The Thin Blue Line

For those of you that are outside London or have been dormant for the past few days. The Mayor launched the first 2 Barclays Cycle Superhighways on Monday the 19th of July. Many people have been saying that they are just a blue line painted on the road.  Is it just that? Or is there more to the blue paint that has been laid on around 24km of London road.

As well as installing distinctive and highly visible blue cycle lanes along both pilot routes, at a minimum of 1.5m wide, works completed to make it safer and easier to commute by bike along these routes include:

  • Trialing 37 cycle safety (‘Trixi’) mirrors at junctions along both pilot routes. These mirrors give drivers of large vehicles better visibility of cyclists when preparing to turn left
  • Introducing 84 new Advanced Stop Lines at least 5m deep at junctions along both routes, providing a space for cyclists to wait at lights ahead of the queue of traffic
  • Installing new segregated cycle lanes at the Stockwell Gyratory on the Merton to the City route, and upgrading existing segregated lanes at the Elephant and Castle bypass and on Southwark Bridge, Cable Street and the A13
  • Re-aligning traffic and bus lanes to create more space for cyclists on busy stretches of the Superhighways, for example on the southbound section of the A24 at the junction of Kennington Road and Brixton Road.

These upgrades to the road and surrounding area are not easily visible if you weren’t on the route before the work had been done. But clearly the blue paint is, it stands out from every other cycling route and with the people stuck in tin cars being consistently passed by cyclists, it is a great advertisement tool.

No doubt the two super highways are a fantastic addition for London’s cyclists. Some people where expecting something more like the facilities found in some countries in Europe, as they say ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ So lets hope this is the start of better things to come for London,

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