Dutchify That!

The Brompton and I have reached Newcastle where we will be attending the latest ‘Love Cycling Go Dutch‘ conference (the Brompton doesn’t really play much of a role, it just sits at the back and takes it all in). One important part of these events is the design workshop the day before where council officers and other important people meet with Dutch engineers to try and apply Dutch style principles to a typical bit of UK road. We thought we’d pedal up and have a look at what bit of road the Toon had chosen to look at in detail.

challenging road layout
motorway junction

You do have to admire their ambition. They’ve picked a junction where an important cycle route crosses a motorway slip road with, as the film blurb writers say, hilarious consequences … It was such a hostile road that in order to get from one side to the other it was easier to cross three other roads than go straight across, which meant those who came by bike ended up on one side and those who’d come on foot (which would be all the road engineers then) ended up on the other. Guess who was wearing all the hi vis…

Road engineers to the left

So what will the Dutch make of it? We’ll find out tomorrow. Suggestions on a postcard please – although we’ve already had a winning entry on twitter.

I seem to remember they weren’t all that impressed by Edinburgh either…


9 Responses to Dutchify That!

  1. Here’s an example in The Netherlands where they give cyclists priority at the slip roads (I thought I had a slightly better photo): http://www.flickr.com/photos/smsm1/10046288016/

  2. disgruntled says:

    Personally I’d just close the motorway exit … there’s another one about 100 yards down the road

  3. You can lead the dutch to a crap junction, but you can’t get the Brits to fix it….

    Brillant that Newcastle CC are doing this, but the proof will be in the concrete and the clay. there is a massive amount of inertia in transport and planning. I’m hopeful cos just a few years ago this would have seemed fanciful

    Fingers crossed and a big thank you to you, Katya, Claire and the others for mobilising and making this possible.

  4. Bob says:

    I see they’ve wasted some perfectly good paint there by putting some of it on the carriageway to denote a “bike path”.
    Move far, far away.
    Wait, you already did that.
    OK then, I got nothin’.
    I’m just a pessimist when it comes to “Councils”. Sorry.

  5. John Gibson says:

    I felt a little shudder go through me when I saw the photo.

  6. krissnichol says:

    Negotiating roads in Newcastle has always been a nightmare, even for cars, when 4 lanes of motorway suddenly reduce to two and then two more lanes join a bit further down. It would be great if the council embraced the Dutch bike ethic but I can’t really see it in the foreseeable future, at least not where the motorways are concerned

  7. disgruntled says:

    Ah, you’re all cynics! They seem to have the money and (hopefully) the political will to do something, so let’s see what they come up with….

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