What you tolerate you encourage....
TFL and the Corporation of London have just spent over a two million pounds refurbishing Holborn Viaduct, a bridge that crosses and narrows one of the most important road routes through London.
Leading up-to Blackfriars bridge where cyclists outnumber cars, taxis and buses every morning.... Farringdon road is used by thousands of working Londoners cycling to work everyday.
The bridge itself is a Victorian masterpiece. Despite having span that is four lanes wide the bridge is narrower than the carriageway to it's North and South.
This is a choke point, the carriage way is narrowing, the cycle lane curves into route of motor traffic and the road darkens as you enter under the viaduct.
Photo: Looking South.
So how did TFL do? To protect the bridge from vehicles striking it, TFL have built concrete kerbs on either side of the bridge. The new raised kerb is a significant improvement on the previous concrete walls that used to be in place.
You can see from the photo below the raised kerb by the inside wall of the bridge. This is an understandable design requirement and ironically, the construction of it is similar to the type of kerb used to segregate a cycle lane for motor traffic.
Photo - Looking North on Farringdon
Photo - Looking South on Farringdon
I say ironically because you will notice that TFL have put the cycle lane on the wrong side of the separator.
That's right, in the Mayor's Vision for London, cycling is supposed to be encouraged and segrated bicycle lanes on busy roads are part of TFL's road design tool box. This cycle lane could and should have been built on the inside of the kerb. This solution would not have narrowed the traffic lane at all.
In fact you could have combined the raised kerb with the cycle lane and widened both the cycle lane, the roadway and had the same protection for the bridge (allowing for a proper cycle land on the Northbound lane)
But no...... lazy, wasteful, unacceptable planning from TFL continues to be the norm.
Photo: TFL Buses and TFL licensed taxis travelling at 30 mph and clipping the cycle lane
Photo: 30 MPH overtaking and about to swerve to the left as dictated by TFL's roadmarkings
I work in a business in Southwark street, where forty of the hundred plus employees we have cycle to work. Businesses depend on workers getting to work by bike. As a Londoner,a resident, a worker, a father.... I don't understand why taxpayers money is being spent with so little thought.
Around the corner from this idiocy Skanska are building the New Ludgate complex opposite the Old Bailey. I read with interest the quote on the hoardings last week, did anyone at TFL?
'The quality and availability of workplace cycle facilities influences the career choices of more than 50% of respondents'
We don't always need more money to build a great cycling city but we do require that TFL reject thinking that a LA highway engineer would be proud of.
This is London in the 21st century.
London. Jan 2014