Draft LCGS, Guiding Principles, p4
3. Bicycles must be treated as vehicles, not as pedestrians
Cyclists and pedestrians should not be forced together where there is space to keep them apart, creating unnecessary conflict which can only increase as the number of cyclists rises.
We have a strong preference against schemes requiring cyclists and pedestrians to share the same highway space, wherever they can be avoided. It will be necessary to use some shared areas in our cycle routes, particularly where the space is wide, but we will prefer to create delineated cycle tracks across it, perhaps with sloping, pedestrian-friendly kerbs or different surfacing.
Cyclists and pedestrians should not share the same space at crossings and junctions. Clearly-delineated separate and/or parallel routes should be provided for cyclists and pedestrians. Typical bad cycle design deals with junctions by making cyclists pretend to be pedestrians, bringing them on to the pavement and having them cross the road, often in several stages, on toucan crossings.
What madness is this? Of course bicycles are vehicles by dictionary definition. But they are not MOTOR VEHICLES. Bicycles are light and powered only by huff and puff. Vehicles (meaning motor vehicles) are heavy and highly powered and DANGEROUS. Cycling has much more in common with walking than with driving.
From the Mayor’s Foreword to THE MAYOR’S VISION FOR CYCLING IN LONDON – An Olympic Legacy for all Londoners
I want more women cycling, more older people cycling, more black and minority ethnic Londoners cycling, more cyclists of all social backgrounds – without which truly mass participation can never come.
As well as the admirable Lycra-wearers, and the enviable east Londoners on their fixed-gear bikes, I want more of the kind of cyclists you see in Holland, going at a leisurely pace on often clunky steeds. I will do all this by creating a variety of routes for the variety of cyclists I seek.
There will be greatly-improved fast routes on busy roads for cyclists in a hurry. And there will be direct, continuous, quieter routes on side streets for new cyclists, cautious cyclists and all sorts of other people who would rather take it more slowly.
They (Quietways) are not principally aimed at existing fast, confident cyclists. They are aimed at new cyclists who want a safe, unthreatening experience.
The vast majority will be on more lightly trafficked back streets, with some on canal towpaths or paths across parks and open spaces.
There is a major disconnect here. The sort of cyclists who we are encouraging to start riding do not think of themselves as “vehicles”. They have much more affinity with themselves – i.e. with their other mode of transport, walking. Children, many women, many Southwark residents, do not have access to a car – but they are all pedestrians.
On the Healthy Rides, which help lots of less confident cyclists gain experience, here is a typical route. In fact the start of last week’s ride.
Over this first 1.5 miles we have been on shared path most of the time. And so it continues. Through Folkstone Gardens, along Woodpecker Rd (pedestrianised) along the super shared paths through Fordham Park. Eventually use the shared pavement and toucan crossing at Deptford Bridge to cross the A2 trunk road. Then paths along the River Ravensbourne through Brookmill Park, over the pedestrian bridge at Elverson Rd DLR station, eventually into Greenwich Park, down to the river, back along National Cycle Route NR4 following the Thames. Finally along shared paths through Russia Woodland back to Canada Water.
The majority of the 10 mile ride uses shared space with pedestrians. It all works perfectly and allows new cyclists to find safe routes around the area.
These sorts of shared, safe paths are great for getting to school, getting to the shops, even often as part of a commute. They are the sort of excellent infrastructure that encourages new cyclists.
Are we really now saying the marvellous routes through much of Rotherhithe, those through Deptford, the paths along the river, were all a mistake? Is this sort of planning now to be forbidden. This is madness on a significant scale!