Thursday, 3 September 2009

Invitation To A Collision

If you cycle north along Grange Park Road E10, a recommended cycle route with lots of lovely blue direction signs, you will eventually arrive at this junction with Park Road. One cycle sign points ahead, indicating the "Walthamstow quiet route". The other sign points right, indicating the way to George Mitchell School, which is nearby. But there's a problem.

(Below) Take a closer look at these signs. Can you spot a contradiction?

Yes! The problem is that Park Road has been converted into a one-way street. The sign to George Mitchell School crazily advises cyclists to ride against the traffic on a one-way street with no contraflow lane. (See below) When the street was converted from two-way to one-way no one bothered to think about the implications for cycling (least of all for schoolchildren cycling to school). No one even bothered to take down the old sign, which is now redundant. And needless to say no one has noticed this, not even the Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign, which is very proud of its achievement in developing this route.

Any cyclist involved in a head-on collision here will be in a very good position to sue the Council for gross negligence (a great comfort as you lie in a hospital bed with a fractured skull). In a wider context, it once again raises questions about the way in which the proliferation of one-way streets in London is occurring with no consideration of how vehicle-flow management impacts on cycling.