Sunday 28 February 2010

Cycle parking at your convenience

Cycle parking doesn't get much better than this - at least not if you're an incontinent male cyclist. And, unlike London, this is actually a public lavatory which hasn't been closed down by a cost-cutting local authority. So, hey, I was only kidding - Wells next the sea is a wunnerful place for a two-wheeler.

'Catch up with the bicycle'

Oh, yes, very droll

From here you can speed off on your bike to first class cycle parking next to Percy Ingles bakery in Walthamstow High Street.

The Floss at the Wheel

“This is the first time we've seen someone flossing their teeth at the wheel. It was a quite bizarre sight.

"It is particularly dangerous because you need to use
both hands which clearly should be used to drive the car."

Photography news

A few minutes later a police officer arrived at the Bridges Shopping Centre in Sunderland and threatened to delete the photograph.

'They said I matched the description of a man who had been taking pictures,' Mr Geraghty-Shewan said. They took my details
[you are not obliged to give any details to a police officer simply for taking a photograph] and said they had the right to remove the picture from my phone. [No such right exists.]

'I got annoyed and things got heated, then he threatened me with arrest for breach of the peace.

Lorry driver kills Plymouth pedestrian

A PEDESTRIAN has died in Plymouth City Centre after being involved in a collision with a lorry that failed to stop. It is understood the woman was struck by the lorry in Royal Parade, near to the pedestrian crossing at the foot of the Civic Centre.

Police are now seeking the driver of the lorry, but insist they are not treating the incident as a hit-and-run at this stage.

The driver is believed to have carried on, perhaps without realising his vehicle had struck the woman.

Shaken onlookers described hearing a "God almighty thud" followed by a commotion when the seven-tonne truck collided with the lady.

The woman, who was 88, was crossing Royal Parade when she was caught under the wheels of the lorry at 9.14am yesterday.

The vehicle driver, a 42-year-old city man, was arrested at around 9.35am on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, after police located the vehicle in the city centre's West End.

Saturday 27 February 2010

Christian Boltanksi and Bob Belam

Christian Boltanksi makes art from old clothes. And if you can’t get to Paris, why not visit Waltham Forest?

There are old coats and anoraks, once-fashionable things and shapeless things, bright cardigans and children's sweaters, tatty jumpers and forlorn skirts – a rag-picker's field or the last day of the spring sales.

Talented local artist Bob Belam is a big fan of Boltanski. Why not drop by and see Bob's new installation From my sofa I can't see any problems at all.

And don't miss Bob's Never-ending-crap installations, which can be viewed across the borough. These are just a few samples from Cleveland Park Avenue, Morland Road, Milton Road and Mission Grove; for more, check out the full catalogue here.

Invasion of the Bromptonistas

Walsingham. And no, of course there aren't any cycle stands in the high street. You're not in the Netherlands, chum. This is Norfolk.

‘He simply didn't see the cyclist.’

A TRUCK driver has been fined and issued with five penalty points after he admitted causing a crash which left a cyclist seriously injured.

Gintautas Stunzenas, 40, pleaded guilty to careless driving at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court following the collision with cyclist Christopher Askew, who suffered a fractured pelvis, three broken ribs, a punctured lung and broken collar bones.

The court heard yesterday how Stunzenas, from Lithuania, failed to notice Mr Askew in front of his left-hand-drive Mercedes tractor unit as he entered the Paper Mill Lane roundabout on the B1113 at Claydon.

A witness travelling behind then
saw the cyclist's body flung from the rear axle of Stunzenas vehicle.

Blazing hypocrisy

Street lights continue to blaze all through the daytime on streets across the London Borough of Waltham Forest. The ones I've pointed out on this blog are still burning brightly six months after I first drew attention to them. But why would any Waltham Forest councillor bother to do anything about it? Few of them seem to live in the wards they represent, or ever notice the stuff this blog notices. The important thing is that the Council tells residents to save the planet by not having their tellies on standby and by making every effort to reduce their consumption of electricity.

This new example is on Cranbrook Mews, which forms part of the exciting London Cycle Network between St James Street and Selborne Road.

