I have been writing recently about the Mayor's latest cycling safety campaign and the quality of cycling infrastructure. What I saw this morning illustrates the problems cyclists face. I rode part of my journey with the best racing cyclist I know who, like me, has gained experience from a long commute. The cycle lane is rubbish, and I believe positively dangerous when combined with central pedestrain refuges. Painting it green does not make up for the fact that it is far too narrow. The lorry driver just squeezes to his left to get past the central refuge either blind to, or not caring, what is in the cycle lane. My cycling companion was unfazed. I would have been enraged. Worse many potential cyclists get so intimidated by this sort of encounter that they do not cycle. Such people need properly designed, thought out (and inevitably expensive) cycling infrastructure. Other cyclists need only the roads but with other road users required and encouraged to meet at least basic standards of coutesy and care. The half-way house of cheap inadequate provision is far worse than useless.
Reporting this standard of lorry driving to the Metropolitan Police has in my past experience been futile, but given Tim Lennon's recent and commendable success in getting information from them which suggests that their reporting website leads (sometimes) to action, perhaps I will give it another go and see whether they have any interest in HGVs that get far too close to cyclists.
The title of this entry borrows shamelessly from freewheeler, who provides a compelling critique of the quality of our infrastructure.