Hall of Shame
BUSted? The busiest cycle racks in the City (by the Barbican) were flattened when a bus left the road and went into them. Dozens of cycles were written off and their owners are having to claim off the bus company. [10/06/04]
Security Risk? Many cyclists using the main City cycle route over Southwark Bridge will have been wondering why the dead-end of Queen Street has been blocked in on the south side with these concrete blocks? Surely there must be some high risk target to justify this much inconvenience to pedestrians and cyclists? Er, actually no, these blocks are simply there as part of a street scene enhancement [sic] project. The big gap is only 1.2m wide so many types of cycles can't get through while those that can have to watch out for cycles coming in the other direction and pedestrians.
Way to go? City Cyclists supported the proposals to close off Watling Street to motor traffic during weekdays. However now there are metal gates in the way and we couldn't work out why nor could our contacts in the Corporation explain why they have been placed there since it wasn't in the original plan. To make matters worse, City Police have been fining cyclists using the 1m of pavement necessary to get round the wrongly place barrier. The alternative is a busy main road (see next pic).
Going nowhere? This cycle lane on Queen Victoria Street by Mansion House won't get you far! The concrete blocks are there to protect a weak bridge over the district line. The cycle lane was blocked in over two years ago, shortly after being implemented. There is hope on the horizon when the gyratory is removed as part of a bus priority scheme.
[Latest - as a result of this page the block has now been removed but the layout of this gyratory still falls far short of what this important cycle route should be like.]
In, out, in, out, shake it all about? This cycle lane carefully takes cyclists to where they are most at risk of being doored (one of the most frequent types of collision in the City), via sharp turns to the edge of side roads where they are most likely to be knocked off. Clearly the designer has never riden a bicycle and only cares about implementing a cycle facility not whether it helps rather than hinders cyclists.
Lego lane. It took two years of complaints for this cycle lane on South Place to be unblocked. The 'lego' blocks, part of the security cordon, were wrongly positioned. Although it is a very wide street, it has now been turned into a narrow cycle lane, which ends in the path of turning vehicles.
Cyclists are just too heavy! Despite West Poultry being a key part of a London Cycle Network route and a way for cyclists to avoid the most unpleasant and dangerous part of the Smithfield gyratory, it is blocked to all traffic to protect a weak bridge underneath. We can't see why a few cycles would cause any more risk than a few pedestrians and on being asked neither could the Corporation. Of course they haven't done anything about it in the year since though.
Parking problems... There is a serious lack of cycle parking in much of the City as this photo by Shoe Lane Library, off Fleet Street shows. Despite the fact that even before congestion charging, half of all City car parking bays were empty, the Corporation has not made plans to convert some of these bays into on-street (rather than on-pavement) cycle parking. Each car space could hold 8-12 cycles. [Latest - there are now more cycle stands here following our lobbying. See Summer 2003 news]
Motor free day - except in the City! The City's attempt at an event for Car Free Day / European Mobility Week brought a strong rebuke from Europe for advertising private motor transport! As if this was not bad enough, the poster shows motorcycles leaping over pedal cycle only gaps and tiny cyclists who look more at home in a competition than on the City streets. Motorcycle use of cycle facilities is an increasing problem in the City, indeed was the cause of the most recent cyclist fatality.
Pushy police. Did the City police do anything about this van cutting into the cycle lane? Well of course being diligent they followed it. Into the cycle lane. In fact while the City Police happily ticket cycles going through red lights, they have never stopped drivers stopping in Advanced Stop Lines (cycle reservoirs at traffic signals) despite this being exactly the same traffic offence. When their driving sets an example like this, it's hardly surprising.
Getting along with the gutter? On London Wall you'll find one of the narrowest cycle lanes in the world on one of the widest roads. While the Corporation wanted a narrow cycle lane so that the ultra-wide motor traffic lanes would not have to be narrowed, their contractors cocked up and made it even narrower. We made a formal complaint but are not holding our breath...
Dismount or die? In flagrant violation of Department for Transport guidelines on cycles and roadworks, the Corporation without warning banned cycles from Newgate Street, a key cycle route, for half a year due to road works. Fortunately cyclists saw sense and ignored it. Following another complaint, the signs were removed and many have been enjoying cycling over the Bailey Bridge ever since.
This segregation in the City a few years ago shows the extremes gone to when the ring of steel was put in.