Bike lane meltdown: New road markings prompt Mail to ask, “is there any room left for cars?”

28 views
Skip to first unread message

swldx...@gmail.com

unread,
May 18, 2022, 11:52:23 AMMay 18
to
A simple lick of paint on the roads through Boscombe, a suburb of Bournemouth, has prompted something of a meltdown in the national press, with the Mail, Telegraph and Metro publishing articles devoted to the new bike markings, which the MailOnline has described as “the latest move by the authorities to drive cars off the road”.

As we reported on the live blog yesterday, bicycle symbols have been painted in the middle of lanes in Boscombe as part of recent resurfacing works carried out by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council.

The council says that the new road markings on the A35 Christchurch Road and between Browning Avenue and the Christchurch Road roundabout were added to encourage cyclists to take a “prominent” position on the road.

“We recently undertook carriageway resurfacing in Christchurch Road at Boscombe and we have widened the cycle lanes in line with current standards and made them mandatory where possible,” a council spokesperson told the Daily Echo (link is external).

“The road markings highlighted are there to encourage cyclists to take a prominent position in the lane so therefore make them more visible to other motorists.

“These have been added where the existing width of the carriageway between constrictions is between 3.2m-3.9m.”

Bike symbols in the middle of shared use lanes, as transport journalist Carlton Reid pointed out on Twitter earlier today (link is external), are not a new phenomena (sic) in the United Kingdom, and have been in use since 1975.

They were soon adopted in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, where they evolved into the much-maligned 'sharrows’ (or shared arrows), a source of both confusion and frustration for cyclists in those countries.

However, the installation of a decades-old road marking in Bournemouth has resulted in both the MailOnline and Daily Telegraph penning articles claiming that the symbols encourage cyclists to “ignore” the town’s dedicated bike lane.

While legally there is no obligation for bike riders to use cycle lanes where they are provided, the Telegraph quoted readers who claim that the new markings have “made the bike lane redundant while making cyclists think ‘they own the road’.”

The MailOnline wrote that “cyclists are being encouraged by council officials to ignore a dedicated cycle path and use a busy main road instead in an attempt to force traffic in the town centre to slow down.

“Although cyclists have the use of the 7ft wide bike lane alongside the A35 in Bournemouth, Dorset, large bike symbols have been painted on the main road as well.”

While the Mail and Telegraph both note that cyclists can avail of a “seven-foot-wide bike path”, the Mail’s own article includes a statement from BCP Council which disproves this claim.

“As part of our works to improve the A35 Christchurch Road, we’ve taken steps to make the route safer for all road users and support more sustainable travel through the area,” the council spokesperson said.

“The original cycle lane markings were typically 1.5m, with some as little as 1.1 metres in width, which is below current national standards and allowed for close passing of vehicles. They were also frequently being parked on by motorists.

“To address these issues and improve safety, we have adjusted the cycle lanes to 2m in width in most areas. There is a very short section of 1.5m wide lane and some lengths of 1.7m wide. We’ve also made them mandatory where possible to prevent vehicles parking and to create a safer space for people cycling.

“At pinch points along the road, we have added painted signs on the centre of the carriageway to alert motorists that cyclists are likely to be using the main carriageway at these points.

“This will give people living and travelling through the area more confidence to get out about on their bikes, travel sustainable on this important route and leave their cars at home.”

Despite the glaring inaccuracies in their report, the Mail described the markings as the “latest move by the authorities to drive cars off the road” and included in their headline the question: “Is there any room left for cars?”

Both the Mail and Telegraph reports include photographs of the symbols, with the Telegraph (above) including the caption: “Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council has placed a large bike symbol in the middle of certain roads, alongside an existing cycle path”.

However, the cycle path in question is shown in the photo to be little more than a short and relatively narrow stretch, segregated from traffic only by paint on the road, and fails to even cover the width of the image.

