11 February 2012

Slushy story: Weather brings out worst in York drivers

Unpleasant encounters with York's traffic are as rare as good estate agents. Car drivers are generally courteous and patient, and give cyclists good width. Just as well, given the number of cyclist swinging shopping bags from their handlebars.

But today's weather brought out the worst in some motorists. The problem seemed to be this (right, on Bootham): cycle lanes covered in ice and slush. Of course, you cycle further out, in the clearer and safer part of the carriageway.

Some drivers couldn't cope with this: we were hooted and mock-rammed twice by taxis, and once by a white van man. Not to mention nearly being doored by someone getting out of the pedestrian side in a queue.

The city's pavements, of course, have been covered in slippery ice for the last week. Which has at least meant no pavement cycling.

So stand by for green-ink letters in the local press moaning that cyclists are swanning around in the road, and should be back on the footway where they belong...


  1. I found that people were driving very poorly on Monday, following the big snow on Sunday; by contrast, my commute on Friday (following a lighter nighttime snow) was much better. I think people are getting more used to it-- but then, the plural of anecdote is not data. Something I always need to remember when biking in traffic.

  2. We got the same driver behaviour in Cambridge. More patience was show when the cycle lanes were completely filled with snow, but when a <1m lane was only half filled with snow you'd be expected to use it. And lastly God help you when the lane was filled with black ice. Even in -4C drivers could not understand why you were not in the lane.