Author Topic: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing  (Read 13034 times)

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« on: June 08, 2014, 07:20:29 pm »
I used it one-way today, north to south.

I left Grays station at about 8.30 and turned up at the crossing at about 8.50. Three men were sitting roun a table in the southbound control. I asked them for a lit across. They advised me to use the phone outside, which I had overlooked, but did. I dialled the number and was told that I was too late to cross an would have to wait until 10.30.

I then noticed a notice which I previously hadn't which listed the times when cyclists can't cross. 9.00 am to 10.30 am. I pointed out that it was 8.50 and therefore I wasn't too late.

"I'm on the south side and you're on the north side" came the reply. "By the time I've got to you and brought you over I will be into my break, so you'll have to wait until 10.30."

I wasn't happy with this and told the three men who were siting round the table that I wasn't. One of them picked up the phone. "He'll be here in a minute" came the reply, and sure enough a large pickup trick with bike rack soon appeared. I was taken across and took my bike off at 9.05.

This whole episode strikes me as being firstly pathetic and secondly insidious. Imagine the outcry if the bridge were to be closed to motorised traffic for a total of 5 hours a day just so that a small group of workers could have a break.

There is no mention of these restrictions that I have been able to find on the crossing's website. It seems to me to be an arbitrary decision taken by someone who may well not have the authority to take that decision. When the crossing was introduced in the 1960s safeguards were put in place to ensure that cyclists could cross.

Quote
Cyclists

Cyclists are prohib­ited from rid­ing across the bridge or through the tun­nels. How­ever the Cross­ing staff will arrange for you to be trans­ported from one side to the other free of charge.

North­bound cyclists should head to the Kent Con­trol Point. South­bound cyclists should dis­mount at the Essex con­trol point — a free call tele­phone is pro­vided should this point be unat­tended. The trans­fer should take 15 to 30 minutes.

If you are rid­ing a tan­dem or trav­el­ling as a group it is advis­able to make prior arrange­ments by con­tact­ing the Crossing.

https://twitter.com/WowbaggerHT/status/475568761777709056

The notice reads:
Quote
For the benefit of cyclists and the efficiency of the service a timetable has been introduced for teh Dartford Thurrock River Crossing.

All users of this service are still invited to comment and make suggestions.

There will be no service from

9am to 10.30 am
2pm to 3pm
9pm to 10.30pm
2am to 3 am
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

contango

  • NB have not grown beard since photo was taken
  • The Fat And The Furious
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2014, 08:31:38 pm »
The notice reads:
Quote
For the benefit of cyclists and the efficiency of the service a timetable has been introduced for teh Dartford Thurrock River Crossing.

All users of this service are still invited to comment and make suggestions.

There will be no service from

9am to 10.30 am
2pm to 3pm
9pm to 10.30pm
2am to 3 am

So the service is being improved by creating windows when you can't use it. Bit of a blow for the cyclist who gets a little delayed and ends up with no way across the river for nearly 90 minutes.

Seems par for the course these days, like when the Royal Mail improved the postal deliveries by making them less predictable and improved Special Delivery by guaranteeing it before 1pm rather than before 11am.
Always carry a small flask of whisky in case of snakebite. And, furthermore, always carry a small snake.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2014, 08:42:26 pm »
That's totally crap.
Getting there...

ianrauk

  • Tattooed Beat Messiah
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2014, 10:22:06 pm »
I first saw this notice a couple of months ago. It's pretty much crap isn't it.

Speaking to someone in the know... the powers that be want to axe the free service. The only way they can axe it is if the amount of cyclists using the service fall below a certain level. This 'break' system is one of the snidey ways they are using to try to dissuade cyclists from using the service.

Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2014, 10:22:49 pm »
Bloody French, they probably want a two hour lunch as well!
Welding, fabrication and light engineering available to forum members.

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2014, 01:13:49 am »
They scrapped it for the blackwall tunnel.

Maybe time to write to your MP....

Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2014, 07:25:18 am »
Bloody French, they probably want a two hour lunch as well!

Was on a bike to cross the Gironde at Royan.  When I turned up with my loaded tourer it appeared that there was some ticket I should have bought.  Instead of sending me away the inspector just waved me across with curt 'Allons y'.  No doubt he wanted to get away for his lunch break or summat!

As for the Dartford crossing, didn't the planners model it on the gateway to hell?  Whichever direction you travel?
Sic transit and all that..

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 11:24:42 am »
I've used this service a few times, usually late at night returning from my parents in Essex and not wanting to ride all the way to Woolwich.  I still can't understand why a protected cycle / pedestrian path wasn't included when they built the bridge. After all, it's no higher than, say, the Pont de Normandie, over which you can cycle and walk for free, and there is a precedent with the original Severn Bridge and Humber Bridge.  It would have been pretty simple to make it suicide proof, I imagine. 

If what Ianrauk has been told is true, that's pretty sneaky.
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2014, 11:36:57 am »
I've used this service a few times, usually late at night returning from my parents in Essex and not wanting to ride all the way to Woolwich.  I still can't understand why a protected cycle / pedestrian path wasn't included when they built the bridge.

