Friday, 1 October 2010

Barriers to cycling: yesterday’s crop

The barriers to cycling are sometimes quite literal, as these photographs, all taken yesterday, illustrate. The sign above, which is mysteriously blank, has been placed in the cycle lane on Selborne Road E17.

It’s bad enough that the entire London cycling establishment is committed to the failed strategy of vehicular cycling (by ‘cycling establishment’ I refer to the London Cycling Campaign, Sustrans, London Councils and Transport for London), a policy fully supported by London’s leading Green Party transport campaigner Jenny Jones who asserts:

There is a culture of cycling which says that people should get on their bikes, take to the road and be treated with the same respect as any other vehicle. Taking this simple step is therefore a symbol of cyclists reclaiming their place on the roads.

Sadly, Jenny is breezily indifferent to the reality that this ‘culture’ is of no interest to the 98 per cent of Londoners who would rather choose to make their journeys by anything except riding a bicycle, for the simple reason that London’s roads are too cluttered by motor vehicles to make cycling remotely attractive except to a tiny minority. No amount of fiddling with the vehicular cycling infrastructure and making ‘improvements’ is ever going to change that.

And in the real world, even where the car-choked streets of London have had their margins ‘reclaimed’ for vehicular cycling infrastructure, the result is a farce. London’s cycling establishment and campaign groups are incapable of even defending and protecting the crap vehicular cycling infrastructure that currently exists. Crap cycle lanes are obstructed by thick contractors and cycle stands continue to be treated as rubbish collection points. That’s why I can’t bear this kind of institutional fantasy.

(Below) Another sign placed in the one-metre wide cycle lane on Selborne Road E17.

(Below) 'Roadworks ahead' sign placed in the cycle lane on Hoe Street E17 (A112). And note the death trap railings.

(Below) This roadworks sign has been attached to the cycle stand outside 243 Wood Street by contractors working for the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

(Below) Who are the crap contractors who obstruct cycle stands like this? Look closely and you will see that on the sign is the word Kenson.

(Below) Rubbish piled for collection by the cycle stand outside 565 High Road Leytonstone.

(Below) More rubbish sacks piled for collection by the cycle stand outside 745 High Road Leytonstone.

(Below) Cycle lane on High Road Leytonstone, close to the junction with Cathall Road.

(Below) Note how the cash machine sign, which is illegally displayed on the footway, protrudes over the kerb into the cycle lane.

(Below) Another rubbish collection point. A112, corner of Downsell Road E15.