Nevertheless, the ‘story’ has also been covered by GB News and notorious anti-cycling TalkTV presenter Mike Graham, who branded the council’s decision as “literally madness”.

Carlton Reid has described the rather zealous reaction to some new paint on the roads as “lots of weird, culture-war frothing about this non-story”.

The journalist pointed out that, despite the Mail’s belief that the symbols would lead to cyclists taking over the roads, “painting a bike symbol on a road probably does diddly-squat for road safety.”

This latest bike lane-related media meltdown isn’t the first time that the Mail has taken aim at cycling infrastructure in Bournemouth.

In January, the newspaper published a story titled: “Motorists' fury as cyclists IGNORE £150m cycle lane scheme in Bournemouth and pedal along the road – forcing drivers into oncoming traffic.”

The headline was soon corrected to clarify that the segregated bike lane on the A347 Whitelegg Way (perhaps the seven-foot-wide path purported to be in Boscombe, over four miles away?) did not in fact cost £150 million, but rather £1.12 million.

Sure, what’s almost £148.9 million between friends?

https://road.cc/content/news/mail-asks-there-any-room-left-cars-292867

JNugent

unread,
May 19, 2022, 7:01:01 AMMay 19
to
On 18/05/2022 04:52 pm, swldx...@gmail.com wrote:

> A simple lick of paint on the roads through Boscombe, a suburb of Bournemouth, has prompted something of a meltdown in the national press, with the Mail, Telegraph and Metro publishing articles devoted to the new fairy-bike markings, which the MailOnline has described as “the latest move by the authorities to drive cars off the road”.
>
> As we reported on the live blog yesterday, fairy-bicycle symbols have been painted in the middle of lanes in Boscombe as part of recent resurfacing works carried out by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council.
>
> The council says that the new road markings on the A35 Christchurch Road and between Browning Avenue and the Christchurch Road roundabout were added to encourage fairy-cyclists to take a “prominent” position on the road.
>
> “We recently undertook carriageway resurfacing in Christchurch Road at Boscombe and we have widened the fairy-cycle lanes in line with current standards and made them mandatory where possible,” a council spokesperson told the Daily Echo (link is external).
>
> “The road markings highlighted are there to encourage fairy-cyclists to take a prominent position in the lane so therefore make them more visible to other motorists.

What did they mean by "other motorists"?

Is it not necessary to have at least a scrape-by bottom-level pass in
GCSE English Language to get a job in local government?

