Saturday, June 25, 2011

CSH8 Update

There's been a bit more work going on at Chelsea Bridge for Cycle Superhighway 8. Let's see what the TfL elves have been doing:

Above you can see the blue symbols have been added to the outside lane as you approach the north end of the bridge. Unfortunately they start too late. Cyclists will already be starting to move over before this point in a lot of cases, so there needs to be time for motorists to see the symbols and react to them. For cyclists going straight ahead or filtering on the inside, there's a narrow-ish mandatory lane provided.

Below: It's still difficult to filter on the outside because the island restricts access to the advance stop box. However, you don't want to stay on the outside because you're on the wrong side of the motors to get into the cycle lane on Grosvenor Road. The best plan may be to try to cut in between the two lanes but that can be tricky to achieve and may be dangerous if the lights change on you at an inopportune time.

 Below: they've added a cycle reservoir in the middle of the junction where you can wait to make the turn into Grosvenor Road. I'm not very convinced by this. For a start, it's too small, and it's too narrow at the front, just when faster cyclists will be overtaking slower cyclists.

These are all improvements, but they don't address the fundamental problem of how to get into advance stop box and get into a good position for the right turn. Cyclist are being forced into dangerous positions on the road for no good reason. It is not beyond the wit of man to design a junction that is more cycle-friendly than this one, and given that this is a critical junction on London's newest and most expensive cycle facility, there really is no excuse for getting it wrong. If this is the best TfL's engineers can do, they need to quit and let somebody else (perhaps somebody Dutch) have a go.


  1. They shouldn't have bothered at all...

  2. Quite. They don't have a clue. This is the same sort of rubbish they were doing 10 years ago under the old LCN. They still have not realised you have to do fundamental redesigns of junctions to have a Cycle Superhighway worth the name. But they won't do that because that would mean reducing capacity for motors.

    I think the CSHs have already become an irrelevance. The debate has moved on and cyclists are not very interested in what abstract designs TfL paints on the roads in odd places. These are not true cycle facilities and everybody knows it.

  3. I am beginning to think the CSH are actually an art project illustrating the futility of road design in the UK, with cyclists providing a permanent performance art installation about the fragility of the human form and the struggle between flesh and metal (also beautifully covered by Zola in "La Bete Humaine") at every junction.
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