Wrong direction for Oxford cyclists

A city lucky enough to have a network of cycle lanes needs the occasional sign to point them out to would-be users. I suspect that the hideous pale blue is a national standard which must be complied with. Thus far, I am ready to accept the need for notices as shown below at the point where South Parks Road in Oxford bends at the junction of two cycle lanes. I do think, however, they should bear some approximation to accuracy.

Cycle Notices in South Parks Road

The sign on the left clearly indicates that North Oxford is straight ahead and that Marston is half-left. In fact Marston is to the right where the second blue sign points. Straight ahead are the University Parks, the one place in Oxford where you are not allowed to take a bike at all, even unridden.

The route to North Oxford is round to the left and this is presumably what was intended by the Deputy Assistant Executive Director of Public Signs and Notices (I am sure there is such a post in Oxford). That is contradicted by the left-hand arrow in the road which clearly (and correctly) notifies traffic that it must turn left.

The Marston sign puzzled me until I noticed that there is a piddling stretch of cycle lane to the corner. The little man who designed the layout presumably expected that cyclists would use this to go to the lights where they could wait awhile and then hold up the traffic whilst they pedalled across the corner.

I doubt that one in a hundred would actually do that, and that one would be an employee of a local authority, nervous of his ability to navigate the traffic safely, and docile in his obedience to road signs. Of the rest, half perhaps might wait at the crown of the corner until it was safe to cross.

The remainder would obey the apparently clear instruction to turn left and would be found an hour later asking directions in Summertown and cursing the prat whose notice sent him miles out of his way.

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About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
This entry was posted in Oxford, Oxford City Council, Signs and Notices, Transport. Bookmark the permalink.

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