My dictionary tells me hi-vis is short for high-visibility, and means ‘easy to see in all conditions because of being a very bright colour’. There is something telling in that definition – simply brightness, not reflectiveness. We probably say hi-vis when we mean reflective clothing. For ease, I’ll say hi-vis.

Hi-vis is encouraged for a cyclist’s safety, to help them be seen by other road users. Rule 59 of the Highway Code says one should wear it. However, this is not a legal requirement, it is just guidance. Hi-vis is mandatory under a lot of health and safety rules in places where large machinery is on the move, for workers on the railway etc, all to make people more visible. The logic seems to work – be visible, you won’t get hit. I have often been ‘complimented’ on being ‘kitted out right’(1) if I happened to have hi-vis on during the day(2). Indeed, it does seem that many believe the simple act of wearing hi-vis will prevent you from being hit by a motor vehicle.

I only intentionally wear hi-vis at night. Driver’s headlights will reflect off your clothing and help you be visible. In daytime, there’s no headlights to reflect off your hi-vis and so it really just becomes no different to bright clothing. However, at night, I also make use of nice bright lights, both static and flashing, which should be enough to be make me visible. To draw a parallel, most cars don’t have hi-vis elements on them, just lights, but we don’t seem to have a worry about how visible cars are.

So, in some ways I am conflicted about hi-vis. And, when I get conflicted I go to Twitter for help.

I ran a poll. It was probably the most viral of Tweets I had ever done. I should note that most followers of my Twitter account ride bicycles. I don’t consider this a bias or skewed sample since I wanted to know what people who cycle felt. The result in the end was 45% of voters never wore hi-vis; 12% at night; 26% at night and during the day only if gloomy; and 17% always. I must admit at first I was surprised, but I read through all the replies to get a feel as to why almost 1 in 2 voters didn’t wear hi-vis.

Of those that said they always wore hi-vis there was a common thread: it wasn’t so much as wanting to be seen but as a defence against ‘sorry, mate, I didn’t see you’. Many replied along the lines that it made no difference – they’ve been knocked off their bike in head to toe hi-vis and still the driver claimed they didn’t see them – or they’ve had CLOSER passes when wearing hi-vis. A lot of people only wear it unintentionally, ie it’s a good rain coat, it just happens to be hi-vis and many commented that good bright lights will make you just as visible as other road users.

The thing that was clear from all this though was that you can be lit up like a Christmas tree and still not been seen. Why could that be? If you’re visible, surely you’d be seen? Well, to be seen one must be looking for you. And this is the crux. If drivers are not paying proper attention to the road they won’t see you. I have been in near misses, and one actual crash, in my car when other drivers have pulled out in front of me – ‘sorry, mate, I didn’t see you’ was the reply. I have been in near misses when walking because the driver ‘didn’t see the red light’. How often do we hear about motor vehicles hitting low bridges? There’s a theme, isn’t there?

And it’s not just something I’m saying, there’s research.

Ultimately, in terms of being seen, it matters not what you’re wearing if other road users are not paying attention(3). To my mind, that means hi-vis is a personal choice: if you feel more comfortable (for whatever reason) wearing it and more likely to cycle if wearing it, then do so. If you’re happy to cycle without it, then do so. Anyone campaigning for mandatory hi-vis probably doesn’t understand the problem and is, perhaps, just trying to tick a box of ‘encouraging cycling’ or at worst, making people more afraid to cycle! And, indeed, if there was proper cycling infrastructure, the hi-vis argument would disappear.

(1) indeed, once having stopped and watched me struggle to get my 8yo son across a road whilst on our bikes, a driver wound down his window to ‘thank me’ for wearing hi-vis, it meant he saw me. I actually found this annoying since a) I got ready to have a telling off for something, b) he was blocking the road c) it was patronising and d) during this feedback session, a person cycled through between us without hi-vis, but still highly visible, yet the driver claimed he didn’t see him. I had, but then I was paying attention to the road…

(2) a rare occasion, it was simply because my rain coat is hi-vis. It wasn’t a conscious decision to wear hi-vis. The only other reason I wear hi-vis in the day is if I know it’ll get dark whilst I am cycling.

(3) note how little I have used ‘seen’. Why? The use of ‘seen’ suggests someone is looking. The use of ‘visible’ does not.

