Brockley to central London - by superhighway

Boris Johnson has announced his plans for cycle 'superhighways' connecting outlying areas of the capital with the centre by blue-painted, dedicated bike lanes.

Route 5 will run from Lewisham through (the northern reaches of) Brockley along the A20 and A202 (Peckham, Camberwell, Vauxhall) to Victoria, connecting with routes 6 and 7 which will provide access to the heart of the city (via Elephant & Castle).

BoJo promises the routes will be 'cycle-dedicated, safe and convenient'. Critics say they will be little more than glorified cycle lanes. What do Brockley's teeming hordes of cycling commuters think?

43 comments:

Hugh said...

Heh. Anyone else tried cycling from New Cross through Peckham and Camberwell to Vauxhall on a weekday morning? Forget it. Gridlock.

Richard Elliot said...

I've never done it in rush hour, but I don't mind that route. There are a few "pinch points" where there is no bus lane to cycle in, so any dedicated cycle routes would be good.

I think the main killer on the bike is all the traffic lights you have to stop/start at. I can't see the majical blue lines getting rid of those.

Nina said...

So the plan is to direct cyclists along main roads that are teeming with cars and buses during rush hour and also at school pick up times? Sorry, is that meant to be an innovative approach to cycling in London?

Hugh said...

If you want to get to Vauxhall from Brox there's a better way, anyhow. Over Telegraph Hill, left up Nunhead high street, across Peckham Rye through East Dulwich, Herne Hill and Brixton then up past Stockwell to Vauxhall. Reasonably light on traffic until Brixton. I do it every weekday as my commmute.

Brockley Nick said...

To get to Victoria, I go via Old Kent Road. Bus lanes along nearly the whole route, which offer some protection from traffic. Whether I'd take this route instead would depend on whether it would make a substantive difference from a safety perspective.

Anonymous said...

cycling lanes are dangerous for cyclists.

Hugh said...

Nick, what do you ride?

Let's talk bikes.

Monkeyboy said...

Hugh, we discussed the whole 'hugh' thing on Thursday. It's one of those philosophical thought experiments. If a blogger doesn't attend a BC pub event does he really exist?

I materialised, so ruining the theory that I was some kind of software based automatic bullshit generator. Next time Hugh, next time....

sonofagun said...

Well if he is going to put cycle superhighway in,Its about time the cyclist started coughing up some kind of tax to pay for it

Hugh said...

Monkeyboy, does it matter whether I exist? I post, which is more important.

Anonymous said...

I used to ride 100 miles a week around London before all these jessie cycle-lanes sprung up - and I've got the scars to prove it!

Cyclists don't need cycle lanes - just keep eye contact with people in cars, don't wear headphones, and don't jump the lights.

Hugh said...

Not sure I want your scars.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. For me, I started cycling a lot eight years ago, and then four years ago found that it was the other cyclists (not the car traffic) which made it dangerous. There are some REALLY agressive cyclists out there, and it has gotten worse over time. I'm not faint hearted, and am pretty good defensive cyclist, but I've started to take train more often rather than face the agressiveness of an increasing minority of cyclists.

A superhighway would be great, but so long as there is a modicum of 'control', so it does not become a free for all, with fastest and most agressive taking over.

Bruce said...

I would love to see Brockley (I live up in Hilly Fields) to central London by super highway! I find the first 2/3 of my trip to London central (Strand area) is fine along back roads and suggested cycle routes (I avoid major roads where problem), but the last 1/3 is not as fun, as I battle cars and other cyclist. Perhaps this would give more room and make a clear path into the main central parts of London?

Anonymous said...

I have a foot-long scar on my left upper thigh from when I broke the top of my femur (by falling on a curb) and fixed by a metal plate (now removed) and I have a scar above my left eye, couple of inches long, and a slight indentation left by a break of the bone on my eyebrow (whatever that's called) when I came off navigating a corner (in front of a pantechnicon) near London Bridge.

I got £5000 for the break to my leg...

Anonymous said...

If cyclists want pot holes filled,make them fill them themselves

Brockley Nick said...

what does that even mean anon?

sonofagun - most cyclists also own cars and therefore already pay road tax. the rest pay all sorts of other taxes. These "super highways" will presumably be little more than road painting - hardly a big cost.

