Cycling Infrastructure for London

Dave the Smeghead

Über Member
There are a few schemes kicking around and I wondered what would be best for us.

Boris's "Crossrail" project
Sounds good but doesn't go far enough, and will cause enough disruption during its installation to alienate us even further from the motorist than we already are

Norman Foster's "Skycycle" concept
Would be a blast riding above everything initially but this is England, so inevitably will be wet and blowing a hoolie now and again, so that would be "interesting" plus how dark is it going to make the streets below?
The Thames "floating cycleway" concept
Again riding in summer would be great, but in the winter I am not so sure, and being that close to the foul, turbid waters of the Thames may not be pleasant as people may think (a colleague volunteers for RNLI and works the Thames lifeboats and they have to have health checks and vaccinations due to contact with the water)
The London "Underline" concept
So take us off the streets and hide us out of the way completely? Not comfortable with this idea and being London riding through p*ss stinking tunnels is not high on my "bucket list".

I would like to see cycling carriages on our trains like you find in Seattle.

But over to you. What do you think of these schemes? What else would you like to see in terms of cycling infrastructure?
 

Glow worm

Legendary Member
Location
Near Newmarket
They all sound a bit crap to be honest- and the underground one sounds truly awful! Having said that though the 'Superhighway' (Boris) thing looks just about OK from what I've seen - as long as the routes are convenient and actually go where you want them to, and you don't keep having to jump from one side of the road to another (Which usuall happens with crappy british cycle routes). Faster riders will probably want to keep to the road and I'd be concerned about idiot drivers giving them abuse. But, if the routes do encourage the more nervous riders to have a go in a less hostile environment, then great.

Frankly though, the Boris plans sound a bit ambitious for this bloody country and I'd be amazed if it ever happens. The wnackers at Canary Wharf will soon see it off (so their boss's limousine can still get him to work unimpeded), along with that bone headed cabby lot.
 

deptfordmarmoset

Full time tea drinker
Location
Armonmy Way
I'm prepared to give the quietways a chance, mostly because I like to get away from the noise of traffic. The problem will most likely be over whether TfL truly ''owns'' (in the sense of taking responsibility) the routes. Because they're cross-borough with a single authority overseeing them there's at least a chance of them getting better than the scant attention cycle routes get at present.
 

Roadrider48

Voice of the people
Location
Londonistan
Cycle lanes are not fit for purpose! They're just a line painted at the side of the road with a picture of a bike every few hundred yards telling us to ride in the gutter.
And God help us if we don't stay there.
 
OP
Dave the Smeghead

Dave the Smeghead

Über Member
Cycle lanes are not fit for purpose! They're just a line painted at the side of the road with a picture of a bike every few hundred yards telling us to ride in the gutter.
And God help us if we don't stay there.
I completely agree, but what is the current alternative? We can only use the infrastructure provided whilst coming up with ideas and suggestions to improve the status quo, and try to get those in authority to listen.
Some time ago I persuaded a local councillor to ride a local route with me so I could point out where it needed to be improved (loads of junctions where the cyclist would have to give way to any traffic on the side roads despite being on the major route). The councillor agreed that changes needed to be made as it was both ridiculous and dangerous in equal measure. However, budget cuts notwithstanding, the councillor lost his seat in the last local election so the changes won't happen now; unless I can get the new councillor out to ride the route - work on that still continues.
We all need to be "bothersome" to those in authority; cyclists are amongst the most tenacious people I have ever met. That will serve us well if directed in the right way.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Cycle lanes are not fit for purpose! They're just a line painted at the side of the road with a picture of a bike every few hundred yards telling us to ride in the gutter.
And God help us if we don't stay there.
They need not be that bad, but all too often are. And we still get abused sometimes, whether or not there's a cycle lane or cycleway nearby. It's gotten that bad. What we need is generally less lethal road designs, some protected space, more modal filtering (gated/bollarded roads), 20mph zones, park routes, road law enforcement improvements and better driver education... the cycle superhighways seem like a near-miss attempt at only one part of the puzzle. The other schemes seem mostly bonkers.
 

Roadrider48

Voice of the people
Location
Londonistan
I am not really one for arguing with people when out cycling. But, it beats the hell out of me how many drivers think it's ok to pass you so close.
The trouble is that these people genuinely don't realise what they do. Driver education is one of the key things here I think, but what a massive task that would be.
Drivers see us as a nuisance as opposed to another road user. Plus, the police aren't particularly interested until one of us gets killed.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
But, it beats the hell out of me how many drivers think it's ok to pass you so close.
You're assuming that those drivers think? I'm not sure they think. The good thing about a decent, wide, protected cycle lane is that they don't have to think: they're directed to steer wide and it's made pretty difficult to infringe the line. The bad thing about a narrow nasty cycle lane is that drivers don't think: they assume that the lane is sufficient space even when it's not.
 

Dmcd33

Well-Known Member
I read about a good one a few years ago - Make cycle routes next to the railways?

Obvious problems include;
1. Train companies worried about vandalism and trespassing.
2. Would only be possible on surburban routes.

Personally I think it's a briliant idea and would free up loads of space on the railway, as well as bikes aways from the wacky race drivers.

They could close it outside of say 6am - 10pm and have some form of security or gate system to get on it?
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I read about a good one a few years ago - Make cycle routes next to the railways?

Obvious problems include;
1. Train companies worried about vandalism and trespassing.
2. Would only be possible on surburban routes.
Why only on suburban routes? The Flax Bourton Greenway http://cycle.travel/map?lat=51.4258&lon=-2.7142&zoom=14 is rural, next to a 125mph line and seems to work.

Vandalism shouldn't be a significant concern if the route is well-used - so I guess the best lesson is to build ones that have reasons to be used and not white elephants. I don't think closing it overnight is a good idea because then vandals will think they'll be undisturbed if they jump the gates.

I'm a big fan of rail trails (both railway-side and ex-railway). Railways have fewer roads across them than roads.

Waterside routes share many of the benefits. The usual problems with riverside routes are wildlife disturbances and flooding, but neither of those should block the E-W London superhighway...
 
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