A while back, Jim from Moneybox Junction pointed me in the direction of this – the Department of Transport’s cycling infrastructure consultation exercise – and I went to have a look because public consultation exercises are generally good for a laugh, if this one was anything to go by. But I was surprised – and pleasantly so – to find that the document was actually full of that rarest of government commodities, sound common sense (as well as some wonderful jargon, which I’m a sucker for. Intergreen interval anyone? Tapping plate? Defining the dynamic envelope?)
This leaves me somewhat confused. If the people in the DoT can come up with such sensible sentiments (bad cycle lanes are worse than no cycle lanes, the best provision for cyclists are quiet roads, roundabouts are lethal to cyclists and should ideally be narrowed, underpasses are a bad idea for pedestrains or cyclists) then who the hell came up with this:
Yes, it’s a cycle lane THROUGH a roundabout. The intrepid cyclist, should he or she ever dare to use it, intending to turn right onto Lambeth Bridge from the Albert Embankment, has to cut across the two lanes of traffic on the roundabout, cycle through the middle and then emerge in precisely the place motorists will be least expecting them in order to cut across two lanes again and rejoin the flow of traffic. OK, so it’s a traffic-light controlled roundabout, and so not quite the killing machine for cyclists that it could be but it’s still mad.
But it’s not that maddest thing about the roundabout in question. The maddest thing about the roundabout in question appeared last week:
Yes, it’s … well, I’m not entirely sure what it is to be honest with you. I almost cycled into the side of a taxi trying to work it out on Friday. My best guess is that, realising just how lethal their little cycle lane is, the council has pre-emptively put up a floral tribute to those who will fall in their attempts to use it. Either that, or Lambeth are a little behindhand on their Tour de France planning, and haven’t quite realised it’s been and gone already.