City cycle routes
|routes :: LCN+ :: old LCN :: map ...|
The City has an exceptionally poor record on delivering improvements for cycles on its roads: at least it seems to have accepted this at the Cycle Forum in September 2006. While some work was done in 1999-2001 as part of the London Cycle Network (LCN), since then it has spent money granted to it on consultants' reports. The target for completion of the LCN in 2005 has come and gone, and in late 2006 the City's own target for completion of the LCN+ (a slimmed down, higher quality revision of the LCN) of 2008 or even the Mayor's target of 2009/10 looks incredibly ambitious.
The photo above shows a kerb build and entry treatment out funded by the LCN+ in 2005 from the cycling budget. Not only has the buildout made the cycle lane go into the kerb but also a new pinch point on the bend, particularly dangerous as bendy buses are common on this route. The LCN+ has been so desperate for the City to finally spend some of its cycling grant that it has been willing to approve virtually anything. City Cyclists was not specifically consulted and think that the actions of the LCN+ and City here were an unjustifiable waste of taxpayers' money.
City Cyclists' campaigning led to London Assembly to call to "prioritise the completion of difficult routes for commuter cyclists in the City and West End" and to reduce the use of consultants due to their low level of standards: see full scrutiny report here. City Cyclists were the most quoted source in the report.
The City of London was allocated £156,000 to build the London Cycle Network + in 2004/5, spent £82,000 of which only £5000 went on cycle facilities. Of the rest £54,000 went on an "entry treatment" (see photo below) and the remaining £23,000 went on consultants' fees. That's just 3% of the allocation going on cycle facilities and bad ones at that: see our forthcoming report. The Corporation is even going so far as claiming that the original LCN is complete and the LCN+ is 30% complete so little remains to be done for cyclists.
According to the LCN+ annual report Wood Street entry treatment cost £54,000 due to special luxury stone and is 0.6km (surely 0.006km as in 6 metres?) long. It is not actually on the LCN+, does not help cyclists and worse does not even look good with the ugly bollards in the middle. The Mayor has wrongly claimed that we supported this in a report that simply does not exist. However it does make it look, at least on the balance sheet, that the City is "doing something" for cyclists...
What is a "cycle route" anyway?
The wide range of ideas as to what a cycle route is has caused much confusion, with different people having different views as to where "cyclists should go". Following the example of world class cycling cities, we believe that cyclists should be provided for:
- on main roads - for example by putting in cycle boxes at junctions or making bus lanes wide enought for buses to overtake bikes and vice versa;
- on separately signed routes through green spaces, back streets and roads with restrictions on private motor traffic to increase legibility for those keeping off the main roads - the 'official' cycle network but one on which only a minority of cycle trips will ever be made;
- generally by increasing permeability (allowing two-way cycling on one-way streets, removing banned turns etc) for cyclists so that they can flow through the City like water through a sieve, taking the shortest path.
In other words, even if a road is not an "official" cycle route, cyclists should still be considered, particularly in the City where cycling levels are already high. Information about "Local City Cycle Routes" and other campaigning will follow later.