Saturday, 23 February 2008

Addiscombe Road - half finished or half baked?

The recently refurbished cycle lane, LCN 75 westbound on Addiscombe Road, has been causing excitement amongst some Croydon Cyclists.

Not only is it 1.6m wide, twice as wide as some Croydon cycle lanes, but it no longer comes to a halt before the traffic lights several metres short of the Advanced Stop Line.

At the moment it is unfinished, and lacks cycle signs and green paint, but the really big advantage of the new road layout is that there is now only one lane of traffic. This means that the cycle lane remains mostly clear of motor vehicles. It is also remarkable in being one of the few occasions in Croydon where a significant amount of road space has been transferred from cars to cycles.

Not that some of Croydon's drivers have got the message about the changed road layout yet!

However, TfL have still failed to get the design right, and the lane falls short of the minimum standards for a good cycle facility. At 1.6m this lane is still below the 2.0m minimum set out by the DoT in "Cycle-Friendly Infrastructure: Guidelines for Planning and Design". It is also only an advisory lane, meaning it cannot be enforced by law. Mandatory lanes where motor vehicles are excluded have solid lines separating them from the carriageway.

So for want of a bit more white paint, placed only 40cm further from the curb, Croydon might have had its first good quality cycle lane.

The problem with advisory lanes was clearly illustrated by a group riding motorbikes down the cycle lane whilst I was taking these photos.

Motorcycles represent one of the biggest dangers to cyclists and pedestrians, after lorries and buses, because of the way in which they compete for the same road space as pedal cycles. They also are one of the biggest threats to local air quality because they are not subject to the same strict pollution controls as cars and are not subject to the Congestion charge.

Satellite Image - taken before the changes.

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