The Fatal Five

More and more police forces and road safety campaigners are referring the Fatal Five. This is not some twisted Enid Blyton story but a list of the five main contributory factors to deaths/injuries from crashes on UK roads. This blog will briefly explore these five – in a follow up blog I will cover how magistrates (for they deal with most of these offences) would come to their sentencing decision. These blogs are a combination of research and observing court cases from the public gallery. (1)

It is worth noting that while each of these offences are defined in Statute law, there can be subjectivity in what the Statute meant, eg what did Parliamentarians mean by “driving” when the law was passed? As such, there can be a lot of case law around these offences which governs how courts interpret the Statute.

Careless driving – S3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that if a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle(2) on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, [they are] guilty of an offence.

The legal test applied in court is that the driver did not exercise the degree of care of skill that would be reasonably expected of a driver. In other words, the driving was below(3) the required standard of a competent and careful motorist.

Examples of careless driving include splashing pedestrians with a puddle; driving too close to the car in front; risky overtaking (which would include close passing); being distracted by radio, passengers, eating; assuming right of way; pulling out of a side road into path of a vehicle; not signalling; excessive speed (eg driving too fast for wet conditions even if within the speed limit).

Defences against a conviction in court would include proving your driving was not below the required competency and care; proving the incident was a result of an unknown mechanical fault and it was reasonable for that fault to be unknown; an emergency; a medical reason (eg heart attack at the wheel).

There is some subjectivity here. What is considered competent and careful? However, the examples provided above help give an indication of things and the only real objective defence is medical or mechanical failure. The shame is I witness careless driving every single day. However, it is unlikely to get reported if it doesn’t result in an collision.

Drink/drug driving – S5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states a person is guilty of an offence if they drive, attempt to drive or are in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place after consuming alcohol above the legal limit. S5A of the same covers drug driving.

There is no precise definition of “in charge” but you could be considered “in charge” if you are sat in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition – even if the engine is not on.

The offence is also objective: over the limit and you are guilty. It is not about the standard of driving (although usually poor as a result) – there is no argument over whether you were fit to drive or not. An alcoholic drinking a bottle of vodka a day may feel fine…

There’s not much more to say really. The stats around drink driving deaths are scary and most people understand not to drink and drive. The issue can be around what constitutes too much – it is sensible to not drink if you will be driving.

Drug driving is a relatively new offence. Unlike drink driving there is not necessarily an impairment in driving and drugs can remain in your system for a long time. I believe this offence has been brought in more to disrupt the lives of drug users.

Not wearing a seatbelt – the Motor Vehicles (Wearing of Seat Belts) Regulations 1993 require everyone in a motor vehicle to wear a seat belt. There are some exceptions (eg when reversing). The driver is held responsible for anyone under the age of 14. This offence is fairly objective. You are either wearing it or not although the court would have to be shown that one of the exceptions did not apply.

Speeding – Part VI of the Road Traffic Regulations 1984 covers speeding. Under S89, a person who drives a motor vehicle on a road at a speed exceeding a limit imposed … shall be guilty of an offence.

Speeding itself is not necessarily considered careless driving(4) (they are separate offences) and one could be driving carelessly at speed within the speed limit. Speeding is objective – there is a limit. If you are over that limit you are guilty of the offence. The main defences would be around technicalities – there was no legal speed limit sign, the police equipment was faulty and so recorded the wrong speed or that it wasn’t you!(5)

Using a mobile phone – the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2003 and S41D of the Road Traffic Act 1998 cover the use of mobile phones whilst driving. A person is prohibited from driving a motor vehicle if they are using a hand held mobile phone. Courts interpret “hand-held” as a device that is, or must be, held in the hand in order to be used. Therefore, if you pick up the phone to answer a call, put it on loud speaker and put it down again, you are liable to conviction.

Courts also interpret driving to include when the vehicle is stationary (eg in a queue of traffic at lights). In effect, the only way to not be considered driving is to be parked, hand brake on and engine off. And to be doubly safe, remove the keys from the ignition and throw them on the back seat.

This is another fairly clear cut case (outside of the driving question above). If it is in your hand at any point, when being used, you are guilty. The only real defence is calling 999 and it is impracticable or unsafe to stop in order to do so.

