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Another pointless cycle lane - Putney Bridge

W1W1 Posts: 2,636
edited March 2010 in Commuting chat
So, the council have got their paintbrush out and slapped a cycle lane onto Putney bridge northbound. Couple of problems:

Massive potholes all the way along the lane (wish they'd spent the money sorting those, frankly)
Two bus stops in the way
The fact that the road is now not wide enough for two cars unless they encroach on the cycle lane - which they will.

Which begs the (usual) question - why bother?

Posts

  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    Yeah, noticed that this morning, I could see it in peripheral vision as I went around the buses.
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  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,204
    It'll probably be partly down to TfL as well, as they have responsibility for most main roads in London. Not that that will make your frustration any less. No doubt some public servant somewhere is patting him- or herself on the back for having implemented another cycling facility.

    I seem to remember the local MP Justine Greening being quite proactive (judging by my wife's experience on a couple of issues), probably as she is a relatively new MP, and keen to impress both her constituents and Tory head office. Might be worth starting up a general cycling related dialogue with her; isn't CTC trying to get cyclists to do this generally at the moment?
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  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    Here's the council's statment on it:

    http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/legacy/new ... sp?id=6694

    Apparently it provides us with a continuous route.

    There is even a handy email address, telephone number and a contact form. I've passed my comments onto them.
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  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,204
    Lots of mentions of 'Stakeholders' in that. Brings to mind a load of people out to get a vampire. At least it's recognisable as a cycle lane. The Cycle Superhighway we have over on the A23 at present comprises about 8 or 9 blue oblongs at a couple of junctions and ... err ... nope, that's it.
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  • King DonutKing Donut Posts: 498
    Noticed that on the way in - had to avoid the fresh white paint in the wet.

    I don't think it's that bad (apart from all the potholes but thats a different issue).
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    I didn't see anyone using the new part though because of the buses. I used the bottom part because I go up Fulham Road, but no-one else uses it.
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  • W1W1 Posts: 2,636
    The problem is that it's just tokenistic - it actually gives drivers a problem, because it's not so wide that it takes up the whole lane, but it is wide enough to restrict the northbound bridge to (effectively) one lane of traffic, unless cars end up in the cycle lane (in which case, what's the point). It either has to be a proper wide bus lane (with much clearer markings than at present) or nothing. The current mis-match helps no-one.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    [rant]

    I actually did a double-take as I came onto the Bridge.

    It starts, I think, at the filled-in (for now) cavern. I then counted at least four other pot-holes /missing bits of bridge which a cyclist would have to take evasive action to avoid. This excludes the various areas in the carriageway itself which are in an equally poor condition.

    I agree that this actually makes life difficult for drivers. They will expect cyclists to remain in the cycle lane, not to swerve to avoid the pot-holes. Given that buses generally keep to the left lane, this means that any cyclists using the lane will potentially be taking evasive action with a bus behind them.

    And does this mean we'll have one on the southbound carriageway?

    FFS. Just how dumb are the people who decided this was a good idea? My bet is "almost magically so".

    [rant]
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  • W1W1 Posts: 2,636
    Southbound carriageway has a bus lane, so no need for a separate cycle lane. It's actually quite a good system for those of us who use the LRR, as you can use the first set of traffic lights to give you clear road to swap lanes to the right hand filter onto the LRR.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    W1 wrote:
    Southbound carriageway has a bus lane, so no need for a separate cycle lane. It's actually quite a good system for those of us who use the LRR, as you can use the first set of traffic lights to give you clear road to swap lanes to the right hand filter onto the LRR.

    Sorry, I was being a facetious :). I agree, subject to them filling the holes and clearing the gravel you have to avoid as you traverse across the lanes - had an "off" last year in one of those holes. It was filled in the following week. Grrr.
    FCN 2-4.

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    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    I'm normally in the right-hand lane for crossing the bridge. Having the crater-filled cycle lane available will inevitably get me more grief from motorists... even though I'm going at the ambient speed of the traffic.

