TfL aims to save dozens of lives in London with new innovative safety trials

Mayor pledges to cut cycle deaths by 40% by 2020 with new insfrastructure and bus and HGV technology

by Sarah Barth   June 14, 2014  

London cyclists (CC licensed by Ambernectar 13:Flickr)

Innovative trials and new design standards will improve cycle safety and save dozens of lives across London, according to Transport for London (TfL).

The organisation has completely revised its Cycle Safety Action Plan to include new technology to improve the safety of HGVs and buses, which which is promised to include making bicycles more easily visible and vehicle braking systems more responsive - and a plan to double the number of adult cyclists taking advanced skills training.

TfL has also outlines multimillion pound infrastructure redesigns, making use of public consultation and best practice.

The fully updated London Cycling Design Standards, have been published for public consultation today.

TfL states as one of its top priorities to reduce by 40 per cent the number of people killed or seriously injured on London's roads by 2020.

Last year 132 people, included 65 pedestrians and 14 cyclists, were killed on London roads.
The Mayor, Boris Johnson, and TfL pledged action to prioritise the safety of the most vulnerable road users:  pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, including 32 new proposals   on top of the last Cycle Safety Action Plan published in 2010, including:

 

  • Helping to reduce HGV traffic during peak hours by trialling innovative quiet vehicle technology to help expand off-peak delivery. This would remove conflicts between cyclists and lorries during morning and evening rush hours.
  • Working with manufacturers to develop better designs for side guards in order to further prevent fatal and serious injuries, as well as delivering the Safer Lorry Scheme this year.
  • Carrying out trials of detection equipment on London buses to help drivers be more aware of pedestrians and cyclists near their vehicles, which if successful could be rolled out across London's bus fleet. TfL will also look to trial Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA), which would monitor and potentially restrict the top speed of buses.
  • Working with the automotive industry to explore how improvements to car design could further protect cyclists, such as Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems, which could help make vehicles stop more quickly, and the introduction of a EuroNCAP safety rating system for cyclists so that car buyers can assess the cycle safety credentials of any new vehicle.
  • Working with cycle manufacturers to improve how easy it is to see bicycles by building lights or retro-reflective equipment into bike frames.
  • Continuing to develop and deliver the Safer Urban Driving CPC course to help put more than 10,000 freight and fleet drivers a year through essential safety training.
  • Doubling the number of adult cyclists receiving advanced skills training by creating a dedicated London Virtual Skills Hub. This will allow online booking of cycle training and advanced safety skills across London to attract more commuter cyclists to take up training.

Andrew Gilligan, The Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner said: “The Mayor is spending hundreds of millions of pounds on better bike infrastructure to cater for the vast growth in cycling on London’s roads.

“This document aims to see that those projects are delivered to higher standards. We do not expect perfection, and the best must not be the enemy of the good. But as the Mayor has said, everything we pay for must be done at least adequately, or not at all.

“At the same time, we know that TfL and City Hall have no monopoly of wisdom. The standards will be consulted on before they become final by the end of the year. We welcome ideas, and we know that many of the ideas which people liked most in the cycle vision were pioneered in the London boroughs.”

In February 2014 the Mayor and TfL published six safety commitments, being:

1.    To lead the way in achieving a 40 per cent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the capital’s roads by 2020 - with a longer term ambition of freeing London’s roads from death and serious injury;

2.    To prioritise safety of the most vulnerable groups - pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists - which make up 80 per cent of serious and fatal collisions;

3.    To provide substantial funding for road safety, invested in the most effective and innovative schemes;

4.    To increase efforts with the police and enforcement agencies in tackling illegal, dangerous and careless road user behaviour that puts people at risk;

5.    To campaign for changes in national and EU law to make roads, vehicles and drivers safer;

6.    To work in partnership with boroughs and London’s road safety stakeholders to spread best practice and share data and information.

51 user comments

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As it reports in the draft plan, in central London cycling is 24% of peak traffic, and 16% across the day.

You don't need to talk about London becoming a cycling city as if it's some distant hypothetical future. The demand is already established, the infrastructure is lagging behind.

posted by bikebot [405 posts]
15th June 2014 - 15:19

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As I keep saying, if you think segregation is the answer, it HAS to work for all.

My trike comes in at 45 inches wide....so 1.1m, The recommended width for most cycle lanes is only 1.5m-2m

That means I take up more than half of the lane. Almost all segregation is 2 way, so it doesn't leave much room for bikes to come past me going in either direction, even if I place myself as far in as I can. Going round a corner, no-one would be able to pass at all.

Segregation works for the few, not the many and therefore is not a solution in the long term for cycling. It also tends to only be placed on certain routes, which I'm not against, have that on routes where kids can go cycling safely, but that just enforces the mindset that cycles cannot or should not be on the road mixing with motors.

