Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Too close for comfort.

On my way home I approached a junction where I turn right. To describe the road, it is a single carriageway 30mph limit downhill approach, bending to the left with a T junction to the right.

As I rode down the hill into the 30 limit there was no traffic behind me. I signal right and move to the centre of the road (hatched markings) opposite the junction. There are a few cars travelling towards the junction from the opposite direction, and turning left (up a slip road without indicating).

As they are doing this I cannot turn right for fear of getting collected by one that might actually be carrying on on the road I am on.

As I am there I see an artic coming towards me and the junction. Most cars that have passed could have slowed down and allowed me to cross, but didn't. As this truck approached I saw the last thing I wanted to see, an artic approaching from behind. I was now stood astride my bike, arm outstretched to the right, rear lights flashing, bright cycle clothing and in daylight, and worst of all, smack bang in the middle of the hatching. The two trucks basically passed me simultaneously. I was in the 4-5 foot gap between them.

I know I could have stopped to the left, and cross the road as a pedestrian, but in my village vehicles do not stop to allow people to cross. If they see you edging for a gap they accelerate to close it, leaving you stood at the side of the road for up to 10 to 15 minutes before a sufficient break in the traffic (both ways) allows you to cross.

I have no problem with people driving through my village, but surely a competent and safety conscious driver would see a vulnerable lump of flesh stuck in the middle of the road, and think to let them cross?

causes of this:
a) my impatience to turn right, and poor road positioning, I should have held up the traffic behind by being in primary. (as I approached there were no vehicles behind me for 500m)
b) selfish, speeding drivers turning left off the main road with no indication, making it impossible for me to make the turn.
c) drivers with no regard to their surrounding (village, built up area, vulnerable road users wanting to cross)
d) trucks that could have stopped to create a safe opportunity for me to do the turn, instead of making me possibly the most scared person in East Yorkshire for 5 seconds.

I know I did something wrong, and in future will turn right sooner, hold traffic up behind to do it, and walk along the verge to cross the junction.

But, and this is where you come in, what should I have done, what would you do?


My own are mixtures of my anger at my own stupid impatience and anger at the selfish twots blindly turning left up the slip road at speed (in a 30) with no indication. They always do it, and cannot see what a consequence of their inaction could be. Also, was it really necessary for two 38ton artics to basically sandwich a cyclist in the middle of a road, just to save the 5-10 seconds of journey time it would cost them to allow me to cross?

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