16 June 2010

Cycle Superhighway 7: Fading fast

Long strips of the forthcoming Cycle Superhighway 7, between Merton and the City following the A24 and A3, have been painted in on the stretch between Kennington and Clapham. Some are many hundreds of metres. So yesterday we cycled along, to see what a difference it's making.

The Superficial Cycleways are touted as being 'safe, direct and continuous'. Continuous they certainly aren't; they stop at bus stops and junctions and only follow existing priorities...

...and this isn't what we'd understand by 'cycle superhighway'; it's what we'd understand by 'car park'.

Safe? Nope. The cars, lorries and buses we saw yesterday were treating the blue paint as just that, giving cyclists no extra room or courtesy.

Still, it's not all bad news. They're direct, so that's one out of three.

And we're pleased to report that the 'CS7' signs and bicycle logos have been very well crafted, and the blue surface itself looks very blue.

Except for the portions painted a couple of months ago, that is, which are fading fast.

As, we fear, is the idea of Superficial Cycleways itself.


  1. Excellent photos, Rob.

    I'm afraid they simply underline everything David Hembrow argues about 'subjective safety' and how you'll never get mass cycling on joke cycling infrastructure like this.

  2. Hello Rob! I would like to invite you to an event about cycling for journalists and bloggers. If you are interested, please contact me at gemma.bancala@britishwaterways.co.uk. I'm writing here becouse I didn't find any email adress, I'm sorry about that. Thank you. Gemma

  3. The general idea's good, it's the implementation that's so poor. The sad thing is that this is all treated as being cutting-edge road design in the UK: we have still got a lot to learn from continental European cities who've been providing for cyclists (mainly by decent road manners) for years.

  4. "we have still got a lot to learn from continental European cities who've been providing for cyclists (mainly by decent road manners) for years"

    What have road manners got to do with anything? There are huge variations in modal share in European cities, with Groningen coming out top, entirely as a result of taking back road space from motor traffic and giving it to cyclists.

    The Netherlands is the top European cycling nation, as a result of the infrastructure it gives cyclists, which bears no resemblance to so-called Cycle Superhighways.

    The challenge is to get rid of all the on-street parkingn which chokes London's streets and put real cycling infrastructure in its place.

  5. Oh dear. Who could have predicted?

  6. < What have road manners got to do with anything? > Everything! I'm in small-town USA where there's precisely no cycle infrastructure, but because people drive their massive trucks at 25mph and are desperately keen to stop as soon as they see a cyclist or pedestrian, life for these groups is actually rather pleasant.

  7. Whats the difference between the conventional cycle lane which existed down the A24 and the 6 foot wide blue thing thing which appeared recently??

    All I see now is the motorbikes have been squeezed into a very narrow gap between the lines of ever stationary traffic.

    Theres no more cyclists on the road than before.

    Wonder how much the upkeep of the blue thing will cost us in the long run.

    What a bloody mess.