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Is Transport for London doing enough to keep cycle routes free of snow?

Positive reports on effectiveness of airport runway de-icer being used on Leeds-Bradford Cycle Superhighway

London cyclists have criticised Transport for London (TfL) for leaving parts of the capital’s cycle network under snow and ice when clearing adjacent roads.

TfL said that all of its cycle lanes had been de-iced or gritted during this week’s severe weather, but many cyclists have taken to social media to highlight issues.

Fran Graham, campaigns coordinator for the London Cycling Campaign, told the London Evening Standard: “While weather like this is quite unusual in London, what we would like to see now is TfL learning lessons from how the extreme conditions have affected cycle routes and make sure this doesn’t happen again… they need to find a solution.”

A TfL spokesman said: “We’ve been working hard to minimise the impact of the freezing temperatures and snowfall on all of our services and have been gritting, de-icing and clearing cycle lanes on our network at least twice a day.”

Graham believes more could be done. “Cycle Superhighways do actually form a large part of the capital’s transport network, and making sure they are still useable, when the weather is like this would really help keep London moving, which may mean taking a different approach when gritting them.”

Elsewhere, CityConnect has reportedly stayed clearer than most cycle routes with Leeds and Bradford Councils’ Highways teams using a potassium acetate de-icer usually used for keeping airport runways open in sub-zero temperatures.

Regular grit can’t be used on the superhighway as it requires the weight of motor vehicles to crush the crystals to be effective. The potassium acetate de-icer is being delivered by mini tractors narrow enough to fit down the superhighway and has the added benefit of being kinder to the environment than regular salt.

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schneil | 6 years ago

No gritting at all on the Winslow road cycleway in Manchester  2 or any other cycle facilities AFAIK

georgee | 6 years ago

Road sweeper (first ever seen) was busy picking up the grit on cs7 in Balham in the Tuesday morning...


Well worth a mention of Kingston who did nothing to clear/grit cycling infrastructure. 

StuInNorway | 6 years ago
1 like

On the Standard a few comment of the likes of "Why should they clear them, no one was using them" . .  on the other hand if they clear them, people will use them.
Living in Norway (although an area that gets little snow) our cycle routes are of the same priority as major bus routes and the motorway out of town. They should besnow clear and salted by 6am mon-fri.  In fact when I was cycling to work a couple of weeks ago (not something I can do everyday as I need the van for work) it snowed unexpectedly overnight, and the cycle route and shared use paths were in better condition than the main roads. Plenty folk out on bikes too, many with studded tyres admittedly

Jem PT | 6 years ago
1 like

Some cycle paths were cleared better than others. Some had so much grit I will have to thoroughly clean down my bike (once the hose has thawed out!) to stop is trusting solid.

What amazed me was how few cyclists there were in Central London yesterday. At about 2.00 pm I was literally the only one at the junction of Embankment and Westminster Bridge - that is usually like Picadilly Circus!

jmaccelari | 6 years ago

From what I saw, TfL were a bit slow, but they did get there. The first day , the lanes on CS7 were not cleared at all, but by the second day, the major sections had been gritted... Hopefully the cycle lanes will one day have as high a priority as the car lanes - especially with the numbers of cyclists in the City now exceeding motorised vehicles during certain times of the day!

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