30 September 2011

Saddle sore: Rawtenstall cyclists baffled by 20-yard cycle lane | Manchester Evening News - menmedia.co.uk

Ah, the trouble with cycle lanes... is that, in the UK, they are a measure to appease motorists, angry at the failure of the powers that be to remove obstacles in their journey - cyclists being just another category of obstacles. UK cycle lanes typically consists of nothing else than creative use of broad brush and paint - green paint, white paint: you get my drift. They are for show. They are not designed or intended to make cycling easier, or safer. The 20 yard lane of this news story is, to add insult to injury, only an 'advisory' one (cue the broken white line): it does not mandate either motorists or cyclists to abide by it.
The paradox is that, in fact, cycle lanes are a good idea. Real, proper, segregated ones like what you see in the Netherlands. They cost money, they use space - and they get people cycling, properly cycling, replacing car journeys to shops or work or socialising.