New investment for cycling

1 week ago (12:47 PM)
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Well done Denise.
you must feel so proud of yourself. HAve a brownie point, Excellent work.

You're not contributing to lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, stunted growth etc etc in children are you...!
By encouraging more car use...thus depriving children of the option of travelling to school by're not doing that are you?

I just wanted to be sure that you're claer about that.


I would like there to be legislation introduced to prosecute anyone who causes a bicycle accident. This would apply to anyone responsible, from cyclists themselves right up to the Transport Minister.


We all want safe routes for cyclists in London. But why are they always down the few through routes for motor traffic in the centre of London? This causes now ridiculous levels of traffic for those of us who must use these routes even at non peak hours when there is not a cyclist in sight. This makes no sense. It increases pollution massively. Why not think to send cycle traffic down back streets that are inherently safer anyway and leave what few arteries we have through London freer for those who need to use them.
By the way I'm a musician need to carry around piles of equipment - impossible by bike! But there are many others who still (and will always) need to use motor transport in London such as the old, the infirm, those who live too far out of town to cycle in, non black cabs and many with small businesses.


That's a fair point. I suspect that the reasons behind this are : -
* Junctions are dangerous places for cyclists. If the cycle route was on back streets there would be many more junctions than on the newly built routes, and therefore, rather counter-intuitively, less safe.
* Providing straight-line routes for cyclists makes it easier to tempt them onto bikes. Less fear of getting lost, more direct route, quicker journey times.

I think every reasonably minded individual absolutely accepts that there are certain people who will have no option but to use a small vehicle to get around town. But (as per my post upthread a bit), I believe that if the number of cars/vans is reduced just a little, then congestion could be reduced significantly.


Hatler - I think it would be quite easy (and much easier than the ridiculous lengths gone to around Ludgate hill for instance) to give cyclist priority on smaller roads as the traffic imperative is less for most of the cross streets on these routes.
I also think that you'd need much less concrete barricading to protect cyclists and you could prevent large vehicle access to these routes almost entirely, thus making them much safer. Also often the shortest routes as the crow flies can often actually be via the back streets in London rather than the major arteries.
Please understand I am not a petrol head, but I think a lot of space in a very crowded network is now being underused, particularly at non peak times when car use is more desirable for many. I just don't think this has been thought through properly....we get to chat on these forums but does anyone listen.... I doubt it!

Terry Vaughan

Hatler and drglister, a couple more reasons might be because the high streets are where the destinations are, and I suspect that residents would kick off at the idea that something as devastating as a cycle route might go down their road.


"We all want safe routes for cyclists in London. But why are they always down the few through routes for motor traffic in the centre of London?"

Short answer -

1) Because cyclists have as much right to if not MORE than car users, simple quick direct routes that are SAFE. They PAY for the roads as much as you do.

2) More cyclists aren;t seen so much 'out of peak hours' because - the commuters ahve all got to their destinations efficiently and quickly. At other times, ,mums and children, elderly and some mwho maybe infirm but who can cycle along with those usng hand-cycles, are not likely to use these routes because they don't link up to where they live/want to get to ie there is as yet no cycling network.
I accept that you and others may need to use a car, But for plenty of others this is not the case.


Just to correct one point of fact, cyclists do not pay for the roads as much as car drivers do. Cars have to pay road tax, cycles do not. I just paid my £235 road tax for the year, in addition to all the other taxes we all pay together. If cycles also had to pay £235 per year to be license to use the roads then sure you could claim you pay for the roads as much as drivers, but currently you don't. Just pointing out the factual error that's all!


Afraid the factual errors are yours. Road tax was abolished in the 30's, its vehicle excise duty and if you drove a low emission vehicle you wouldnt pay duty either.
80% of cyclists are drivers too, so do already contribute



Let's tease this one out. You pay £235 a year for your *vehicle* tax. I infer from your post that you believe that this gives you some sort of priority over cyclists on the roads (because cyclists don't pay road tax).

Other than trunk roads and motorways, the road budget is provided by the local council.

Therefore, if you are driving outside the borough in which you live, by your standards, everyone who lives in the borough you are driving through has priority over you on *their* roads.

