ROAD CLOSED? Some motorists think it can’t apply to them. They’re always wrong. Cyclists think it can’t apply to them either. But we’re usually right. It’s nice, however, to have a sign explicitly saying so.
Today I cycled from my house in York to my mum’s place, outside Hull. I did the route regularly, about once a month, until Lockdown I in March 2020. This was the first time since, and it felt great to be back.
It’s a quiet, flat, farmy, back-road route of about 36 miles. You see more pigs than people. Even, now, more pheasants, too: the livestock base has clearly become more diverse since I was last here.
More roadworks, too. The reconstruction of Hagg Bridge, over the Market Weighton canal that links Pocklington with the Humber, sets standards in its signage.
Not only does the immediate approach to the bridge works make it clear that ROAD CLOSED applies only to motor vehicles, and that cyclists and pedestrians can get through. But also – as in the main image of this post –the signs half a mile before, in the village of Sutton on Derwent, explicitly tell us that we’ll be able to get through. Cyclists Welcome, in other words.
I’ve been in similar situations before, where signs say the road is closed but don’t mention bikes. I’ve always taken a punt, and always been OK. But, if the roadworks were a long way from the marked diversion, I’d spend a long time worrying about a wasted journey, having to double back and then take a long way round anyway.
Whoever said it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive clearly hadn’t spent three miles fretting in exactly this way, as I did in Wales in 2009.
No such worries for me today though. And, indeed, further along – outside the village of Melbourne, whose inhabitants must be fed up of scrolling down location lists when place-tagging their Facebook posts – was another set of roadworks, not quite as explicitly signed, but still permeable on two wheels.
And, sign notwithstanding, I didn’t have to dismount; the blokes on site were happy to wave me through before they got back to their business of pointing at things and shaking their head.
Yes, I got to my mum’s OK, after a very pleasant ride. There was more large-scale, heavy-duty construction there. In the kitchen. Dinner, in a word.