Are you too scared to cycle in London?



  • Just a quick one as I'd like to recommend some lights:<div><br></div><div>Awesome. Bright, easy to put on and take off, and rechargeable. </div><div><br></div><div>Weather's been all right of late, no? Okay, apart from the wet. Grrrrrrrr.</div>
  • The language media uses in these cases always strikes me as a bit off.

    "following a collision between the woman and the vehicle."

    I know a bike is a vehicle. And it's probably technically correct... But a ton and a half of metal hitting a a 70 year old on a push bike feels like it should be talked about more like when a pedestrian is hit.
  • Have you done a cycling proficiency course? Should give you confidence, especially if you abide by the highway code. I've seen cyclists do so many daft/dangerous things. I offered to sign a Darwin Award nomination form for one who came around the corner at me, on the wrong side of the road ....
  • I used to cycle to work from here to White City in the late 1990s, but seeing how standards of road use have declined in this area alone, I wouldn't dare do it these days. The image of a car performing a left-hand turn on a cyclist who was trying to go straight ahead at the junction of Tollington Park and SGR some years ago sticks in my mind. There's simply not enough enforcement on both drivers and cyclists, so cyclists must ride defensively, and pedestrians have to put up with (adult!) cyclists riding on the pavement and riding through red lights.
  • edited January 2019
    I have done a cycling proficiency course. Doesn't stop motorists failing to indicate, pulling up too close behind me at lights, turning left straight in front without looking to see if there's anyone there, opening their doors without looking to see if anyone is coming, changing lanes without any notice or indicating at all, throwing things out of windows straight into my path, not to mention stopping in the bike box at traffic lights. That's just a short list of recent things.

    I am not a lycra clad speed demon. I wear a helmet, hi viz jacket, and have front lights, back lights and battery operated fairy lights all over my bike frame and yet still some motorists fail to see me even though when everything is on the ISS would probably notice me. I cycle carefully and mostly in the bus lane or TfLs quiet routes as I don't want to be laying dead on a pavement because someone just didn't bother to look to see if they were sharing the road with someone else. Yes, a minority of cyclists are selfish and reckless just as a minority of motorists are. This doesn't mean that we should all be treated as if we don't deserve to be on the road.

    I'd be in favour of motorists also doing cycling skills awareness as then you could see how difficult it sometimes is for a cyclist to take emergency evasive action when motorists do something to endanger us.

    I agree with you @joust
  • And I think passing police should caution (birch) adults who ride on the pavement.
  • Hopefully they teach you the lifesaver look on a cycle proficiency course, in other words to look behind you before moving across a lane, so many cyclists do not do this.

    I used to cycle but after a couple of near misses and a grunt by way of apology I didn't like the odds, it is much worse around the school run times as well.
  • cyclists and motorists
  • edited January 2019
    I cycle from here to Piccadilly Circus. It takes me around 45 minutes and I use the TfL cycle route. The only really busy road I need use is Shaftesbury Avenue but I've worked around there for years, so I'm well prepared for the motorists who have no clue how to drive in central London or where they are going. I'm very aware of potential for the most erratic motorist behaviour in Zone 1.
  • Very much seconding miss annie's posts.
    I take my son to and from school in Gillespie Rd in a bike trailer, and perhaps because the trailer is hard to miss have had very few incidents with cars/vans, etc. (in fact, they are usually surprisingly respectful). The biggest danger, in my view, is pedestrians just stepping into the road heedlessly. They aren't always on their phones either.
  • I'm with you both, but the lack of respect all parties when it comes to roads is shocking.
    I cycle into the City daily, way out of rush hour because of it: everyone demonises everyone else rather than bothering to collaborate.
    You get a glimpse of how things could be when things go wrong: traffic light fail, snow etc, and people are forced to look out for each other, taking time, eye contact and usually much smilier and more pleasant.
  • Inconsiderate motorists obstructing the cycle crossing over Holloway Road (bottom of Drayton Park) are a right pain...

    From my enquiries, both the council and TfL deny they're responsible for it, so I've no idea who is. If it was made into a yellow box they could rake in the cash.

