Is the LCC pro cycle lanes or not?

I'm a member of the London Cycling Campaign, mainly for insurance purposes but also to support the only dedicated cycling campaign we have here in London.  Much of the work they do at a local level is excellent and they have a large, loyal grassroots following.

Every few months or so they send me their 'London Cyclist' magazine and I spend a happy half hour or so reading up on their latest bike parking, lethal lorries, cycling budget or bike theft campaigns.  The most recent issue has a happy four pages dedicated to various varieties of bike parking systems (who knew there were so many?!) as well as a whole page of reviews of different brands of tyres... all exciting stuff, of course, but it was a letter from a member that really caught my eye this month so I thought I'd share it with you all here:

SEGREGATED LANES

Your last issue (Aug-Sept 2010) once again features a continental city where cycling is much safer than London - this time Copenhagen.  And as with the other cities, the prime reason for that safety is segregation of bikes and motor traffic.  Ritte Bjerregaard (former Mayor) says: "Copenhagen could never have become a successful cycling city if we hadn't created such a distinct divide between bike lanes and cars."
I have wondered for a long time why the LCC says so little about segregation of bikes and cars.  If the cities held up to us as examples stress it, why do we downplay it?  The argument that London streets are too narrow doesn't wash.  Some are, but many aren't.  Separated bike lanes are not even mentioned in the LCC's election manifesto - unless they come under the eighth and last point as 'reallocation of road space'.
In the same issue, LCC campaigns officer Charlie Lloyd says that the "number one reason non-cyclists give for not using a bicycle is that they don't feel safe."  I would think that there's nothing safer for cyclists than segregated cycling routes.  But where does LCC stand on this?

Bill Saltmarsh, SE27

The LCC responds:

When speeds and volumes of vehicles are high, LCC says separate bicycles and cars.  However, removing through traffic from residential areas and reducing speed limits can also work towards creating a cycle-friendly city.


So I thought I'd apply a little litmus test to the London Cycling Campaign's words... do LCC really push to separate bicycles and cars when speeds and volumes of traffic are high?  Do they really speak up for segregated infrastructure?  Flicking through the last 4 issues of their 'London Cyclist' magazine you wouldn't think so.  There have been...
3 features on bike theft,
2 on cycle parking,
2 on the cycle hire scheme, 
2 on HGV safety as well as features on the Skyrides,
bike week,
the Tweed Run,
Bikeability,
Rollapullaza,
cycle touring,
the general election,
a road danger map
...and one interview with the former Mayor of Copenhagen in which she clearly states that segregation is key to cycling numbers and subjective as well as physical safety.  The benefits and potential for Dutch-style cycling infrastructure here in London barely get a mention.  Hmmm...

I know a number of the people who work at the London Cycling Campaign and I know that they are extremely passionate about cycling, and indeed very knowledgeable on the ins and outs of how to deal with local planning authorities etc etc.  That is not in question here, and neither is the campaign's commitment to cycling.  I also understand how, with a wide membership base with differing views of the best approach to growing cycling they have to appeal to all.  But I would like to see a little honesty around the issue of segregated infrastructure.  If the campaign think cycle lanes are rubbish, that's okay, I'm happy to cancel my membership, but if they do think it's supposed to be part of a multifaceted approach to growing cycling can we start to hear a bit more out loud about how they are pushing for it please?  Surely that's not too much to ask, right?

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

I do agree with the LCC's point about non-segregation in quieter areas. At the risk of sounding all happy-clappy, surely the ultimate goal is for all road users (cars, lorries, bikes, taxis, that bloke pushing his market stall down the road) to accept that we are collectively using shared spaces? Adding bike lanes creates a barrier to that acceptance.

This us/them attitude is a major part of the problem

Phil

Mark said...

Phil, I agree with the LCC regarding quiter roads too, of course these should be safe areas on which to cycle.

However, what I am trying to get at here, is whether they are really pushing for cycle lanes and segregation on the busy main roads or not? The feature articles in their magazine would perhaps suggest not... Where are the campaigns about segregated infrastructure on the A roads for example?

Tim Lennon said...

Mark,

I watch videos from Amsterdamized and the like, and read posts like this one: http://amsterdamize.com/2010/10/18/thinkbike-the-opening-ceremony/ and I think to myself: what we actually need to do is get our traffic planners to think about how to *reduce* the number of car journeys, partly as a route towards using somme of that road space for proper cycling infrastructure.