I pay more than £235 a year for my VED. Do I have more priority on the roads than you do ?

My neighbour has an electric vehicle, he pays no VED. Has he no entitlement to the roads ?

Tomorrow I'm going to choose to leave my car at home and cycle to complete my errands. Not only is that good for the environment, but it frees up a bit of road space (which I have paid for, being a local resident). Why should I be denied due consideration on the road by motoring neanderthals because I have chosen to use a bike, an action which is directly benefiting not only the neanderthals, but all who live in this country.

Please think about this.


No more cycle lanes please, stop and reverse this policy - cycle lanes are actually adding to polution by increasing congestion for cars due to reduced road space, and sitting in traffic throws out more fumes. And before people say drivers should cycle you can't do that if you're coming from 20 miles outside town! Cycling is all very well if you are popping from Kensington to Covent Garden, but not if you're travelling from miles and miles away. In 10 years time when pollution levels have got even higher politicians and even cyclists will finally realise that more cycle lanes equals more pollution, not less!


oh, listen to yourself "cycling adds to pollution". Show me the evidence?
In 10 years time you wont be going anywhere in a car in London and it is all the fault of the cyclists - yeah right

peter caton

I hope the recent incident with the Minister of Transport will wake up the proper authorities to the threat cyclists are to other road users and themselves, they need to be made to abide by the Highway Code and proper legislation should be brought in with licenses being issued re competency to cycle in our major cities particularly Central London


Try actually reading the highway code before you make such ridiculous comments. The cyclist did nothing wrong and Grayling actually committed a criminal offence


Possibly two or even three offences if he didn't exchange address details and inform the police (as the rider was injured).


I just cycled past Hyde Park Corner, down Constitution hill and along the Mall. Quite often on Sundays there is a gang of young teens on bikes testing their skills (25 to 100) - Hyde Park as well. The way they go about it is dangerous - no proper equipment, a danger to other road users...
I get it that young ones need to be occupied to grow into better people, they also have a need for speed and challenge. Now can we not put some of the cycling money into arranging supervised gatherings for them either in Hyde Park or on The Mall and the hill, close it to pedestrians, have first aid people on hand and some who could educate them about observation and highway code in addition to them doing the stunts. Also try to find out who they are and get their parents to buy them proper safety equipment.
Mainly because today they took it a step further - I witnessed them crossing the Hyde Park roundabout during red lights, they just madly dashed into the traffic and it is an accident waiting to happen. If we just stop them, they will go somewhere else. So we need to find a place and time for them to do it more safely and fast.


I am not in support of shared pavements between cyclists and pedestrians because i'm sorry, but pedestrians are the lot I get most infuriated with - with their heads in their phones or chatting, not looking where they are going, stepping on the street, crossing the red lights, and not even hurrying up, stopping suddenly, and everybody think they have to be the first crossing the light. It doesn't matter how wide is the crossing, they will stand next to each other and yell at me to get off my bike even if i am positioned before them (that is for shared traffic crossings). The new cycle crossing at Marble Arch is taken over by pedestrians, I have to get out of their way. No amount of visibility measures or bell ringing will convince them that I have the right of way in Hyde Park cycle lane or Green Park cycle lane and I have to stop because they refuse to move. Do I need to be more tolerant? I have tolerance for children but not for selfish or lazy grown ups.
So could we please please include into the plans a separated route for cyclist through Hyde Park (parallel to Park Lane) and Green Park. Considerate cycling? 10mph! Well, I'd like to be able to reach that on the afternoons and evenings. I can only ever do that at 7am.
Also it looks like some joker was painting the signs in Hyde Park of the bike because they are all over the place facing every which way. So poor "Boris" bikers drive every which way.
That one is an easy one to adjust.
I would have also like to see better control of pedestrian traffic during Winter Wonderland around Hyde Park corner. There are three arches and then you close two and direct everybody round and round, when you could have directed them via the last archway. I never saw sense in that one. Of course, cyclist are forced off the bikes and plod along with them or pushed onto Park lane - hair raising experience. Back streets are not much better. I don't want to be forced walk 10 minutes when I already cycle for 45 and I am on my way to work or home.
Can somebody have a look at that arrangement again, please.


