Pop-up lane backlash now 'official'

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Pop-up lane backlash now 'official'

Postby ChrisButch » 18 Oct 2020, 12:46pm


'Transport Secretary admits new cycle lanes are leaving roads 'backed up' with traffic'...

'Grant Shapps warns he is 'not prepared to tolerate' badly designed closures and cycle lanes, imposing 'sweeping changes' to communities'...'

Depressing but, alas, predictable, given the tight deadlines for local authorities to apply for the cash, with no time for planning or consultation,

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Re: Pop-up lane backlash now 'official'

Postby drossall » 18 Oct 2020, 2:22pm

I don't envy local authorities, because it is difficult. On the one hand, there's a long and somewhat self-inflicted history of putting cycle facilities where there's space and it's convenient, with insufficient attention paid to demand. On the other, putting them in truly useful places often, though far from always, does mean inconveniencing drivers, which can be politically difficult.

Indeed, in some cases, especially with pop-up lanes, the point is partly to restore the balance of convenience towards cyclists and pedestrians. This should result in sufficient modal switch to reduce the resulting traffic jams - and to encourage local drivers at least to seek convenience by changing modes - but these effects may take time to be seen. It all ends up as a bit of a tightrope, not helped by putting facilities in badly-thought-out places, so that drivers are inconvenienced but cyclists aren't helped, and no modal switch occurs.

But, on day one, it may be hard for anyone who has not looked at it from the point of view of the cyclist (or the pedestrian, as the case may be), to see the difference between something that has not yet built up its levels of use, and something that is just a road to nowhere and will never do so.

We had quite a good debate around here (on the local Facebook group). A councillor raised, in a perfectly even-handed way, the issue of a planned "upgrade" to the lanes along the main road through our extended housing area. Frankly, they don't go anywhere very much, and stop where conditions actually get difficult; also, they are used as parking for the nearby station. The last sentence explains why they don't help much with the journey to the station. The road orbits rather than goes towards the town centre, so they don't help much with the other obvious journey either. If you were spending money to help cycling, it's a glaring case of the best plan being to spend it somewhere else. So I'm sympathetic to the outcome, which was to put the scheme on hold. But I suspect that the result was not to spend it at all, or at least not in our town.

At least round here, I think the focus on "big" cycle lane schemes misses the point. Far more can be done by looking at desire lines, and putting in very short connecting links - paths between two estates that back onto each other, cycle exemptions to one-way systems, and the like. But we do have some very inconveniently-placed hills, where the choice is to send bikes either on a roundabout and hilly route, or through a narrow pinch point that could only be fixed by borrowing some of the sort of digging equipment that they are using for HS2, neither of which looks that feasible in a commuter-belt town.
Last edited by drossall on 18 Oct 2020, 2:28pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Pop-up lane backlash now 'official'

Postby Jdsk » 18 Oct 2020, 2:24pm

Well said.

But the original story was only about one statement by one Minister, and was in the Telegraph.


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Re: Pop-up lane backlash now 'official'

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Oct 2020, 2:37pm

When it comes to improving conditions for cycling, two important qualities tend to be in short supply:-

1/ Competence
2/ Good faith

Pete Owens
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Re: Pop-up lane backlash now 'official'

Postby Pete Owens » 18 Oct 2020, 4:03pm

ChrisButch wrote:'Grant Shapps warns he is 'not prepared to tolerate' badly designed closures and cycle lanes'

We can all live in hope.

John Holiday
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Re: Pop-up lane backlash now 'official'

Postby John Holiday » 19 Oct 2020, 3:43pm

Live in Hope& die in Caergwrle, as the saying goes!

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Re: Pop-up lane backlash now 'official'

Postby merseymouth » 19 Oct 2020, 5:37pm

Hi Drosall, You should appreciate the fact that many of those "Pop-Up" lanes can be dangerous for tricyclists, I speak from experience!
Ill conceived, poorly executed, often making motorist even more intolerant of cyclist.
Hope the Minister bins boh them and so called "Smart Motorways" at the same time, blooming dangerous!!! MM