Friday 26 February 2010

Dangerous and frightening cycling

Cycling campaigners are always arguing that cycling is much safer than people think it is, and they love citing road casualty figures which “prove” it. I’ve never liked that argument because casualty figures don’t reflect the extraordinary number of crashes which drivers have which don’t involve injury, which are only registered statistically in insurance claims.

In other words, the vulnerable road user’s exposure to risk is what really matters. If the collision is not the cyclist’s fault, then the chance of being in a crash can be quite arbitrary. There are a lot of very bad, reckless drivers out there, and whether or not a cyclist falls foul of them can simply be a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And even the argument from statistics is open to scrutiny:

Compared with driving, cycling now has a risk 12.7 times as large per km travelled, when it was just 9.3 times as risky in 1981. So, to answer the question posed at the top, cycling in Britain is now safer overall than it used to be, but it's less safe than it used to be relative to driving.

Yesterday I was cycling along Mission Grove E17, approaching the traffic island shown above. It's on a bend. As I did so I could hear a car coming up behind me. Sure enough, instead of anticipating the narrow gap between the traffic island and the kerb and slowing, the driver of the car accelerated past me.

What I hadn’t anticipated was that there was another driver behind the first one, also determined to get past a cyclist. So I had a moment of blind terror as I slammed on my brakes as a large blue car overtook, then swerved in front of me to get through the gap. It’s the kind of bad experience that cyclists with headcams post on YouTube.

I jotted down the registration number: V91 JGW. Just another of London’s yob drivers showing a reckless disregard for the safety of a cyclist, and prepared to maim or kill simply out of a moment’s impatience. You could argue, of course, that there’s safety in numbers, and that if I’d been in the company of other cyclists a driver would not display impatience and a reckless desire to overtake several cyclists at an unsuitable location. If you believe that then you have a short memory.

Afterwards I cycled back and took a snap of a car of similar dimensions driving past the traffic island. It shows just how little space there is for a car safely to overtake a cyclist at this point, yet that is precisely what many drivers are prepared to do.

What is to be done? You can go down the orthodox route of asking for more niceness and mutual respect among road users. Or you could completely re-engineer this road to provide segregated cycle lanes and make this a slow, inconvenient route which only those drivers needing essential access would use. There are no prizes for guessing which is my preferred option.

Electric Car Crap

Twelve ‘Biking Boroughs’ in outer London are getting a measly £25,000 to waste on discussing how we can get everybody cycling. Meanwhile

The Government today allocated nearly £5.5 million for 2010/11 towards a three-year £29 million project led by Transport for London to get people in the capital to opt for electric cars.

Motorists will be able to apply for the grants of up to £5,000 from next year, from a national £230 million fund, to subsidise a quarter of the cost of an electric car, a hybrid with CO2 emissions of below 75g/km or a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

Y603KHE - moron on a mobile

Y603 KHE Big flash Mercedes, with a lawless male yob driver with his mobile phone clamped to his left ear, steering with his right hand. I watched as he cruised up to the lights at the junction with Walthamstow High Street last Saturday, 12.15 pm. He should have stopped at the white line which is out of the picture, to the right of his boot. The streets of London are packed with reckless drivers using handheld phones. Recently I even saw the driver of a huge Sainsbury's articulated lorry steering with one hand while chatting on a mobile, but he was going in the opposite direction and it wasn't a suitable moment to get his details.

Thursday 25 February 2010

Waltham Forest introduces safe segregated cycling infrastructure

The latest issue of the Council's propaganda rag Waltham Forest News drops through the letterbox. And I am thrilled to see that at last Waltham Forest has taken on board the need for safe, segregated cycling infrastructure. Here, at the heart of the pedestrianised Town Square, cyclists can enjoy risk-free cycling in a fenced-off, traffic-free environment.

However nothing in life is without danger, least of all walking. That's why even the tot on the right is wearing one of those child-size perfect-fit helmets, evidently styled on the protective headgear worn by our popular Prime Minister on his recent morale-boosting trip to Afghanistan.

