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Support for Cycle Superhighways reiterated as Boris Johnson rejects call to introduce partial segregation

Nine in ten Londoners, including non-cyclists, would feel safer riding a bike in their city if fully segregated cycle lanes were put in place, say campaigners Cycling Works London. Their reiteration of support for the infrastructure came as Mayor of London Boris Johnson rejected calls to dispense with full segregation on the planned East-West Cycle Superhighway.

Last month, Cycling Works London, which has co-ordinated expressions of support for the proposed infrastructure from more than 150 employers in the city, commissioned a poll from YouGov of 1,002 of the capital’s residents, most of whom do not currently ride a bike in Central London.

People were asked: “Thinking about different types of cycle lanes, how much safer would the following make you feel about cycling or cycling more in London?” The options given were painted lanes, rumble strips, light segregation (ie plastic wands), and full kerb segregation.

They were asked to rate how much safer they believed each of those types of segregation would make them feel, with answers comprising “much safer,” “a little safer,” “not very much safer,” “not at all safer” and “don’t know.”

Just 10 per cent of respondents said that painted lanes or rumble strips would make them feel much safer, while the percentage for light segregation was 15 per cent.

More than half of respondents, 56 per cent, said that full kerb segregation would make them feel much safer, however.

Including responses from those saying such infrastructure would make them feel a little safer, and filtering out the “don’t knows,” almost nine in ten respondents, 87 per cent, said that full segregation would make them feel safer cycling in London.

Support was roughly equal between men and women, while by age 25-39-year-olds emerged as the group most in favour.

Cycling Works London said: “The perception of safety is the single greatest obstacle to increased cycling in London.

"If any politician, council or business is serious about increasing active travel, then the only solution is the delivery of kerb-protected routes on main roads.

"There simply is no amount of training or marketing that will have the same impact as basic, proven, kerb protection.”

The organisation’s survey results were first published last month and found that 64 per cent of Londoners supported the planned Cycle Superhighways even if they took away traffic lanes from motor vehicles, while just 24 per cent were against the proposals.

Rejecting the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry appeal for the East-West Cycle Superhighway to be semi rather than fully segregated, a spokesman for Mr Johnson said yesterday: “The Mayor is of the strong view that segregation will save cyclists’ lives and that semi-segregation would not save any more road space.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

10 comments

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Initialised [330 posts] 3 years ago
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Segregation isn't necessary if you fit collision avoidance systems to all new cars and retro-fit to all commercial vehicles used on our roads.

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BigManLittleHair [47 posts] 3 years ago
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rubbish suggestion. uptake in cycling is severely hindered by perception of safety. Even with collision protection would you want your family sharing space with a tipper truck?

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congokid [327 posts] 3 years ago
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Initialised wrote:

Segregation isn't necessary if you fit collision avoidance systems to all new cars and retro-fit to all commercial vehicles used on our roads.

I bet you have a shed load of case studies to back up your assertion...

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jackdrew11 [11 posts] 3 years ago
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What a pointless piece of research - were they expecting the majority of respondents not to feel safer from better segregation?

I hope YouGov aren't charging much for these surveys

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Initialised [330 posts] 3 years ago
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Not a shed load:

http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/662743.pdf
US government looking to minimise costs by implementing CAS in their fleet recognises the lack of case studies in the field circa 2012!

http://www.google.co.uk/about/careers/lifeatgoogle/self-driving-car-test...
Google's driverless car can manage to avoid colliding with cyclists, that tech just needs minimisation and deployment.

http://trid.trb.org/view.aspx?id=806095
Drivers don't like warnings, prefer for the car to simply take over controls.

http://trid.trb.org/view/2014/C/1313158
CAS could prevent 1.2million injuries, 14,353 serious injuries, and 7412 fatal crashes if deployed in the USA.

http://trid.trb.org/view/2014/C/1326612
Modelling cyclist collision avoidance systems.

http://trid.trb.org/view/2014/C/1315476
3D collision avoidance for maximising airport throughput.

Drivers are the number one cause of road traffic accidents, take them out of the loop in an emergency situation by actively preventing the vehicle from getting close enough to other vehicles, static objects, cyclists, animals and pedestrians and and you pretty much eliminate the probability of an 'at fault collision'. Sure it might take 10-20 years to get to 90% of all vehicles but the sooner it starts the sooner road deaths become rare enough to be news worthy.

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matthewn5 [1098 posts] 3 years ago
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Oh god this story is being trolled by a Vehicular Cycling nazi...

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teaboy [307 posts] 3 years ago
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Initialised wrote:

Drivers are the number one cause of road traffic accidents, take them out of the loop in an emergency situation by actively preventing the vehicle from getting close enough to other vehicles, static objects, cyclists, animals and pedestrians and and you pretty much eliminate the probability of an 'at fault collision'. Sure it might take 10-20 years to get to 90% of all vehicles but the sooner it starts the sooner road deaths become rare enough to be news worthy.

But if it doesn't FEEL safe then people won't do it. Riding on roads full of large, fast-moving motor vehicles simply doesn't FEEL anywhere near as safe as riding away from them. I'm well aware that most of them aren't going to hit me, or kill me, but it only takes 1, and that makes roads feel unsafe. Good protected infrastructure is more relaxing and feels safer than 'sharing' the road.

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Paul M [363 posts] 3 years ago
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jackdrew11 wrote:

What a pointless piece of research - were they expecting the majority of respondents not to feel safer from better segregation?

I hope YouGov aren't charging much for these surveys

I suppose many opinion surveys turn into statements of the bleedin' obvious, but all the same I would hope that all policy should be evidence-based (although what we tend to get instead is policy-based evidence making) and so surveys like this are necessary, and helpful to overcome the opposition.

For example, if you just follow the "stands to reason, innit?" approach you would probably conclude that taking away some road space will increase congeestion for motor vehicles, and that is the primary case of the opponents of the scheme. TfL has not really done any work to evidence the proposition, or indeed its opposite - the well-known phenomenon of "traffic evaporation" which sees reduced road space quickly restore equilibrium with no worse congestion because fewer journeys are made by car.

Of course, the wilfully ignorant objector will always fnd a way to misunderstand such statistics. For example, the letter in the Evening Standard which suggested that the 93% of survey respondents who never drove on the Victoria Embankment should be ignored as what did they know about it? For anyone who is not good with irony, we shold focus on the fact that a tiny minority (7%) of respondents actually benefit from driving on the Embankment (of whom quite possibly at least some were nevertheless in favour of the cycle paths - the reports just don't go into that level of detail)

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CygnusX1 [702 posts] 3 years ago
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Mayor of London Boris Johnson rejected calls to dispense with full segregation on the planned East-West Cycle Superhighway

Well done that man! He may be a bit 'Tim Nice but Dim' sometimes, but occasionally he gets it right.

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SombraCycle [3 posts] 3 years ago
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Cycling in kensington gardens bike lane, London,
with a sticky surprise at the end...
http://youtu.be/x_AndWvjx90