THAT is what we need to be sorting out, not diddy blue lanes and sh*t infrastructure that does nothing to benefit anyone.

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posted by Gkam84 [8665 posts]
15th June 2014 - 16:59

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Segregation works for the few... because you can't ride your 45 inch wide trike on them?

Erm... OK!

I suggest you start your own cycling charity, as everyone else is campaigning in a different direction. Personally I think your theory is absolute bobbins, I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that segregated routes lessen a cyclists perceived right to use the road where they aren't available.

If anything, the evidence is that providing safe routes increases the modal share of cycling, and thus the general acceptance of.

posted by bikebot [405 posts]
15th June 2014 - 17:39

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A V Lowe wrote:
These cannot be stopped magically as they are removing or delivering from confined city sites where there is nowhere to stockpile material.

I was at the documentary about Jan Gehl (with the q&A afterwards) and one of the points that was made is that on one street alone at Bond Street, there are 35 different waste contractors that collect refuge from the shops. That is unnecessary duplication, a waste of resources and spurious cause of congestion.

As for the skip/tipper trucks that are related to construction, there is a trend to use contractor vehicles that engage self employed drivers on piece work so safety is a massive hindrance to making a profit. Reverse that culture (or introduce huge financial penalties on the vehicle owners) and then you might start getting somewhere.

posted by zanf [420 posts]
15th June 2014 - 17:58

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bikebot wrote:
Segregation works for the few... because you can't ride your 45 inch wide trike on them?

Erm... OK!

I suggest you start your own cycling charity, as everyone else is campaigning in a different direction. Personally I think your theory is absolute bobbins, I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that segregated routes lessen a cyclists perceived right to use the road where they aren't available.

If anything, the evidence is that providing safe routes increases the modal share of cycling, and thus the general acceptance of.

I am using myself as an example. Not a lone voice against it.

So by your thinking, disabled cyclists or any cyclist for that matter, that ride anything other than a "normal" bike should be left out.....

I'd love to see this "evidence" that segregation increases acceptance when using the road where there is no segregation.....I don't think that is true at all. You would get a rise in "use the pavement" arguments

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posted by Gkam84 [8665 posts]
15th June 2014 - 18:05

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Gkam84 wrote:

I am using myself as an example. Not a lone voice against it.

So by your thinking, disabled cyclists or any cyclist for that matter, that ride anything other than a "normal" bike should be left out.....

I'd love to see this "evidence" that segregation increases acceptance when using the road where there is no segregation.....I don't think that is true at all. You would get a rise in "use the pavement" arguments

I'd love to see the evidence for any of your argument. You're the one making the case against the model used by the most successful cycling countries in Europe.

You should have a look at the designs for Farringdon and the Embankment, they will handle disabled cyclists absolutely fine. And in much greater safety than if they were riding amongst tipper trucks along those busy sections of road.

posted by bikebot [405 posts]
15th June 2014 - 18:29

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Gkam84 wrote:
As I keep saying, if you think segregation is the answer, it HAS to work for all.

My trike comes in at 45 inches wide....so 1.1m, The recommended width for most cycle lanes is only 1.5m-2m

That means I take up more than half of the lane. Almost all segregation is 2 way, so it doesn't leave much room for bikes to come past me going in either direction, even if I place myself as far in as I can. Going round a corner, no-one would be able to pass at all.

Segregation works for the few, not the many and therefore is not a solution in the long term for cycling. It also tends to only be placed on certain routes, which I'm not against, have that on routes where kids can go cycling safely, but that just enforces the mindset that cycles cannot or should not be on the road mixing with motors.

THAT is what we need to be sorting out, not diddy blue lanes and sh*t infrastructure that does nothing to benefit anyone.

Most of the new infra is 3 metres wide. Lots (about 75%) of my commute (alongside the Nissan plant in Sunderland for example) is shared path and at least 3m wide.

It's like cycling along a road frankly, and being honest is smoother than the road as most around there seem to be surfaced from railway ballast with just enough tarmac to hold it together.

Depending on my route I do several miles on NCN71, which is the C2C, and that again is mostly 3m wide as well. I participated in a infrastructure ride organised by a council to demo new paths, and they were designed and built to be wide and well graded enough to allow people in mobility scooters to get around easily.

There is some rubbish, but it is largely old "legacy" stuff which does need updating.

It's not separated infra that is the issue, but the poor design standards (where used) for some of the stuff put in previously. Pressure needs to be applied to ensure that best practices are adhered too, and that new stuff is fit for purpose for all use.

