Saturday 28 August 2010

Waltham Forest's Cycle Superhighways

Boris' superhighways haven't got to Waltham Forest yet. But despair not, we don't need them.

No, the council has provided us with 23 miles of  cycle lanes for us to enjoy.

Like this one - leading up to the junction between Hoe Street and Selbourne road. You know, the junction which has had non-operational cycle lights for over a year.

On the Waltham Forest website, it boasts that generally the cycle lanes are 1.2M - 1.5M in width. Obviously this piece of road is one of the few exceptions, seeing as this cycle lane isn't 1M at its widest, and narrows at the top of the picture to virtually nothing. But, I understand, they couldn't fit in a decent sized cycle lane, three lanes for traffic, and an advertising hoarding into the space could they? Something clearly has to give.

Although, to be fair, the council has tried to protect the cyclist by making it for the sole use of cyclists - as indicated by the unbroken white line. Or, the line would be unbroken had it not been worn away by all the vehicles straying into it....

Or take this example - just one part of the 23 miles of cycle lanes the council has bestowed upon us. This time in Forest Road. Just before the lamp-post that features in my previous blog - the one that just can't stop attracting cars.

The council has provided us cyclists with a test of nerve just in case we were getting bored just simply cycling safely. Yes, we need to try to use the cycle lane, whilst not being doored by cars that can legally use the parking bays at any time. Whilst also trying to avoid speeding motorists squeezing between us cyclists and the pedestrian refuge. One false move and you could be bouncing between parked and speeding cars like some kind of macabre pinball game.

The parking spaces are outside the Five Star Fish Bar. It is a very popular fish and chip takeaway - and rightly so, the fish and chips are excellent. But couldn't those picking up their dinner by car be inconvenienced ever so slightly by only providing parking away from the corner? It would appear the council thinks not.

Boris can stuff his cycle superhighways. We already have 'em in Waltham Forest.

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