Home
After the former transport secretary asked whether cyclists should be allowed to use the carriageway where a cycle lane exists, cyclists give the answer

Last week Andrew Adonis, Former Transport Secretary and Chair of the Infrastructure Commission, asked whether cyclists should be allowed to use the carriageway where bike lanes exist.

The comments came as he retweeted an article, titled “London cycling campaigners must learn from the Charlie Alliston case”, published on the website of former Guardian columnist, Dave Hill, OnLondon.

Adonis commented: “So sad. Worrying trend: cyclists dodge superhighway/carriageway to avoid traffic lights. Common in Parliament Sq”, adding in a second tweet “Should cyclists be allowed to use carriageway where there is a superhighway? Welcome views.”

The initial response was one of disappointment. Some say he should know better. 

Twitter users began by pointing out the green light for cyclists is short at Parliament Square – five seconds according to this footage, resulting in long wait times during busy periods.

Our man, Dave Atkinson gave his two cents: get the infrastructure right, he says, and cyclists won’t need to use the carriageway.

Other examples of when use of a cycle route might not be viable were readily available.

Guardian journalist, Peter Walker, makes a point about Adonis' choice of source.

In a fortnight that has seen cyclists singled out for accusations of being a much bigger danger on the roads than the evidence shows, Adonis' comments prompted a wave of sighs and collective sarcasm.

The most thoughtful of the latter, highlighting the prejudice usually reserved for cyclists, was from Mark Treasure, of the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain.

In a piece titled Superhighway users dodging infrastructure to avoid traffic lights, Treasure turns the dialogue typically reserved for cyclists to pedestrians, by a tongue in cheek piece accusing “militant walkists” of ignoring the infrastructure built at "great expense" especially for them. He says despite there only being a wait of several minutes to cross the road twice to avoid super sewer works alongside London’s East-West Cycle Superhighway, on the Victoria Embankment, with clear maps instructing them how to proceed, many simply walked along the cycle route for a few hundred metres.

Adonis appears to have blocked Treasure after he pointed out bikes with only one brake are common in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile Labour MP for Exeter, and champion of cycling, Ben Bradshaw, offered his help.

As chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, which advises the government independently on transport infrastructure, Lord Adonis reaps benefits for cycling, too. 

Earlier this year he tasked former London Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, to work with councils and organisations in Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford, "to create a vision of what is required for cycling to become a 'super attractive' mode of transport in these three cities". Gilligan has been looking at what can be delivered in these places, and what funding will be needed. This is part of a wider "growth corridor" vision.

A sensible suggestion, made by Adonis, is that three sides of Parliament Square should be cycle/pedestrian, reducing through motor traffic – an intervention the London Cycling Campaign has long called for. Well, two sides, anyway.

One person urged Adonis to consider the wider safety issues around physical activity, or a lack thereof.

37 comments

Avatar
Nixster [383 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

The previously respected former minister for transport said (something silly)...

Avatar
davel [2001 posts] 2 months ago
16 likes
Nixster wrote:

...previously respected ...

I'm not sure how.

Tuition fees and HS2 seem the mark of archwankery, to me.

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet [1576 posts] 2 months ago
8 likes
davel wrote:

 

Tuition fees and HS2 seem the mark of archwankery, to me.

I really don't understand the benefits of HS2. Get to London in 20 minutes less. That'll boost the economy.

Avatar
nniff [209 posts] 2 months ago
16 likes

Ian Hislop or Paul Merton rather finely described Lord Adonis as 'A man whose name is writing cheques his body can't cash'  :o)

Avatar
burtthebike [1223 posts] 2 months ago
12 likes

[/quote]

I really don't understand the benefits of HS2. Get to London in 20 minutes less. That'll boost the economy.

[/quote]

That's because it doesn't have an economic case and you are intelligent enough to understand that.  Which says a lot about the people in power who voted for it at a time of the most stringent austerity in my lifetime, when we can't afford to pay nurses, police, carers etc etc.