That, in five nutshells, is the fatal five. When you next drive why not take extra care to ensure you are not committing any of these – for your safety and the safety of others.

(1) anyone can attend court to observe. It is public domain. If you have a day spare I would recommend it.

(2) whilst not defined in Statute, mechanically propelled is interpreted as a vehicle that is pushed along by a mechanism, ie an engine (using petrol, oil, coal or electricity) not a person.

(3) dangerous driving is when it is well below the required standard.

(4) this is probably a highly debatable point – surely if you are speeding you are not taking care? I can only assume that since there are separate offences speeding is not necessarily considered careless. It could be simply that speeding in law is very objective. Perhaps too many people in the past argued successfully that they were speeding (ie above the limit) but still being careful? Or perhaps speeding is an older offence?

(5) if it wasn’t you then you are legally obliged to advise who was driving, otherwise you’re liable to conviction under S172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Three assaults in one hour? Call the police!

This blog came to mind when I went for a bike ride this morning. I was gone an hour.

I still have to review footage from the cycle cameras but three close passes stick in my mind. On top of the criteria outlined previously, I find a reaction of me turning to look at the vehicle as it passes is a good indicator (*) and these three did just that. All three though made me feel the threat of unlawful personal violence (ie being hit with a car).

One, a driver that overtook me with oncoming traffic. Not a million miles an hour, but it was forcing through a narrow gap. Using my criteria it may go unreported but I’ll review the footage, but at the time unnerving.

Two, a taxi driver that overtook me with no oncoming traffic whilst I was alongside parked cars. The gap between the taxi and parked cars was not much more than me. I should have taken primary position but not always possible. The danger here? I could have been car doored with nowhere to go or what if the taxi driver suddenly swerved to the left? In this case it felt the taxi driver had not really acknowledged my existence.

Third, a van. I was cycling up hill, a bit slow as you’d expect. I heard the van approaching me from behind. It stayed behind me as we went through a traffic island but sped round me as soon as I had gone through and abruptly moved in front of me to sneak through the next traffic island. Considering the length of the van I was almost broadsided by this. I made a vocal exclamation.

The point of this? Well. This was a bike ride of one hour. In that time three drivers intentionally or recklessly (more likely) caused me to apprehend immediate unlawful personal violence.

That sounds a bit legalese, doesn’t? Well, it is.

It is the definition of assault. In English Law you do not need to be touched to be assaulted. The threat of violence itself constitutes an offence. “Personal violence” includes simply touching someone. No injury is required. So, if the actions of someone makes you fear immediate personal violence then you’ve been assaulted. It doesn’t have to be intentional. It can be reckless, ie an unintended outcome of someone’s action.

Whilst riding a bike, if a driver’s standard of driving is so poor that they make you fear personal violence (ie being touched in an unlawful way) then that could constitute an assault.

Now, compare these two statements. Let’s say two friends said one each. What would your reaction be? To which one would you say “Call the police!”?

  1. I went for a hour’s walk today. In that time, I was assaulted three times.
  2. I went for an hour’s bike ride today. In that time, I was close passed by three drivers.

(*) So much so I am considering investing in a third camera to go on the helmet to allow footage showing how close they are.

Why do cyclists carry cameras?

I have cameras on my bike now.

I never wanted to be this person.

I had often adhered to the “don’t grass” mentality, the “I don’t want to get anyone into trouble” mentality, the “I don’t want to ruin someone’s life” mentality. But, having cycled more regularly over the last few years, I have been struck (metaphorically, not literally) by the number of times a driver has acted with little consideration for others, be it speeding, using their phone or just driving in an inconsiderate or careless manner. I started thinking: if the driver does not consider the impact (another interesting choice of words) of their actions on me and my life, why should I hold back from reporting something that endangered me and/or other road users.

By not reporting things, we are tacitly condoning it. When you’re out and about, observe drivers. I bet you will see them using their phones, jumping red lights, driving too close to the car in front, cutting corners at junctions or speeding. If they are not reprimanded for such behaviour it will be regarded as normal or acceptable. I decided if I saw something I would report it.

However, the thing that really sent me down this road was the number of times I, directly, have been put in danger by drivers not driving safely.

