Friday, 8 October 2010

Can you spot the cycle sign?

Endlebury Road, E4. There’s a blue sign telling cyclists following the recommended route to Walthamstow to turn left here into Heathcote Grove but you could easily miss it. Cycle signing, like everything else to do with cycling in Britain, is a cheap after-thought. To save money, signs are attached to the nearest street furniture. Sometimes the signs are on the left of the road (where you are most likely to spot them), sometimes on the right (where they are easily missed). In this instance the sign is attached to the lamppost on the right, but it’s obscured by overgrown vegetation.

Which leads to the second essential rule of cycling infrastructure: neglect. Cycling facilities are not maintained, and signs become obscured or are turned round by vandals, and remain pointing in the wrong direction, sometimes quite literally for years.

Sadly, as I cycled past this overgrown sign (below) I simply couldn’t understand what it was trying to tell me…