I am sick to death of cyclists. They are nothing but a pain on Londons roads. They are abusive, they don't follow the highway code and they don't pay insurance. Londons roads are not wide enough for all these cycle lanes. We need room for the cars that pay to be on the road.I think cyclists should be banned from London

Terry Vaughan

Max, when I read your comments I lose what little sympathy I had for motorists.


"They are abusive, they don't follow the highway code and they don't pay insurance."
All of them ?

"... room for the cars that pay to be on the road."
Please be polite enough to read this thread before posting misleading statements.

"I think cyclists should be banned from London"
This is not going to happen. Why do you think that ? What would be achieved ?

Simon S

Allow bikes on pavements - it works in Japan.


It's true, but I don't think it would work in the UK, nor would it be that desirable for the numbers of people that need to be riding bikes.
We need less people in cars. And more space for cycling.

Would be nice people were as tolersnt of mums with kids on bikes here as they are of the mamchiri in Japan though. One speed bikes if I'm not mistaken, that pootle along .

mamachari – mama's bicycle (chari = charinko = bicycle)

Terry Vaughan

Here too Simon, up to a point. Shared pavements can work well when traffic is light and they are designed for the purpose. But of course many pedestrians object, and pavement cycling is usually very slow.

In the short term there's no alternative for most people, and the benefits of enabling people to cycle probably outweigh the problems. I think the way forward is to make it legal when done safely and considerately, but to put in proper cycle tracks so people no longer have to do it.

It's the preferred option for many local authorities, because it's cheap and doesn't upset motorists, who are considered much more important than mere pedestrians and bike riders. Shared pavements are not cycling infrastructure, and they usually fail to increase cycling levels.

peter caton

I think cyclists should be made to abide by the law and have the same restrictions applied to them as motorists before being allowed to ride in our major cities particularly Central London , bells should be compulsory on bikes and used to warn pedestrians and riding on the pavement or wrong side of the road banned, traffic wardens should be allowed to issue penalty tickets for violations of the Highway all road users..



Please would you read this thread and perhaps consider addressing some of the valid points raised, rather than approaching this debate with your blinkers on.

Opening yourself up to a bit of reason would be welcome too.

Consider also the angles of feasibility, practicability, cost, public health before you post anything further.

At least try to show that you have considered other view points, otherwise your voice will be easy to ignore.


Please explain why it is blinkered for this poster to suggest that people should follow the law and be penalised if they don't?

Terry Vaughan

Donagga, it's blinkered because it ignores key points. Due to the lack of investment, people cycling often have to choose between complying with the law and keeping themselves safe. Which would you choose? Driving and cycling aren't equivalent, there is no comparison between the risks. We need to promote cycling as a sustainable means of transport and enforcement of legal compliance for its own sake would be counterproductive. We don't have enough resources to enforce the law against motorists, where it really does matter, let alone against people cycling. No reasonable person would want those resources devoted to harassing people who are just trying to get around safely without harming anyone.



Peter Caton said : -
"I think cyclists should be made to abide by the law and have the same restrictions applied to them as motorists before being allowed to ride in our major cities particularly Central London , bells should be compulsory on bikes and used to warn pedestrians and riding on the pavement or wrong side of the road banned, traffic wardens should be allowed to issue penalty tickets for violations of the Highway all road users.."

I regard that as blinkered because he has singled out cyclists for being "made to abide by the law". The law applies to cyclists in the same way it applies to motorists. It's just that motorists cause orders of magnitude more damage, injury and pollution to the capital than cyclists do. Therefore, calling only for cyclists to have to abide by the law is blinkered. Everyone should abide by the law, and the police should be funded adequately to address law breaking in an appropriate way, ideally starting off with the areas which cause the most grief first.

Peter then says "... and riding on the pavement or wrong side of the road [should be] banned".
It already is.

