A lovely ride in along CSH#7 today. Another sunny but temperate day, and no problems with cars parked in the cycle lane, or vehicle encroachment into it, for the most part, except for a few buses. Of course this is still summer and the kids aren't back at school yet. Next week, I bet, it'll be a different story. More congestion will mean more drivers (and cyclists) doing stupid things.
For the first time I saw the treatment at the Stockwell Gyratory. TfL have at least done something. There is a 'middle lane' you have to get into, which is protected in part by an island that segregates it from the main traffic lane. So it's better than it used to be. But you still need to drift across the left-turning traffic to get to the 'middle lane', which is a very hazardous manoeuvre (hate spelling that word).
The downsides are the same as they've always been though. At traffic lights and junctions, there are hazards aplenty, mainly from left-turning vehicles. Motorcycles are somewhat of a problem also, because they get to the front of the junction in amongst the bikes. There are sections where you have to mix it with fairly fast-moving traffic. You're never segregated from the traffic except in the bus lanes, and they don't operate 24/7 in all cases. Which I've never understood. If there's congestion, you need the bus lane to speed up the bus journey. If there isn't congestion, there's no particular need for other motor vehicles to have an extra lane. Limiting the hours endangers cyclists, may slow buses, and for the most part doesn't improve motor journey times.