But, hey, let's not cite material out of context. For the full story, see below. Only the worst kind of carping critic would point out that just to the right of the photograph is one cycle stand by Bhs where there used to be five, four having fallen out like rotten teeth and never been put back by this crap council. With another one missing for similar reasons to the left of the pic, outside the library. But why bother with mundane stuff like cycle parking infrastructure when there's ten grand to splash out on helping communities to go green, keep fit and, above all, have fun! A strategy which is so successful that the number of children cycling in London is going, er, down, down, down...

Welcome to Wells-next-the-sea

And don't for one moment think you can sneak your Bromptons in the back way using your hovercraft.

90-year-old who hit cyclist safe to continue driving

THE 90 year-old wife of the former Governor of the Bank of Scotland has been given the all clear to continue driving after smashing her car into a cyclist.

Lady Suzanne Risk sent Robert Benn, 40, flying off his bike after she failed to see him at a junction in Edinburgh.

The victim, who had been wearing high-visibility clothing, was taken to hospital and treated for internal bleeding.

More car-centric BBC News

BBC’s Breakfast show this morning had a report on the growing number of roadworks on Britain’s streets. Apparently they cause shocking distress to motorists, who are often obliged to queue.

Needless to say the impact of roadworks on pedestrians and cyclists was completely outside the frame of reference of this report, because “we” all drive and “we” are only affected if "we" are behind a steering wheel.

This live report was from Bristol, a city which the report asserted had been very successful at reducing congestion. And this we know to be true. Bristol is a place where drivers make every effort not to block roads.

Wednesday 24 February 2010

Gridlock on the London Cycle Network

This episode shows just how crap the so-called London Cycle Network is, and the failure of the 'vehicular cycling' approach (i.e. cyclists sharing the roads with motor vehicles and with cycling infrastructure which is unsegregated rather than segregated). The scene shown above is the B159, Leyton Green Road, heading north from High Road Leyton to meet the junction with the A104, Lea Bridge Road. Blue signs indicate that this is a route on the London Cycle Network. At the junction (where the doubledecker red bus is in the pic above) a blue sign invites cyclists to take 'the quiet route to Walthamstow'. And after cycling along the B159 you may well feel in need of some tranquillity to calm your shattered nerves.

I paused to take the above snap of the refurbished cycle lane, which is now wider and pinker than before. There's a problem though. Apart from where those double yellow lines protect the side road entrance, you can park in the cycle lane along the entire length of this road, and so people do. Up ahead the cycle lane is obstructed by a silver Toyota Corolla. In front of it there's a parked Black Polo. Just two cars. And now see what happens. I've no sooner put my camera away and pedalled across the entrance to that side road, than it's time to get the camera out again.

(Below) Traffic backs up at the red light, including at the end that white car which hasn't quite managed to squeeze past the first of the two parked cars. Note that a red bus is approaching in the opposite lane. The car which has overtaken me blocks me in, but then there wouldn't be much point in trying to squeeze past as I wouldn't get between the white car and the parked Polo. Now see what happens.

(Below) The approaching bus comes to a standstill because the driver can't get through the gap. As long as the lights remain at red those bus passengers aren't going anywhere.

(Below) The first of the two cars parked in the cycle lane, with the bus still stationary. Gridlock! And this is the future of London. A transport culture which is going nowhere, because catering for car parking is the number one priority. It's utterly absurd that anyone should be allowed to park here, but you won't find anyone saying so. The transport planners of Waltham Forest are completely obsessed with finding more on-street car parking and there is no political restraint since the three main parties are all keen to ingratiate themselves with the vocal motoring lobby.

(Below) Just beyond the two cars parked in the cycle lane is this lorry. Professional cycling campaigners blather on about the need for better education for lorry drivers to make them more aware of cyclists. But the problem here isn't whether or not the driver is good or bad, the problem is the lorry. You can't blame the driver for drifting into the cycle lane because the narrowness of the road means he doesn't have a choice. The absurdity is putting in a cycle lane on an unsuitable road, allowing drivers to park in it, and then expecting cyclists to share it with lorries. To boast that this is a recommended cycle route and part of the London Cycle Network just underlines how feeble are the results of decades of cycle campaigning.

And you wouldn't want to overtake this lorry on a bicycle, because it is turning right. It would be possible to undertake it in the cycle lane, but this might be regarded as inadvisable. Why do so many London cyclists take to the pavement when they have a lovely network of signed cycle lanes? It's a mystery.

