Dismount corner: The Thames Barrier’s cycle path folly

Now the rain’s starting to clear, how about a bank holiday bike ride? In the year I’ve been cycling, I’ve discovered two words which no cyclist obeys. “Cyclists dismount”. Nine times out of ten, it’s usually there instead of a more sensible instruction like “slow down” and “pedestrians take priority”.

I saw this at the Thames Barrier last night. One of the footpaths there has been inexplicably closed off for a couple of weeks, with pedestrians directed to the cycle path. No big deal, pedestrians usually use the cycle path anyway. At a tight corner…

What’s behind it? A big trench that make the path impassable? No, another sign. Which reads…

So cyclists on a designated cycle path are supposed to get off, walk four metres, and then get back on again, instead of being instructed to slow down and watch for people on foot.

Did the person at the Environment Agency who installed these signs really expect this to happen? Did they really expect normal cyclists to do this, never mind the idiots and children it’s presumably aimed at? No wonder why “cyclists dismount” is the most ignored street sign that I know of.

(See also the plan to create a permanent anti-cycle chicane at Deptford.)

One comment

  1. Been through it twice now since this was posted, and I *still* can’t work out what the sign is actually intended to mean. Dismount for the gap between the barriers? Dismount from the sign onwards? Where can you get back on?

    That my wife nearly got run over by a speeding cyclist ignoring all but himself on that section last night doesn’t inspire confidence…

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