Tuesday, 28 October 2008

'40 miles of cycle routes'

This borough boasts 40 miles of cycle routes - a concept which includes everything from residential back streets with a blue sign stuck to a post saying 'quiet route' to A roads with salmon pink cycle lanes.

Here is the reality of three minutes cycling along a stretch of top-quality cycle facilities on Hoe Street last Friday. Experiences like this make me sceptical of statistics used to underpin claims that cycling is getting better and better all the time. I also laugh hollowly when I read that London is the great success story which bucks the national trend of fewer and fewer people making journeys by bicycle.

Up ahead at the junction with Queens Road the road was empty and the lights were at red. The driver of a 97 bus chose quite deliberately to drive into the cyclists-only Adavanced Stop Line. When the lights turned to green he cut me up, in order to stop at the bus stop the other side of the junction.

(Below) The cycle lane approaching the Baker's Arms junction.

(Below) The cyclists-only Advanced Stop Line at the Baker's Arms.