The new TFL plan is a very good step in that direction, as are the other guides.

posted by gazza_d [182 posts]
15th June 2014 - 19:51

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gazza_d that sounds like a perfect solution, but for many areas, setting aside 3m of space is not feasible, for instance, in a city centre, unless you make every road a 1 way route, which I wouldn't mind and take a lane away, solely for use as a path.

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posted by Gkam84 [8665 posts]
15th June 2014 - 20:21

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Gkam84 wrote:
gazza_d that sounds like a perfect solution, but for many areas, setting aside 3m of space is not feasible, for instance, in a city centre, unless you make every road a 1 way route, which I wouldn't mind and take a lane away, solely for use as a path.

One more time.

http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/the-physical-constra...

And the statistic again from the report, cyclists are 24% of roads users at peak hours, 16% across the day in central London. Taking back road space (lanes and parking space) is exactly what other countries did, and London has tentatively begun to do to reflect the modal share.

And for anyone that thinks that is politically impossible because of the motoring lobby, I had an interesting chat recently with a councillor after the local elections (I won't mention his name or party). He told me that in Hackney anyone with an anti-cycling policy would now be unelectable, regardless of party.

In parts of London, mainstream cycling isn't some hypothetical future, it's present day reality and there's political pressure to deliver on promises made.

posted by bikebot [405 posts]
15th June 2014 - 21:07

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No, segregation works for the many who are too scared to cycle on the roads. The few cyclists who feel happy with the current arrangement are already out there cycling. Not sure at what age I'm going to be fine letting my son ride to school alone. It certainly won't be as early as he would in the Netherlands, where he could ride on a segregated path, and it will involve a lot more worry.

People who want to mix with cars are a bizarre and selfish subgroup.

posted by Bikebikebike [70 posts]
15th June 2014 - 21:45

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Gkam84 wrote:
bikebot wrote:
Segregation works for the few... because you can't ride your 45 inch wide trike on them?

Erm... OK!

I suggest you start your own cycling charity, as everyone else is campaigning in a different direction. Personally I think your theory is absolute bobbins, I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that segregated routes lessen a cyclists perceived right to use the road where they aren't available.

If anything, the evidence is that providing safe routes increases the modal share of cycling, and thus the general acceptance of.

I am using myself as an example. Not a lone voice against it.

So by your thinking, disabled cyclists or any cyclist for that matter, that ride anything other than a "normal" bike should be left out.....

I'd love to see this "evidence" that segregation increases acceptance when using the road where there is no segregation.....I don't think that is true at all. You would get a rise in "use the pavement" arguments

And the current set-up in no way leads to cycling being mainly for the young, able-bodied, risk-embracing, and fit?

"Segregation" needs to be about getting as many cars off of as many roads as possible. And then using a bit of sense on the few roads that really have to have lots of cars on them, in order to put in alternatives for bikes.

We already have a cycle network, the problem is that its full of cars.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [625 posts]
15th June 2014 - 22:14

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I'm persuaded by that link above that the "narrow" London streets are actually plenty wide enough for segregation.

Good if done right.

posted by vbvb [216 posts]
15th June 2014 - 23:11

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gazza_d wrote:

Most of the new infra is 3 metres wide. Lots (about 75%) of my commute (alongside the Nissan plant in Sunderland for example) is shared path and at least 3m wide.

"Most", "lots", "my", "some" ... do you see a pattern here? Anecdotal at best.

Here, have my anecdote: my commute is 30 km one way. The amount of nice and smooth 3 metres wide cycle path on that route? Maybe 2%, now to be extended - with what I imagine our councillors to consider a humongous amount of money for us few pesky two-wheelers - to possibly 3 or 4%. I cycle from Dunfermline to Edinburgh, so if anyone else on here is from my neck of the woods they can easily confirm this. There is one really nice stretch that accounts for those 2%, it's currently closed off for 4 months in order to be extended as described.

How does that help me for the rest of my commute? Yeah, exactly. It helps bugger all. Even if - as if by magic! (because that's what it would take) - the budget for cycling infrastructure was increased tenfold ... for more than half the distance I would still need to use the roads.

bikebot wrote:

Personally I think your theory is absolute bobbins, I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that segregated routes lessen a cyclists perceived right to use the road where they aren't available.

Really? You think that's a "theory" which requires more "evidence" before you can accept it as not being "absolute bobbins"? I'm sorry, but how much do you cycle on the road? I'm not saying you're being dishonest here, but you're clearly not experiencing the same situations that I and probably others experience on a daily basis.

Also, nice how you qualify your statement with "where they aren't available". What about roads where they are available? Do you think cyclists have less of a right to be on the road there? Probably not, but ... what do you think a non-cycling motorist's opinion would be on that? Eh? Yeah, thought so.

Ever tried explaining to a numbskull foaming at the mouth with road rage that, even though there's a cycle path running along the road for a few hundred metres, for various reasons you still prefer to use the road here and have every right to do so? No? Try it some time. It's fun. In the not at all fun kind of way.

