Avoiding the A19
There are several roads near here which would be just great for cycling when you’re in a hurry to get somewhere. Roads like the A1058 Coast Road, which takes you in pretty much an arrow-straight line from the coast (the clue’s in the name) to the centre of Newcastle. The problem is that this is basically a motorway*, and so distinctly cycle-unfriendly. As a result, I go through Walker and Byker instead.
Another is the A19, which runs north-south, passing to the East of Newcastle, and the West of Sunderland. The trouble is that I DO regularly ride on this road, as I thought it was pretty much the only way to get from the south of the Tyne Tunnel and down to Boldon, where I seem to have regular meetings with my business partner (it saves him the hassle of the Tyne Tunnel), prospects, or clients. It’s a pretty scary mile and a half, but I just couldn’t see a way of avoiding it.
Then just over six weeks ago, at 07:50 on 18th January, Paul Brady was killed on the A19. He was hit from behind, about 400 yards north of the Silverlink Roundabout, and died from multiple injuries. The driver didn’t stop, though in fairness, the general opinion is that it was probably a lorry that hit him, and the driver may have been completely unaware of the impact.
Looking at the bike Paul was riding, he was obviously no cycling rookie. So if it could happen to him, it could happen to me too.
Hmmm . . . how to avoid that A19?
Well I went exploring on my way back from Boldon today, and came up with an alternative route, which keeps me off the A19 completely, and only seemed to add a few minutes. I’ve shown this here, where my old route is from point A to B, and the new route from B to C.
My only worry now is that this new route takes me through a lot more densely populated areas, with lots of opportunities for drivers to take side swipes at me at junctions. But at least getting hit by a car which has just driven out from a T-junction, the impact speed would probably be in the region of 20-30 mph - much better than getting rear-ended at 70.
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 03/17/2008
- Time: 09:13:25
- Total Time: 1:33:00.00
- Distance: 20 miles
- Average Speed: 12.9 mph
*That’s a freeway to you, if you’re the kind of person who thinks that the first Terry Pratchet book was the Color of Magic, or that JK Rowling’s first was the Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, or that the Fag Paper referred to in this post by Dave Moulton is in fact a weekly publication available in the Castro Street area of San Francisco.