Compare: Winter in Copenhagen, the Netherlands and Newcastle

Icy conditions can make it treacherous for those on two wheels.

In Copenhagen when it snows, they know that clearing up for cyclists has to take top priority:

In the Netherlands, even when it’s cold enough to freeze the canals & rivers, they make sure that their cycle routes are clear and safe:

Meanwhile on this side of the North Sea, one of the Newcastle Cycling Campaign’s members has been having a spot of bother with the traffic-free route over the Town Moor. In response to their enquiries, this email has come from Newcastle City Council’s Cycling Officer:

I’ve been contacted about problems with black ice on the Town Moor paths this morning. Many pedestrians and cyclists were struggling to navigate this and at least one cyclist came off (fortunately he was unhurt). These paths aren’t gritted and while a hard frost can usually be seen, black ice is less easy to spot. Take care on these paths as the weather gets colder.

Note that the response is not “We’ll get that sorted for you. Given that it forms part of our major strategic route for our pedestrians and cyclists, and the alternatives are none-too-favourable for vulnerable road users, please stand by for a plan of winter maintenance.”

So basically, the message from the city’s cycling officer is, “You’re on your own”. *SIGH*

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Posted in Bike Culture

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