A large number of people - note: not just the fit young ones, but everyone - will have to use a road at some point, even if there is a cycle path for parts of the way. Now, try explaining to the mentioned numbskull above why you're moving onto the road here because the cycle path there would take you on a scenic detour round the local loch in that direction for half an hour but you would really like to get to work, which is 5 minutes away in this direction on the road. Good luck with that.

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

And the current set-up in no way leads to cycling being mainly for the young, able-bodied, risk-embracing, and fit?

Fit, young, able-bodied? No. Risk-embracing? Yes, well, there you have the crux of it. Although personally I would use the term risk-tolerating. I certainly am not embracing the prospect of getting wiped out by a Neanderthal in a tank. I realise the risk is there.

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

"Segregation" needs to be about getting as many cars off of as many roads as possible. And then using a bit of sense on the few roads that really have to have lots of cars on them, in order to put in alternatives for bikes.

I can see where you're coming from, and the argument in itself seems coherent - turn UK into NL, build it and they will come etc. - I just doubt that it's realistic. How much of the existing budget will have to be diverted from motor cars towards bicycles, in order to just get from 1% to 2% people cycling? Look at the entire national spending on cycling infrastructure, and then compare that with the budget of only one major city for car-only infrastructure. Let's not even look at the national budget for those things, because then it gets from depressing into what-the-fuck-i-don't-even territory. Who is going to divert all that money, and how super optimistic do you have to be to think that this will get proportionately more people out of their cars? And if you really do think that, why do you think this hasn't happened yet?

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

We already have a cycle network, the problem is that its full of cars.

Yes! Precisely. But that is the core of my argument *against* segregation. Although I would phrase it slightly differently: we already have a road network for everyone, the problem is that some people think it's only for them. And some are getting away with murder on it, quite literally. That is the problem, not the cars per se. Yes, there are too many cars, and yes, that is a problem. But that is a problem much bigger than this. It affects everyone, not just cyclists. On a lot of levels, not the least of them being financially and ecologically. We know that, but a vast swath of people are simply ignorant about it.

One small thing about myself, because I'm seeing a certain idea being stated over and over here, which is that people arguing against segregated infrastructure somehow can only be reckless 20 year old, extreme sports loving, super fast racing snakes. I'm none of that. I'm just an unfit IT guy loving my bicycle and trying to get to work and back in one piece. And I happen to think that segregation is the wrong approach, for all of us.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

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posted by userfriendly [214 posts]
15th June 2014 - 23:30

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Those arguing against segregation being the best solution are in no way selfish - the truth is that the only really effective way that people will be able to cycle from door to door in most of the country is by making a the roads a safe and more comfortable place to ride.

Roads are infrastructure.

Roads can carry bikes.

Roads are totally safe.

Traffic can be dangerous.

The solution to that is clearly around the traffic.

Make the roads infrastructure better (e.g. Get rid of all the stuff to make traffic flow more quickly and smoothly), use a mixture of quality education for road users, use proper enforcement and penalties (including effective bans) for those putting others in danger and stick to it - that will work even without segregation.

Why on earth are we spending so much money on incomplete and inconsistent segregation that is not joined up without addressing the root of the problems which is people and their behaviours?

Shay

posted by shay cycles [210 posts]
15th June 2014 - 23:39

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shay cycles wrote:
Those arguing against segregation being the best solution are in no way selfish - the truth is that the only really effective way that people will be able to cycle from door to door in most of the country is by making a the roads a safe and more comfortable place to ride.

Roads are infrastructure.

Roads can carry bikes.

Roads are totally safe.

Traffic can be dangerous.

The solution to that is clearly around the traffic.

Make the roads infrastructure better (e.g. Get rid of all the stuff to make traffic flow more quickly and smoothly), use a mixture of quality education for road users, use proper enforcement and penalties (including effective bans) for those putting others in danger and stick to it - that will work even without segregation.

Why on earth are we spending so much money on incomplete and inconsistent segregation that is not joined up without addressing the root of the problems which is people and their behaviours?

Yes! This! Thank you! Applause Day Dreaming

Work harder. Buy a tank.

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posted by userfriendly [214 posts]
15th June 2014 - 23:45

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userfriendly wrote:
Really? You think that's a "theory" which requires more "evidence" before you can accept it as not being "absolute bobbins"? I'm sorry, but how much do you cycle on the road? I'm not saying you're being dishonest here, but you're clearly not experiencing the same situations that I and probably others experience on a daily basis.

If you're just going to place my words in quotes to denigrate them, and question whether I really cycle that much, this is becoming silly and just a forum rant. You're attacking me rather than the argument.

