Wednesday, 27 August 2008

I ride the DETC

This afternoon, the long-awaited, over-budget, imaginatively named Darlington Eastern Transport Corridor opened. Eager to sample the delights of riding alongside it, I hopped on the bike and gave it a whirl.

Approaching along Haughton Road from town at about 3pm the traffic was backed up to the railway bridge by the College - so this evening's rush hour should be fun! The majority of drivers continued along Haughton Road, not realising until it was too late that the DETC was open. But since it's a single lane highway until just before the new roundabout, I imagine these traffic queues will be typical. The lights changed quite frequently, though, so no one had to wait too long. The photos show some early explorers along the "throughabout" and the sign which shows that Darlington is at long last part of a National Cycle Network route.

The cycle path shares the pavement circling the new roundabout/throughabout, so it was quite easy to access the DETC. Unfortunately, when I reached McMullen Road, that was as far as I could go. The path from there to the A66 Ring Road has not yet been laid.


miketually said...

Yesterday, I just carried on to the bridge over the A66. On the other side of McMullen Road, there are two paths, one tarmac and one cinder(?). The tarmac path is collapsing in a couple of places, as is the grass between the paths.

Did you play the game of count the crossings? From the town centre to Red Hall, going via Borough Road and the ETC, I counted ten waits for lights in 1.4 miles. That will add a considerable amount of time to the journey, and make it cold going through the winter.

Mike Barker said...

You wait at lights?

For my motoring readers: at 5.15 this evening the traffic queue stretched from the throughabout right back to MFI.

Also observed this evening: a car leaving the ETC driving towards town, but turning right at the throughabout to circumnavigate the roundabout anti-clockwise AGAINST the flow of traffic before squeezing through on the wrong side of the road up towards Albert Hill. I kid you not: the look of horror on the driver's face was matched only by the sheer terror etched into the features of her passenger as cars hurtled head on towards them from all directions.

miketually said...

One of David Cameron's supposed bike sins was crossing tucans against the lights. It's not illegal, however. Waiting for the lights forces the cars to stop, which slows the traffic :)

I can't believe someone went the wrong way round it - it is pretty clear!