    How hard can it be to stop at a red light? I've driven over that crossing and it's not difficult.
  • I cycle to work in Barnet and could write a book about the incidents I see. For my own mental health, I find it's best to say nothing and keep calm. Advice to fellow cyclists though: too often I see you riding in the gutter - this just encourages cars to cut you up or pass far too close. Instead, take the lane. It might annoy cars a bit but should keep you safer.
  • A car stopping in a cycle box attracts the driver 3 points and £80 fine. Hardly ever enforced
  • Indeed, other than rhe fact rhat there are so nany selfish and ignorant road users, chronic lack of enforcement is the problem.
  • Yes. Cyclists shooting over red lights, cyclists cycling on pavements, motorists in cycle boxes, motorists riding over red lights - Fonthill Rd/Seven Sisters Rd, Seven Sisters at the junction with Rock St are frequent local hotspots, pedestrians jaywalking. All should be be clamped down on.
  • I cycle most work days down to near Victoria Coach Station. Over the years it has got safer with either using quiet ways or cycle highways. The ones I use in Farringdon Road and Victoria Embankment have made it so much safer with out the need to weave in and out of traffic. Last year the counter on the Embankment counted that over 1,860,000 cyclist had used the route
  • That's all very well @Ali ; it might be safer on dedicated cycle highways, but most of us still have to cycle on ordinary roads where the motorists have become more careless in recent years.
  • The quiet back routes that most mapping apps will take you down are a lot safer and more pleasant than main roads. Cycle highway's are a massive improvement. I take a longer route to work to use them. I was wondering what stat your using about carelessness as there's a big increase in cycle miles so you might expect more incidents. It is pedestrians that walk out in front of you that to me seems to a bigger problem. Get it all the time on the cycle path under the bridges at the station
  • I've never used a cycle super highway, I use the quiet routes. Probably adds ten minutes to my journey to Piccadilly but is more pleasant and feels safer.
    Agree re pedestrians stepping out, usually phone zombies. Last week, someone staring at their phone stepped off the kerb and stopped dead in the road to read something. Insane.
    No one uses those cycle lanes under the bridge do they? Pedestrians don't even see what they are for. I use the road, or preferably Fonthill Rd - I come up the bit of Seven Sisters from Hornsey Rd junction to Fonthill. Fonthill Rd is very quiet at night.
  • Pedestrians are certainly a hazard, as are (occasionally) other cyclists, but careless motorists are potentially more lethal.

    As for statistics, @Ali , remember the saying, "There are lies, there are damned lies, and there are statistics"! I'm basing my opinion on the state of motoring just by being a frequent user of SGR, and observing in particular the intersection of SGR and Tollington Park—there has definitely been a decline in driving standards around here in the past twenty years or so (speeding through to beat the lights, breaking the lights, poor positioning for turning, dangerous overtaking, etc.) As for the increase in cycling, if there are proportionately fewer accidents, it may be because cyclists have been intimidated into using back roads. In other words, there's more cycling going on, but mostly on the routes that are considered safer. Cycle superhighways and using apps to determine safer and more pleasant routes are fine ideas, but cyclists still have the right to use any road as part of their route in safety.

    As for the lanes under the bridge over SGR, I have often seen cyclists on them, but sometimes going in the wrong direction, thereby making themselves a hazard for other cyclists and pedestrians.

    The problem with pedestrians walking on those cycle lanes is that unobservant pedestrians don't realise it's a cycle lane, and so blithely walk along it.

    Actually there are two problems, the other being that during busy times, the pedestrian section isn't wide enough to contain the foot traffic. In the mornings there are many people rushing to get to work, and often the only way to overtake slower pedestrains (or pass others coming in the opposite direction) is to walk along the cycle lane.

    Come to think of it there are three problems: From the Highway Code, it seems that cycle lanes are somewhat discretionary; pedestrians are allowed to walk along them (if the contrary were true, it would probably be impossible to enforce anyway). Not surprising, then, that you'll often see (frustrated?) cyclists opting to use the road instead of the cycle lane.

    Four! Four problems, the fourth being the car wash just up SGR from the bridges: they often park cars partially on the pavement, narrowing the space and forcing pedestrians onto the cycle lane.

    The most risible part of the pavement linking the two bus stations is the painted figures on the pavement (I think they're still there) indicating which side of it you should be walking on depending on your direction. They seem to have no effect.

  • Five! The tents and surrounding debris force people into the cycle lanes, especially at peak commuting times.
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