As we reported yesterday London's first two cycle superhighways will officially open on the 19th of July, but they are not without their critics, video blogger gaz545 prompted much discussion on road.cc last month with his film of some of the trial sections on the cycle superhighway running from Merton to Central London. TfL have now issued a response… meanwhile gaz545 has posted some more videos.
The trial sections of the Merton route were put in place at three junctions in early March to gauge to the reactions of road users. The Mayor has been clear that London's new cycle superhighways are as much about changing the perceptions and attitudes of Londoners particularly the city's drivers as about infrastucture.
“The key thing is to convince people that this is somewhere where motorists can expect to find cyclists, and motorists can't just can's shove cyclists out of the way and this is somewhere, a road, a highway where you are just going to find loads of people on their bikes and that's the name of the game,” says Boris in his video to promote the Cycle Superhighways (watch it below the video below).
That changes in attitudes are needed is graphically underlined by gaz545's latest video shot at one of the superhighway test junctions. In it we see white van man plonking himself almost in front of the advanced stop line even though he had plenty of opportunity to stop way back where he should have been, and a car driver creeping forward before the lights change in a way you could only interpret as meant to intimidate cyclists on the advanced stop line and those filtering up to it on the blue cycle superhighway.
In a letter to the London Cycling Campaign, about the new routes Transport for London (TfL) make the point that on some parts of the new routes space is in such short supply that some shareing will be necessary.
“There is great demand for space on London’s road network and in many areas the roads are very narrow, so it’s not possible to provide separated lanes for cyclists.
“TfL is, however, introducing new segregated cycle lanes at some locations, for example at the Stockwell Gyratory.”
TfL also point out that blue paint and white lines are only part of the story when it comes to the Cycle Superhighway project, they will be backing the new infrastructure up with increased levels of cycle training and more cycle parking.
It has also got to be said that blue paint may turn out to be more effective than many might think. A final judgement will have to wait until the new routes are up and running, but as gaz545, who is by no means wholly criticial of the superhighway, points out in another of his vids in many places along the trial sections motorists are already keeping out of the blue lane. Check out more his gaz545's videos on Youtube he also trains his lense on some pretty poor cycling too.
So if you're a London cyclists who uses either of the proposed two routes what do you think? And if you're not a London cyclist well, what London has today the rest of us get tomorrow, so would you like a cycle superhighway in your town or city?
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.