B&Q: Partial Success
Thankfully after nearly ten years we got our “bargain” house up to scratch (during which time, it turned out not to be quite the bargain we’d anticipated), so I don’t have to make almost daily trips to DIY stores and builders’ merchants any more. Last weekend though, our neighbour revealed that she was about to pay an arm and a leg to get some work done on a wall we share - work that I’d been building up to getting round to doing anyway. So we agreed to go halves on the materials, and off I went to B&Q to get the stuff.
My previous trips by bike to the Big Orange Box Next To The Coast Road haven’t been too successful. First of all there were no bike racks at all, and the security guard wouldn’t let me wheel my bike around the shop - you guessed it: For Health and Safety reasons. This is in a shop where members of the public can load a trolley with literally a ton of concrete blocks, and then wheel it around on its Any-Direction-But-The-One-You-Want™ Castors. But rules is rules, and the nice security guard did agree to watch my bike for me.
Then they got a bike storage area - handily between the entrance & exit, but without any sort of racks. So they used it for other purposes:
But this time, I found . . .
. . . which seems a whole lot better. Shame about the location though - it’s no-longer near the shop entrance:
But wait - look! We get our own dedicated, segregated cycle path into the store! Except this being Britain, that’s messed up too:
That’s about a 20″ gap either side of the main barrier. While just a little further back, where you cross the store’s service road:
I’ve just no idea what this is about - I first approached this as I was leaving the store, from the right in this photo. So initially you get to hide behind the wall from any approaching traffic. Then you do a dog-leg to reach the drop down, avoiding the lamp post, and keeping well clear of the hatched area marking the fire exit from the gardening part of the store.
OK - it’s easy to brand this sort of stuff as a failure - and if their idea is to make their store inviting, safe, attractive, and convenient for cyclists, then they have failed - but, seeing the progression from nothing provided, to outright tokenism, to something that’s at least semi-usable is encouraging.
Given enough time, we might just get there.