Just imagine if all that money, £56bn, was actually invested in something with a proven economic case, twenty times at least that of HS2, like cycling for instance?

Avatar
harragan [222 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:
davel wrote:

 

Tuition fees and HS2 seem the mark of archwankery, to me.

I really don't understand the benefits of HS2. Get to London in 20 minutes less. That'll boost the economy.

Perhaps you're being sarcastic, but the idea is that you will be able to get OUT of London more quickly.  I agree it won't help as there's nothing outside of London, is there?  (That was sarcasm)

Avatar
burtthebike [1223 posts] 2 months ago
15 likes

Yet another politician feels the need to open their mouth and opine about something they know absolutely nothing about.  This is not what I expect from the chair of the infrastructure commission, I expect informed, reasoned statements, not off the cuff nonsense.

I wonder how he'd react if it was suggested that drivers weren't allowed on local roads if there was a motorway nearby?

Avatar
davel [2001 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes
burtthebike wrote:

Just imagine if all that money, £56bn, was actually invested in something with a proven economic case, twenty times at least that of HS2, like cycling for instance?

But then the previously respected transport minister wouldn't have got to play grown-up train sets.

And all the consultancies that have done 'work' so far wouldn't have been paid £1bn.

And we won't get the braindrain from Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds to London which will happen when they're a bit more 'commutable'.

Can't have that, can we?

Avatar
wellsprop [516 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

I think I've given up on politics (or, at least, the parties trying to get my vote) now.

 

Avatar
maviczap [106 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:
davel wrote:

 

Tuition fees and HS2 seem the mark of archwankery, to me.

I really don't understand the benefits of HS2. Get to London in 20 minutes less. That'll boost the economy.

There are no economic benefits, HS2 was a rail project dreamt up by railway builders who didn't have enough work to make them rich. So invent something and then lobby minsters who will benefit from it, whether they are shareholders or connected in some other way. Lots of people making lots of money on this project.

Avatar
burtthebike [1223 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
maviczap wrote:

There are no economic benefits, HS2 was a rail project dreamt up by railway builders who didn't have enough work to make them rich. So invent something and then lobby minsters who will benefit from it, whether they are shareholders or connected in some other way. Lots of people making lots of money on this project.

Was I dreaming one day, or do I remember politicians saying that we were now going to be doing things on the basis of the evidence; "evidence based decision making."

Ho, ho, ho.

Avatar
Grizzerly [369 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

I think your correspondents are labouring under a misapprehension regarding the purpose of HS2.  It is not to get people TO London quickly,  it is a humanitarian project to aid those wishing to escape FROM London. 

Avatar
davel [2001 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
burtthebike wrote:
maviczap wrote:

There are no economic benefits, HS2 was a rail project dreamt up by railway builders who didn't have enough work to make them rich. So invent something and then lobby minsters who will benefit from it, whether they are shareholders or connected in some other way. Lots of people making lots of money on this project.

Was I dreaming one day, or do I remember politicians saying that we were now going to be doing things on the basis of the evidence; "evidence based decision making."

Ho, ho, ho.

I remember 'Call Me Dave' coming out with that one.

Think it was filed along with 'Big Society' and 'nudging'.

Avatar
Al__S [1275 posts] 2 months ago
10 likes

(way of topic but) the primary purpose of HS2 is to add two extra tracks to the most congested railway line in the country, the West Coast Main Line from London to Birmingham and the North West. Adding them on the existing alignment isn't feasible, so building a whole new railway is the soltion, at which point it might as well be a shiny prestige high speed passenger line because ripping up just as much countryside for a 60mph freight line is a harder sell.

 

And I'll happily be banned from the main carriageway if there's v.high quality cycle provision. By which I mean even B Roads having this sort of stuff. Or this

Avatar
HarrogateSpa [500 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Nice examples of good bike lanes from Al_S. There are a few more here, from Zandvoort (photos I took earlier this month).