Yet another cyclist goes under a lorry

A CYCLIST was seriously injured today after colliding with a lorry on the B1113 at Claydon.

The accident happened
just before 7am on the roundabout at the top of the A14 slip-road to Bramford.

Tuesday 23 February 2010

A smashing cycle lane!

It’s always an illuminating experience cycling around Waltham Forest, with its fabulous twenty miles of cycle lanes. But sometimes it can be shattering. Hoe Street, E17, Saturday.

As the poet said

These fragments of fluorescent lighting I have shored against my ruins.

Anti-social behaviour captured on camera!

It’s always a bit risky photographing yob drivers, like this one in Walthamstow High Street yesterday. Because according to the police taking photographs in a town centre can be construed as ‘anti-social behaviour’. So logically it’s anti-social behaviour to photograph anti-social behaviour.

"Due to the fact that we believe you were involved in anti-social behaviour, ie taking photographs … then we do have a power under [the Police Reform Act] to ask for your name and address, and for you to provide it. If you don't, then you may be arrested."

There is a section of that act that compels a member of the public to give their details if a police officer suspects them of anti-social activity.

Patefield was arrested for refusing to give his details

Patefield was held for eight hours and released without charge.

See an interview with the photographer here.

In another recent case

An Italian student has described how she was stopped by police under anti-terrorist legislation while filming buildings, and later arrested, held in a police cell for five hours and given a fixed penalty notice.

Simona Bonomo, 32, an art student at London Metropolitan University at London Metropolitan University, filmed the moment on 19 November when she was approached by two police community support officers (PCSOs) in Paddington, west London.

When Bonomo was challenged by one PCSO, she said she was filming "just for fun". He replied: "You like looking at those buildings do you? You're basically filming for fun? I don't believe you."

The PCSO said she had been cycling the wrong way down a one-way street and threatened to fine her.

But cycling or driving the wrong way down a one-way street in London ceased to be a criminal offence early in 2009 and can only be dealt with by the local authority, which is empowered to hand out fixed penalty notices. A PCSO does not possess the power to ‘fine’ a cyclist for doing this.

(Below) On a recent trip to Hammersmith I spotted this car parked on the pavement on Shepherd's Bush Road. Under the windscreen it had a card identifying it as belonging to a police officer - presumably from Hammersmith police station, which is just up the road. What a ranker!

BBC TV Inside Out

Advanced Stop Line for cyclists, on the south side of Trafalgar Square.

I watched BBC 1’s Inside Out last night. The gist of the section on cycling was that the capital is full of cyclists who don’t obey the Highway Code. The examples supplied struck me as fairly tame.

Its thrust was that cyclists must be made to obey the rules. But this is a fatuous aspiration since bad behaviour by cyclists is simply a response to streets which are profoundly hostile places for cycling.

In the first place it’s unreasonable to expect cyclists to obey the rules, when drivers don’t, when Advanced Stop Lines are not enforced, and when the car supremacist Met spectacularly fails in its duty of care towards vulnerable road users.

In the second place, London remains a backward car-centric city which privileges the car driver at the expense of the cyclist and pedestrian. Cyclists want to be safe and they want to get to their destinations in as convenient a way as possible. Car-centric streets put endless obstacles in the way of those desires and cyclists adapt accordingly. Pavement cycling and red light jumping are responses to the absence of safe, convenient infrastructure. Provide infrastructure on the Dutch model and cyclists won’t see any need to ride on the pavement or ignore red lights.

The programme treated us to the views of the Westminster councillor who is itching to see cyclists receive punitive fines. Yet in 2008 Westminster had the highest number of pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motorcyclists killed or seriously injured of any borough. That situation did not arise because some cyclists break the rules. Although the programme positioned cyclists as a major threat to pedestrians, it didn’t bother to examine casualty figures, which show that it’s overwhelmingly drivers who maim and kill London’s pedestrians.

The programme was revealing in other ways. All the people shown cycling seemed to be in the age range 25-40. There were no elderly cyclists. There were no children cycling. The programme didn’t ask why. The programme didn’t even notice.

