’t mean you have a right to put your bike in the same place each day.

Cyclists often leave their locks behind

Cyclists often leave their locks behind

By contrast, the older cycle racks seem unloved now…

Older cycle racks are less attractive

Older cycle racks are less attractive

Other cyclists

Don’t know whether it’s just me but there seems to be quite a camaraderie developing between cyclists.  I like this.  Often we’ll say “hi” to each other and maybe even a brief chat, often having a moan about the rough surface!  One fella had a puncture and appreciated me offering to help him but he did (wisely) have a spare inner tube.

One or two, it has to be said, seem unsure of whether to pass other cyclists on either the left or the right.  This is confusing guys – let’s keep to the left, just as if we are on a road and then everyone knows where they are and what to do!

Some cyclists have been getting fed up with the barriers.  I can agree these barriers are a pain in the neck and even more so for Mountain Bikers.  Some have even decided they’re better off riding around the barriers, instead of through….

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Hatters Way

Many people are concerned about the narrow section on Hatters Way.  I have mentioned this before as it is concerning me how cyclists are meant to pass each other and be protected from the cars.

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The solution from Luton Council’s perspective is to put up a warning sign.  Sorry, this is still not good enough!  This morning I called Luton Council, thinking a conversation would be helpful rather than on-line grumbling.  From the Council’s perspective they didn’t seem to clock it as a big issue but in all fairness it might be looked at once more.  Fingers crossed….

This sign, on its own, is not good enough

This sign, on its own, is not good enough

On towards Harpenden

One of the nice things about the project is that it almost joins up with the cycle track which then heads down towards Harpenden (this means you can cycle a considerable traffic-free distance).  Sometimes I partly use this route for variety.  It can be fast!  This is a nice surface all the way along and seems well used by cyclists and walkers alike.

Luton to Harpenden cycle path is fast!

Luton to Harpenden cycle path is fast!

Overall….

It is far from perfect but a great asset for Luton and Dunstable.  Providing it is well maintained it will add to and improve the infrastructure in the area.  I still think the measure of success will be people using the cycle track instead of the Bus Way!  Already there is a growing number of cyclists using it and during the evenings joggers and runners are often out using it.  Good for them!

Some other time I will talk about the art works which are placed along the Busway as this is another interesting feature.  Can you tell it is growing on me?

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