Now it's just a question of enforcement. Traffic Wardens are sadly now an almost extinct breed. Those people putting tickets on illegally parked cars are not traffic wardens and are not qualified to hand out Fixed Penalty Notices to either cyclists or drivers. Now, if they were, what should be there principal target ? A motorist doing 30mph in his two tonne car talking on the phone whilst driving through a built-up and busy street environment, or a bike (total weight 100kg) doing 15mph going through a red light. Both should be nicked, but if you only had the resource to nick one of them (and the Met don't even have that apparently) which should it be ?


To all those against cycling - Sunday 4pm I am going down Great Cumberland Place. No busses go there, no lorries in sight, no vans. No cycle lanes, no cyclists in sight. Private cars parked both sides. Three traffic lights. A que of private cars trough all three, not moving. Not through first change, not through second change, not through third change of lights.
What do you propose is the solution?

peter caton

Hatler. Let me assure you I speak as an expert witness and without bias, maybe motorists should have a vote on the control of cyclists behaviour in the Capitol as they contribute so much to the exchequers coffers with so little return on what should be done to save them from injuring themselves and pedestrians, licenses should be issued for competence to ride in the City and they should stick to their underused ridiculously expensive traffic congesting lanes.


As an "expert" Peter perhaps you should know or have read previous posts clearly showing that what motorists pay does not cover the costs of providing and maintaining the road network.
Did you not also know that there are 800,000 motor vehicles on the roads without licence, tax or insurance, 80,000 of whom have penalty points on their non existent licences!! Non biased - hardly

Robert Munster

Please provide a source for this claim (what motorists pay does not cover the costs of providing and maintaining the road network). I used to think that was the case, but then someone showed me that motorists pay about £40bn in taxes (mostly fuel duty), but the total amount spent on the country's roads, including by local authorities, is only about £10bn. The DfT's total budget is only about £12bn!

What is beyond dispute is that cyclists pay no tax at the point of use of the road network.

The flip side of course is that if car use is significantly reduced it would blow a huge hole in the government's budget.


@Robert Munster
"What is beyond dispute is that cyclists pay no tax at the point of use of the road network."
No-one pays tax for the roads at point of use, other than the M6 toll road and bridges/tunnels with tolls. And that's not strictly a tax.

I'm wondering how often this will have to be pointed out before this concept fully beds in.

(For the hard of reading.)


Ooo. And the London Congestion charge, but again, that's not a tax.


Give me strength, how many ways does it have to explained to you, EVERYBODY PAYS FOR THE ROADS.
Can you not see that every time a vehicle owner (I repeat, 80% of cyclists drive as well) takes a journey on a bike they are freeing up road space for people who have no choice but to drive?
"This supports my contention that car use in London may already have been reduced pretty much as far as is possible"
That's your best one yet. Let's take one example.Haven't you noticed the huge reduction in private car traffic when the schools are closed?
If we could persuade parents that the roads are safe enough for their children to cycle to school, or walk for that matter, then that could made permanent

Terry Vaughan

Robert, I've no idea of the figures, but can point out that the cost of the roads is only part of the story. The cost to us all of motor vehicles includes their impact on things like obesity, diabetes and other ill-health related to inactivity and poor air quality, climate change and the cost of road accidents. I think you will find the cost of the infrastructure is the least of it.

Terry Vaughan

Expert witness in what subject, Peter?

denise julien

Terry Vaughan please stop your misinformation; "many authorities", do not want to legalise pavement cycling. Far too many pedestrians would object and all councils have a duty to insure that the elderly, disabled other groups are not unnerved or hurt by them. The only considerate cyclist are the ones who dismount before getting on the pavement


Denise. Terry is not being misleading. Most existing schemes and those still out to consultation include sections of shared use paths, including the Kingston mini Holland scheme. It is cyclists biggest criticism of them. We want proper segregated cycle lanes

Terry Vaughan

Denise, quite a lot of elderly and disabled people are able to cycle, and many would cycle on them if it were legal and if the routes were joined up. But then they'd be cyclists, so you wouldn't be so concerned for them. And pedestrians' fear of getting run down by a bike isn't great enough to stop them walking in the cycle lane. Bikes on the pavement may be an annoyance, but they're not a significant danger.

In cities, proper cycle tracks are needed, as K.Aldo says.


