Bristol to Bath Railway Path temporary closure

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

  1. sleuthey

    sleuthey Veteran

    I'm confused as to whether people are talking about the Staple Hill tunnel on the Bristol to bath railway path or the "two tunnels" on the bike path between Bath and Midford which are the Devonshire tunnel and Combe down tunnel. I have only used the latter when running the "two tunnels" 10k 4 years ago and found the lighting quite tranquil and adaquate. It's the staple hill tunnel I find gloomy and whilst I never use it at night can picture there being behavioral problems at night.
  2. fatblokish

    fatblokish Veteran

    In bath
    The subject is most definitely the "Two Tunnels", as you say, Devonshire and Combe Down tunnels. The steering group briefly considered making a recommendation in the Code of Conduct that lights should be used by cyclists, however this was quickly discounted as it would make the tunnel much less safe for all the other unlit users such as peds, mobility scooters, trikes, scooters, dogs etc who are following in the wake of brightly lit cyclists. Further, the light provided by the 200 or so light fittings in the crown of the Combe Down tunnel significantly exceed the standard of 5 lux.

    As you say, the current Two Tunnels lighting is quite adequate.
  3. mjr

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

    What standard's that, then?
  4. lazybloke

    lazybloke Über Member

    Surrey Hills
    A teeny bit fast? Nope, anything but ; see my speed in the Strava clipping below.

    No, the main reason i couldn't see some other users of the tunnel is because it was so busy with walkers, joggers, doggers and cyclists. I only traveled from Midford/Monkton Coombe to Bath and back, just 5.5 miles total, but have 12 people on my Strava flyby. It's impossible to extrapolate, but I estimate I passed 200-300 other people. Is it any wonder that occasional ninja cyclists are not conspicuous.?


    Dazzling lights shouldn't be relevant to the question of when sensible lights must be used. A "twilighty" tunnel is probably the perfect example of where lights would be appropriate. Anyone know what the law says on the matter?
    Heltor Chasca likes this.
  5. mjr

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

    It says head/tail lights must be used "between sunset and sunrise" and "in seriously reduced visibility" ( )

    I'm not sure where the visibility term is defined. It may be in case law, or it may even still be waiting for a court to rule. says it's when you can see less than 100m but cites no additional laws to back that up and it wouldn't be the first unsupported claim in the highway code...
    lazybloke and Heltor Chasca like this.
  6. fatblokish

    fatblokish Veteran

    In bath
    HSE. I'll not further deprive you of the opportunity of doing your own research and hope you are not one of the shouty ones who seek to exclude others from using the tunnels.
  7. mjr

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

    Is it still the fallacy of proof by appeal to authority when the authority is from a different field, or merely an attempted proof by handwaving?

    And I hope you're not one of the nobbers riding unlit on the right.
  8. recumbentpanda

    recumbentpanda Über Member

    @lazybloke Good Lord, that’s crowded! I’ve never seen it that busy since the opening day procession . . . Good job I went the other way that day!
  9. lazybloke

    lazybloke Über Member

    Surrey Hills
    Watch the first minute of this youtube clip of cycling through the two tunnels on opening-day. Count the number of people in the video, note the playback speed... and it works out as about 25 people per minute passing through the tunnel.

    My ride was much slower (actually 56 minutes), so I saw more people. That estimate of 200-300 people works out between 3.6 and 5.4 people per minute, which is a small fraction of the opening day traffic. Still think I'm exaggerating?
    Far from being too high, my estimate was probably too low.

    However, traffic levels to peak in the tunnel closest to Bath (I think it's the Devenshire tunnel). If the tunnel ahead of you is congested then it's not rocket science to understand that your view is reduced. And that's without factoring-in eyesight issues.

    Re dazzling bike-lights, everyone agrees these are a curse, but your solution of doing away with them is a nonsense for other people in the tunnel who have less-than-perfect eyesight (hint: that's the majority of people). Hence my suggestion of using appropriate lights when cycling through the tunnel.
    You might not need them, but they are not for you.
  10. Seevio

    Seevio Über Member

    South Glos
    It's also not rocket surgery that if the tunnel is that congested then you are travelling slower anyway in which case reduced view is cancelled out. Lights are not needed in the tunnels with the current levels of lighting.
  11. lazybloke

    lazybloke Über Member

    Surrey Hills
    Your eyes are clearly better than mine. Congrats.
    What do you say to people who have really bad eyes?
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