Both LCC and CTC (of which I'm a member) seem overly focused on the presumption that we can't remodel existing roads and facilities, and we just have to get on. If we can't have campaigining cycling organisations who makke a really clear statement in these areas, where the hell do we go??

Cheers,

Tim.

Anonymous said...

As a regular and committed cyclist I am totally against the idea of segregated cycle lanes. They simply serve to reinforce many motorists' notion that cyclists do not belong on the road. Also, there is nothing more irritating for cyclists who travel faster than ambient traffic - ie 20mph plus, to be stuck behind slow cyclists, as would happen if we were forced to use lanes. I enjoy being able to speed round London by bike, beating the car and public transport hands down; and whilst I have absolutely no issue whatsoever with slower cyclists, I hardly want to get stuck behind them as I'm forced to use a 'special' lane, which will in no time be filled with broken glass, litter, and myopic pedestrians. The LCC's time and money should be spent on educating all road users (including) cyclists, rather than reinforcing stereotypes.

Mark said...

Thanks, Anonymous, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

I totally understand that you like to zip around London at high speeds, but no one would force you to use cycle lanes would they? There's still the rest of the roadway if you want to take that route.

But would you agree that if we want to grow cycling in London to mass cycling levels the majority of people (think of Mums with kids, your Gran, people like that) wouldn't want to mix it up with the fast traffic? That's the opportunity that cycle lanes present; somewhere where everyone can feel safe riding. The reason why the majority of people don't cycle is because they are terrified of sharing the roads which are more busy with cars than ever before. Are you saying you'd rather have the right (not that a cycle lane would take this away) to ride in heavy traffic than promote a proven solution which could bring about mass cycling? I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

Cyclists in the City said...

I think the problem is that 'committed cyclists' are people who are happy to cycle on the road and pretend to be motor traffic. And that's why LCC is snookered. Because the latent demand for cycling is from people who aren't committed cyclists and people who don't want to pretend to cycle like a motorbike.

One of the non LCCers who works for me wanted to cycle to Camden last night. A route he'd never taken. He's a fit, 30year old who likes his pints and his football. And he came in to ask me the best route to get there. "I don't like cycling in the traffic" he said. He actually admitted it scares him. This isn't some wimpy guy. He's pretty tough minded and tough physically.

LCC doesn't represent him. And it doesn't represent the dozen other cyclists in my team here because they all think this stuff about cycling in the traffic is rubbish.

I really think our problem is that we're represented by campaign groups who aren't really seeing that the people who want to cycle more dont' think like them....

Ps thanks for the compliments on the site yesterday!

Jim said...

Cyclists in the City nails it, I think. LCC depend for a very large chunk of their income on the committed, kit-wearing, magazine-subscribing cyclists, as opposed the masses who don't care about the lifestyle but would cycle more if it was more convenient and safe. Maybe we need a League of Would-Be Cyclists!

Mark said...

I don't know... maybe it's a question of misconception.. maybe the people at LCC (and all the other campaigns) *think* that their members are hard core VCers, but their own experience should tell them differently...

What about the 9000 women who signed a petition asking for safer roads, with specific reference to achieving this through the provision of segregated cycle lanes?
http://road.cc/content/news/12972-9000-women-petition-minister-improve-road-safety-cyclists

Or the Sustrans survey, in Autumn 2009 which revealed that 79% of women in the UK never cycle. The reason they gave? They don't feel safe cycling in traffic. 67% of that number said that they would cycle if safer, separate cycling routes were created. (I think it was this study which lead to the petition)

Is it perhaps that our campaigns think they know best and pick and choose what they think will best achieve higher cycling rates?

mintea said...

People who are opposed to separate cycle lanes in the city have probably never actually used a decent, well-planned cycle lane, so of course they don't want more of a bad thing.

Having lived in Amsterdam, where they have real proper lanes, with enough room to ride, in the proper direction (with traffic, no counter flow, no two ways in one cycle lane) it makes riding safe and pleasurable. It does not create an us/them mentality between cars and cyclists. If anything, riding in traffic creates animosity as slowing down the flow of cars only makes drivers angry at cyclists. You can believe all you want that as a cyclist you can ride out with cars in traffic, but you are slow and vulnerable, no matter how much experience you have riding.


