In a press release announcing this winter's gritting programme and a hi-tech approach to where black-ice may develop, the Highways Agency mentions this to be of benefit to motorists only. What, so cyclists don't also use Britain's road network in the winter months?

Note to the Highways Agency: bicycles are vehicles too

"At the first sign of snow and ice, gritters are mobilised to pre-salt the country’s strategic road network, to keep traffic flowing on these roads which are essential to the country’s economy," says the first paragraph of the Highways Agency press release.

All well and good. ‘Traffic’ includes cyclists, too. In law, bicycles are classified as ‘vehicles’.

But then the release starts slipping and sliding on its own patches of auto-centric black-ice:

"As the Highways Agency gears up for the worst of this winter’s weather, motorists are also being asked to ensure they and their vehicle are ready if they get caught up in wintry conditions."

Why only motorists?

"The agency has enlisted the advice of a team of dedicated meteorologists, who can advise on the effects of the winter weather on the roads, allowing more informed decisions to be made. A high-tech approach has also been utilised, with thermal mapping on the road network, which can identify frost pockets, while gritters are fitted with global positioning systems."

Excellent. Bicycles slip on black ice, too.

"Drivers are warned to be careful in the potentially hazardous winter conditions."

Again, why only motorists?

Highways Agency area manager Roy Wood said:

"We can have some of the most varied and most unpredictable winter weather conditions that can make driving especially hazardous."

Wood then comes out with some advice for motorists: "when severe weather bites, the best advice is to stay off the road."

Excellent! If such that’ll-be-the-day advice was heeded there would be more room for cyclists……/7219089.htm

Want to remind the Highways Agency, part of the Department of Transport, that cyclists are ‘traffic’ too?

Here’s the email address to use:

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