Cycle Superhighways are there to “instruct motorists”

Since the Tour Du Danger, there has been a lot to read and listen to. It’s easy to miss something. I think this is worth pointing out.

I was listening to The Bike Show podcast, which covers recent events. A good portion of it is given over to Mayor Boris responding to Assembly questions.

Amongst what is mainly waffle,  I noticed a startling admission. At 21:50 he says that the “whole point” of the Superhighways is “to instruct the motorist that this is a place where you are going to find loads of cyclists, so be careful”.

Well, that’s cleared that up then… The CS is not, in fact, a “superhighway” for cyclists. It is, rather an overpriced and massively over engineered road sign for the benefit of those who choose to drive. How silly of us not to realise. Any expectation that the CS ought to provide priority for cycling is completely unfounded it turns out. Indeed, viewed through the cipher of his statement, the design of the CS starts to make some sense. It wasn’t built for cyclists…

I suppose no one at TFL realised that there were many cyclists on these busy commuter routes who were already serving the purpose of,  “instruct(ing) the motorist that this is a place where you are going to find loads of cyclists”.

A simple road sign saying “Bikes Belong” or “Give Cyclists Space” would probably have been just as good but this wouldn’t have generated the publicity of a “flagship” scheme. Boris likes a bit of publicity…

So the Cycle Superhighways are not “for” cycles, fail to be “super” and are not, in fact, “highways” by any definition of that word.

Boris…. What an utter sham.

2 responses to “Cycle Superhighways are there to “instruct motorists”

  1. A well-known (to the cognoscenti) tax case in the Chancery Division many years ago (Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers v Kerr) contained this timeless quote from Lord Greene, Master of the Rolls: “Voltaire, who had a certain dislike of sham, once described the Holy Roman Empire as neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire” (his Lordship went on to describe a corporate transaction brought to the attention of the court, but it might just as well be applied to the words “Cycle”, “Super” and “Highway”.

  2. I drove – in a car – on the A3 bit of the “superhighway” yesterday. From behind the wheel, even as somebody who takes lots of notice of cyclists because I am one, I have to say the blue paint might as well have not been there. It really has just been plonked down without anything else having changed to protect or encourage cyclists.

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