While Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and his advisors may trumpet the coming of London's first two Cycle Superhighways - many among London's cycling community remain underwhelmed by the new routes - among them the influential blog Crap Cycling & Walking in Waltham Forest which has posted a video (watch it below) detailing some of the shortcomings of the test infrastructure already in place for the new Superhighways.
The film, headlined "The great cycle superhighway farce" and shot by poster gaz545 takes in selected highlights of a stretch of the A24 Route 7 passing through Balham and Tooting and points out, apart from various bus drivers' indescretions, how little difference the lane has made and mostly that with buses jammed in it, cyclists are tempted to flow around onto the pavement. The other thing it graphically demonstrates is how many cyclists are already using this route.
At the end of his short film gaz454 concludes, "It's great that this is being provided for cyclists but these test junctions clearly show that better thinking is needed."
Freewheeler, who writes the Crap Cyling & Walking in Waltham Forest blog gives a typically more biting assessment,"Cycling in London is going nowhere with joke infrastructure like this."
Work started on the two pilot Cycle Superhighway routes along the A3 coming in to the City from the south west and on the A13 to the east in February. The two routes are due to open in May and the Mayor and his transport advisers have invested a great deal of their credibility in them. TfL has been trialling the new continuous blue cycle lanes through the three junctions filmed here for a number of weeks. The trials are designed to see how cyclists and other road users respond to the new lanes and test going through signal-controlled junctions. This video would suggest that how cyclists and other road users behave in the approach to junctions also needs some attention, too.
gaz454's video will further fuel debate between those that say what London's cyclists really need is a change in attitudes by other road users - backed up by stricter law enforcement and those that argue an infrastrucure project like the Cycle Superhighways are needed to lure potential cyclists on to bikes. What should be beyond dispute is that any new infrastructure needs to be well designed and to work – a point reinforced by the response to road.cc's recent poll on the subject.