> “These have been added where the existing width of the carriageway between constrictions is between 3.2m-3.9m.”
>
> Fairy-Bike symbols in the middle of shared use lanes, as transport journalist Carlton Reid pointed out on Twitter earlier today (link is external), are not a new phenomena (sic) [sic] in the United Kingdom, and have been in use since 1975.
>
> They were soon adopted in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, where they evolved into the much-maligned 'sharrows’ (or shared arrows), a source of both confusion and frustration for fairy-cyclists in those countries.
>
> However, the installation of a decades-old road marking in Bournemouth has resulted in both the MailOnline and Daily Telegraph penning articles claiming that the symbols encourage fairy-cyclists to “ignore” the town’s dedicated bike lane.
>
> While legally there is no obligation for fairy-bike riders to use fairy-cycle lanes where they are provided, the Telegraph quoted readers who claim that the new markings have “made the fairy-bike lane redundant while making fairy-cyclists think ‘they own the road’.”
>
> The MailOnline wrote that “fairy-cyclists are being encouraged by council officials to ignore a dedicated fairy-cycle path and use a busy main road instead in an attempt to force traffic in the town centre to slow down.
>
> “Although fairy-cyclists have the use of the 7ft wide fairy-bike lane alongside the A35 in Bournemouth, Dorset, large fairy-bike symbols have been painted on the main road as well.”
>
> While the Mail and Telegraph both note that cfairy-yclists can avail of a “seven-foot-wide bike path”, the Mail’s own article includes a statement from BCP Council which disproves this claim.
>
> “As part of our works to improve the A35 Christchurch Road, we’ve taken steps to make the route safer for all road users and support more sustainable travel through the area,” the council spokesperson said.
>
> “The original fairy-cycle lane markings were typically 1.5m, with some as little as 1.1 metres in width, which is below current national standards and allowed for close passing of vehicles. They were also frequently being parked on by motorists.
>
> “To address these issues and improve safety, we have adjusted the fairy-cycle lanes to 2m in width in most areas. There is a very short section of 1.5m wide lane and some lengths of 1.7m wide. We’ve also made them mandatory where possible to prevent vehicles parking and to create a safer space for people fairy-cycling.
>
> “At pinch points along the road, we have added painted signs on the centre of the carriageway to alert motorists that fairy-cyclists are likely to be using the main carriageway at these points.
>
> “This will give people living and travelling through the area more confidence to get out about on their [sic] fairy-bikes, travel sustainable on this important route and leave their cars at home.”
>
> Despite the glaring inaccuracies in their report, the Mail described the markings as the “latest move by the authorities to drive cars off the road” and included in their headline the question: “Is there any room left for cars?”
>
> Both the Mail and Telegraph reports include photographs of the symbols, with the Telegraph (above) including the caption: “Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council has placed a large fairy-bike symbol in the middle of certain roads, alongside an existing cycle path”.
>
> However, the fairy-cycle path in question is shown in the photo to be little more than a short and relatively narrow stretch, segregated from traffic only by paint on the road, and fails to even cover the width of the image.
>
> Nevertheless, the ‘story’ has also been covered by GB News and notorious anti-fairy-cycling TalkTV presenter Mike Graham, who branded the council’s decision as “literally madness”.
>
> Carlton Reid has described the rather zealous reaction to some new paint on the roads as “lots of weird, culture-war frothing about this non-story”.
>
> The journalist pointed out that, despite the Mail’s belief that the symbols would lead to fairy-cyclists taking over the roads, “painting a fairy-bike symbol on a road probably does diddly-squat for road safety.”

So it's a waste of money as well.
>
> This latest fairy-bike lane-related media meltdown isn’t the first time that the Mail has taken aim at fairy-cycling infrastructure in Bournemouth.
>
> In January, the newspaper published a story titled: “Motorists' fury as fairy-cyclists IGNORE £150m cycle lane scheme in Bournemouth and pedal along the road – forcing drivers into oncoming traffic.”
>
> The headline was soon corrected to clarify that the segregated fairy-bike lane on the A347 Whitelegg Way (perhaps the seven-foot-wide path purported to be in Boscombe, over four miles away?) did not in fact cost £150 million, but rather £1.12 million.
>
> Sure, what’s almost £148.9 million between friends?

And what is a totally wasted £1,120,000 when it was someone else who had
to do the paying?

> https://road.cc/content/news/mail-asks-there-any-room-left-cars-292867

Road..cc at its illiterate worst.

Again.

swldx...@gmail.com

unread,
May 19, 2022, 9:31:49 AMMay 19
to
burtthebike | 3176 posts | 20 hours ago
11 likes

Misinformation about cycling, or lies as they are more commonly known, are rife the media, and as I'm sure we all know, it is almost impossible to get them corrected; £148.9m excepted. The vast majority of the media in the UK is rabidly anti-cyclist, and must bear some responsibility for the hatred that many of use experience regularly. As I've pointed out before, since they can't attack gays, coloureds or women any more, the next out group on the list is cyclists and I'm pretty sure we never used to get this level of abuse from the media when they could invent stories about them.

EDIT: they are attacking a council for encouraging cyclists to follow the new HC rules!

But there are two types of lies; commission and omission, and even media which doesn't attack cycling all that often e.g. BBC, will not give due prominence to cycling. The cost of living crisis has been mentioned many time on R4, but I've never heard them suggest cycling as a way to cut costs; walking, public transport feature though.

