Bristol to Bath Railway Path temporary closure

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by captain nemo1701, 4 Feb 2019.

  1. fatblokish

    fatblokish Veteran

    Location:
    In bath
    Please don't use lights in the Two Tunnels unless it's misty. Completely unnecessary even if you have poor eyesight and can be dangerous to those following.

    I can see those without lights (bikes and peds and dogs) from 300m away and my eyesight is not the best.
     
    Arjimlad likes this.
  2. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    Totally disagree. Flashing lights yes, but you need some sort of light to be seen. Way too dark.

    I use this all year round in all conditions. Even some pedestrians are clever enough to use torches to make people aware they are in there.
     
    Arjimlad likes this.
  3. DCBassman

    DCBassman Veteran

    Location:
    Tavistock
    No.
    In tunnels, you use lights, whatever your mode of conveyance. Even peds should carry lights walking through. Particularly if there are bends in the tunnel.
     
  4. recumbentpanda

    recumbentpanda Über Member

    Well, as stated on a previous occasion, I firmly disagree with dear Heltor on this question!

    I guess some people have poor ‘night vision’, but I find the tunnel lighting perfectly adequate for seeing approaching traffic long before proximity becomes an issue -until somebody comes along with a high powered headlight, when the dazzle then makes it hard to see even the edge of the path a meter ahead.

    On the other hand, some people do burn through there at ridiculous speed, and probably find even 300m insufficient for their reaction times.

    But as I also said on that previous occasion, I think I’m onto a loser, given that some people on the path seem to feel the need to run retina burning lights, in the open air, miles from any tunnels, in broad daylight, and even in sunshine.
     
  5. DCBassman

    DCBassman Veteran

    Location:
    Tavistock
    I do agree that some lights are waaay over the top.
     
  6. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    By your own admission you ride on the dark side so perhaps you have super vision. ;) I do enough cycling right through the night to know what abilities of my own are comfortable for me.

    You are right in that we will have to agree to disagree. The worst offender recently that I witnessed was a member of the GCN team: You know who you are and you chose wisely to slink off with your tail between your legs when I called you out. Idiot.
     
  7. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Well yes, dazzling lights are always wrong, but so is no lights in a long tunnel.
     
    DCBassman and Heltor Chasca like this.
  8. recumbentpanda

    recumbentpanda Über Member

    Why? When the tunnel is lit well enough that one can read book in there?

    Under such conditions it is pretty hard to miss even an unlit pedestrian within a safe braking distance. And the tunnels under discussion being ex railway tunnels any bends are extremely gentle and do not prevent one from seeing things a safe distance ahead.

    This reminds me of the debate in the early cycling community about the idea of compulsory lighting for bikes. It was felt that a legal requirement for lights on bikes would tend to absolve motorists of responsibility for not killing people by driving too fast in the dark. Of course we now know those early cyclists were entirely wrong . . .

    Anyway, I know that all these words are wasted on the desert air, and the next time I go through there, I will have to squint against the usual blizzard of blinkies, ill-aimed LEDS and the occasional Klieg light that brings everyone to a blinded halt until it has gone past. And as, between all this, there is often insufficient time for my eyes to naturally accommodate to the low but adequate lighting levels, I shall probably have to use a light . . . Hey ho.
     
  9. lazybloke

    lazybloke Über Member

    Location:
    Surrey Hills
    The apparent anger in your last paragraph made me look at your username and realise that recumbents are uniquely at risk from dazzle. Is that the real problem here?

    Because as a conventional bike rider through the Two Tunnels last year, I found the tunnel illumination to be woefully inadequate and was very glad when I saw other people using lights (as I was).

    Yes there is enough light to see the groups of walkers inside the tunnel, but it's almost impossible to see ninja joggers/cyclists approaching from beyond those walkers. Put a small light on the ninjas and you'd see them earlier.

    ALL tunnel users are visible as silhouettes against the light at the end of a tunnel, but even your extremely gentle bends block that view.

    So for me, appropriate lighting is a matter of courtesy to the majority of other users, but especially to those with poor eyesight.


    Q: Does the illumination in the Two Tunnels change a different times of day? It certainly wasn't bright enough to read by last August.
     