Footnote. Check out Rob Ainsley's take on the programme.

Kill a cyclist, get just a 2 year driving ban

The buck stops here. The Sentencing Advisory Panel, an establishment body made up largely of high-income professionals from the field of law and policing. I wonder how many of them are cyclists?

A TEENAGER has been jailed for causing the death of a cyclist.

Katie Hart, 19, has been sentenced to 21 months in prison, of which she was told she would serve half.

was also banned from driving for 24 months at Huntingdon Law Courts today.

She was found guilty of causing the death of Maj Gareth Rhys-Evans by dangerous driving last month.

In other words, she received the absolute minimum driving ban for this offence.

The problem is that although RoadPeace has been a very effective campaigner in getting tougher legislation introduced against killer drivers, the impact of legislation is subsequently diluted by the Sentencing Advisory Panel. I can’t help wondering how many fossil-fuel addicts serve on this panel, what the extent of their car dependency is, and if any of them have convictions for motoring offences.

Let the last word on this topic go to RoadPeace:

According to the last SAP guidance on Causing death by dangerous driving, license disqualification was intended to be forward looking and preventive, not backward looking, i.e. punitive. It also argued that drivers may be tempted to drive while disqualified if their bans were lengthy. RoadPeace found both these arguments deficient and believes the issue of disqualification is long overdue for review.

While the judicial establishment is very relaxed about road carnage, woe betide anyone who nicks cars. Stealing expensive cars is a very, very serious offence and is punished accordingly:

Pilvinis targeted homes with expensive cars such as BMWs, Audis and Range Rover Sports left out on driveways.

Between December 2008 and June 2009 he struck at properties in Surrey, Sussex, Thames Valley, Hampshire, Kent, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, stealing an estimated £538,000 worth of cars.

[That sounds a lot but it could just mean nine cars or less.]

He was jailed for seven years at Guildford Crown Court after pleading guilty to 17 offences over a seven month period.

Overtaking lorry driver kills cyclist

A cyclist has died after being hit by a lorry near Manston.

The accident happened at 6.20am today when a white Mercedes LGV lorry was overtaking the rider between the Drome Garage and Charles River laboratory on Manston Road.

The cyclist, a man, died at the scene.

Monday 22 February 2010

Delivering the message that cyclists are crap

Here’s some lovely Sustrans-recommended cycling infrastructure! And here’s more guff from Sustrans

Sustrans, together with London Councils, the London Cycling Campaign and Transport for London have published guidance to encourage the public to take to bicycles, and their own two feet, to cover the short distances in a guide called ‘Delivering the benefits of cycling in outer London’.

The public doesn’t want ‘guidance’. The public doesn’t want to cycle because the public can see with its own eyes that cycling is crap.

“The short distances that make up such a large proportion of journeys in the outer boroughs are perfect for cycling and walking, yet levels of physical activity in outer London are currently lower than inner London,” said Carl Pittam, director of Sustrans in London.
 “That needs to change, which is why we have targeted local authorities in the outer boroughs with this new guidance.

Guidance which boroughs like Waltham Forest will direct into the nearest bin. Waltham Forest Council is fully committed to increasing car ownership and use, accomplished by extending legalised pavement parking, building new parking bays alongside cycle lanes and reducing the costs of motoring (freezing permit charges on your second and third car, that sort of thing).

According to Sustrans’ North East Greenways document, the London Borough of Waltham Forest contains

some fantastic on road cycle infrastructure including the crossing of Blackhorse Road into Glenthorne Road

Leaving aside the design failings of this crossing, or the fact that cyclists are sent down Glenthorne Road to meet traffic coming at them head on, with the added fun of the council's cycling-hostile rubber speed cushions, when I went to use it yesterday it was blocked off by road works. It happened last year and now it's happened again. There is no advance warning in either direction that the cycle crossing is blocked and out of action. Only drivers get advance warning of roadworks, cyclists are an inferior species who just aren't worth bothering with. The cycle lane is blocked and the cycle lights are switched off. There are no temporary lights because again cyclists just aren't important. Find you own way across this busy road, you useless self-propelling person on two wheels.