    One of the major problems (other than the potholes) for traversing the bridge is the bus stop just after the junction. Two lanes get squeezed into a very narrow one coz there's always a bus at the stop, normally having run the red light. Grr..
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  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    W1 wrote:
    Southbound carriageway has a bus lane, so no need for a separate cycle lane. It's actually quite a good system for those of us who use the LRR, as you can use the first set of traffic lights to give you clear road to swap lanes to the right hand filter onto the LRR.
    Ha! Whenever I stay in the bus lane the first set of lights always turn green just as I approach, leaving me stranded. I've given up and now sprint the bridge in the right-hand lane...
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    What f*cks me off is they say 'consult local stakeholders' who the censored are the stakeholders, 'cos they clearly are not cyclists. Just read the tragic story about the army guy who died swerving to avoid the pothole - exactly the sort of behaviour that this type of bike lane encourages cyclists to do (as long as it is full of sodding potholes). Useless.
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  • W1W1 Posts: 2,636
    jonginge wrote:
    W1 wrote:
    Southbound carriageway has a bus lane, so no need for a separate cycle lane. It's actually quite a good system for those of us who use the LRR, as you can use the first set of traffic lights to give you clear road to swap lanes to the right hand filter onto the LRR.
    Ha! Whenever I stay in the bus lane the first set of lights always turn green just as I approach, leaving me stranded. I've given up and now sprint the bridge in the right-hand lane...

    MTFU!

    I also suffer the same fate. Sods law dictates that if I head up the right hand side, the lights then change against me, meaning that the next option is to swoop down to the buslane, go past the lights, and back to the right hand side again....

    Not sure who those lights are phased to help actually!
  • W1W1 Posts: 2,636
    jonginge wrote:
    I'm normally in the right-hand lane for crossing the bridge. Having the crater-filled cycle lane available will inevitably get me more grief from motorists... even though I'm going at the ambient speed of the traffic.

    One of the major problems (other than the potholes) for traversing the bridge is the bus stop just after the junction. Two lanes get squeezed into a very narrow one coz there's always a bus at the stop, normally having run the red light. Grr..

    That traffic island squeezes the traffic together. What's really unhelpful is the complete lack of lane markings on that section - now made worse by the slapping down of a cycle lane!

    EDIT - I also take the right hand side going northbound, which would otherwise leave the left hand side free(er) for cars to pass on my left should they wish (at least it relieves their frustration). With the cycle lane now there, they can't. I can imagine the frustration will now be increased! Most cyclists turn right onto the NKR anyway, and the nodders using the cycle lane will probably just try and cut accross two lanes of fast moving traffic at the last minute now....
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    W1 wrote:
    jonginge wrote:
    I'm normally in the right-hand lane for crossing the bridge. Having the crater-filled cycle lane available will inevitably get me more grief from motorists... even though I'm going at the ambient speed of the traffic.

    One of the major problems (other than the potholes) for traversing the bridge is the bus stop just after the junction. Two lanes get squeezed into a very narrow one coz there's always a bus at the stop, normally having run the red light. Grr..

    That traffic island squeezes the traffic together. What's really unhelpful is the complete lack of lane markings on that section - now made worse by the slapping down of a cycle lane!

    EDIT - I also take the right hand side going northbound, which would otherwise leave the left hand side free(er) for cars to pass on my left should they wish (at least it relieves their frustration). With the cycle lane now there, they can't. I can imagine the frustration will now be increased! Most cyclists turn right onto the NKR anyway, and the nodders using the cycle lane will probably just try and cut accross two lanes of fast moving traffic at the last minute now....
    There were lane markings at one point. They didn't use paint, though, they used Alien blood ;)
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  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    I also use the right-hand lane Northbound; this morning, the combination of traffic and early-morning autopilot was such that I didn't even see our new 'facility'. Given that riding at the same speed as the traffic along here is almost never an issue, I don't think I'll be changing my behaviour...
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  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,204
    Like I said, write to the local MP Justine Greening. If there are 2000 cyclists using the bridge in a 12 hour period, then that's probably enough to swing the vote, and I believe there's an election coming or something :wink: so she should at least pay some attention. She should also know who to apply pressure to at Wandsworth Council. I should probably also point out that this is most definitely not some thinly veiled party political broadcast - she just seemed a lot more proactive than the local council when I lived there.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
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  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    rjsterry wrote:
    Like I said, write to the local MP Justine Greening. If there are 2000 cyclists using the bridge in a 12 hour period, then that's probably enough to swing the vote, and I believe there's an election coming or something :wink: so she should at least pay some attention. She should also know who to apply pressure to at Wandsworth Council. I should probably also point out that this is most definitely not some thinly veiled party political broadcast - she just seemed a lot more proactive than the local council when I lived there.