  1. Close passes.
  2. Drivers overtaking and then immediately turning left in front of me or immediately having to stop (traffic lights or queue of traffic).
  3. Drivers not giving way at junctions requiring me to emergency stop.
  4. Driving through gaps when the obstruction is on their side – I’ve had a white van accelerate towards me, for which the only safe response was for me jump off my bike on to the pavement, in a quiet back street in Ashingdon.

Note – all of the above are covered by the Highway Code in some way.

None of these were caught on film. I was not able to take a note of a registration plate (since trying to save my life takes priority) and if I had, it’s my word against theirs. So the only solution was to install cameras.

But I did decide on criteria for reporting. There’s a process.

  1. I review any video the next day and decide then whether to report.
  2. If offence 1 above, I will consider:
    • the speed and position – if they have slowed and made some room (eg crossing the white line) then it is less likely to be reported
    • oncoming traffic – if none it is more likely to be reported
    • was it a pinch point – if yes, more likely to reported.
  3. Offences 2 and 3 above are usually always reported.
  4. If offence 4, I will consider:
    • the speed
    • how close they were when going through the gap.
  5. Any other illegal act caught on film (eg mobile phone) is a direct report.
  6. In any of these I consider if a professional driver (eg taxi, delivery van, HGV). They should know the law and set an example.
  7. There are, however, two potential trumps. Two potential rules that overrule any of the considerations in points 2 and 4:
    • Firstly, my reaction at the time. If it’s something along the lines of “F@@k me!”, it will be reported.
    • Secondly, if any of these were against my children, it’s an automatic report.

And the thing that vindicated my decision? Today was the first time I went out with cameras. I had my 11yo with me. She joined the road when it was safe to do so and the next three cars (in a row and immediately after each other) overtook me and then her, as we approached a pinch point. The gap between her and the cars was in no way safe. I am yet to review the video but I imagine HM Constabulary will be receiving three reports.

Addendum, 12th November: I had someone criticise me for having a camera. Says I’m anti-car, why am I going out looking for offenders?

I’m not… it just happens while I’m out and about. Ultimately, my camera footage may include drivers offending against other drivers, pedestrians offending against other pedestrians; it may have footage of a robbery. I’ll report anything I see on the footage I feel should be reported. It is there to improve the safety of everyone, not just me, and not just against drivers.

Addendum January 2021: I find I have reduced what I report a lot. Based on feedback from Essex police much what I believe to be close will not merit action, if you look at this page you’ll see videos of things that have gone no further. Obviously, there is subjectivity in all this. It may not lead to any physical harm but the standard of driving is still poor…

My main criteria these days is how I reacted at the time. I hope I don’t become too desensitised to things…

Where do we park?

“Where do we park?” is one of those questions I hear a lot when planning a trip. Needing to know where one can park their car is important but focussing on it also implies a car dependency – at no point has the idea of NOT driving been considered.

Local councils get criticised for not providing parking in town centres, as if the lack of parking prevents people from coming to town even though there’s public transport and walking as options.

But this blog is more about parking on the highway, not the lack (or perceived lack) of parking provision for visitors.

Let me start with a theoretical conversation:

Child: “Dad, can we get a pony?”

Father: “A pony? They cost a lot of money to buy, to look after and so on. A real commitment!”

Child: “But I need one!”

Father: “We have no stables, no proper sized garden. Where would we put it?”

Child: “We’ll leave it outside in the street!”

Father: “Don’t be silly: it’ll be in the way, could be stolen, hurt. We wouldn’t be allowed to leave personal belongings like that on the street!”

Or about this one?

Business: “We’ve purchased 2 tonnes of machinery, costing £10,000, but realise we have nowhere to store it. Can we put on public land?”

Local Council: “No, that could be considered flytipping and you’ll be fined”

Now, replace “pony” and “stables” with “car” and “garage”; replace “2 tonnes of machinery” with “car”.  We wouldn’t leave a pony on the street, we wouldn’t dump machinery on the street, but once it is a car we have no issues with it. 

Cars are expensive, can get damaged when left in public places; there is probably no other item of our personal belongings we would voluntarily leave overnight out in public. We hire storage areas for belongings we don’t have space for at home, but very few think to do it for their car. The expectation is it can be left on the public highway for free.

Parking on the road is permissible  but there are exceptions and no one has a right to a spot on the road. But, with more and more cars on the road in the UK, and 92% of their time is spent parked, parking is a problem. 