Pavements are for pedestrians. Pedestrians include children, infirm and older people; eg people with arthritic hips, feet or knees who can't divert their path quickly, Pushchairs, wheelchairs. People with their dogs, shopping, walking with their bikes.
They are already crowded, so please keep them for the pedestrians.

Not cycling does not mean personal driving. Cars are not practical for going to work in London unless being used to transport work materials - and this a significant cost with cong charge and park fee. Public transport is the best option ( plus walking ) for an enormous number of people.
Cars good for purchases of large objects and large grocery shops or heavy groceries. Consider commercial and economic case for this pls. Retail very dependent on click collect, often by car, and by physical shoppers, often by car, to enable purchases to be made and taken home.
Carriage of sick people to medical appointments, operations and retrieval from operations. Births, deaths, marriages.
Theatres, cinemas and other entertainments also require carriage to their vicinity, again not all people are able to cycle, use train/tube/bus who spend money on the entertainment arts.

Can't impose society where journeys can only be made by cyclists since then many people would be ill from lack of movement.

Amsterdam cycling bikes often only with 1 gear and back wheel break. May not be a good comparison model for central London.

Terry Vaughan

Mkorda, some pavements are crowded. Not all. In the suburbs or out of hours there are often very few pedestrians (or bikes) about. If those children, the infirm, older people or people with children want to cycle, where do you think they should do it if there is no investment in infrastructure?

One of the problems with cycling in this country is that people have to ride fast enough to keep up with motor traffic if possible because it's safer, so those Dutch bikes would not be very suitable. On pavements or on proper cycle tracks they would be fine.

And no, we won't be seeing the end of motor traffic any time soon.


"Carriage of sick people to medical appointments, operations and retrieval from operations. Births, deaths, marriages".

The car is a useful occasional tool.

The freedom to dominate society and cause untold damage, to the economy, to health, to the personal well-being of a vast number of people is off the scale.
And, like the problems caused by climate change conveniently ignored.

You eant to get married in a car. Fine, You should not however be entitled to speed through every back street in your motor cr for every conceivanle excuse.

Going to the chemist's for your ventolin. You need to find an alternative to the car.
Same with driving to the gym every time. Or the school run...? Well sorry if you have three children at three different schools, your excessive jouneys should not impact upon those trying to get their children to school on foot, or by bike - and especailly when they are at different schools also.



“Can't impose society where journeys can only be made by cyclists since then many people would be ill from lack of movement”

come again…?:

I’m afraid you’ve lost me here.

Are you in agreement with the fact that too many motor vehicles cause more illness, injury and death, tan they currently pay for through VED?

Or not?

By illness, you can include those who are sick from being denied / deprived of the option of healthy / sustainable transport by both factors that are either:

1) ACTUAL e.g. Sheer volumes of vehicles occupying space not designed for it. And the obvious criminal behaviour by increasing numbers of texting or speeding drivers, ignoring ASL boxes, racing to et through ‘amber’ lights (always just too late…..!)


2) SUBJECTIVE - the fear factor. Nothing like speeding drivers to prevent parents even allowing their kids to walk to the local shops.

Or both.

Here’s an example from today’s Evening Standard:

"Willesden Green crash: Witnesses tell of horror as man dies and woman left critical after Mercedes ploughs into pedestrians

Witnesses today told of their horror after a Mercedes ploughed into pedestrians killing a young man and leaving a woman fighting for her life. 
Dozens of people ran out of their homes to try and save two pedestrians who were struck on a pedestrian crossing by the Mercedes C Class about 11.30pm in Willesden Green, north west London. 
A man, in his 30s, was thrown into the air and died from his injuries at the scene. A woman in her late 20s is in hospital today in a critical condition."



“Amsterdam cycling bikes often only with 1 gear and back wheel break. May not be a good comparison model for central London”.

Interesting point you make here. But unfortunately carries no weight in the urgent campaign to bring about a mass cycling culture which will have the useful side effect of displacing the dominant and overbearing car-culture that has been pandered to for so long.

For Amsterdam read Croydon for example.

