Are segregated lanes the best way to make cycling in London safer?
In suburban Kingston upon Thames there’s a mini-debate about the design of its Boris Johnson-funded “mini-Holland” scheme. Should it, perhaps, be bigger?
A former senior member of Kingston Council has complained that designs for the first phase of the borough’s “mini-Holland” cycling scheme show something “very different” from the plans that secured around £30m of Transport for London (TfL) money last March.
Simon James, a Lib Dem and keen cyclist who lost his seat at last May’s election when his party lost control to the Conservatives, has told local media that he had intended “100% segregation for cyclists” but that new illustrations show physically separated cycle lanes along only about a quarter of the stretch of Portsmouth Road concerned.
It is often possible to improve “perceived” road safety significantly by providing cycling infrastructure, but it is more difficult to prove that cycling infrastructure has reduced casualty numbers…The hierarchy of measures approach suggests that traffic reduction, speed reduction and junction treatment should be considered before redistribution of the carriageway (installing cycle lanes)…The research has highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of each type of cycling infrastructure. In a limited number of cases there has been a significant positive effect on road safety, but in general it is only “perceived” safety that improves.
Source: Guardian Transport
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