You've proposed a theory, that creating segregated cycling infrastructure, including the high quality fixtures that are now being prepared for parts of London will make cycling on the rest of the road more dangerous for cyclists.

You still haven't provided any data, reference or research to back that theory other than it is something you believe based on your own experience. When I was younger I spent quite a bit of timing working in Copenhagen, Denmark is a country I'm very fond of. They did this and the opposite happened.

The biggest barrier to cycling is concern over safety, when safe routes are created the modal share rapidly rises and greater acceptance follows. That is something that has happened and they have multi decade surveys that show that trend, along with other European countries.

If you have any evidence or data that backs your argument, I'd be happy to see it. If you want to challenge the current policy (because that's what it now is in London), you also need to direct that challenge at the LCC, CTC, and all the independent campaign groups such as space4cycling. All of those bodies have policies based on research and the experience of other European countries which implemented them.

posted by bikebot [405 posts]
16th June 2014 - 8:39

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shay cycles wrote:
Roads are infrastructure.

Roads can carry bikes.

Roads are totally safe.

Traffic can be dangerous.

The solution to that is clearly around the traffic.

The fallacy is the belief that creating pieces of high quality segregated infrastructure, is also an argument against addressing the problems on the existing roads.

It isn't. These are not either/or decisions.

posted by bikebot [405 posts]
16th June 2014 - 8:43

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pmanc wrote:

Just because *you* are comfortable weaving through buses, and most cycle facilities in the UK are crap, that doesn't entitle you to be blind to the experience of other countries. We've had this debate. We've tried persuading everyone to "just be nice and get along" and it isn't working.

^^^^^^ This, a thousand times.

Dear non-segregationists, when you have children of your own, you will change your tune.

I'm okay with mixing with traffic, been doing it all my life, don't particularly like it but I can deal with it.

However, my six-year-old can't get anywhere by cycling on the paths: every junction becomes a right royal PITA; she can't mix it in traffic either.

It is a really shameful state of affairs when to enjoy her Sunday cycle she needs a personal police protection unit. Yesterday we went on an organised ride with @camdencyclists and even with our highly visible police escort we had two incidents which required the police to intervene to protect us. Shameful.

We need segregated infra.

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posted by Username [47 posts]
16th June 2014 - 9:50

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shay cycles wrote:

Make the roads infrastructure better (e.g. Get rid of all the stuff to make traffic flow more quickly and smoothly), use a mixture of quality education for road users, use proper enforcement and penalties (including effective bans) for those putting others in danger and stick to it - that will work even without segregation.

Why on earth are we spending so much money on incomplete and inconsistent segregation that is not joined up without addressing the root of the problems which is people and their behaviours?

If you mix cyclists and cars at speeds over 30mph then there will deaths. People on bikes and in cars both make mistakes, and if they are sharing the roads then the cyclists will get run over. Whatever the enforcement, penalties or intentions of drivers there will always be errors, and if your 8 year-old child is next to a car when he or the motorist makes one, then the results will not be nice.

posted by Bikebikebike [70 posts]
16th June 2014 - 10:13

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Username wrote:
even with our highly visible police escort we had two incidents which required the police to intervene to protect us. Shameful.

We need segregated infra.

Yes we need segregated infrastructure, but it must not be an after thought. Most paths currently being built are shit, sustrans trails with moped gates which mean you can't get anything bar a normal bike through, try a tandem or cargo bike, let alone a trike.

New housing estates from day one should have GOOD cycle paths, all new roads should have GOOD cycle paths.

And on the quote, the police intervention should have involved the drivers having their cars towed away, crushed and the drivers licences being revoked.

It will NEVER be possible to have 100% segregation, so there will always be a need to cycle on roads, but any transgression by a motorist needs to be treated seriously.

Two prongs to the solution, infrastructure and enforcement, without both any attempt to improve the situation is going to fail.

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posted by mrmo [1021 posts]
16th June 2014 - 10:26

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Bikebikebike wrote:

If you mix cyclists and cars at speeds over 30mph then there will deaths. People on bikes and in cars both make mistakes, and if they are sharing the roads then the cyclists will get run over. Whatever the enforcement, penalties or intentions of drivers there will always be errors, and if your 8 year-old child is next to a car when he or the motorist makes one, then the results will not be nice.

And British steel used to be of the opinion that molten steel, machinery, rail tracks, well people will die it is inevitable!

It is not acceptable to have drivers on the road who are not paying attention to the task in hand, who are applying make up, on the phone, smoking etc. It is not acceptable to have drivers with over 12 points ever!

I am of the opinion that incidents will probably always happen, but that is no excuse. If drivers drive competently, obey the law, far fewer accidents will happen. Most incidents are driver error, they are avoidable. In an urban environment why should cars be allowed to travel at 30mph when there are pets, children etc running loose? We need to change the way we look at our streets, they are places people live they are not places for drivers to cut through.