Here are some issues parking causes:

  • Reduces road capacity –  a row of parked cars literally takes the same space as a line of moving traffic. There are many streets around me that are wide enough for three lanes of traffic but due to parking on both sides only one lane of moving traffic is possible, turning a two-way road effectively into a one-way street. Indeed, some streets have been made one-way simply because of this. There are also boulevard style streets near me, with two lanes of traffic in either direction. But, parking in the left hand lane means cars simply stay on the right hand lane the entire time, even if just one car is parked.
One parked car in left hand lane. All traffic observed whilst here stayed in the right hand lane.
  • Danger to pedestrians – being forced to cross the road emerging from between two parked cars. As a kid I was taught not to do this, but in my street the entire length of it is parked cars, so one has no choice.
  • Danger to motorists – parking obscures views. When I drive there are number of junctions that require you to turn blind since the parking is preventing you from seeing if anything is coming. 
Taken in line with the give way road markings, note how obscured the view is. Funnily enough, when I went to cross the road, a car was there I had not been able to see…
  • Pavement parking – so many cars are parked on the pavement, even if partly (ie two wheels on the pavement, two on the road). The rationale given is that the road isn’t wide enough and so parking fully on the road would be an obstruction. But, by parking on the pavement they’re still creating an obstruction – to pedestrians, wheelchair users etc. But this gets dismissed, since “they can always go round”.
  • Territorial – people view the bit of road outside their house as their own, when it isn’t. Despite this, people get very territorial about a bit of tarmac.

So what can be done?

In Japan (here’s an example) one has to prove they have somewhere to store their car before buying one. In Singapore  they have to pay a tax of at least 100% its market value plus obtain a certificate of entitlement at a cost of over £20,000. This is just at point of purchase – there’s more taxes to pay each year.

In the UK there is nothing to stop you just buying a car. There’s no expectation for a car buyer to consider where they will store it. When considering the purchase of a car, the cost of storing it (hiring a garage or transforming your front garden into a car port) should be considered..

But ultimately, you should consider whether or not you need a car. If we have fewer cars on the road, parking will become less of an issue.

What journeys do you make? Are they walkable? Could they have been done on public transport?

Is it simply a convenience for you to have a car and if so, how much are you willing to pay for that? If you are not willing to pay for proper storage and assume it is fine leaving it out on the street or on the pavement, where it inconveniences others, then you may wish to consider the thought you are putting your own convenience above those that do not have the choice of buying a car.

How do Cycle Lanes Cause Congestion?

As an advocate of segregated cycling infrastructure, it may seem to be an odd blog title: how do cycle lanes cause congestion?

This blog came to mind when I read this article in the Sunday Telegraph over my morning porridge:

It is a very common argument: cycle lane installed, reduces road space, causes congestion. And you can see the logic – ten cars spread over two lanes, on average, would be two queues of five cars. Make it one lane, then that is a queue of ten cars. Quite reasonable. Obviously, the cycle lane has caused congestion. But there is a flaw in the logic.

It is confusing the cause with something making the symptom worse.

Congestion is a symptom of too many cars on the road. Anything which reduces road space will make the symptom worse. The problem is that we become used to a certain level of traffic. It becomes normalised and we no longer see it as congestion. So, when something worsens the symptom, ie the congestion, we blame that. And thus we ignore the actual cause.

No doubt, many people drive on roads that at certain times of day the journey time is longer. It is just accepted. It’s the norm. How many of us actually stop and think – is it becuase there’s too many cars on the road?

Government statistics show that in 1991 there were 20 million registered motor vehicles in the UK. In 2020, 38.3 million. A near-doubling of vehicles in a period that the UK population only increased by 20%. Road space has not changed much in that time. So, is it really cycle lanes?

In my home town, you can count on one hand the number of segregated cycle lanes (not including “magic paint” and shared space). There’s congestion. What might the cause be? Because it ain’t cycle lanes!

And it’s not just cycle lanes that get blamed.

The advent of Sat Navs has precipitated an increase in rat-running meaning some try to avoid traffic on the main roads by using side roads. This is not much of a problem if it is just one or two drivers with the “insider knowledge” but once Sat Navs came along everyone and their dogs suddenly knew these back routes.