If we had real segregated lanes, EVERYONE would be happy. And if you want to speed around on your bike London, yes, you will probably make people angry. Cars should not race through a city and honestly, neither should a bike. If you want to go fast take it to the track or outside of town. I can't count how many times some guy (and yes sorry, it's always a male rider) races past me as a light turns green (slowing down at intersections is apparently for wimps) just to meet him again at the next set of lights. It's just not really feasible to be speed racer in a city with the number of lights/pedestrians, etc. It's not safe and not really worth the extra 5 minutes (maybe if you are a courier and you need that extra five minutes, but its rarely a courier I see doing these stupid manoeuvres)


Which brings up another point: pedestrians. In Amsterdam, because the bike lanes were completely separate from the pavement, I rarely had a problem running into them, or having them walk in the path (with the exception of tourists). Again, a well-thought out properly designed cycle path, that is integrated into the road/lights/pavements is what we need. Most of the complaints people have against them are because the ones we have in London right now are completely wrong.

Anonymous said...

Hi mark, unfortunately the campaigning groups such as lcc and the ctc have long been hijacked by the vehicular cycling advocates. This has also allowed the dft and tfl to get away with not providing adequate cycling infrastructure. As the LCC and CTC are not really in favour of it. If we are to see levels of modal share for cycling equivalent to that in Denmark or Holland then we need more dedicated cycling infrastructure. The LCC and CTC need to work at representing the interests of all cyclists not just the enthusiasts that currently dominate their campaigning activities.

Paul said...

I made a failed attempt to post here a couple of hours ago but no matter, several people have said what I would have said.

I actually think LCC doesn't want cycle lanes, for broadly two reasons, one good and one not so: the good reason is that it doesn't want councils letting themselves off the hook by throwing a bit of paint around in a poorly conceived or executed fashion - and we all know there are plenty of those. (Does anyone remember the lane on Blackfriars bridge NBound, sandwiched in between two lanes of fast moving motor traffic?)

The other is less honourable: LCC fear that if cycle lanes are provided, whether segregated or not, weel or poorly designed and maintained, they will in effect become compulsory. Ride on the road, and if you are injured and make a claim you will have your award reduced for contributory negligence, or worse - remember the prosecution of Daniel Cadden?

LCC and CTC are - or at least perceive themselves to be - associations for "road warriors" who want to ride fast and far, all suited and booted on top-end bikes. If they perceive - if we tell them - that actually their membership base now, and potentially in future, comes more from the agnostic cyclist, the "slow bicycle club", perhaps they will review their approach to segregated lanes.

Jim said...

Mark, just a thought: Would it be worthwhile you contacting LCC to see if you can write a pro-segregation piece to go in the magazine? Would be one way of moving the debate forward in a constructive fashion.

Mark said...

@Paul You've reached the point that I kind of wanted to make in the post, which is I think those of us who are for good quality cycle lanes need to speak up about them. We need to start telling the LCC (and others) that if they ARE pro cycle lanes there needs to be more effort and louder words about them.

@Jim I will be sending a copy of this blog post, and the comments herein to the LCC and asking for a response. I agree an article in the magazine about proper cycle infrastructure would be a good starting point for debate. We *are* going to have the pro/anti debate, but at least it will help to get the ball rolling rather than the radio silence we are seeing at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Where I live in Canada - I happen to have a wonderful flat two lane segregated path along a pleasant canal - which takes me 5 KM directly into the heart of my city. So there is no excuse for all those people who are scared of traffic. Well unfortunately, even this is not good enough. You see, there is always one more excuse to be had. I doubt more than 300 people use it to get to work. It could easily handle 3000.

So count me as one that thinks we can segragate all we want - this is only one small part of the problem. If we have x amount to spend on getting more people to start biking - the most expensive thing to focus on is segregation. More bang for the buck is advertising and making biking acceptable.

arh14 said...

@ Anonymous

I'm sorry to hear that. However, the flip side of this is the three countries to achieve the highest rates of cycling also have extensive segregated networks. They are the Netherlands, Denmark and, to a lesser extent, Germany.

Segregation won't work solely on its own. You need also to promote cycling as a viable and realistic method of transport.

I think also the reason why your path might not be used that much is because it might be, as you describe it, just a path. Cycling only becomes a viable and realistic method of transport once you have a network, not just one route from A-B.

As for me, I'm a London cyclist and I strongly support segregation. The problem is most of our public bodies are still car obsessed. That's why it's so 'difficult' here. Cars rule at every level. And right now, I can't see it changing.

