Wednesday, 4 April 2007

South Park Hill Road - LCN route 76

These are gutter cycle lanes of the very worst kind. They were put in at the end of 2000 and made the road so dangerous I have stopped cycling on it. When I complained to Croydon Council the junior council officer who replied tried to blame the cycle lanes on a request from a local resident.

These lanes are officially only 80cm wide. Drivers using the road now expect bicycles to get out of their way and use these dreadful lanes, when it simply is not safe to cycle that close to the edge of the road. The problem is particularly acute because this road is a busy bus route and contains several schools where parents park illegally on the road and on the pavement every morning.

The cycle lanes run along both sides of South Park Hill Road in Croydon, the B243 linking Coombe Road with Croham Road. This road slopes up to a blind summit where there is are private schools, bus stops and a well used footpath crosses from South Croydon railway station. The slope is especially steep at the southern end.

Croydon Council have failed to take any notice whatsoever of national government guidance on these matters. Back in 1996 the DoT, as it was then, published a joint guidance publication called "Cycle-friendly Infrastructure". It gave guidance on the design of cycle lanes (page 46, paragraph 11.3.2):

"Cycle lanes on links should be a minimum of 1.5m wide and 2m wherever possible.... Widths below 1.5m give cyclists very little room to manoeuvre around debris, potholes and drainage grates..."

The response from the council's so called "cycling officer" to my complaints was to blame the cycle lanes on a request from local resident, and the poor standards set by the London Cycle Network Design Manual.

This dangerous road has been added to the London Cycle Network as route 76, though it is a completely detached section with a highly dangerous double mini roundabout at the northern end and a very nasty section of road and another mini roundabout to the south.

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