Thursday 18 November 2010

Pinch points of Waltham Forest

Why not collect the series? The proliferation of pinch points in the London Borough of Waltham Forest plays a small but important role in suppressing any possibility of mass cycling. This magnificent example can be found on James Lane E11, by the hospital. Ostensibly a 20 mph zone, here the ineffective small rubber speed cushions do nothing to slow down the determined speeder, while encouraging drivers to swerve to avoid passing over them. To add to the fun this pinch point is in a small valley, which means that drivers approach it downhill at speed from both directions – no wonder it’s been demolished on at least one occasion when a driver ‘lost control’.

It is impossible for a cyclist and a car to pass this pinch point at the same time, so for the cyclist it’s a choice between a moment of sheer terror as a driver sees if he can manage it, or for the confident well-trained cyclist the experience of ‘taking the lane’, which is sure to provoke the blaring of a horn and some traditional monosyllabic greetings. Enjoy.