Is Transport for London doing enough to keep cycle routes free of snow?

Positive reports on effectiveness of airport runway de-icer being used on Leeds-Bradford Cycle Superhighway

London cyclists have criticised Transport for London (TfL) for leaving parts of the capital’s cycle network under snow and ice when clearing adjacent roads.

TfL said that all of its cycle lanes had been de-iced or gritted during this week’s severe weather, but many cyclists have taken to social media to highlight issues.

Fran Graham, campaigns coordinator for the London Cycling Campaign, told the London Evening Standard: “While weather like this is quite unusual in London, what we would like to see now is TfL learning lessons from how the extreme conditions have affected cycle routes and make sure this doesn’t happen again… they need to find a solution.”

A TfL spokesman said: “We’ve been working hard to minimise the impact of the freezing temperatures and snowfall on all of our services and have been gritting, de-icing and clearing cycle lanes on our network at least twice a day.”

Graham believes more could be done. “Cycle Superhighways do actually form a large part of the capital’s transport network, and making sure they are still useable, when the weather is like this would really help keep London moving, which may mean taking a different approach when gritting them.”

Elsewhere, CityConnect has reportedly stayed clearer than most cycle routes with Leeds and Bradford Councils’ Highways teams using a potassium acetate de-icer usually used for keeping airport runways open in sub-zero temperatures.

Regular grit can’t be used on the superhighway as it requires the weight of motor vehicles to crush the crystals to be effective. The potassium acetate de-icer is being delivered by mini tractors narrow enough to fit down the superhighway and has the added benefit of being kinder to the environment than regular salt.

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