Monday, 12 January 2009

The Solipsism of Sustrans

Followers of this blog will have noticed that there is no love lost between me and my erstwhile confederates at Sustrans, so no apologies for bringing this little gem to you, courtesy of the excellent Crap Cycling & Walking in Waltham Forest.

The picture below is of Leytonstone High Street (north-east London), complete with the now typical token 'cycle' lane forcing cyclists into conflict with both passing vehicles and opening car doors (the correct position to adopt as a cyclist is well outside the 'cycle' lane).

Well it seems that Sustrans are in town, having got a whiff of some Olympics related funding, and their promotional materials comments as follows -
"The design of Leytonstone High Street is cycle and pedestrian friendly, while also allowing motorised traffic to pass through."
So there we have it, the model of 'cycle friendliness' to which Sustrans subscribe. It explains a lot, doesn't it? And guess what, these solipsistic goons from planet Sustrans have a leading role in Bristol's Cycling City project.


green tomato said...

Appalling. We have similar ones in bristol of course.
Generally, on a bike, if you cycle slowly and are cautious you are very unlikely to come to serious harm even if you fall off. Unless you use suicide lanes like this one.
There are lots of good people working for sustrans - why does the corporate vision end up as this?

Chris Hutt said...

A good question GT. I parted company with Sustrans because I wasn't prepared to make those sorts of compromises. So I guess Sustrans is now populated by those who are. How they can do it I don't know.

DocSavage said...

Have you seen the same design running up to the Midland Road crossroads in Old Market.
It would have been as easy to create a kerbed cycle lane between pavement and road, with parking outside the kerb adjacent to traffic, but no. place the cyclist in between moving cars and opening doors.
and the general consensus according to the last council bike forum meeting was that the Old Market Scheme was an improvement to cyclists!!

Chris Hutt said...

Our Crap Waltham Forest blogger has struck again -

I think he's doing a Sustrans season. There's certainly plenty of material.

David Hembrow said...

That is a truly appalling cycle lane.

Most people find a bus passing mere inches away on their right to be rather unpleasant. To also have a car doing the same on the left isn't likely to improve the feeling of comfort when cycling...

It's precisely the sort of stuff which makes cycling resemble an extreme sport, rather than something that the majority would actually like to be involved in.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I certainly wouldn't use that cycle lane. I would prefer to just make my own way through the traffic. If you abide by the laws then there should be no problem in slow moving traffic like this. If it gets too hectic then simply dismount and walk until it is safe, no problem.

Katja Leyendecker said...

I found my local sustrans office in Newcastle rather unsupportive when I started a campaign to improve cycling in Newcastle’s city centre (which is in dire need of improving). I have now cancelled my monthly donation with sustrans, written to sustrans’ chief exec to describe my disappointment and become a CTC member! Visit for more on the safe cycling petition.