An article posted by the Daily Mail showing cyclists passing a short stretch of bike lane at a set of lights was inaccurate and "one-sided", according to Transport for London as the route is not actually a cycle superhighway, and is not yet finished.
The article, which showed people bypassing the 5m filter lane onto Parliament Square, suggested the images were evidence Boris Johnson's £50m cycle superhighway programme was a waste of money.
Meanwhile, annoyed this snippet ignores the fact at peak times some 1,200 people per hour are using the actual Cycle Superhighway routes, including families with young children, cyclists on Twitter reacted with brilliant irony, by posting pictures of other infrastructure that is sometimes not used, including roads, and tube trains after hours.
The article's gist is here:
— Howard Cox (@HowardCCox) August 26, 2016
In an email to the Daily Mail seen by road.cc, a Transport for London spokesperson said: "Firstly, the photos in that piece aren’t technically part of the continuous East-West Cycle Superhighway that you refer to – they’re just connecting cycle lanes to it for those coming into Parliament Square from the Millbank direction (as I do in the morning).
"Also, the EWCS [East-West Cycle Superhighway] isn’t finished yet. Parliament Square is the end of the currently open section – so it’s inevitable that usage will go up once it extends further, as we’ve seen at other newly-opened parts.
"Even the part in Parliament Square is yet to be completed. We’re waiting for surfacing works.
"Once we complete sections we see usage go up massively. For instance, the Blackfriars Bridge section of our new North-South Cycle Superhighway – at rush hour 70 per cent of vehicles are now bikes. And the vast majority of bikes use the new lane."
The cycle lane in question gives those on bikes a head start from motor traffic, by offering an early green signal to those in the cycle box. When general traffic has the green light, cycles are kept waiting by a red light in a protected cycle lane area, a system now used across London to protect cyclists from left hooks. People on cycles were photographed bypassing this light, however.
Here's the online response. To start with here's a carist not using the road
— Elisabeth Anderson (@velobetty) August 26, 2016
Tubeists not using the tube...
Bloody Tubeists! Not even using the Underground System we've spent £billions on & they complain is overcrowded. pic.twitter.com/aaP75mCIuT
— Tom Kearney (@comadad) August 28, 2016
Trainists not using their new expensive train station
Bloody trainists, not even using the new station they're still having built for them. pic.twitter.com/8G7EZgIWv7
— Alex Ingram (@nuttyxander) August 28, 2016
Walkists, allegedly running red lights
Just looking how these cyclists budged to right by truck, then have to wait for illegal walkists. Where's outrage? pic.twitter.com/JqURgadlOd
— Pedal Unity (@pedalparity) August 16, 2016
And, of course, carists causing congestion for bikes.
— Richard Hughes (@Richard_H) August 23, 2016
If the whole argument seems familiar, it's a similar thing that a small number of taxi drivers did when joggers were seen using unfinished cycle infrastructure in Central London earlier this year.
It may be silly but there’s a serious message – arguing that if a tiny piece of infrastructure is empty or not used some of the time the whole project is a waste of money would by extension make much of Britain's roads a waste of money.
To finish, here's a quick reminder of why we build cycle lanes.
I took my 8yo on the east-west cycle superhighway today. Obviously, I'd never have done that before it was built. pic.twitter.com/JrQQakoFgL
— Robert Wright (@RKWinvisibleman) August 28, 2016