Saturday 21 November 2009

A10 ‘Cycle Superhighway’ design slammed

Remember the spin?

The main points revealed so far appear to be that, where possible, the cycle lanes will be separated from motor traffic.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has talked up the quality and usefulness of the intended lanes: 'I'm not kidding when I say that I'm militant about cycling, and these Superhighways are central to the cycling revolution I'm determined to bring about. No longer will pedal power have to dance and dodge around petrol power - on these routes the bicycle will dominate and that will be clear to all others using them.'

Oh yeah?

One of 12 blue cycle paths will be built from Tottenham Hale to Liverpool Street alongside traffic on the A10 in a bid to make city cycling safer, but it was claimed it would make it anything but. Haringey Council's environment chief Councillor Brian Haley said that with no barrier to protect cyclists from heavy streams of traffic, drivers will be tempted to use the lanes to avoid long queues and put cyclists in danger.

He said at a council-led transport forum: "Simply painting blue over the roads and junctions will not work. Why aren't we putting a proper built-up cycle lane separate to the traffic? There are more cyclists being killed or seriously injured on our roads. I think it's because people want to cycle but the roads aren't safe enough."

[If only the London Borough of Waltham Forest had even one councillor with the intelligence and vision of Cllr Haley. Sadly, we haven’t.]

Adam Coffman, of the Haringey Cycling Campaign, added: "Superhighways will only work if there is a reallocation of road space."

The 1.5m wide highways are part of City Hall's plans to quadruple the number of cyclists in the capital before 2025.

A Transport for London spokeswoman said: "There is great demand for space on London's road network and in some areas the roads are very narrow. For this reason most of the new cycle superhighways infrastructure will not be physically separated from the road.

The A10 narrow? Oh, please. There is ample scope to Copenhagenize London, the problem is that TfL and most (all?) councils prefer to prioritise on-street car parking. It’s a political not a technical problem.