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I use better as a loose term, as it’s subjective. Those that have regularly reported incidences via roadsafe over the years may have already noticed a change. Many have mentioned that they feel the feedback from them has been poor but hopefully that is about to change.

I first found out about the change when I reported an incident to roadsafe, one which I thought was extremely bad and worthy of at least a talking to the driver if not a prosecution. I got no response from road safe, even after chasing them about it. So I contacted someone I know who is part of the Cycle Task Force and works with Roadsafe and he passed on my concerns to PC Walters.

I met with PC Walters a few days after raising my concerns, this was to take my statement for the case and to talk about how things can go forward. He is an experienced traffic officer with the Police, has worked in the Cycle Task Force and is a cyclist. He informed me that he is looking at videos sent to roadsafe and seeing if they warrant further action by the police. This can included prosecutions and section 59 orders placed on the driver and vehicle.

PC Walters is the only officer working on this at roadsafe and he has only just started but from the feedback I am getting with him, the work he is doing is a really good improvement on a reporting system that many cyclists outside of London want from their own constabulary. I will continue to write about the progress and results that I have with PC Walters.

Yesterday morning at around 5am. A cyclist was involved in a RTC with a car on the A236 Mitcham Road. The man was pronounced dead at the scene by the air ambulance doctor. Rest In Peace!

For those of you that don’t know Croydon and Mitcham Road, it has been the talking point of many cycling campaigners. Nearly a mile of cycle lane in the door zone in either direction. Parked cars on either side of this very busy arterial road and plenty of pinch points that do absolutely nothing!

I contacted Croydon Council about this road in January. I highlighted the issue with the door zone, the debris in the cycle lane and the pinch points that do not prevent people from speeding. The response regarding Mitcham road is as follows

Most of the cycle lanes in Mitcham Road meet the recommended minimum standard width of 1.5 metres, however there is insufficient carriageway space available to increase the clearance from parked vehicles. This is why the lanes have been made highly visible with green surfacing used for the majority of the length, which should help to remind motorists that they should take care of cyclists using the route.

Some physical changes can be made as the resources become available; changing awareness and habits in respect of cyclists and motorcyclists is a longer term issue.

I did push further and got this response

I visited again this road on Monday morning with my traffic engineer and we have established two courses of actions.

Firstly as these lanes were initially implemented as part of the London Cycle Network Budget and Project, about five years ago, it is long overdue for a review. On measuring the width of the cycle lanes we found that some of the lanes could be widened. We aim to implement a review with a view to extend the cycle lane widths to give greater space for cyclists.

Secondly there is a view to create a parallel route for the Mitcham road on quiet residential roads via  Ockley rd and Rochford way and Westcombe avenue, from just beyond the Lombard roundabout for cyclists who would feel less confident in using the Mitcham road.

The green paint mentioned in the first response has all but faded and is only the width of a car door! So this cycle lane is extremely dangerous to use, especially during the early hours of the morning when people are going to work and taking their kids to school.

Door Zone on Mitcham Road

The insufficient width they talk about is down to parking that is allowed on the road. The A236 is the only arterial road I can think of in Croydon that allows residential parking like this.

Parking on the A236

I was spurred on to contact the council about this stretch of road after my own RTC in which I broke my clavicle. At the same time I also queried what was being done with the £450,500 that was given to Croydon by the Mayor after being named a Cycling Borough. Unfortunately those funds where already being spent elsewhere (a cycling hub at East Croydon station) and could not be used to drastically improve one of the worst cycle lanes in Croydon.

The rules in The Highway Code do not give you the right of way in any circumstance, but they advise you when you should give way to others. Always give way if it can help to avoid an incident.

The Highway Code

No such thing as right of way

Talk to cyclist about Vehicle Cycling and ‘Primary Position’ will get mentioned. It is a way to control the traffic behind you and force it to change lanes to pass you safely, adopted in situations when there is not enough space to overtake safely. It can be used on multilane roads to force road users behind you to change lanes and used on single track roads to prevent other people from passing you unsafely.

There are certain situations where you can get away with not taking primary position, such as with a traffic island. A gesture that you are indicating right will force road users behind you to halt their actions and prevent them from overtaking.