Sunday 13 March 2011

Between a Cycle Superhighway and a Greenway

Question: If transferring from a Cycle Superhighway to an adjacent Greenway involves having to wait at five separate signalled crossings of dual carriageways, how long does it take a cyclist to travel 100 metres?

Answer: Long enough to make any Waltham Forest resident who cycles consider driving to their destination next time.

But while you are waiting there is plenty of time to photograph the local scenery. Can you spot the exhaust fumes coming out the car in the foreground? And the baby in the front passenger seat, acquiring the knowledge that this is how normal people get around London.

And talking of air pollution in London. Last year there was a grim final warning. Which, surprise surprise, turns out not to be final after all. Amazingly (doesn’t the EU recognise inertia, procrastination and evasion when it sees it?)

The UK has been given three more months to meet EU air quality standards in Greater London.

So what is the Mayor doing?

BoJo’s strategy amounts to

a dust suppressant trial, encouraging low and zero emission vehicles, taxi age limits and a hydrogen-fuelled bus service.

I’m shocked that ‘encouraging cycling’ isn’t in that awesome list.

Obviously curbing motor traffic and car dependency cannot possibly be considered.

And anyway there’s just no room to reallocate road space for cycling. As you can see here on the southbound A112 in Chingford.

It’s no different in central London. Here in Parliament Square there simply isn’t the space for a segregated cycle path. Those five lanes are needed for motor vehicles, especially black cabs. So, please, no unrealistic demands for what will never happen.