(Below) Pedestrians, like cyclists, have also lost their dedicated green phase crossing light, and are abandoned to their fate, left to scamper across in a gap between the cars. Which is bad news if you are elderly or infirm and walk slowly.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Walthamstow...

(Below) Still hooded after six months! I came across this on Saturday. The dedicated cycle crossing with cycle lights leading across the A112 from St Mary Road to Selborne Road. The lights for cyclists were hooded back in September last year and have been out of action ever since. SIX MONTHS OF NO CYCLE LIGHTS. There is no advance warning that the crossing is out of action. And cyclists are left to find their own way across five lanes of traffic.

Crap like this turns people off cycling, and expensive marketing campaigns persuading Joe Public to take up cycling are a total waste of money when cyclists remain marginalised and treated as inferior road users. Dutch cyclists don't have to put up with this kind of crap. They get solutions.

It's cheaper than renting a skip

6 Browns Road, E17, yesterday. This a recommended walking route to school, used by people taking children to nearby Greenleaf primary school and nursery. That's why the Council decided to promote walking by allowing cars to park on the pavement, even though the footway is only 1.5 metres wide.

Apparently more and more people are driving their kids to school instead of walking, which is a bit of a mystery when our caring Green council is an enthusiastic participant in Walk To School Week.

There used to be a section of Browns Road where the pavement was just for pedestrians, but a couple of years ago Bob Belam put an end to that nonsense and allowed drivers to park on the previously car-free east side between Richards Place and Hoe Street. Thanks to Bob this street is now a totally car sick environment. Well done Bob!

£1 million down the drain

London is a city where even something as rudimentary as safe and convenient cycle parking is dismally lacking. So let’s blow some public money not on infrastructure but fatuous publicity campaigns showing gorgeous models beaming as they cycle through a traffic free environment in a royal park.

TfL's 'Catch up with the bicycle' PR and marketing campaign will cost up to £1m and will include advertising on outdoor media, press ads, banner ads and, in July, a new microsite branching off from

New segregated infrastructure!

Drivers heading away from Gatwick Airport towards the M23 will benefit from an extra lane to reduce congestion from next month.

The Highways Agency will be creating a new segregated left-turn lane for vehicles travelling from junction 9a at Gatwick Airport to junction 9, then joining the northbound M23.

Peter Phillips, Highways Agency route manager for West Sussex, said:
“The new lane will help improve traffic flow around Gatwick Airport and the surrounding area.”

More runways, more roads, and street lights blazing in the daylight everywhere you go. It’s obvious all that global warming stuff is rubbish innit.

Sunday 21 February 2010

Banksy and the Walthamstow cycle stands

Has Banksy passed through Walthamstow lately? This flower has blossomed on the crumbling wall of the Turkish supermarket at the western end of the High Street, by the cycle stands. The style is Banksy's, though I suspect it's the work of an imitator rather than the great man himself.

(Below) Empty as usual. Cyclists either aren't aware these stands exist (hidden from view of the High Street, round the corner by the car park), or they don't like using stands where a bike thief can get cutting with little chance of anyone walking past.

Mainstreaming cyclophobia



Former Top Gear presenter Adrian Simpson asks if pedal power has gone too far.

Well we can all guess what a Top Gear man’s sophisticated analysis of cycling will amount to, can we not?

And when the national press and the BBC demonise cyclists, they encourage a lunatic fringe to carry out random physical assaults on cyclists. Like this, for example:

A cyclist's bag bore the brunt of an air rifle pellet fired at a 22-year-old in Tilehurst on Wednesday.

The man, from Three Mile Cross, was cycling along Romsey Road at around 2.15pm when he saw a silver Ford Fiesta in Ringwood Road. At the junction with Oxford Road he felt something like a punch in his back.

Not very diverting

Try getting past with a twin pushchair or a mobility scooter. Obviously these signs and traffic cones couldn't be placed in the carriageway, because they would take up valuable space for car parking, or might endanger a driver who was concentrating on sending a text message. (Above) Somers Road E17. (Below) William Street E10. Yesterday.

Cars with mechanical defects

155,000 are driven despite a broken speedometer.

Vehicle defects were responsible for around 2,500 crashes in 2008 and one in 30 fatal accidents, according to figures from the Department for Transport.