I still continue to hope though; I'd even join a campaign group.

Anonymous said...

I'm a newbie female london cyclist still getting to grips with the crazy traffic....
I'm definately pro segregated cycling lanes. We also need clearer links with quieter roads and better signs/markings to make it easier for newer cyclists to navigate.
We have campaigns for cycle theft,hgv awareness and cycle parking. I think there would be a real interest in a campaign for better cycle infrastructure that would encourage the voices of a wider variety of cyclists like myself and many of those who posted here. This would help highlight the fact that the majority of cyclists in london are just (for want of a better word) ordinary people who enjoy no fuss cycling and just want to feel safe doing it!
Zoe.

Anne said...

The comment by the anonymous "totally committed cyclist" above really underscores for me that sometimes cyclists as a group are their own worst enemy.

People who run cycling advocacy organizations seem to be generally of the lycra-and-clips type, and when they say they want more cyclists, I truly believe that they envision more cyclists just like them. They use terms like "newbie" to describe riders who roll slower than they do, quite as if with a little more practice the newbs will "graduate" to "real" cycling.

With that kind of thinking, it makes perfect sense to advocate for no separated facilities. "What if it makes me have to slow down behind some newbie?" is the wail--what they really mean is what if it makes me have to slow down behind older people, women in skirts, and children on the way to school? What if I have to wait a whole bridge span to overtake one of those "not real" cycllists? What if my average commute time goes down? What will happen to my self-image (or my fitness regimen) then?? Oh nooooo!

Until LCC (and other urban bike advocacy groups) change their fundamental perspective on what bike-riding in the city is, they will continue to be blind to the fact that majority of potential bike-riders never want to go fast, or work out, or wear lycra, or clip in. And until then, they'll continue to remain silent on separated facilities, because in their hearts, they really, really don't want to slow down or make way or share the road.

In that respect, they're not much different from entitled SUV drivers, they just consume less fuel.

christhebull said...

I'm guessing no-one who isn't so keen on segregation has never got stuck while filtering, which surely holds most cyclists up more than other cyclists... Obviously narrow cycle routes aren't going to appease speed freaks, so how about semi segregated lanes using traffic cylinders (a bit like under Admiralty Arch, but longer and wider) - that way cars can't enter but you can still move into the main traffic lane to overtake...

VéloNdon said...

I guess I'd class myself as a 'vehicular cyclist' although I think that's a pretty awful phrase to use. A lot of the comments on here seem to be written by people who see themselves as cyclists through the eyes of motorists. I think it's worth pointing out that cyclists have as much (if not more) right to be on the road than cars, after all, drivers have to be licenced for the privilege of using them! Us cyclists have a right to use the road networks - which afterall we all pay for, yet it seems some of us would rather be forced off the roads. Why? So the motorist can have their collective cake? I'm sorry but segregation is a dirty word. Force cyclists off the road, and you are only reinforcing the perception so wrongly held by many motorists, namely that we have no right to be on the roads at all.

Now consider that in a city such as London, building seperate paths would prove next to impossible on all but the biggest roads and the problem becomes apparent, it would simply be impossible to build a joined up network, complete with junctions (separate traffic light systems etc), our roads and pavements are too narrow for the most, especially in central London, and the costs would be prohibitive. It's all well and good citing Germany/Holland etc. But these countries have a number of key advantages: Firstly a culture of cycling that has existed for many many years, and secondly more modern cities and road networks, particularly in Germany where WWII bomb damage saw whole swathes of cities rebuilt - so they had wider, purpose built road networks, whereas many London streets where built for a simpler time. We are constrained by our history.

Surely it is better to spend our time lobbying for money to be spent on integrated cycle lanes and education, rather than fighting amongst ourselves with the 20mph + roadie slagging off the 10mph urban commuter and vice versa? We're all in this together. Build segregated lanes and we'll all have to use them, and I agree with another poster on this front - I don't want to get stuck behind other cyclists. One of the reasons I took up cycling was to get around London faster than driving or using public transport, and before you jump in here, I'm not talking about racing, or being reckless, or jumping lights or endangering others, but cycling fast where it is safe/possible to do so - especially as this helps me keep fit twice a day, much better than going to a gym. I have no issue whatsoever with slower cyclists, I was one once, and my fiancee still is. But segregate us, and we'll all have to use the same narrow lanes (and they would inevitably be narrow), or if not, the motorists perception will be that we should be. 'Use the bloody cycle path' etc etc, we've all had that shouted at us. That doesn't seem right to me.