Cheaper to drive them across, I think.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2014, 11:46:40 am »
When the tunnel first opened there was provision for 230 cyclist per hour using specially designed buses. http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blog/ill-fated-cycle-bus/

That didn't last long, as very few people used the service.

contango

  • NB have not grown beard since photo was taken
  • The Fat And The Furious
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2014, 11:48:27 am »
I've used this service a few times, usually late at night returning from my parents in Essex and not wanting to ride all the way to Woolwich.  I still can't understand why a protected cycle / pedestrian path wasn't included when they built the bridge. After all, it's no higher than, say, the Pont de Normandie, over which you can cycle and walk for free, and there is a precedent with the original Severn Bridge and Humber Bridge.  It would have been pretty simple to make it suicide proof, I imagine. 

If what Ianrauk has been told is true, that's pretty sneaky.

Given the costs involved in building a bridge over the Thames probably involve some Quite Big Numbers it can't be beyond the wit of the designers to put pedestrians and cyclists in between the two motor vehicle carriageways, if suicide is such a major concern. Against the total cost of the bridge, an extra six feet or so down the middle, with an appropriate tunnel and steps/ramps to get at it from either end, would seem relatively trivial by comparison.

It's been a while since I cycled over the Severn Bridge and I don't remember anything there that would make it particularly hard for anyone intent on jumping.
Always carry a small flask of whisky in case of snakebite. And, furthermore, always carry a small snake.

Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2014, 11:52:09 am »
On the Severn Bridge, there's a bit of a feeling that getting blown off might save the trouble of jumping!

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2014, 12:00:50 pm »
You can just ride across the Humber Bridge with no problem at all.  It's free too.  Just goes to show what is possible.

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2014, 12:09:58 pm »
Forth Bridge is easy to ride over as well (the routing at the North end can be a bit confusing though)
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2014, 12:11:38 pm »
You can just ride across the Humber Bridge with no problem at all.  It's free too.  Just goes to show what is possible.

That's just compassion for those wanting to escape Lincolnshire.
Getting there...

Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2014, 12:12:56 pm »
I've never crossed by bicycle before, but feel it is my duty to do so now!

I suppose the lack of ped/cycle lane is indicative of the era in which the bridge was built and the way it was funded. I dare say we could blame Thatcher  :P
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2014, 12:15:35 pm »
You can just ride across the Humber Bridge with no problem at all.  It's free too.  Just goes to show what is possible.

That's just compassion for those wanting to escape Lincolnshire.

 ;D

I am ashamed to say I find it hard to be nice about Lincolnshire.  I'm not overly struck by Kent either.  Both viewpoints are entirely irrational and based on precisely fuck all!

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2014, 01:32:11 pm »
You can just ride across the Humber Bridge with no problem at all.  It's free too.  Just goes to show what is possible.

That's just compassion for those wanting to escape Lincolnshire.
Dunno, I visited Lincoln in 1999 and thought it was rather a pleasant town. But the last time I went to Hull they hadn't even built the bridge! And I was so small I found it hard to believe the Humber was not the sea, especially as they were building a ship there ("You can look at the orange sparks but not the blue ones, they're bad for your eyes")
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2014, 01:45:51 pm »
I've never crossed by bicycle before, but feel it is my duty to do so now!

I suppose the lack of ped/cycle lane is indicative of the era in which the bridge was built and the way it was funded. I dare say we could blame Thatcher  :P

Sound attitude, bobb!  The determination to cross to spite the nobbers, I mean, though blaming stuff on Thatcher's good, too. ;)
Getting there...

Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2014, 02:37:49 pm »
You can just ride across the Humber Bridge with no problem at all.  It's free too.  Just goes to show what is possible.

That's just compassion for those wanting to escape Lincolnshire.

 ;D

I am ashamed to say I find it hard to be nice about Lincolnshire.  I'm not overly struck by Kent either.  Both viewpoints are entirely irrational and based on precisely fuck all!

I may be moving to Lincolnshore for work...
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2014, 02:39:43 pm »
Why else would you move there except at HMP
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2014, 02:42:08 pm »
You can just ride across the Humber Bridge with no problem at all.  It's free too.  Just goes to show what is possible.

That's just compassion for those wanting to escape Lincolnshire.

 ;D

I am ashamed to say I find it hard to be nice about Lincolnshire.  I'm not overly struck by Kent either.  Both viewpoints are entirely irrational and based on precisely fuck all!

I may be moving to Lincolnshire for work...

A development which can only improve Lincolnshire's prospects!  I hope you like the smell of onions which is one of my abiding memories of the place!

Andrew

Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2014, 03:24:37 pm »
I crossed via the Woolwich ferry a few weeks back. It was so cool. Couldn't believe it was still free!

Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2014, 05:56:05 pm »
You can just ride across the Humber Bridge with no problem at all.  It's free too.  Just goes to show what is possible.

That's just compassion for those wanting to escape Lincolnshire.

 ;D

I am ashamed to say I find it hard to be nice about Lincolnshire.  I'm not overly struck by Kent either.  Both viewpoints are entirely irrational and based on precisely fuck all!

I may be moving to Lincolnshore for work...

Lincolnshire is quite not too bad, really.

Apparently Hull is one of the happiest places in Britain.  Because it is not in Lincolnshire?
Sic transit and all that..

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: New restriction on cyclists using the Dartford Crossing
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2014, 06:25:12 pm »
Nah, it's because they're all larkin' about.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree