Thursday, 15 November 2007

You've seen the website, now buy the book.



I've yet to check if the Croydon photos made it into the book.

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Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Sunday, 21 October 2007

"X" marks the spot - North End

This set of road markings are at the junction of North End and Tamworth Road/Station Road. It is an example of road markings which defy logic and safe roadcraft.



Worse than that the marked cycle lanes emerge from the pavement. If you are traveling east along Tamworth Road and want to turn right then you should already be on the right hand side of the tram tracks before entering the junction.





You can't see the full scale of this from the ground so take a look at the satellite image.


View Larger Map

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Monday, 15 October 2007

Uneven drain covers - Wellesley Road

As featured in the LCC's magazine, London Cyclist, recently, these dire drain covers (see below) are in the centre of Croydon on Wellesley Road. As the variable surfacing around the drain covers shows, at least one unsuccessful attempt has been made to repair the problem, but that was some time ago, and the condition of the covers continues to worsen.

To identify their position more clearly, the photo below shows that they are on the nortbound side of the road, before the Whitgift Centre bus stops.

Satellite Image

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Saturday, 13 October 2007

Wickham Road in Shirley

Here's an example from the A232, Wickham Road in Shirley (westbound, just west of the Hartland Way junction). After passing an old garage forecourt, the cycle lane inexplicably veers left before running into the corner of a parking space (occupied in the photo) and the corner of the bus stop cage, where it abruptly stops. Instead, the cycle lane SHOULD continue straight-on and go down the RHS of the bus stop cage!
Photo taken on 16 Aug 2007.

Satellite Image

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Thursday, 4 October 2007

More Press Coverage

Croydon Guardian this time

Deputy ‘best man’ to check out bike lanes

The leader of the council has refused to take a bike ride around the borough to see what improvements could be made to cycle lanes.



Shasha Khan, a member of Croydon's Green party, invited Councillor Mike Fisher on the trip in July....


Now to work out a route which shows as many the problems as possible...

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Previous council leaders have got on their bikes, for example Hugh Malyan



Croydon Guardian March 2002


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"Crap Cycle Lanes - 50 worst cycle facilities in Britain"

Coming soon, "Crap Cycle Lanes - 50 worst cycle facilities in Britain", the book inspired by the web site "Cycle Facility of the Month" by Pete Owens of Warrington Cycle Campaign. Look out for my Croydon photos, there will be one or two in there.

Where the editor Dan Hiscocks got the idea for the title from I just cant imagine...

Monday, 1 October 2007

Two minor victories

Firstly, Croydon Council have now backed down on their plans to put a cycle route along the Fairfield path, and have accepted that it would be better to direct bikes along an alternative route.

Secondly, the council have now cut back the overhanging foliage on Addiscombe road. However, they had not cleared all the dirt and cuttings from the cycle lane.

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Thursday, 27 September 2007

Cycle-Friendly Infrastructure

If you want to know what good cycle facilities should look like then get a copy of "Cycle-Friendly Infrastructure: Guidelines for Planning and Design".



http://www.iht.org/publications/technical/cyclefriendly.asp


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Car Drivers Get Out and Push

If your local council proposed a road that you had to push your car along there would be an outcry in the press, so why do we accept cycle paths you cannot cycle on?



Councils and others who who create this kind of thing simply demonstrate that they are not prepared to do the job properly.

Cambridge signs

"bladder inflammation upset"

"The use of “CYCLISTS DISMOUNT” and “END OF ROUTE” signs should always be avoided unless there is a proven need."

Design Guidance
‘Cyclists dismount’ and ‘End of Route’ signs
These two signs have been used indiscriminately and incorrectly by many local authorities.
The ‘cyclists dismount’ sign (Diagram 966) is widely ignored by cyclists who understandably wish to remain on their bikes. With careful design it should be possible to design a cycle route that avoids the use of this sign and replaces it with a give way option to join the carriageway or another route (see also B.09 Obstruction of cycle track accesses).
Draft DfT guidance (LTN 3.03) states that Diagram 965 “Indicates the end of a cycle lane, track or route. Can be used with Diagrams 1057 and 1058. It should not be used for short breaks in the route. The use of this sign is not mandatory and it should be used sparingly”.


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Saturday, 22 September 2007

Connect2 in Croydon - Fairfield Path

I have just received a copy of a poster for Connect2, a Sustrans cycle project.

Sadly the proposed routes in Croydon are of the usual poor quality.

At a fist glance the biggest problem is that the design includes the conversion of the busy narrow and steep Fairfield Path into a cycle route. This is a dangerous proposal, since parts of the path are very steep and often slippery. Much better cycle routes could be achieved in this area without making life unpleasant for local pedestrians who use the path.



Satellite Image - steep part of the Fairfield Path

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Monday, 20 August 2007

Suicidal cycle lanes in Lower Addiscombe Road

As a variation on your intermittent South End cycle lanes problem, here are two photos of the cycle lanes on Lower Addiscombe Road. All the way from the tram crossing to Blackhorse Lane (eastbound), past the shops, the cycle lane is intermittent (as in South End) because of permitted on-street vehicle parking outside shops. Unlike South End though, the cycle lanes don't completely stop. Instead they have suicidal arrows which suggest cyclists should keep veering across the road around the parking spaces and keep suddenly coming out into the traffic on some unachievable 90 degree turns. I think this one's worse than South End.

In the first photo (below), they suggest you turn left through 90 degrees after the "abandoned vehicle" bay to rejoin the cycle lane. It's impossible to turn that sharply if you're travelling at any speed, but it's not a dangerous manoevre.
In the second photo (below), they suggest that after passing the side road in the cycle lane, cycles should now turn right through 90 degrees as the cycle lane ends to accommodate more on-street parking (for bone idle shoppers), so that cyclists suddenly appear in the main part of the carriageway and go down the outside of the parked vehicles if they're not killed by an inattentive, speeding motorist. There's several examples of these ridiculous and dangerous cycle lane alignments along this section of Lower Addiscombe Road, so if you get lucky and survive the first one, you've got some more to negotiate before you get to the relative safety of the Blackhorse Lane junction!

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Monday, 6 August 2007

Helmets attract cars to cyclists

From Scientific American web site:-
Strange but True: Helmets Attract Cars to Cyclists

His findings, published in the March 2007 issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention, state that when Walker wore a helmet drivers typically drove an average of 3.35 inches closer to his bike than when his noggin wasn't covered. But, if he wore a wig of long, brown locks—appearing to be a woman from behind—he was granted 2.2 inches more room to ride.
"The implication," Walker says, "is that any protection helmets give is canceled out by other mechanisms, such as riders possibly taking more risks and/or changes in how other road users behave towards cyclists." The extra leeway granted to him when he pretended to be a woman, he explains, could result from several factors, including drivers' perceptions that members of the fairer sex are less capable riders, more frail or just less frequent bikers than men.


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Sunday, 5 August 2007

South End Southbound

This post is for Jonathan Law who commented:-

South End and Brighton Road are classic examples of stupidity in planning. The cycle lane is broken up with parking bays so that you can go about 10 yards before having to pull into the traffic. Pointless having the lane there in many ways.

It is an old classic too. This photo comes was taken in 2000 and was on the front page of my cycling web site for years.



Nothing has changed in the past 7 years



The cycle lane starts just south of the traffic lights, then runs straight into a parking space.



Only to reappear for a few yards before the next set of parking spaces.



After which there is a splash of green paint at the junction to the car park



The lane then is replaced by more parking spaces and a bus stop, before making a short reappearance and then disappears short of the next set of traffic lights.



Satellite Image & Map

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Who benefits from cycle facilities?

From Enabling and encouraging people to cycle by John Franklin

Cycle tracks originated in Germany. There and in the Netherlands, the first tracks were sponsored by car companies to get cyclists out of way of other traffic so that cars could go faster. They were not introduced for the benefit of cyclists' safety.


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Sunday, 29 July 2007

Addiscombe Road - eastbound

Inspired by The Sharp Side's overgrown cycle track post, here's a less dramatic case of overgrowth on a cycle lane.



This cycle lane runs alongside tram tracks, so it's primary purpose is to signify to the bike rider where you can cycle outside of the sweep of the tram.



Strangely it is also probably Croydon's longest stretch of mandatory cycle lane - but that's another story.



As you can see from the images the foliage is growing out from the side to push the bike rider out into the path of trams in some places.



It is also worth noting that there is a solid stone wall, and not a pavement, so you have no escape.





The lane ends as the road widens, but then comes the biggest problem, a tram stop.



Here the bike rider has no choice but to cross into the tram track and into the path of the tram. This, thankfully, is not as dangerous as it might be because all trams stop at all of the stations, so are traveling slowly at this point.

Satellite Image & Map

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Saturday, 14 July 2007

St James's Park Road - LCN Route 5

Our first video contribution to the site:



There was a long fight to get this contraflow cycle lane, but the way in which parking bays were left in the cycle route created a problem at the junction with Windmill Road where most drivers turn in and cut the corner.

Satellite Image

P.S. Filming whilst cycling is not recommended.

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Friday, 13 July 2007

Press Coverage

A letter from Shasha Khan to the local papers included a link to this blog. This resulted in a phone call from the Croydon Advertiser and a request for a photo.

The story covers the whole of page three. They've used a straightforward photo of me riding the bike, approached the council for a comment and finished it off with some great photos from the Warrington Cycle Campaign.



Online version - Crodyon cyclists face a 'tour de farce'

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Tuesday, 10 July 2007

High Street - Surrey Street & Mint Walk

This is the junction between High Street and Surrey street where a cycle lane suddenly pops into existence outside the front door of the Green Dragon pub and continues north along High Street where it is always used for parking.

Anyone trying to use this cycle lane is likely to get cut up by motor vehicles turning left. Most people cycle well out into the road to avoid the parked cars.



Opposite is the entrance to Mint Walk where the cycle cut through is often blocked.



Notice how, even on a closed road, the cycle lane is far too narrow.

Satellite Image

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Thursday, 24 May 2007

Andrew Pelling MP on cycle lanes

Is not another important consideration, particularly when we suffer very long dry spells, drains in cycle lanes? There is insufficient space and quite often drains have fallen because of the dry weather. That can pose a great danger to cyclists, particularly when some of the lanes are very tokenistic and are probably not much wider than the drains themselves.

from Cycling - Westminster Hall debates

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Purley Way - Southbound

A short section of TfL cycle lane to guide you through the traffic lights...



...and run you into the pavement!!



Photos by Matt

Satellite Image

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Monday, 14 May 2007

The "jug handle" - Wellesley Road

This is one of the worst pieces of design in Croydon. The reason it doesn't kill cyclists on a regular basis (as Wellesley road regularly kills pedestrians who try to cross it) is that very few cyclists venture onto this urban dual carriageway, and those that do ignore this utterly stupid cycle facility.

Wellesley Road (pre summer 2002)



This is apparently called a jug handle! It is at an infamous cycling black spot where several cyclists have come off on the tram tracks.

The cycle facility is quite ridiculous on a fast moving dual carriageway where all the traffic is breaking the speed limit, and I have never seen it used. However, we know of one cyclist who was hit by a bus when she tried to use it!

Wellesley Road (post summer 2002)




The new version is even worse, it now directs cyclists out into two lanes of speeding traffic. It is so utterly stupid that most cyclists end up riding up the tram tracks. Personally I take the vehicular route and ride through as if I was driving a car.

Wellesley Road (Spring 2007)









All that has changed in 5 years is the addition of some green paint.

Satellite Image

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Friday, 11 May 2007

Highway Code URGENT

Ask your MP to sign up and urge the government to fix the Highway Code.

An Early Day Motion has been tabled in parliament that reads:

EDM 1433
That the alterations in the provisions of the Highway Code proposed to be made by the Secretary of State for Transport, dated 28th March 2007, a copy of which was laid before this House on 28th March, be not made.


The EDM has been tabled by Menzies Campbell, leader of the Liberal Democrats.

This action has been taken specifically to encourage the Government to address the problems created by the new rules that will require cyclists to use cycle facilities 'wherever possible'. Although initiated by the LibDems, it is very important that this EDM gains cross-party support and signatures from as many MPs as possible. All cyclists are urged to persuade their MPs to sign EDM 1433 as a matter of urgency.

Find your MP’s contact details at: http://www.writetothem.com/

Particularly if you are writing to a Labour MP , it is worth mentioning that the cycling organisations are still in dialogue with officials and hope that the Government may yet agree to revise the Highway Code – hence they may be paving the way for a “good news” announcement from the Minister.

For MPs of all parties, please also ask them to speak to their party colleagues in the Lords to ask them also to “pray against” the Highway Code. For procedural reasons, the Code is far more likely to be challenged effectively in the Lords than in the Commons.

How will the draft Highway Code hurt cyclists? See:
http://www.cyclenetwork.org.uk/latest/doc/hcode_cyclists.pdf
send a copy to your MP.

This is a national campaign, full details are at:
http://www.cyclenetwork.org.uk/latest/latest.html#hcedm

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Godstone Road, Purley

Just on the southern edge of Croydon lies Purley, and yet another poorly thought through cycle lane. This one is on the southbound side of the Godstone Road (the A22) at the junction with Approach Road.

The somewhat narrow cycle lane disappears within a yard or two, a new, boldly marked cycle lane appears:

Take this enticing option and within a few yards you will be suddenly forced to choose between hitting the crash barrier or the side of the passing lorry. Alot of heavy goods traffic uses this road.
At first sight it looks like a good idea - a feeder lane to allow cyclists to get to the advance stop line when the cars are stopped. But if the traffic is moving you'll get a very nasty surprise.

Well intentioned, but probably much safer to not use it.

Satellite Image

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Thursday, 10 May 2007

The Wellesley Road/George Street "Y"

Another idiotically useless piece of paintwork from Croydon Council.



It certainly doesn't make the buses seem any less dangerous.



Satellite Image

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Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Cyclecraft



Just released, a new and significantly updated edition of John Franklin's Cyclecraft - the definitive guide to safe cycling.

http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/

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Sunday, 22 April 2007

Danger and Cycle Facilities

More than three-quarters of the cycling crashes I've investigated as an Expert Witness have concerned cycle facilities of one kind or another. Even allowing for the bias introduced by the fact that claiming compensation after a crash on a cycle path can be more complicated than for a crash on a road, and thus more likely to require expert evidence, this number is out of all proportion to where most cycling takes place. So while cycling is generally a low-risk activity, it is a mistake to believe that cycle facilities usually make it any safer. Often it is easier to maximise your safety on road.


From "Cycling facilitated" by John Franklin

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Saturday, 21 April 2007

Cairo New Road - LCN 75



A case of excessive complexity and silly markings brought on by the presence of tram tracks.



Aproaching from the south,



the cycle track crosses two tram tracks



and instead of some simple dotted white lines, there are two separate lanes.

This final give way for the footpath is a work of pure Croydon surrealism.





Satellite Image

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