Avatar
Leviathan [2868 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes
Al__S wrote:

And I'll happily be banned from the main carriageway if there's v.high quality cycle provision. By which I mean even B Roads having this sort of stuff. Or this

Unless they put lanes on both sides of the road what is the point? Are you happy to cross two lanes to cycle 500 yards then wait to cross back again? Most of these provisions seem designed to get cyclists out of the way whilst giving motorists priority at junctions. I like cycling on the roads, they you know, join up.

Avatar
alansmurphy [1255 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
Al__S wrote:

(way of topic but) the primary purpose of HS2 is to add two extra tracks to the most congested railway line in the country, the West Coast Main Line from London to Birmingham and the North West. Adding them on the existing alignment isn't feasible, so building a whole new railway is the soltion, at which point it might as well be a shiny prestige high speed passenger line because ripping up just as much countryside for a 60mph freight line is a harder sell.

 

And I'll happily be banned from the main carriageway if there's v.high quality cycle provision. By which I mean even B Roads having this sort of stuff. Or this

Those lanes are awful, you could get a queue of massive over-sized family cars with one person in them Sat nostalgia to tail all the way along there...

Avatar
Al__S [1275 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
Leviathan wrote:
Al__S wrote:

And I'll happily be banned from the main carriageway if there's v.high quality cycle provision. By which I mean even B Roads having this sort of stuff. Or this

Unless they put lanes on both sides of the road what is the point? Are you happy to cross two lanes to cycle 500 yards then wait to cross back again? Most of these provisions seem designed to get cyclists out of the way whilst giving motorists priority at junctions. I like cycling on the roads, they you know, join up.

Typically they're one side of the road in the country, both sides in town. With priority at most junctions.

 

"Joining up" is certainly something dutch cycle provision does VERY well. Go there. Try it.

Avatar
atgni [439 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Shame the quote you use in your headline isn't actually what he wrote.
Still a 'yes' to his question, but why misquote?

Avatar
brooksby [2710 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

Of course I'm bl**dy allowed to ride on the carriageway whenever I wish and regardless of whether or not there's an adjacent cycle path.

(I presume his Lordship gets to choose whether to drive on a motorway or on a nearby A-road or B-road, doesn't he? Nobody says, "Well that motorway was built *specifically and exclusively* for motor traffic, so if there's a motorway going more or less in your intended direction then you must use that and not any other road", are they?)

Avatar
Ush [1018 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
Leviathan wrote:
Al__S wrote:

And I'll happily be banned from the main carriageway if there's v.high quality cycle provision. By which I mean even B Roads having this sort of stuff. Or this

Unless they put lanes on both sides of the road what is the point? Are you happy to cross two lanes to cycle 500 yards then wait to cross back again? Most of these provisions seem designed to get cyclists out of the way whilst giving motorists priority at junctions. I like cycling on the roads, they you know, join up.

Even if they do then people won't use it.  In observing the Dutch correlation between infrastructure and people cycling many are desparate to believe that the infrastructure caused the cycling, which leaves many wondering why e.g. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/sep/19/britains-1960s-cycling-re... ?  

 

It is possible that in countries where there are enough people that choose to cycle and generally are not  ***** that they build infrastructure to please themselves and make some cycling easier and more pleasant.

Achieving that balance in the population would probably mean eradicating Lord Adonis and all the hellspawn brood carrying the gene for being a ****.

Avatar
David9694 [20 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes

 

Dear Lord Adonis

Being an occasional visitor to London, my observation is that while London seems to be the place where “questions” about cycle use super-highways arise, it’s also going to be the place where it dawns on people that the private car has well and truly disappeared up its own exhaust-pipe.  There are pretty dismal figures around of the average day time motor traffic speed in London, aren’t there? You’re asking the wrong question, particualarly if your eyes are on the future.

it’s not me on my bike you’ve seen dodging the lovingly curated dedicated London cycle infrastructure; there isn’t much of it provided around here where I live and what there is is pretty poor quality. If its existence is going to be used as an excuse to order bikes off the road proper, that’s a pretty rum thing.

