So yesterday, down in Tooting, this happened:
— TfL Traffic News (@TfLTrafficNews) May 11, 2016
It’s not exactly clear what’s going on there. It looks like an old timey omnibus of some kind got into something of a commotion.
Anyway, the reason we mention it is because of where it happened. The blue strip on the bottom left of the image reflects the fact it’s one of the first generations of London’s cycling superhighways. That’s meant to be a major cycling artery – a slab of a major road, no separation from the traffic to its right, the only protection offered to cyclists being some blue paint.
This is obviously tremendous if you’re a blue paint manufacturer, but not ideal if you’re a cyclist. So the more recent superhighways have tended to experiment with radical concepts like “making it harder for cars to veer into them”, and over the last few weeks, two major routes have opened in central London. One was the middle bit of the east-cross route, which currently links Westminster to Blackfriars; the other, the first stage of the north-south one, which currently links Blackfriars to Elephant and Castle. (Both will be extended soon enough.)
Not everyone is happy about this though. On Sunday, The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association – the black cabbies’ trade body – tweeted this:
The result was a flurry of responses that basically conceded that the LTDA was making a fair and reasonable point.
Quiet at Blackfriars. Barely used. pic.twitter.com/yqdiHFfhPV
— Alex Ingram (@nuttyxander) 3 May 2016
Look closely, and you’ll find that there’s not really anybody there at all.
This cycle highway has only been open for one week. It’s pretty busy at going home time tonight. In the rain pic.twitter.com/5xu6L0jAJH
— cyclistsinthecity (@citycyclists) 9 May 2016
The place is almost deserted.
— Alex Ingram (@nuttyxander) 8 May 2016
You can always trust the LTDA – that’s the lesson here.
— Alex Ingram (@nuttyxander) 10 May 2016
The discovery that cyclists are invisible to black cab drivers is not entirely surprising, but remains a worry nonetheless.
Anyway. It’s been raining pretty hard for the first half of this week, and:
— Robert Sutherland (@RoDuSu) May 11, 2016
Still. Nothing’s perfect, eh?