Dual carriageway cycling

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Plax, 18 Dec 2007.

  1. Plax

    Plax Veteran

    Hello, anyone here know the score with cycling on a Dual carriageway - I don't think it is illegal, but is it deemed an appropriate thing to do? I am quite keen to cycle to my parents house but I would have to traverse the A55 which has been deemed a "catastrophe waiting to happen" http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_west/7131767.stm
    The stretch that I would have to go over has no cycle path/pavement. Further along past Llanfairfechan there is a kind of "cycle route" but nothing before that. I basically will need to get on the A55 at Bangor and carry on eastbound until I get to Abergwyngregyn. I could then turn off at Aber, cycle under the road to the westbound side where there is a pavement adjacent to the A55 that goes into Llanfairfechan (thus avoiding the majority of roadworks at that stretch).
    I have had no success finding alternative routes on the 'net.
  2. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    All the time trials I have done have been on dual carriageways, it can certainly get a bit hairy having lorries rumbling by at seventy miles an hour. It is certainly doable though.

    However, please see this link.

    Which shows that there is a route using minor roads only.
  3. yorkshiregoth

    yorkshiregoth Master of all he surveys

    I have used dual carriage ways on my rides to Windsor or on the North Circular and I really don't like using them. I find them quite daunting tbh.
  4. Crackle

    Crackle Squatter

    I wouldn't travel the A55 on a bike. It's as close to two lane motorway as you'll get without being on one!
  5. OP

    Plax Veteran

    Eeek, I had forgotten about going over the Crymlyn (there's my car mentality poisoning me!), but it's a nightmare in the car - narrow with loads off little roads jetting off here there and everywhere. I suppose I could do a trial run in the car. It'll be a longer route but much more enjoyable and unless there are any boy racers about, a lot safer.
  6. Tetedelacourse

    Tetedelacourse New Member

    I regularly use Dual Carriageways Plax but I wouldn't recommend it if it daunts you or if you have problems concentrating. Seriously not meant as a jibe at all, but I need to concentrate 100% of the time when I'm on one.

    Plus if time's not really an issue and there is a reasonable alternative then that would be much more enjoyable.
  7. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    Is there a hard shoulder on that road Plax.
    Peterborough is ringed by duals....i have been known to ride them, but only when things get quieter.
    If you have a good hard shoulder (there is about 4 to 6 ft of h/shoulder 90% of the way round here) its very useable and generaly safe...although you may have to deal with debris.
    The real problems are the slip roads. Cars approaching too fast for cyclists to deal with...and cars cutting in at the LAST moment, they are the real danger.

    Personally...i wouldnt here at peak times. Its like the M1 at times....
  8. OP

    Plax Veteran

    Well, thanks to Domtyler to the link for google maps. I'd have never thought to use that. I've just been playing with it and found a good route, it totally avoids the A55 and is nearly 3 miles shorter than the route you would take in the car to use the A55. Downside of course is that it involves a lot more hills (your classic narrow country lanes). I'm getting excited at the propect already! Day off Friday.............
  9. OP

    Plax Veteran

    Unfortunately no hard shoulder on the A55 at all. There is a part about a foot wide that I was thinking about cycling in, but this disappears for about a mile or two before you get to Aber (uses the old road so it's basically road - curb/grass, rather than road - foot gap - curb/grass if you follow me!).

    Hopefully this route I've found will be fine, and I wont get lost down some random road!
  10. Chuffy

    Chuffy Veteran

    Can't comment on your route especially but I have always used DCs when going cross country. Although the traffic is fast, it's going in the same direction and you get less 'interference' by way of side roads, traffic lights, peds etc. They also tend to be nice and wide. In many ways I feel safer on a DC than on regular urban roads. Side roads are an issue but the trick is to be observant, early. I cut across them to the far side of the road as early as possible, traffic permitting.

    As with any road cycling, confidence and observation are the key.
  11. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    I am (loosely) planning to cycle to Prestatyn (my uncle lives there) so basically its 7mls east of liverpool-ferry-wirral-another road-theneither a55 or the coast road which I think is a541 or something so I know where you are coming from on this Plax'...

    On the subject itself, its mainly the exits that are THE BIG DEAL with the straights being ok generally BUT obviously CAUTION is needed!

  12. Crackle

    Crackle Squatter

    Plax you've already made your decision so no worries but just for the others, that dual carriageway in that section is really not nice, in fact the whole dual carriageway is not good. It's the main link to Holyhead, it's straight, it's fast, has sections where junctions go on and off with very short accelaration/deccelaration lanes, big tunnels (which I think you can't cycle through) and is generally to be avoided apart from a section near the beginning which Yenrod is talking about.
    Edit: And whole sections don't have a hard shoulder.
  13. I agree with this. I too often feel safer on big A roads and dual carriageways than I do on little country lanes. If there's a hard shoulder you can treat it as your own personal cycle lane.
  14. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Very much depends on the dual carriageway. I'd not be seen dead on the A14 around here, terrifies me that road, and I just can't think of a strategy to cycle it safely. But I've been on others up North on Tyneside and not had any problems.
  15. Part of my club run is on a dual carriageway, OK in a group but I wouldn't fancy it my self. I like Urban dual carriageways where speeds are circa 30mph or slower. Some DC are like Motorways however, I dont fancy cycling on them. I always have a chuckle at the A92 in Fife (Dunfermline to Kirkcaldy/ Glenrothes), its one of these motorway types and although it has plenty of signs warning of the possible presence of cyclists, I've never seen them,certainly wouldn't myself.
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