Low traffic neighbourhoods (I prefer people friendly neighbourhoods) are designed to stop rat-running. Of course, this means more traffic on the main roads and so complaints have been raised that they have caused congestion. But, is it not just the fact there are too many cars on the road, but over the last few years that traffic has been rat-running around residential areas?

Some parts of London recently removed their low traffic neighbourhoods on the premise of the congestion they caused. Just search on twitter and you’ll find that after the removal congestion was just as bad – it was just elsewhere.

And my last point – this article points out the Government’s support for the motorist. The Government supports a group of people responsible for the deaths of five people per day. Just let that sink in.

The Avenues, an update

A while back I posted about the Avenues, some roads near where I live. Residential roads, used as through routes. Straight roads, with cars often going well above the 30mph limit. I asked about ideas to improve them.

I have mulled it over and I think one approach would be to stop the Avenues being straight roads. This could be utilised by changing the priorities at junctions. Instead of traffic going along South Avenue, say, without giving way, the traffic gets forced into side roads.

For this to work, the junctions would have to be redesigned, rather than rely on just new road markings. Some of the side streets may have to be made one-way (although with all the parking either side they practically are anyway). A 20mph limit should be imposed as well. The Council should look at the whole neighbourhood and consider how it could redirect traffic so that it is less attractive for traffic that is trying to cut through to avoid main roads.

What this means is, instead of a car driving from one end of South Avenue to the other, potentially at great speed and without having to give way,  the driver would have to slow at the junctions and turn back into South Avenue.

Furthermore, these junctions could be designed to allow non motor vehicles to continue straight – a cut through in the junction for cycles and mobility scooters etc.

A rough sketch of one such junction is below.


Deaths on Essex Roads – 2020

What better way to spend a Friday afternoon than to collate Safer Essex Roads figures for 2020?

Here’s the stats:

2020DeathsCasualtiesPhoneDrunkDrugSeat Belt

This works out to be roughly, on a weekly basis, one person dying and 12 being injured.

On a weekly basis, 11 people caught using their phones whilst driving.

On a weekly basis 71 people caught driving whilst over the legal limit for drink/drugs. That’s 10 a day!

These are shocking figures and shows how much law breaking occurs on our roads.


I was going to blog about this, but this chap has done it so much better than I could.

As Easy As Riding A Bike

I’ve long held the suspicion that the use of ‘encouragement’ in relation to cycling is a classic example of a weasel word. It’s a word that sounds positive (after all, who could possibly object to cycling being encouraged?) – but that, when it comes to its use in practice, amounts to an abdication of responsibility. ‘Encouragement’ involves persuading people to do something, and… that’s about it. We want you to cycle, but we’re going to do very little to help you. In fact, we might even ‘encourage’ you to cycle while we are actively making things worse.

‘Encouraging people to cycle’ has become the stock phrase of councils and authorities that want to sound like they’re in favour of cycling, but don’t want to actually enable it. Councils who might like the idea of more people spontaneously choosing to cycle on their roads, but aren’t at all keen on having…

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Deaths by Motoring – Essex

A while back I posted about the number of deaths caused by motoring in the UK.

In my local paper today I saw the following article:

This campaign from Safer Essex Roads is welcome but it highlights the current annual numbers of deaths in Essex: 42.

42 deaths each year.

That is one every 8 or 9 days.

Whilst road accidents get reported, there isn’t the shock with the number of deaths. Why not? A death every 8 or 9 days would not be tolerated in a factory so why on the roads?

The A127, an update

Many months ago I blogged about the A127 providing ideas about alternative routes. I have found in recent times, particularly if I have my children with me, that some of the traffic free bits are so pointless it is better to use a side road.

Prime example, there is a stretch of cycle lane, painted on the pavement running between St Mary’s Church and Priory Park. It ends just before one gets to Priory Park and means if you follow it properly you have to cross four lanes of traffic to continue north.

I used to do this and send my kids on along the pavement to reunite at the other side of the junction.

Now, we don’t use that bit of cycle lane. We turn off at the church and go north on Hill Road, turn left into Priory Crescent and get to the junction that way. This route is either completely free of cars or has a queue of traffic at the lights that we can filter through and get in front of.

It is much safer way to get to the entrance of the Prittlewell Path.

How bad must a cycle lane be if it is better to use the road?