Borough by borough. A collection of villages, Connected by a fine mesh density of quiet (no car / slow car) cycle corridors, where access across the main arteries of London (where motor traffiic should be restricted to) will enable the essential transformation of the city.

Yes it’s fun riding Dutch bikes where you can hold an umbrella with one hand - the other on the brake plus backwards pedalling for the other brake true.

But in case you hadn’t noticed, may use this bikes here already.

Why shouldn’t our elderly parents be entitled to cycle to the shops - and a bit further as they get older?

FYI, The Dutch cycle well into ‘old age’ and of course they are not restricted to Amsterdam - the routes cover the entire country!!
So, with the right infrastructure provided, you needn’t think you would have to be restricted to just..Croydon….!


It seems to me that these forums usually end up as mud-slinging sessions, accusations of stupidity or ignorance by one party to another and subjective declarations of entitlement to own a piece of road that should be accessible to all. While we are squabbling and bickering amongst ourselves, the good Mayor and his apparatchiks make use of soundbites and airtime to promote their own agenda which usually is for self promotion or to establish a legacy to their own existence. They don't listen to us, I would wager that they don't even read these forums. They are happy that they can show 'due diligence' and produce a 'feasibility study' and encourage 'debate'. But the surveys and the talk change nothing, TFL blunders ahead with its own agenda spending money on its ill-considered 'improvements. Not really for the good of anyone, mainly for its own protection. Cycle lanes are obviously a good thing. But reduction in car lanes and increase in congestion is not. Cyciists, motorists and pedestrians should all agree on how safety can be increased. Insults and abuse won't do it. Awareness and accountability will. Hatler, the people you refer to as 'not traffic wardens' are allowed to hand out Fixed Penalty Notices to cyclists - I've seen them do it in SE1 to cyclists who decided to use the pavement to cut through a side road that had been closed due to road works. In the space of 10 minutes, at least 20 cyclists had careered round this blind corner, off of the main road and onto the pavement at speed. There was a team of PCSO's stopping and giving tickets to the perpetrators. Guess how much the fine was? £30. I am pretty sure if one of those cyclists had collided with a pedestrian they would have caused a serious injury. But I am not so sure if the cyclist would have stopped though. My strong opinion is that many cyclists are good people. However, quite a few that I have come across are aggressive and single minded in their use of the road. I would expect that many 'non-car-driver' cyclists have not read the Highway Code and have not learned the basics for safe cycling, such as the look (life-saver), signal, manoeuvre technique. The jumping of the red light, wrong way down one-way roads, pavement riding etc are bad habits developed over time. If you are a good cyclist waiting at a red light and everyone jumps it but you, how long will it take before you decide its OK to do the same? I am a fan of all of the modes of transport represented in this forum, having experienced nearly all of them personally. But there has to be a fair playing field for all. Of course bikes have to follow the Highway Code and abide by the laws of the road but what happens if they don't? How are they brought to account if there are no traffic cops or wardens that are assigned to dealing with them and if the CCTV cannot identify them. If the Highway Code regulations are not policed then it will lead to contempt for those rules by the cyclists and frustration by those who have to follow them. A road with such animosity, contempt and frustration is not a safe place at all. Build the cycle lanes, sure. But without a universal system of education and regulation, cyclists will remain vulnerable and motorists and cyclists will never be able to co-exist in harmony.


Good input. Sensible, level headed. Thank you.

Just a couple of points.

"If you are a good cyclist waiting at a red light and everyone jumps it but you, how long will it take before you decide its OK to do the same?"
Well, I'm still not going through red lights and I've been seriously cyclo-commuting for 12 years. And in my outer London route there aren't that many red light jumping cyclists. (Far, far fewer than the number of drivers I see doing it.)

PCSOs are indeed authorised (and obviously qualified) to hand out FPNs, and I applaud them for this. Are they authorised to hand out tickets to drivers on their mobile phones as well I wonder. The uniformed people minding parking meters and the like are not PCSOs and they are not Traffic Wardens. They do not have authority to hand out FPNs (other than parking fines). I'm guessing they are employed by local councils, whereas Traffic Wardens and PCSOs are (I think) part of the Police.


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