More than one in five drivers – 22 per cent – confess they have known about a safety-related fault for more than six months. Nearly a third of motorists (31 per cent) claim they can’t afford to fix the problem while more than one in ten (11 per cent) say
they just haven’t had the time to get the repairs done.

Saturday 20 February 2010

Waltham Forest enviro-crime update

As you might expect from the council that boasts it is 'leading the fight against enviro-crime' the twice-weekly flytipping on Atkins Road E10 continues. And with Councillor Bob Belam in charge it's time to pull down that mattress and relax, knowing that victory is inevitable.

(Below) Twinned with this street sign on the other side of the road. All photos taken today.

(Below) The Council has announced that it is bringing in the Sherlock Holmes Consultancy to try and crack the riddle of which household this obstructive wheely bin belongs to.

Injustice in New Zealand

A cyclist who suffered a brain injury that left him unable to remember basic words has lashed out at the sentence handed to the driver who ploughed into him.

The man was one of four cyclists injured when Jennifer Speakman, 20, failed to halt at a stop sign on Tamaki Drive last September.

The Papatoetoe student
was this week disqualified from driving for six months and ordered to pay $1000 to each of the injured men

Hit and run skip lorry driver

A CYCLIST and a skip lorry were in collision on the A448 between Redditch and Bromsgrove on Saturday (February 13).

PC Andy Wright said:
“The driver of the skip lorry did not stop following the incident and we are urging this driver to make contact with the police at the earliest opportunity.

Friday 19 February 2010

Hazardous cycling

Just look at him. I bet that bike's only got three gears. And he won't be going very far up Leytonstone's mountains with tyres like that, will he?

And no high viz gear and quite the wrong sort of headgear. He's probably been cycling since he was ten years old, completely oblivious of road safety. It's a good job that overtaking 4X4 driver has left him such a generous allocation of space.

High Road Leytonstone. Where if your hair hasn't already turned white, it soon will!

Going Dutch on Holles Street

That's the problem with London. The streets are just too narrow for segregated cycle lanes like they have in the Netherlands. It just couldn't be done.

Holles Street, W1.

Walthamstow man invents the modern bicycle

I knew that the car, the aeroplane and the novel were all invented in Walthamstow (there must be something invigorating about the air) but I never knew that it was a man from Walthamstow who invented the modern bicycle.

In 1885 Starley made history when he produced the Rover Safety Bicycle - a rear-wheel-drive, chain-driven cycle with two similar-sized wheels, making it more stable than the previous high wheeler designs

Thursday 18 February 2010

Car-centric design discrimination against cyclists

If you are cycling north along High Road Leyton there comes a point where you are forced to peel off on to Grange Park Road, because of a triangular one-way gyratory system. After a hundred metres or so you meet the A1006, which cuts across in front of you (shown above). On the other side of the A1006 Grange Park Road continues in a straight line, forming a designated part of the London Cycling Network (see first photo below). Grange Park Road continues, still in a straight line, linking up with the contraflow lane on Manor Road, which connects to Lea Bridge Road (A104). In short, a major cycling route - or at least one with the potential to become one, since it offers the possibility of a direct and straight alternative to cycling north or south along hellish Church Road, or unpleasant High Road Leyton.

There's just one problem. The traffic island blocks access to the continuation of Grange Park Road. Cyclists are physically denied access to a recommended and signed cycle route. Transport planning doesn't get any stupider than this. And that's why this blog exists. To demonstrate that cycling in outer London is going precisely nowhere.

(Below) The absurd anti-cycling infrastructure works against cyclists approaching from both directions. This cyclist has chosen to disregard the LEFT TURN ONLY sign at the junction of the A1004 and southbound Grange Park Road, preferring to cut across the traffic island. To understand why see the second photo below.

(Below) Cyclists heading south on Grange Park Road who want to turn right on to the A1006 are here directed left on to the gyratory system. But no cyclist is going to bother to cycle a considerable distance on an unpleasant two-lane one way gyratory system simply in order to come back to a point which is just the other side of the traffic island. This is an absolutely classic example of car-centric transport planning which totally disregards the interests of cycling.