Cycling reduces congestion, pollution and oil use, while improving health - we should be encouraging it, not imposing taxes, to discourage it.

If all those cyclists got in their cars and drove to work, it would be gridlock. If they got on the trains, the morning commute would be even more crowded.

Brockley Nick said...

Monkeyboy, someone at work thought that Brockley Kate was my norman bates-style alter ego.

Brockley Nick said...

Oh, cycling also cuts noise pollution and makes roads less dangerous for pedestrians. It frees-up parking spaces in central london and gives hugh those wonderful thighs, which the rest of us can ogle. In short, there are massive public gains to be had from encouraging cycling. Well worth the cost of some blue paint, I'd suggest.

Anonymous said...

agree utterly Nick, the bicycle will endure

Anonymous said...

Apart from the couriers who dont seem to give a damn about anyone

Ross said...

"sonofagun - most cyclists also own cars and therefore already pay road tax. the rest pay all sorts of other taxes. These "super highways" will presumably be little more than road painting - hardly a big cost."

as far as i'm aware that money you (i say you, i own a car and pay too - not that it matters) goes towards the DVLA to pay for their operations.
again, as far as i'm aware, the majority of roads are funded through the council. ie your council tax pays for all the road repairs or paint or whatever.

very interesting topic and funnily enough the first couple of comments about pecknarm highstreet hit home especially this week as a female cyclist tragically went under a lorry at the bellenden road turning on the highstreet. apparently it wasn't a fatality which is incredibly lucky but she would be the second or perhaps even third in as many months.

i personally don't believe in cycle lane schemes. the cycle lanes seem to do more harm than good. they teach people that it's ok to cycle up the inside of everyone else which generally leads to accidents or even fatalities.
it's worrying that someone who has never had any kind of formal training on the roads is allowed to get on a bike and cycle through (i image) the busiest roads in the country. there are far, far too many dangerous and clueless cyclists out on the roads i've talked about it before on here about people trying to under take, people RLJ'ing extremely irresponsibly and just generally cycling like lawless idiots.
it's all well and good promoting a "summer of cycling" and proposing all these cycle highways but if they don't teach people there's more to hopping on a bike and peddling blind down the road oblivious to everyone else then there are going to be a lot more accidents. likewise they need to get some motorists attitudes towards cyclists to change, as someone who drives i can understand that there are some really, really shit cyclists out there, but that doesn't excuse some of the shit i've seen drivers pull.

however, a couple of weeks ago i was pulled over by a woman with a policeman on St.Georges Street just passed E&C to give me some leaflets about FREE cycling lessons that southwark council are doing, as well as a booklet on safer cycling, and safer driving. it was extremely positive and not at all preachy or patronising. we need a lot, lot, lot more of this kind of thing.

Richard Elliot said...

@ Brockley Nick - the Old Kent Road in rush hour is one scary route. I didn't like it a single bit when I cycled that way for a couople of months. I think the polution is also really bad on that road. However, I'm unsure of alternatives to suggest as I used to take it into the city before I found my alternative.

Hugh said...

I reckon I'm the best cyclist here.

Anonymous said...

Big (headed) fish in a very small pond more like.

lance armstrong said...

You haven't seen me cycle

Hugh said...

No need.

Ross said...

"@ Brockley Nick - the Old Kent Road in rush hour is one scary route. I didn't like it a single bit when I cycled that way for a couople of months. I think the polution is also really bad on that road. However, I'm unsure of alternatives to suggest as I used to take it into the city before I found my alternative."

there is a cycle path sort of halfway up OKR, if you take a right just before asda as if you were going to south bermondsey (i think) there a little up that way takes you through a little residential estate but it only really helps if you want to cross tower bridge. it should be on the tfl website - i really like cycling in traffic but i almost always take that route if i'm headed east because the roads are so smooth and there are literally no cars.

Andreas @ London Cyclist said...

I cannot see the huge advantage of this over traditional cycle routes. I believe the money would be better spent expanding existing routes.

Calling it a cycle superhighway gives it a bit of a marketing buzz. The only advantage I can see coming out of this is that cyclists receive a higher awareness which may lead to fewer accidents. Other than safety the benefit to cyclists is limited. I would suggest "BoJo" gets his thinking cap back on.

