Cycle Superhighways – Waste of Paint or Copenhagenization?


A long, hard look at the Mayor of London’s plans for 12 cycle superhighways – bike routes from the outer boroughs along London’s main arterial roads. With Kulveer Ranger, Boris Johnson’s top transport adviser, Rob Ainsley of the Real Cycling blog, and Charlie Lloyd of the London Cycling Campaign.

4 thoughts on “Cycle Superhighways – Waste of Paint or Copenhagenization?

  1. Well, I’m signed up for the site survey of Borisway 12, so I shouldn’t comment too much yet. However, I don’t like a couple of Kulveer Ranger’s comments:

    He talked about motorists thinking about cyclists, “we want to understand where we can find them on the roadspace”

    The answer to that, surely is “everywhere” – a 200 pound object, nearly six feet tall, in the roadway, ought not to be too difficult to spot.

    Where a cyclist is on the roadspace depends on where they are going, where they have come from, and what else is on the roadspace. There is no one best place.

    A lack of blue paint is no excuse for running somebody down.

    I don’t want my need to avoid the blue bantustan for bloken glass, a need to avoid an unloading van, or because I need to turn right, or whatever, to be a legitimate excuse for running me down.

    Kulveer talked about motorists “feeling anxious when they get close to a cyclist on the road”.

    Clearly he feels that a cyclist “on the road” is somehow wrong. Motorists feeling anxious when they get close to me should feel anxious, more anxious than they do. They should worry about their no-claim bounuses, about manslaughter charges, about the CTC and LCC lawyers, and about those ambulance chasing solicitors with their calibrated pothole measuring waterbottles. They should worry about what their friends will say, and whether they still will be friends if they kill somebody.

    Perhaps I should listen to Kulveer again to psych’ me up before I set off

  2. Kulveer Ranger claims TfL is looking at the times when HGVs are allowed on the streets.

    There was no mention of this in the Cycle Safety Action Plan – two London cyclists were killed by lorries within 24 hours of the plan being launched, both during morning rush hour.

    LCC should press the mayor and his advisors on this point…

  3. Listening to the transport adviser, it sounds like they wanted sharrows and not bike lanes. So why don’t they just put in sharrows? That might save some money, so they can put in real bike paths on the less congested streets.

  4. A lot of cyclists see themselves as ‘another vehicle’. Well to be fair we are a lot slower than cars so it is a little difficult for us to integrate into traffic flows at the same pace. These superhighways are great in places, but in other places, they’ve just painted the green bit blue.

    However, some improvements – All routes on main roads should have rumble strips to keep cars out of them and the occasional island and bollard too – I wouldn’t mind sacrificing the cycle lane space for it. Also, reflective markers would be especially helpful at night. Sorting out the phasing at traffic lights – If they want complete novices to use these superhighways, then turning right will have to be made a lot easier.

    And also, unless enough incentive is in place to keep people out of the lanes, then cars will continue to go into them.

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