The rucksacks say RAF on them, and as you can see, the cyclists are riding in formation. Years of experience paying off.
Is this a bike lane the dutch would laugh at? Well, let's look at some other bits.
Heading to the A4174 on a weekday morning.
The bike path isn't wide enough for two bicycles to pass, but at least there aren't any bollards here.
What is an issue is that anyone walking to work on the MoD site has to cross the bicycle side of the path to get to pedestrian side, increasing risk especially at the bus stops. Why not make the path wide enough for different lanes of bicycles and people walking? And put the footpath on the side by the bus stops, on the basis that that is the obvious destination?
One interesting feature is the green lanes on the road here. Some cars do actually give way to bicycles on these bits, even though it's not a legal requirement. You can't trust it, so perhaps both sides slow down just to make sure. It's a shared space kind of thing.
Now, the final view: heading south on a weekday evening. It's getting dim, and you can see that about one light in four on the MoD site is lit up. If all were lit up, you'd have better visibility on this stretch, which would really benefit pedestrians, who aren't encouraged to walk down here. Oddly enough, all the lights in the car park work.
The bike path is on the right (remember how it is on the left on the bollard path). With two bike paths joining, and the one at the end actually connecting with the bollards route, you have to swing into the pedestrian lane as you approach it, or to pass other bicycles.
Then you hit the rugby grounds. Pleasant at day, at night you have to deal with the narrow fence to get through -this was a change that got worse a couple of years back, before anyone with an MTB -as you need on these paths- could just clear the berm on the left. Now, if you have a road bike you have to slow down and zig zag through, on an MTB you can go on the grass and swerve through faster, hitting potholes as you go. There are more potholes at 1:18, stuff no bike can avoid, potholes that form massive puddle in the rain. At night you don't get any warning of this.
What could be done?
- Widen the path between the bus stops and the nursery/car park, giving a proper pedestrian lane on the side of the bus stops. Eliminate crossing risk, better for everyone. It's not as if there isn't the space.
- Move the bike path to the other side on the rest of the route, reduce risk of collision from the right. Or just recognise that there is no lanes.
- Fix the lights on the MoD site.
- Change the entry point to the rugby grounds so you don't need to come completely to a halt. Instead widen it enough to get a trailer through, and line it up better.
- Fix the potholes.
- Add some st-werburgh's path style solar LED lights through the rugby grounds. They show the route to everyone, and do benefit pedestrians.
Update: Fixed the link to the final video.