    Heltor Chasca likes this.
  10. fatblokish

    fatblokish Veteran

    Location:
    In bath
    The tunnels' lighting remains the same during the day, it seems to me that it's the users who have changed. IME for the first couple of years very few cyclists used lights and I can't recall a single ped or runner using them. Now I get bawled at by tunnel users if I don't have lights on and I fear that such rude behaviour will serve only to become an obstacle to people continuing to enjoy the tunnels and make them the exclusive realm of shouty Lucifers.
     
  11. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    The dimly-lit tunnel seems like "seriously reduced visibility" to me, so bikes should have lights, but go slowly enough to cope with walkers/runners who aren't required to be lit.
     
    lazybloke and Heltor Chasca like this.
  12. OP
    OP
    captain nemo1701

    captain nemo1701 Space cadet. Deck 42 Main Engineering.

    Location:
    Bristol
    The Two Tunnels is OK without lights as .....it's lit!. Been through it multiple times, it's fine. If you're worried, put some scotchlite Hi Viz on.
     
  13. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    None of us are going to agree on this. And the safety advice from Two Tunnels looks like it was written by Jeremy Corbin. It only advises lights in bad weather. And yet you will get a ‘Like’ and even a ‘Retweet’ from their account if you moan about the lack of lights on bicycles in the tunnel over on Twitter.

    My point of view is always going to be, ‘Why not do the best you can for your’s and other users’ safety? Why make life difficult for the sake of a click of a switch?’

    Anything else in my opinion just comes across as curmudgeonly.

    See you in the Tunnels. And it’s very likely you’ll see me.;)
     
    DCBassman likes this.
  14. recumbentpanda

    recumbentpanda Über Member

    @lazybloke, - not so much anger as puzzlement . . . And I am beginning to wonder if my low-light vision is significantly better than some people’s.

    A day or so ago I was travelling south through the Combe Down tunnel. There is a gentle curve at either end, connected by a long straight, the best part of a mile long I guess. As I came onto the main drag, I could clearly see a jogger at the extreme far end. As I say, the best part of a mile away. Now admittedly they were wearing a light top, but this brings me onto my next point of puzzlement.

    You say runners are visible, but people behind them may not be. Well, that is true outside of tunnels too, but sticking to the subterranean, I can see that a clearly visible individual or group might distract your attention from a darker person or group in relative shadow behind them. But here is my difficulty: - I have myself experienced that very situation many times, but I am able to see the oncoming group sufficiently far ahead that there is plenty of time to scan the shadows behind them for less well lit traffic. Unless of course, the lead group is using a Very Bright Light, in which case all bets are off

    As for recumbents being uniquely at risk from dazzle, remember that relatively few people use proper ‘shaped beam’ lights. Most emit light in a circular beam, so that the risk of dazzle is similar from any angle unless the light is pointed sharply downwards. I have found dazzle to be just as much a problem on upright bikes and no worse on recumbents.

    From comments on here, I am coming to the not unreasonable conclusion that some people see better in the dark than others and I happen to be lucky. I am less convinced however, of the value of sticking lights on everything, as this is not only distracting, but can actually make it harder to see ‘between and around’ said lights. (I think this applies to some extent on the roads too, but that’s another debate!).

    There is also however, another possibility: I can see to the end of the mile straight. Let’s assume a person with poorer vision can see half that distance, or let’s even go further and assume a person who can only resolve objects a quarter of that distance away. That’s still roughly a quarter of a mile. If that doesn’t give sufficient time to anticipate, then perhaps, just perhaps, somebody is going a teeny bit fast for the conditions?
     
  15. recumbentpanda

    recumbentpanda Über Member

    And lest I be thought of as derailing this thread onto my own curmudgeonly obsessions, let me return to the original spirit of it, by adding a recommendation. If you continue south from the Two Tunnels, along what is dubbed the Colliers Way, you will come, after one or two short but rather challenging hills, and much pleasant countryside, to the former mining town of Radstock. Noting, and perhaps patronising its splendid bike shop, ‘Bike-it’, turn left from the centre, down Fortescue Road, which continues as Church Street, and continue past St Nicholas’s Church before turning immediately right into the Church Centre. Here you will find Swallows Community Cafe which will provide you with kind and attentive service and food of a quality you would be hard put to find in the posher eateries of Bath, at very reasonable prices. My cheese and ham panini for example, came with a salad that included not only flax seeds, and rocket, but very fresh samphire! Well worth seeking out if you’re in need of a recharge before carrying on to Frome or returning to Bath.
     
    Arjimlad likes this.
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