|World Class Cycling Farcilty - Tottenham Hale|
The above demonstrates why many UK cycling facilities are derided by cyclists. Firstly, the cycle path has been formed by removing space from pedestrians. So the design is giving space to a vulnerable road user by taking it away from the most vulnerable road user. The effect? Pedestrians use the cycle lane as the path is narrow, and feel marginalised by cycling. Meanwhile two lanes of stationary traffic add to the general ambiance of the whole scene.
Then, because the pavement is so narrow, look at how the pedestrian crossing is implemented. The crossing wait area is slap bang in the middle of the cycle-lane putting cyclists in direct conflict with pedestrians.
What should happen is that part of the car road-space is given over to a 2-way cycle path. The existing cycle path is converted to pavement again. The crossing could then has the waiting area in a safe place for pedestrians, and the 2-way cycle path could be light controlled to allow pedestrians to cross without conflict from cyclists.
But this would take away road space from cars! And look at the congestion anyway! Well, the sad fact is that no matter how much space is given over to cars and no matter how much this is prioritised to vehicles, it will always get queued. Too many people decided to make their journey by car. Simply adding more capacity would increase the number of people deciding to take the car, not ease the journey for existing users. The M25, if nothing else, has taught us this.
The Tottenham Hale Gyratory is being re-designed. Since this is being done by TfL, I cannot say my hopes are high for an improvement. But maybe having two way traffic may humanise these roads a bit. I hope so, since, based on past experience, I doubt the off-road cycling provision is going to be up to much.