I've just sent an email to the presenter of "Just One Thing" (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09by3yy/episodes/downloads (link is external)) Michael Mosley, asking why they haven't yet had an item on cycling, since it is probably the single best way for most people to improve their life. That's just one example, but the BBC is riddled with opportunities to report the incredible beneficial effects of cycling, individually, locally, regionally, nationally and globally, but those opportunities are never taken. Electric cars however, get overwhelming coverage, despite having very few benefits.

JNugent

unread,
May 19, 2022, 11:09:51 AMMay 19
to
On 19/05/2022 02:31 pm, swldx...@gmail.com wrote:

> burtthebike | 3176 posts | 20 hours ago
> 11 likes
>
> Misinformation about fairy-cycling, or lies as they are more commonly known, are rife the media, and as I'm sure we all know, it is almost impossible to get them corrected; £148.9m excepted. The vast majority of the media in the UK is rabidly anti-fairy-cyclist, and must bear some responsibility for the hatred that many of use experience regularly. As I've pointed out before, since they can't attack gays, coloureds or women any more, the next out group on the list is fairy-cyclists and I'm pretty sure we never used to get this level of abuse from the media when they could invent stories about them.
>
> EDIT: they are attacking a council for encouraging fairy-cyclists to follow the new HC rules!
>
> But there are two types of lies; commission and omission, and even media which doesn't attack fairy-cycling all that often e.g. BBC, will not give due prominence to fairy-cycling. The cost of living crisis has been mentioned many time on R4, but I've never heard them suggest fairy-cycling as a way to cut costs; walking, public transport feature though.
>
> I've just sent an email to the presenter of "Just One Thing" (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09by3yy/episodes/downloads (link is external)) Michael Mosley, asking why they haven't yet had an item on fairy-cycling, since it is probably the single best way for most people to improve their life. That's just one example, but the BBC is riddled with opportunities to report the incredible beneficial effects of fairy-cycling, individually, locally, regionally, nationally and globally, but those opportunities are never taken. Electric cars however, get overwhelming coverage, despite having very few benefits.

swldx...@gmail.com

unread,
May 19, 2022, 11:59:55 AMMay 19
to
OnYerBike replied to Brauchsel | 748 posts | 4 hours ago
0 likes


Although the answer isn't "no" I think that's simply because of the way they've phrased the headline and Betteridge's thesis still stands - i.e. "The reason why journalists use that style of headline is that they know the story is probably bullshit, and don’t actually have the sources and facts to back it up, but still want to run it."

Or as Andrew Marr put it "A headline with a question mark at the end means, in the vast majority of cases, that the story is tendentious or over-sold. It is often a scare story, or an attempt to elevate some run-of-the-mill piece of reporting into a national controversy and, preferably, a national panic."

Both would seem to be highly accurate descriptions of the headline.

In this case the (false) assertion would be "There is no room left for cars." That is clearly a load of bs and therefore has been rephrased as a question “Is there any room left for cars?” (which scans better than "Is there no room left for cars?", to which the answer would be "no" and Betteridge's law would hold true).

Spike

unread,
May 19, 2022, 12:24:11 PMMay 19
to
On 19/05/2022 13:31, swldx...@gmail.com wrote:
> burtthebike | 3176 posts | 20 hours ago
> 11 likes

> Misinformation about cycling, or lies as they are more commonly known, are rife the media

Okay, so waddaya got...

> EDIT: they are attacking a council for encouraging cyclists to follow the new HC rules!

See how easy it is to tell a lie?

This one is a lie of omission.

> But there are two types of lies; commission and omission

Oh, so you do know!


--
Spike

swldx...@gmail.com

unread,
May 19, 2022, 12:27:52 PMMay 19
to
stomec | 316 posts | 6 hours ago
2 likes

Excellent short video in the Guardian today explaining why cycle lanes do not cause congestion

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/video/2022/may/17/why-new-bike-lanes-dont-cause-traffic-jams-video (link is external)

Why don't the Mail etc produce similar well reasoned balanced pieces?