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posted by mrmo [1021 posts]
16th June 2014 - 10:35

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Whilst I understand the strong feeling for the need of segregated lanes in places like London.

Please could someone explain how such a lane around the Elephant and Castle will help my safety next time I'm on Stage One of the tour as Jimbob in his tricked out (big bore exhaust) Fiat Uno takes the racing line on a blind corner only to find me in his way.

Or how it's going to improve saftey around the Morrisons depot outside of Bradford, whose instructions to drivers seems to be pull in and out whenever it suits, the traffic will stop. And these guys travel the country and are highly trained!

Or what improvement a segregated lane would have done when the gormless idiot who was so busy on talking on the phone to even look (mind you he could not have seen anything with a mobile the size of a brick obscuring his vision anyway) before stepping out into the cycle lane and in front of me.

Or the dickhead of a cyclist who piled through a red light and nearly t-boned me the other week.

As Username states, even with police presence there still were incidents. There'll still be dickheads on the roads after London is fully segregated, there'll still be dickheads on the road after the whole country is segregated. I shudder at the consequence of dickhead driver in side street meeting dickhead rider in segregated cycle lane.

Rap battle, I doubt! Laughing

No I don't have children and the way cyclists are treated generally, may never have children. Unfortunately there is no one solution that fits. Long term or short term, local change or national change. My main fear of these is that is gives the impression that it's ok to drive like a dickhead as the curb will save you from the inconvinience of.............

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [275 posts]
16th June 2014 - 10:53

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bikebot wrote:

The fallacy is the belief that creating pieces of high quality segregated infrastructure, is also an argument against addressing the problems on the existing roads.

It isn't. These are not either/or decisions.

With the available budget being as extremely limited as it is and likely will be for the foreseeable future, yes, they are.

Username wrote:

I'm okay with mixing with traffic, been doing it all my life, don't particularly like it but I can deal with it.

However, my six-year-old can't get anywhere by cycling on the paths: every junction becomes a right royal PITA; she can't mix it in traffic either.

What, does she need to get to work on time? Or defend her Strava KOMs? I'm sorry, but I don't see how the existing shared use paths / pavements etc. are not sufficient for kids to have a jolly out on the bike. They were certainly good enough for me when I was that age.

And once they're old enough and proficient cyclists, the road is where they will want to be (or the trail, if they're inclined that way). And they will want those roads to be safer.

What kind of society do you want your children to grow up in? One that is capable of identifying and dealing with its problems? Or an avoidant one that caves in to criminals and bullies?

bikebot wrote:

If you're just going to place my words in quotes to denigrate them, and question whether I really cycle that much, this is becoming silly and just a forum rant. You're attacking me rather than the argument.

I didn't mean to denigrate. I just have a hard time believing you and I cycle in the same universe. In your universe, all drivers somehow seem to be considerate and understanding of other road users and capable of logical thought and reason. Must be a happy place.

bikebot wrote:

You've proposed a theory, that creating segregated cycling infrastructure, including the high quality fixtures that are now being prepared for parts of London will make cycling on the rest of the road more dangerous for cyclists.

You still haven't provided any data, reference or research to back that theory other than it is something you believe based on your own experience.

I haven't proposed any theory. It's the one most common argument against segregation, backed up not simply by my own experience but by the experience of every cyclist who was ever shouted at, beeped at, run off the road, with drivers pointing at the pavement and indicating for the rider to go cycle there instead of "being in the way". Or being flat out told "there is a cycle path, why are you on the road?"

You've honestly never had that? Lucky you, mate. Lucky you. Again, we must be living in different universes.

You cite your own experience in Denmark. I've not lived in Denmark, but I have lived in the Netherlands. If your time in Denmark makes you an expert on Denmark, I guess that makes me an expert on the Netherlands. And in the Netherlands, it was not massive investments in segregated infrastructure that caused a massive increase in people cycling. Those investments followed the fact that people were cycling more, not the other way round. As I have stated in another post above, there won't be any increase in spending in a void of demand - to believe it would is pure fantasy. Wishful thinking.

Statistically speaking, cycling is safe. Very safe. It's only the perceived danger that keeps people from trying it. A lot of things in life are merely about perception. And if we read in the newspaper about a cyclist getting killed and the driver getting a slap on the wrist for it ("it was an accident!"), it reinforces a perception that cyclists take their lives into their own hands and have only themselves to blame for mixing with motor traffic.

It is that perception that needs changing. Because that perception is held both by people who would like to cycle but are afraid to try it and by people who couldn't care less about cyclists (and any road user other than themselves).

