Can London go the way of Amsterdam and other Dutch cities in getting more people cycling? Read our blog post for information on how they do cycling in the Netherlands - and what it costs.
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Dutch cyclists use Dutch bikes, what means they just commute, not race. London cyclists are faster than cars.
I would support cycling lanes only if there will be speed limit in place (and actually police officer giving tickets for speeding).
London is not like Amsterdam or Copenhagen. It is London and nowhere else quite like it.
You should think of health & safety of cyclists before you promote more cycling in busy, narrow, already congested roads where cyclists inhale toxic, carcinogenic fumes from slow moving traffic, made all the slower by more cyclists and 20mph speed limits. Read www.deathofanightingale.com/blog for complete expose of the folly of this policy not just in London but elsewhere in the UK.
...and Hello again all!
I thought you might be interested in the proposal in the Mayor's new cycling vision to turn one to three Outer London boroughs into 'Mini Netherlands'.
We've got a brand new discussion thread on where these should be. Please do share your thoughts: http://tinyurl.com/bumpkfc
Talk London Community Manager
We've added a new discussion question today, 'Are we being realistic about 'Going Dutch' with cycling?', after Norman Baker suggested on Wednesday that it may not be (link to this story on the new thread): http://talklondon.london.gov.uk/getting-about/cycle-friendly-city/discus...
Would be great to hear your views.
apologies....i've posted sent two replies to Nicola's comment....I have never met a cyclist who has defended the superhighways so instantly presumed you weren't a cyclist......I was though sadly wrong....
What is the purpose of cycle lanes and what are they trying to achieve?.. There is no precise definition. Perhaps it should be laid down in law that a "Cycle lane" must be completely separate from other road traffic by means of a barrier.. If there is no barrier and drivers are free to drive over them then it becomes a "cycle route".....
.A super high way is what exactly?..A painted line on the road that provides the cyclist with
A / A clear route to work ... answer no it doesn't if cars can park on them ..which they do all too often
B/ A safe route that will encourage more people to cycle to work .....Answer No its not safe and wont encourage anyone...Though it might give cyclists a sense of security which can be lead to tragic consequences.
C / Makes the road look pretty .....Yes the road is much more colourful now...Tate Modern eat your heart out!!!
Afternoon Dave and Nicola,
Thanks for expanding on your views on and experiences of the cycle superhighways.
No problem about the duplicate post Dave, I'll remove this for you.
As for the latest discussions at City Hall, Nicola - that's a very timely question! We'll soon be starting up some new cycling discussions here which will relate to the latest work, so please do watch this space.
In what respect Nicola are superhighways great?....A blue line has been painted on a road. A line that does not stop cars driving or parking on it or that does not partition the cyclist from the car driver...Thus what is so super about it....It makes hardly any difference at all.....However it benefits the mayor to say he is doing something to aid cycling in London (ie to make it safer) when every cyclist knows the super highways are just a PR stunt....To prove my point a cyclist was killed at Bow flyover after the superhighway was introduced......I'd like to know if you are a cyclist Nicola and what part of the superhighway you cycle on and think is great.........
I'd like to see more being done to encourage cycling. The roads do need to be made safer and it is a real shame that even new roads are not being built with cyclists in mind - in particular I'm thinking of the junction at the top of Blackfriars bridge.
I'd like to see more cycle paths and cycle friendly maps. Dave, what is it you don't like about the blue cycle superhighways? Personally I think they are great.
Also, a major concern for me is the terrible condition of the roads I have to cycle on. There are a lot of big cracks and potholes along my route. This is dangerous because A, if I hit one at speed I could fall off, and B if I swerve, I could be hit by a car.
I'd also like to see a better relationship between cyclists and motorists. Some cycling campaigns seem really angry at motorists and lorry drivers which probabaly just makes motorists more annoyed at cyclists and makes cycling dangerous for all of us. I also don't think it is one-sided. Many cyclists behave dangerously too and should be educated.
Hello Wendy and Dave,
Dave, my main experience has been on the superhighway near Tower Bridge, going east past Shadwell. Although it runs along the same route as the road, it is physically on the pavement, so yes it is a lot safer than being on the road and I'd agree that lines painted on a normal road does not make it a superhighway.
So that is one thing I like about it. Secondly, I also like that on this particular one, there are not too many traffic lights and you can use crossings alongside pedestrians so you don't have to get off and walk OR feel guilty for not doing so...
There is also a similar one near Elephant and Castle which, to my knowledge, is not a line painted on the road.
Wendy, do you know what the latest discussions are about cycling at City Hall. Are there any exciting plans in the pipeline? :)
Hi NicolaHearn and Dave,
Thanks for your input. Great to hear your thoughts.
It'd be really interesting to hear more of your thoughts on the cycle superhighways. Have you used them often? What in particular do you feel are their flaws Dave?...and what do you like about them NicolaHearn?
