My attention has been drawn, via Crap Waltham Forest and Karl McCracken, to the recent comments of Alison Dines, the leader of Islington Cyclists’ Action Group, about the possibility of safer, separated cycle lanes in London. In an interview with the local paper, principally about the dangers posed to cyclists by speeding motorists and dangerous road layouts, she argues that
People who don’t cycle say they would like to see segregated bike lanes like they do in some European cities. Unfortunately, it is never going to happen in London because we don’t have the space.
I am not sure I agree. There are undoubtedly reasons why segregated bike lanes may not happen in London – lack of political will being the most notable – but ‘space’ is certainly not one of them. Let’s take a look, for instance, at the three locations where Ms Dines identifies particular dangers to cyclists -
Speeding traffic is not the only problem. On top of that, there are the big gyratory systems at Archway, Highbury Corner and Old Street which pose big dangers.
Highbury Corner -
Old Street -
‘We don’t have the space’?
I don’t mean to criticize Ms Dines – she has correctly diagnosed that these gyratories are dangerous and unpleasant, regardless of the speed of traffic on them. But I think we should be clear about what, if anything, is preventing the construction of properly-designed, safe, segregated lanes in these areas.
It isn’t lack of space.