As for what will *actually* make cycling on the road safer? Education and enforcement. Speed limits. Strict liability, appropriate sentencing, long driving bans. And by education I don't mean "asking nicely". I mean communicating this to the populace in a language they understand. I don't give a damn how unpleasant a person someone is when off the road, but when on the road, they'd better be acutely aware that endangering another road user will mean a tough punishment and a financial impact on them equivalent with having their hand chopped off. That they will understand.

As it is now, they think nothing of being irresponsible pricks, and the current sentencing and level of enforcement (lack thereof) reinforces this. That needs changing too.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

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posted by userfriendly [214 posts]
16th June 2014 - 11:16

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userfriendly wrote:

I haven't proposed any theory. It's the one most common argument against segregation, backed up not simply by my own experience but by the experience of every cyclist who was ever shouted at, beeped at, run off the road, with drivers pointing at the pavement and indicating for the rider to go cycle there instead of "being in the way". Or being flat out told "there is a cycle path, why are you on the road?"

You've honestly never had that? Lucky you, mate. Lucky you. Again, we must be living in different universes.

Of course I have, and I pick and choose which infrastructure is worth using the same as every cyclists.

The central argument, is that creating high quality infrastructure doesn't make that problem any worse. Nor does it prevent enforcement against anti-social or dangerous driving.

What high quality infrastructure does do, and has been demonstrated to do, is both reduce the accident rate and increase the total modal share of cycling. And in countries which have a higher modal share, the general acceptance and behaviour of other road users around cyclists improves, because it's simply something that people do.

posted by bikebot [405 posts]
16th June 2014 - 11:24

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userfriendly wrote:

With the available budget being as extremely limited as it is and likely will be for the foreseeable future, yes, they are.

What limited budget?

These design guidelines are for London. TfL is sitting on a pile of unspent cash for cycling infrastructure, which is growing year by year thanks to an increasing annual underspend. If it continues much longer, we'll be able to literally have cycle paths paved in gold.

Traffic enforcement is a completely separate budget, and something that cycling groups continue to campaign on as well. These are not either or questions, we campaign on both issues in London.

posted by bikebot [405 posts]
16th June 2014 - 11:30

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Yorkshie Whippet wrote:

Please could someone explain how such a lane around the Elephant and Castle will help my safety next time I'm on Stage One of the tour as Jimbob in his tricked out (big bore exhaust) Fiat Uno takes the racing line on a blind corner only to find me in his way.

Simple, policing, if your caught driving in such a manner, licence removed car crushed. A car is a tool, if you want to go racing fine, go do a hill climb, go to a circuit or get the police involved and organise a street race. I seem to remember there being a F3000? race in Birmingham city centre??? So it can be done.

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posted by mrmo [1021 posts]
16th June 2014 - 11:32

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bikebot wrote:

What limited budget?

These design guidelines are for London. TfL is sitting on a pile of unspent cash for cycling infrastructure, which is growing year by year thanks to an increasing annual underspend. If it continues much longer, we'll be able to literally have cycle paths paved in gold.

Traffic enforcement is a completely separate budget, and something that cycling groups continue to campaign on as well. These are not either or questions, we campaign on both issues in London.

I know those budgets are technically separate. I'm looking at this from a view of the total taxation of the populace and how this is distributed into the various budgets.

Question: just for London, what is the total budget for cycling infrastructure, and how does it compare to the budget for motorised traffic? I'm asking because I assume (assume being the operative term) that the latter constitutes more than 99% of the sum of both, regardless of the underspend. I may be wrong. Obviously.

bikebot wrote:

What high quality infrastructure does do, and has been demonstrated to do, is both reduce the accident rate and increase the total modal share of cycling. And in countries which have a higher modal share, the general acceptance and behaviour of other road users around cyclists improves, because it's simply something that people do.

Fair enough. I'm happy to concede the point, this may be true for a lot of countries - but I reserve the right to remain highly sceptical about this being transferable to the UK. I've lived in Germany, the Netherlands, and Scotland, so I am - like you likely are too - quite aware that there are differences in culture and attitude towards transportation and the common good across different societies. I hope you are right. I'm just not quite convinced of it.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

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posted by userfriendly [214 posts]
16th June 2014 - 12:01

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userfriendly wrote:
gazza_d wrote:

Most of the new infra is 3 metres wide. Lots (about 75%) of my commute (alongside the Nissan plant in Sunderland for example) is shared path and at least 3m wide.

"Most", "lots", "my", "some" ... do you see a pattern here? Anecdotal at best.