Cycling in London is not dangerous, this is borne out by statistics. The issue is that people regard it as being dangerous. My fiancee was in that boat, so I worked out a route for her, rode with her a few times and in no time at all she was cycle commuting from Willesden to Tower Hill, via Edgware road and Embankment, two big, busy, fast roads; and you know what? She was fine, she enjoyed it and she was perfectly safe. What new, nervous, scared cyclists need is good advice and support, not separate lanes. The more of us there are on the roads, the more motorists will accept us and show us courtesy. I've been riding in London for 8 years now, and I'm really gratified about the steadying rise in our numbers. We don't need segregating we need including, that's how you bring about a change in culture and perception.

Ramble over.

Sirius7dk said...

@ VeloNdon

The only reason that countries such as Denmark and NEtherlands have a cycle culture at all is because they have had a network of segregated bike lanes for years, and those lanes did not come because of the existing culture, but because the governments in the 2 countries realised that oil dependency was not the way forward in the 70ties.

Before the car became common, UK, Denmark and Netherlands had the same levels of cycling.

Do you read David Hembrow's blog? Read his posts in this link and tell me that there is not enough space in Britain: http://hembrow.blogspot.com/search/label/notenoughspace

In Denmark (where I am from) the cycle lanes are not as wide as they often are in Netherlands but you can overtake slower cyclists because they are wide enough for 2 cyclists so old women does NOT slow one down, aand if people are cycling side by side, a simple ring with your bell would make them let you pass.

You are afraid that you would lose the right to cycle on the road, but in Denmark there are plenty of paths that are nothing but a painted white lane in the side of the road, and this would be the case in Britain too on some roads depending on the speed of cars.

Rasmus Jensen

iswas said...

Couldn't disagree more with Velondon.

I couldn't care less about my right to ride on the road to be honest. I don't WANT to ride there. Right now I'm forced to and I don't like it.

Do you know, I don't see myself as a motorist and I don't want the law to see me as that either. This seems to me like some sort of inferiority complex. I'm not surrounded by a tonne of steel and I'm happy for that to be acknowledged. I want separate facilities, with priority over the motorists, not to be thrown in to fight it out with them and battle for space. I'm not a pedestrian, and I'm not a car. What's wrong with us being a third type of transport?

I also honestly can't comprehend how people can't see that for most people, both the idea and reality of riding alongside motorbikes, buses and taxis is bloody horrible! It's not always dangerous, true, but it's often unpleasant and stressful.

We are not all racers who want to weave in and out of traffic, and that's exactly what vehicular cycling means in reality if you want to get ahead on London's streets (which seems to be the major concern). Filter left or right... will I make it... are those lights about to go green... is that car going to turn... should I go to the outside instead... what about the oncoming cars... he's going pretty quickly... oops almost hit by a scooter doing the same thing but FAST...

I'm sure for some all that is a buzz but personally, I'd rather relax on the way home!

Cyclists in the City said...

re the point about compulsory. LCC quite rightly fought very hard to ensure that the latest Highway Code specifically doesn't insist cyclists MUST use cycle facilities. In the current regime of crap cycle lanes, I think that's reasonable.

However, look at Germany. In Germany, you MUST use the cycle provisions. In fact, if you're under 8 you also MUST cycle on the pavement!

But in Germany, the cycle provisions aren't a complete joke in the way they are here. In some cities (Cologne) they are pretty bad. In Berlin they are pretty good. But the point is they are all much better than here and so people don't mind using them. Hence, no problem with the legal obligation to use them.

We've got the worst of both worlds, though. An impending threat that we might have to use the cycle facilities but absolutely atrocious facilities on the ground.

And no sustained representation to local or central government with a consistent message.

And I genuinely believe there's no reason that 50% of journeys in the UK couldn't be by bicycle. And what we cyclists need to be doing is working out ways to encourage the 49% of people who don't cycle but might to. LCC and CTC, in my opinion, are focussed too much on the fewer than 1% of us who already put up with the crap road conditions, the unbalanced Highway Code obligations etc...

question is really how to make it happen because I don't see it happening by itself. Or is that not fair?

Mark said...