I lived for 4 years in Holland, London in comparison is a bad dream when it comes to cycling. Quite simply our so called cycling mayor has little to nothing for cycling in London. The hire bikes are basically a favour to the mayors good friend Bob Diamond (who got a lot of free advertising for 50 million which to my knowledge still hasn't been paid to city hall ) I can't believe anyone would defend the Barclay's super highways and i'm not going to start now...I attended a cycle show in earls court long before the lanes were introduced and i was assured that parking would not be permitted on them!!!!......Basically there needs to be a hard headed cycling "tsar" in city hall who will push through proper cycle lanes in London ... I live in East London an area that is actually blessed with canals and track side verges etc that could be converted into cycle lanes. We have so many such corridors in London like canals ,motorways etc we don't need to tear down homes etc to build proper cycle lanes.
A road tunnel is going to built under the Thames at the Dome. Is there going to be a cycle attached to the road tunnel ?..of course not ....Its a question of money, will and vision....The mayor from what i can see has none of it....More cyclists will take to the road and more will die.....The government doesn't see that cycling is the solution to so many problems. Its worse than indifference its a disgrace....As for this mayor he is nothing more than a buffoon...
I would like to compliment Mr Boris Johnson for the Boris Bikes I don't know how much Mr Boris Johnson use the bikes regularly to continue "teaching by example". If he does continue then it will make a bigger difference. Also all the other leaders should teach by example and not to do as I say. This.
Thanks for contributing to so many discussions. By all accounts the Mayor is a very keen cyclist and probably uses his own bike to get around town. I personally love the Barclay's Cycle Hire Scheme myself - it gives me lots of freedom to get around quickly.
What is it you like about the scheme?
Talk London Community Manager
Apart from safer London even on health wise is good for government to introduce how people can have a good health, exercise through the cycling is one of the good style to burn fat, our great London is one of the city that has the best health system and it may be long but we can still achieve the aims, because the Boris Johnson bikes is not very close to us at Dagenham but i purchase a bicycle recently so that this can reduce the use of my car around in short distance, i thought we ve got a very tight security for our bikes at Barking station bike stands where the CCTV camera located but to my surprise my bike that worth £250 disappeared before i came out from a store in just 20 minutes i spent in the store, one of our community Police support officer tried to contact CCTV operators but the reply from them was so bad. The case was reported to police and nothing was done to get my bike back, we need more security on our bikes. Thanks for this opportunity. Long live the Queen, Boris Johnson and the rest of the Great Britain.
Fantastic idea, more should be encouraged. This will bring calm, less pollution of fumes, noise and spacier pavements.
Maybe have tricycles for people who have problems balancing and cannot cycle but allows and helps them to pedal to get around and get fit.
I recently bought a bicycle. I would literally cycle everywhere if we had separate cycle routes and safe places to leave bikes. Spend the money to make this happen. Make routes from the suburbs right through the city cycle only. It's a myth that traffic behaves like liquid, it actually behaves like a gas. http://eau.sagepub.com/content/18/1/67.full.pdf Displace cars with bikes as soon as possible! Make like Bogota and make every Sunday in London car free, where the only vehicles allowed are taxis and public transport. Increase the congestion charge zone (sorry Boris) and actively discourage people to use their cars. This will only work properly though, if cycling is facilitated.
Thanks for your thoughts Alizoo. I'm a cyclist myself and fairly confident on the road but I do worry about my bike being stolen. I use two heavy duty locks and try to lock my bike in busy, well lit areas.
I was interested in your point about having more 'safe places to leave bikes' and wondered what for you makes a 'safe' bike parking spot?
Talk London Community Manager
Cycling makes cities more civilised. Reducing dependency on the car means less pollution and an improving street scene. London is still dominated by traffic, while other international cities are taking big strides to reduce car usage London is way behind. The cities of the future wont be car dominated, if we want to keep at the head of the pack we must become more pedestrian, cycle and public transport focused. This means continuous high quality cycle routes, segregated on busy roads, European style bike traffic signals. This can only be achieved by a long term reallocation of road space which could also benefit pedestrians by providing wider pavements and new public spaces.
I think cycling in London should go the way of London. London should be the leading city in cycling culture, not just follow another city.
Cyclists should be encouraged to learn to cycle properly and other motorists should be encouraged to see cyclists as beneficial to them - less motorists clogging up the roads, etc.
Hopefully one day cycling will be seen as the best way to get around on London roads.
Thank you for your thoughts Interchris.
In addition to changes involving traffic light exceptions and left turn laws (together with tougher rules for both cars and cyclists), what are the other things you would say could make the roads safer for cyclists?
London is not insular and should learn its lessons from other cities which have more experience in certain areas. Cycling in London is definitely in severe need of encouragement and development. It's lightyears behind every city I know in Germany, for example.
Two things need to change:
1. Full commitment of politicians to support and protect cyclists. They're VULNERABLE and need MORE protection than cars. The law needs to give cyclists the benefit of the doubt and cars must be forced to be more careful.
2. This will allow cycling to become more mainstream. It's not something special that should reflect your character or your political attitude. It shouldn't be exclusive to extreme bikers. That's why the law needs to be tougher with cyclists as well. There should be clear rules and they must be enforced.
This is all a bigger endeavor because so many things (e.g. traffic light exceptions, left turn laws etc) need to be changed to make the roads less dangerous for cyclists.
Who can do that? Anyone?