    Are there two councils involved, though? :)
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • alan_shermanalan_sherman Posts: 1,153
    I thought I heard that the cycle lane is one bit. That the bus lane southbound is to be widened - and then me puting 1 + 1 together makes me think that ther will be a single northbound lane as there will be no more space. Hopefully the entrance to the bridge from teh south will be marked as a single lane as the pinch point on wntry to the bridge is where somewone clipped my handlebars :shock:

    Still not sure about the buses having to stop in the cycle lane though - that makes the bridge itself quitedangerous. That and the mad cyclists riding down the central line slowly with cars undertaking them. Ride faster and take the lane, or stay left until closer to the right turn!
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,204
    I think the bridge is all under Wandsworth, while the northern approach is under H&F.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,148
    I'll have a gander on saturday on way to chat/keep a eye on a lady in hospital sadly the NHS has a tendency of loosing our folks or worse.
  • plowmarplowmar Posts: 1,032
    All points taken on board guys, and given my address don't know the area you are talking about.

    But from local experience aren't all cycle lanes made for full sus. mountain bikes and not for pumped up road bikes?

    They - the C L - always seem to have the worst surface, car detritus and broken glass.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    plowmar wrote:
    All points taken on board guys, and given my address don't know the area you are talking about.

    But from local experience aren't all cycle lanes made for full sus. mountain bikes and not for pumped up road bikes?

    They - the C L - always seem to have the worst surface, car detritus and broken glass.
    The whole of this bridge is set up for full sus MTBs and Chelsea Tractors; lots of roads have potholes, but this one has big lumps and ridges too. It really has to be seen to be believed...
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  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    When I turned onto the bridge this morning there were no buses, so I thought I'd give the lane a shot; no joy. It's just not possible to cycle in the lane because of the pot holes.
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  • snailracersnailracer Posts: 968
    I saw a cycle lane that actually improves safety :o , at Heathrow airport . The bike lane markings went right down the middle of a narrow lane, encouraging cyclists to ride in the primary position.
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    snailracer wrote:
    I saw a cycle lane that actually improves safety :o , at Heathrow airport . The bike lane markings went right down the middle of a narrow lane, encouraging cyclists to ride in the primary position.

    Yeah, but that was the runway......
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  • snailracer wrote:
    I saw a cycle lane that actually improves safety :o , at Heathrow airport . The bike lane markings went right down the middle of a narrow lane, encouraging cyclists to ride in the primary position.

    The lane you refer to I think is the one on the tunnel under the runway when you're going to Terminal 1/2/3. You can just about see it in this Streetview Link
    Its used a lot by taxi drivers, so I'd be interested to see how well behaved they are when there is a cyclist on it!

    The comment earlier on about input from stakeholders is always an amusing one. The most dangerous part of my commute is now due to some additional traffic islands recently installed which create some scary pinch points - and that's right outside Specialized UK's headquarters :?
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    tgotb wrote:
    plowmar wrote:
    All points taken on board guys, and given my address don't know the area you are talking about.

    But from local experience aren't all cycle lanes made for full sus. mountain bikes and not for pumped up road bikes?

    They - the C L - always seem to have the worst surface, car detritus and broken glass.
    The whole of this bridge is set up for full sus MTBs and Chelsea Tractors; lots of roads have potholes, but this one has big lumps and ridges too. It really has to be seen to be believed...

    +1 for the road surface on Putney Bridge being a fecking disgrace. Southbound on the way home tonight, following all this rain :roll: , the gravel in the bus lane is bound to be a shocker having being washed out of the (inexpertly) filled holes.

    As for the cycle lane going northbound, I only spotted it this morning. Broken line means (I think) that vehicles are allowed to treat it like it isn't there unless there is a cyclist using the lane. Begs the question, what is the point? As said above, the worst of the potholes (caverns at each bridge joint) are all in the cycle lane. Irresponsible of the council to put in the new lane markings without attending to the potholes.
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