Thanks @Sirius7dk @velonlondon and @iswas for joining the debate and sharing your opions. It's really good that we can all discuss this at depth, and I think it's worth remembering that outside of cycling circles most people wouldn't even know that this sort of debate exists - most people just have some vague notion of what cyclists 'are' or 'do' in their minds, and that's a weakness. (See my previous post about the need for a cycle lobby)

Whilst I value the contributions here I don't want this to become a protracted, possible divisive, debate about the pros and cons of segregation (we're all 2 wheeled brethren here after all!) Regardless of your personal opinions of segregation what I think we can all recognise is that the LCC has said they advocate for cycle lanes and segregation and yet we've heard little about this from them and there's been even less still in their magazine... so... are they or aren't they? That's the big question I'm really trying to get at here (and not to try and divide the cycling camp in any way but to try and promote a discourse about cycle lanes and the Dutch model, which I think it is something worth our having)

Philip Loy said...

I would urge anyone who wishes to influence the campaign priorities of groups like London Cycling Campaign to get involved with them! One or two people in this discussion thread I know already are, but more voices being heard, and more active involvement from people will I believe only strengthen groups like LCC in getting the general message across. Now more than ever.

iswas said...

Apologies for getting hung up on the segregation issue!

The fact is though, that there is something of an idealogical divide (of which the segregation debate is a symptom) which is one of the problems that WE as cyclists/"people on bikes" have.

Without resolution, this is going to hamstring everything we do, irrespective of the best intentions of all parties.

Quite right about getting involved though. I look with envy at the Camden Cyclists' website - so much info, the route maps, the campaign history... it makes me want to take part. My only contact with my local organisation - HFCyclists - didn't really encourage me to get further involved. Perhaps LCC membership would be a good place to start.

Mark said...

As ever, words of wisdom from Mr Philip Loy - I suppose, with funding scarcer than ever, that the strength in groups like the LCC will be in it's members so there's one reason to get another. If the campaign *is* (and I'm not saying that it is) overly dominated by people who don't think cycle lanes are a good idea then there's another reason to get involved - we can help to redress the balance somewhat.

To start with, I'm going to be writing to LCC, with a copy of this blog post and the comments under, saying it would be great if we could have an article in the next magazine about the strengths and desirability of Dutch-style infrastructure, and offering up my services to their campaigns for the same.

Who's with me?!! :o)

Chris said...

Going back to the original question, which was: 'Is the LCC pro cycle lanes or not'

Well, LLC will say: Yes: "When speeds and volumes of vehicles are high, LCC says separate bicycles and cars.".

'speeds and volumes' - I ask you.

I think LCC pays lip service to Dutch Model Infrastructure - preferring to focus time and resources on less politically contentious aspects of cycling, like: theft, training, and marketing young girls with flowing locks cycling down a car free street...and so on. Fair enough really - it's what the membership wants.

Surely, the question should be re-written: 'Is the LCC pro 30% cycling mode share?'

For all the reasons I've pointed out on previous posts, and touched on by people in this thread, the answer has be a resounding: NO. It's unbelievable isn't it, how can it be NO?

You can talk and campaign all you want about bike parking, the helmet debate, Bikeability - but none of these have a track record of encouraging large mode share. My view is LCC is either: institutionally pro Vehicular Cycling (in which case we're doomed); or, has simply given up campaigning on the really politically tough issues surrounding Dutch Model Infrastructure (which means we're only 'probably' doomed).

Think about it - there's absolutely no-one out there campaigning for segregated infrastructure (apart from Hembrow & freewheeler) - Sustrans isn't really a campaign organisation. Regardless of your stance on the issue, doesn't that strike you as rather odd?

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

Your article mentions separated bike lanes a la Copenhagen and cites an interview with the former Mayor of Copenhagen who says, 'segregation is key to cycling numbers and subjective as well as physical safety.'

Which I wholeheartedly believe in... but then you go to say, 'the benefits and potential for *Dutch-style* cycling infrastructure here in London barely get a mention. Hmmm...'

Did you mean Danish-style cycling? I wonder because you mention Copenhagen twice; The Netherlands not once.

Dutch = of The Netherlands
Danish = of Denmark

Sorry to be pedantic. Although of course, that great city of cycling, Amsterdam, has segregated cycle lanes and is also Dutch!

Branko Collin said...

"It's unbelievable isn't it, how can it be NO?"