Anonymous said...

I cycle this route into town all the time. It's flat, straight, and generally I feel quite safe as there are no roundabouts and there's good visibility at junctions. I can get onto the cycle track round Vauxhall, which is a bit scary. In rush hour the traffic is pretty stationary and it's wide enough to keep going safely. If cars were kept in the centre of the road, and possibly a bit shaved off the pavements, there is plenty of room for a proper cycle lane. By far the best ones are like the wonderful one that runs East/West through Bloomsbury- it has a proper kerb between it and the cars and its own dedicated traffic lights. Apart from the odd silly billy cycling over-taker (ever heard of a bell?) I feel really safe on it.
btw- re. tax. I pay road tax for my car, which I'm not in while I'm cycling. Drivers make pretty good cyclists I think- we're aware of the silly things that cyclists AND drivers (and pedestrians!) are wont to do. Education on all sides would be hugely helpful. But good on Boris for encouraging more cycling. I have to say, it's healthier, and far nicer than cramming onto overpriced public transport with the great unwashed...

Anonymous said...

Couldn'T car tax cover a bike any way,cyclists who haven't got a car get all the benefits paying nothing

Ross said...

see my post above. 'car tax' goes towards the DVLAs costs, not maintaining the roads.

Anonymous said...

Now if a cycle super highway was a dedicated over head path connecting the suburbs to central London to the centre with smooth surfaces, few junctions that would be the dogs gonads. Combine that with central London secure storage storage, showers and lockers and it would change the traffic flows in London dramatically.

However.....what are the chances of this major nit of town planning being implemented? I live in hope.

And I hope it turns out to be more than putting up a few signs and laying down road markings.

Brockley Kate said...

Bit worried about the 'Norman Bates' accusation ...

Lou Baker said...

If you're going west there's a brilliant traffic free route from Peckham all the way to Oval or E-and C.

Surrey Canal path then Burgess Park.

In distance terms it's much longer than the main road but it's much quicker and nicer because there's no traffic.

Except in the evening in winter - so put some lights in Bojo and resurface the path and there's a nice easy route!

Tamsin said...

Yes a neighbour who cycles into work told me of this one. Seems to rather waste the effort on the part of of the planners. Did these faceless bureaucrats do anyting so practical as to actually sit down with cyclists and find out what is there that could be improved or just arrogantly assume that they knew best and look at a map?

patrick1971 said...

This will be nothing more than a bit of hype unless there is some restriction of cars, e.g. as Anon 2052 says, like in Bloomsbury where the cycle lane is totally segregated. Otherwise it's nothing more than paint on a road. Same with bus lanes; they need to be segregated so cars simply can't get into them. But car-loving BoJo will run a mile from something like that which might actually work, but would also annoy the Gods that are car owners.

Ross said...

in what way is he car loving? he almost died riding his bike the other week?

Brockley Nick said...

In the way that he knows where his votes come from - the two-car families in the London suburbs. And in the way that his transport adviser, Kulveer Ranger, has instigated a change in the London transport planning, so that car drivers are now given more priority.

I'm sure he is genuinely a fan of cycling, but he is also a politician.

Pete said...

You haven't seen me cycle either Hugh. You should have come on that ride with Headhunter and I and then we would have known for sure who was the best.

I let headhunter win to make him feel better. Obviously.

Hugh said...

Headhunter and me, you mean.

Pete said...

Possibly, but we're not discussing writing skills. Or maybe we are now?

Headhunter said...

I'm a bit late to this party!

Firstly, why should cyclist pay road tax when as has been pointed out local council tax pays for road surfacing, unless you're talking about motorways which cyclists don't us anyway. In any case, how much damage do you think a 200lb cyclists and bike cause to the road surface? Very little. In fact weather conditions - sun, rain etc probably cause more damage!

BoZo is clearly, without doubt making it easier for the motorist in London. He kyboshed the western extension of the congestion charge zone and the added cost for 4x4 drivers in the zone, re phased traffic lights in favour of road traffic (which admittedly also helps cyclists) to mention but 2/3 things he has done to help the driver in London.

Hugh, I think we need a Brockley Bike Off, I think then we'll realise who is King of the Streets...!

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