For the first thirty years of my life, smoking was allowed in pubs and restaurants - I look forward to the day when the individually owned/driven petrol car is as distant a memory (and what a ghastly memory that was - stinky clothes next day, sore eyes and throat: for anyone reading who’s not old enough). 

What you should be welcomIng views on is Why does any able bodied person need to drive an individually owned car in central London?

 

 

Avatar
ConcordeCX [510 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes
brooksby wrote:

Of course I'm bl**dy allowed to ride on the carriageway whenever I wish and regardless of whether or not there's an adjacent cycle path.

(I presume his Lordship gets to choose whether to drive on a motorway or on a nearby A-road or B-road, doesn't he? Nobody says, "Well that motorway was built *specifically and exclusively* for motor traffic, so if there's a motorway going more or less in your intended direction then you must use that and not any other road", are they?)

well said.

People are saying "we cycle on the road because the cycle path's crap", as if a good cycle path would justify being banned from the road. Dangerous argument. Pedestrians, cyclists, horses etc have an absolute right to use the roads, whereas drivers do not, and we must resist all attempts, eg through laws agaist so-called jay-walking or restricting cyclists to bike lanes, to limit those rights or extend them to motor vehicles.

 

Avatar
spen [199 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Cyclists demand "Dutch style" cycle facilities and have a hissy fit when politician suggests they should be made to use it, as they are in the Netherlands.  Discuss

Avatar
Helmut D. Bate [86 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes
spen wrote:

Cyclists demand "Dutch style" cycle facilities and have a hissy fit when politician suggests they should be made to use it, as they are in the Netherlands.  Discuss

Nowhere near accurate, you poor impression of a troll.

HTH x

Avatar
Jimmy Ray Will [817 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

These days, whenever the 'bloody cyclists not using the purpose built cycle lanes' come up, I am trying to calmly say the following;

"Cycle lanes are provided as an 'enabler', to provide less confident / competent cyclists a safe environment that encourages more people to use the bike as a means of transport, thus reducing congestion. Cycle lanes have never been about getting bikes off the road, they are purely to encourage cycling not clear the carriageway of motoring obstacles" 

Or something like that. Don't moan about the quality of ifrastructure, don't say how they inconvenience you, just politely affirm what cycle lanes are hear to do. 

Avatar
burtthebike [1223 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

[/quote]

There are no economic benefits, HS2 was a rail project dreamt up by railway builders who didn't have enough work to make them rich. So invent something and then lobby minsters who will benefit from it, whether they are shareholders or connected in some other way. Lots of people making lots of money on this project.

[/quote]

Of course there are no economic benefits to society, but as you so rightly point out, massive economic benefits for ministers' buddies.

Pretty much the same thing happening in north Bristol, with a proposed motorway junction, a snip at a mere £400m.  Again no economic case, but loads of money for the developers.

https://www.change.org/p/south-gloucestershire-council-petition-against-...

Avatar
spen [199 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
Helmut D. Bate wrote:
spen wrote:

Cyclists demand "Dutch style" cycle facilities and have a hissy fit when politician suggests they should be made to use it, as they are in the Netherlands.  Discuss

Nowhere near accurate, you poor impression of a troll. HTH x

 

Call me Asmodeus.  

Avatar
PRSboy [97 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

All politicians and public figures, celebs etc should be required by law to cycle round London for min 1 week before being allowed to Twit about it.

Avatar
wellsprop [516 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

My commute involves a fair bit of city roads (Bristol), which do have cycle lanes. I rarely use these lanes.

The majoirty of the lanes are so close to the gutter that they have large manhole covers and potholes along their length. A shocking amount of these lanes have cars parked along them (double yellow lines, pavement parked and parked in a cycle lane).

This makes the lanes as good as unusable.

Pages