Why not? Their stated goal seems to be "to make London a world-class cycling city". That does not have to conflict with a low modal share---although they'd probably have to justify themselves to non-cyclists for promoting cycling as an elitist activity.

If you need an organisation that promotes a high modal share in London, perhaps you should start one. (But first, find out what LLC's stance is---no use duplicating their efforts.)

Mark said...

Hi anonymous, don't worry, we don't mind a little bit of pedenatry here :o)

Of course Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and Amsterdam is in the Netherlands, but what I meant by 'Dutch-style' infrastructure is the sort of bike lane which was pioneered by the Dutch and later copied to great success by Denmark and to a lesser extent Germany. The Dutch did it first and best in my opinion, I merely referred to Copenhagen specifically because of the interview with that city's former Mayor which had appeared in the LCC magazine.

Credit where credit is due (and I do understand that there are some differences between their styles of segregated infrastructure) the Dutch-style (as in of the Netherlands) bike paths are the most desirable :o)

PS If you're interested in the differences between the two the entertaining piece by David Hembrow 'The Truth about Copenhagen' over on his blog makes for an interesting read!

iswas said...

If anybody out there starts an organisation campaigning for Dutch (or Danish:P) style facilities in London I'll join in a second!

mintea said...

How can people like VéloNdon believe that there is no room for cycle paths in London, yet believe that there is room in Amsterdam? Has he ever been there? Amsterdam's streets are much much narrower and also there is the little issue of their network of canals. In the centre a lot of places barely have pavements. I would say Amsterdam is actually a MORE difficult city to carve out cycle paths than London. But they did it. They MADE room. And it's not that hard, it is possible to do in London. The belief that it isn't is just wrong and damaging.

I'm all for a separate campaign of some kind for segregation if that's what's needed, as it really sounds like the LCC just doesn't get it, for whatever reason. I think it's probably the single most important issue for cycling in Britain. Why cling to an organisation that has so little power anyway? We need a new approach.

Chris said...

@mintea: 'a new approach' - now that's an idea.

I'm not a creative type, but how about this for starters:

'MODE
- Dedicated to Cycling and Walking for all.'

A new organisation doing exactly what it says on the tin.

'New organisation MODE (as in: modal share) was launched today with the sole intention of increasing walking and cycling rates. Tired of poor walking and cycling infrastructure, Mark, one of the founding members, had this to say at the official launch party:....'

freewheeler said...

Take a look at the LCC’s impoverished notion of how the roads must be made more cycle-friendly

The LCC is quite clear where it stands: It believes the city’s roads should be made safer and shared by motorists and cyclists.

Until the LCC gets round to producing a coherent philosophy of how mass cycling in London is to be achieved it will remain an obstacle to mass cycling, not an enabler.

ndru said...

I am all up for a brand new organization that wouldn't promote cycling at all. What it would promote though is creating bicycle paths and walking spaces by taking space away from cars. I am very sure that this itself would promote cycling enough. I've been thinking about it for some time now, but I don't have enough experience or knowledge to start anything like this myself, yet "you have my bike" if anyone sets up something like this.

Charlie Holland said...

In my view prioritisation at junctions is a major issue to be tackled before segregation can really work in the UK. I've explained my thoughts here:

http://kenningtonpob.blogspot.com/2010/10/segregation-and-integration.html

Anonymous said...

Re: cyclists being forced off the road

What about bus lanes? Buses have their own lanes and they have not been forced off the road, have they? :P

allthatjazz said...

Absolutely agreed.

Why don't we set up an organisation to represent those of us (and those women and their children and older people) who want physically segregated cycle lanes* in London?

*not enforced, but equipped with fully segregated facilities all the way

ibikelondon said...

@allthatjazz That's exactly what the Cycle Embassy of Great Britain is aiming for. See my blog post from yesterday! Great minds think alike...

Mustafa Arif said...

Umm... LCC campaigned for years on the London Cycle Network, then the London Cycle Network+. They didn't work out so well. I hope you will understand that when there are so many things one could campaign on that if you keep failing at one aspect it might be a good idea to try something else for a while. Fear of bike theft (in London) is the second biggest reason people cite for not cycling in London. HGVs are the major cause of cyclist fatalities. But of course LCC did come up with proposals for central London 'bike grid' and could campaign on these areas again in the future. Neither the members nor a majority of activists are "hardcore vehicular cyclists". It's a democratic body - get involved if you want to.