Here, have my anecdote: my commute is 30 km one way. The amount of nice and smooth 3 metres wide cycle path on that route? Maybe 2%, now to be extended - with what I imagine our councillors to consider a humongous amount of money for us few pesky two-wheelers - to possibly 3 or 4%. I cycle from Dunfermline to Edinburgh, so if anyone else on here is from my neck of the woods they can easily confirm this. There is one really nice stretch that accounts for those 2%, it's currently closed off for 4 months in order to be extended as described.

How does that help me for the rest of my commute? Yeah, exactly. It helps bugger all. Even if - as if by magic! (because that's what it would take) - the budget for cycling infrastructure was increased tenfold ... for more than half the distance I would still need to use the roads.

My commute is 16.5 miles each way. I am lucky in that the 2 random locations I live and work at are joined by good cycling infra. Yea, it's not perfect, and I don't pretend it is, but I can do the first 10 completely traffic free if I choose, and out of the remainder only about 1.5 miles are shared with cars - There would be space there if the LA get around to building infra. Incidently we have been relocating our servers to a co-lo facility, and that co-incidentally also 16.5m from home, and all but the last mile is either shared path or traffic free route. Again for random locations that's great, and either there is more out there than people realise or I am the luckiest person around and should start doing the lottery.

Yes, it's anecdotal but so is your's, and while mine shows that a lot is already there with some looking, your's shows that there is a lot still to do. That doesn't mean we shouldn't. We need to build more stuff for cyclists and make a much better job of highlighting and joining together the current stuff. Most people I speak to would actually cycle IF there was seperation and safe routes.

userfriendly wrote:

One small thing about myself, because I'm seeing a certain idea being stated over and over here, which is that people arguing against segregated infrastructure somehow can only be reckless 20 year old, extreme sports loving, super fast racing snakes. I'm none of that. I'm just an unfit IT guy loving my bicycle and trying to get to work and back in one piece. And I happen to think that segregation is the wrong approach, for all of us

Me too. Late forties, unfitter than I should be and no greased whippet, and just trying to get to work and back in one piece. I just happen to think that protected space for cyclists is the best answer for the majority of the population that want to cycle as it is the one thing that makes most people feel safe.

posted by gazza_d [182 posts]
16th June 2014 - 12:41

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userfriendly wrote:

Question: just for London, what is the total budget for cycling infrastructure, and how does it compare to the budget for motorised traffic? I'm asking because I assume (assume being the operative term) that the latter constitutes more than 99% of the sum of both, regardless of the underspend. I may be wrong. Obviously.

Oh, that really would take some research to figure out. The most often quoted figure is the TfL cycling budget, which I think is now about £110m. That's been going up by about £10m a year, whilst at the same time the amount they actually spend has been going down by about £10m a year! The money is carried over, hence the growing pile of cash.

However, most infrastructure is mixed, and trying to draw a line between strictly motorised provision and strictly cycling is complicated.

And you also need to throw in all the individual boroughs, most of which are also increasing their cycling spend. For example, I'm down in SW London, and Kingston is receiving cash from the mini-holland bid. Neighbouring Merton didn't win, but looks like it's going to go ahead and do most of it's proposal anyway, some via grant but also by increasing it's own spending.

There has been a shift in London, we don't seem to be fighting for cash as much, we're fighting to make people SPEND the cash, and to do the job properly, rather than the usual "load of old bollards". That's a good position to be in, we're now talking about the quality of the infrastructure, not whether there should be any.

userfriendly wrote:

Fair enough. I'm happy to concede the point, this may be true for a lot of countries - but I reserve the right to remain highly sceptical about this being transferable to the UK. I've lived in Germany, the Netherlands, and Scotland, so I am - like you likely are too - quite aware that there are differences in culture and attitude towards transportation and the common good across different societies. I hope you are right. I'm just not quite convinced of it.

Well, I welcome scepticism, none of these battles would be won without it. I would also say the attitude of drivers varies quite heavily across the UK, and even across London. I find my local areas of SW London quite cycling friendly compared to other parts.

The centre of town is a real oddity. The people that actually live there (and vote) are very pro-cycling. However, most of the traffic that comes into London, is from outside and the drivers can be quite belligerent. As just one obvious example, most central London taxi drivers have homes out in Essex. Those of us who have been involved in the campaigns will just keep chipping away at it from every angle, better infrastructure and better policing.

posted by bikebot [405 posts]
16th June 2014 - 12:46

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userfriendly wrote:
...Ever tried explaining to a numbskull foaming at the mouth with road rage that, even though there's a cycle path running along the road for a few hundred metres, for various reasons you still prefer to use the road here and have every right to do so? No? Try it some time. It's fun. In the not at all fun kind of way....

We're not asking for bad infrastructure to be put in, a good cycle lane would be given way to by traffic, one of the problems with most current British cycle lanes is that they give way to every side road, they shouldn't.

posted by kie7077 [420 posts]
20th June 2014 - 12:14

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