Luton Dunstable Busway: latest thoughts

Bus mirror warning?

Busway bridge over the M1 motorway

Busway bridge over the M1 motorway

My friend Jeremy recently said his head had a close shave.  Now he’s a close-cropped chap at the best of times but he was referring to the rear view mirrors on the buses passing him so quickly and, on occasions, so close this is a hazard.  I know he’s referring to a part where there is a short wooden fence separating the Busway from the cycle track.  Yes it’s close but nowhere near as bad as the unprotected length which is on the bridge over the M1 motorway.

As you can see in the above photograph, there are no fences or barriers and it is a short (but narrow) stretch.  Apart from protection against the passing buses, there is no protection from falling down into the Busway itself, although this does not appear to be a serious risk.

Hatters Way

I have mentioned this before, I do not like the stretch of pathway either side of the bridge supports on Hatters Way.  Now I know why this was done, it is a compromise and a way of squeezing buses, cars, pedestrians and cyclists all through a narrow width involving a wiggle past the bridge support.  Not easy and still unsatisfactory in my view.  The Luton Borough Council did, in all fairness, paint a yellow line and put up some ‘give way / priority’ signs but this is no real substitute for a decent wooden fence.  After all, there is a substantial wooden fence running the length of Hatters Way for the benefit of the buses, but not cyclists.  Even as an experienced, confident cyclist I feel apprehensive of this stretch, especially so if there is another cyclist around (some can be unpredictable, see below).

Hatters Way - unsatisfactory squeeze

Hatters Way – unsatisfactory squeeze

We need to remember our etiquette!

Sorry but I’m going to have a rant about other cyclists.  Please can we still cycle on the left as we approach each other?  What is the point of cycling in a way that confuses on-coming cyclists about your intentions as we pass each other?  Come on guys!  Besides, I vaguely remember hearing about a collision between two cyclists crashing into each at night other and needing ambulances.

Oh yes, please do use a light at night.  This is not just so you can see where you are going but to avoid scaring the living daylight out of walkers.

My contact in LBC even tells me about reports of cyclists being on the Busway itself.  What’s the point?  Living dangerously in that way is simply daft and at worst being hit by a bus at 50 mph will almost certainly be fatal.  Need I say more?

Normally I would stick up for cyclists and the cycling cause in general.  I’m even happy to go onto BBC Three Counties Radio to do this against much flack and opposition from motorists.  However we must all pull together and follow the rules, with common sense and a measure of courtesy.

Rant over.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Luton Dunstable Busway: latest thoughts

  1. MJ Ray says:

    I suggest a little psychological trick that I use: when approaching another cyclist, keep left and take your left hand off of the bars and show it palm forwards with fingertips to the left, like a policeman’s stop signal but on its side. You probably won’t get it completely flat to the front and that’s probably good. I don’t remember exactly why it works (something to do with it looking like you’re definitely going to pass on the left no matter what) but it seems to work almost every time.

    • doug says:

      Thanks again MJ, nice description and I see what you mean. In theory yes, of course it makes complete sense and you are right.

      In practice with one or two cyclists I have come across I somehow have doubts. They’ll be lumbering along at walking pace, from a night shift and right in the middle, barely looking where they’re going or even peering out of their hoodie…. you get the picture?

  2. Pingback: Slobusfaticus now on a bike - the cycle hub

Leave a Reply