BECAUSE THEIR READERSHIP ARE THICK BREXIT VOTERS.

Spike

unread,
May 19, 2022, 12:32:31 PMMay 19
to
The Mail etc will write a 'well reasoned balanced piece' about the same
time as the Guardian does.


--
Spike

swldx...@gmail.com

unread,
May 19, 2022, 12:33:53 PMMay 19
to
OnYerBike | 748 posts | 18 hours ago
7 likes

Just from that one picture, it seems obvious to me that the separate bike lane turns off to the left through a modal filter, so cyclists who want to continue on the main road (following it round to the right) would not be using the bike lane and would be using the main carriageway instead.

JNugent

unread,
May 19, 2022, 7:15:11 PMMay 19
to
Would they even recognise the phrase "well-reasoned balanced piece" in
the Grauniad's newsroom?

Spike

unread,
May 20, 2022, 2:59:29 AMMay 20
to
It's doubtful, but in the manner of the infinite number of monkeys
sitting at typewriters, one such article might slip through the net...


--
Spike

Spike

unread,
May 20, 2022, 3:11:04 AMMay 20
to
On 19/05/2022 16:27, swldx...@gmail.com wrote:

> Why don't the Mail etc produce similar well reasoned balanced pieces?

> BECAUSE THEIR READERSHIP ARE THICK BREXIT VOTERS.

WHAT NEWSPAPER DO THICK REMAINER VOTERS READ

--
Spike

swldx...@gmail.com

unread,
May 20, 2022, 5:19:35 AMMay 20
to
And here is the proof. Senile and thick.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FSgKD2eWQAEonJ1?format=jpg&name=900x900

JNugent

unread,
May 20, 2022, 6:53:46 AMMay 20
to
> WHAT NEWSPAPER DO THICK REMAINER VOTERS READ[?]

Road.cc.

Spike

unread,
May 20, 2022, 8:23:57 AMMay 20
to
LOL!


--
Spike

swldx...@gmail.com

unread,
May 20, 2022, 11:29:01 AMMay 20
to
Young, ABC1 and educated voted remain: QED.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FTNiKLzXsAEmtS-?format=jpg&name=small

Mike Collins

unread,
May 20, 2022, 3:12:54 PMMay 20
to
On Wednesday, 18 May 2022 at 16:52:23 UTC+1, swldx...@gmail.com wrote:
>"drive cars off the road”
>

Cars seem quite capable of driving themselves off the road given how often they are seen parked on pavements. Their slaves could not possibly have driven them there because that would be illegal and only cyclists break the law.

Spike

unread,
May 21, 2022, 3:47:06 AMMay 21
to
Talking to himself in his fashion swldx...@gmail.com wrote:
> Talking to himself in his fashion swldx...@gmail.com wrote:
>> Talking to himself in his fashion , swldx...@gmail.com wrote:

>>> Why don't the Mail etc produce similar well reasoned balanced pieces?

>>> BECAUSE THEIR READERSHIP ARE THICK BREXIT VOTERS.

>> And here is the proof. Senile and thick.

>> https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FSgKD2eWQAEonJ1?format=jpg&name=900x900

> Young, ABC1 and educated voted remain: QED.

> https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FTNiKLzXsAEmtS-?format=jpg&name=small

So what you're saying is that the clever, young, ABC1s were outsmarted
by the senile and thick. Doesn't say much for your favoured group's
intellectual properties, does it?

--
Spike

swldx...@gmail.com

unread,
May 21, 2022, 10:21:03 AMMay 21
to

Mike Collins

unread,
May 21, 2022, 1:02:59 PMMay 21
to
Moronists don't realise parking restriction apply to the full width of the highway, not just the carriageway and obstructing the footway is an additional offence. But in their minds they pay 'road tax' so they can park where they like even if they drive a VED exempt electric car.

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages