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New London cycle lanes will undertake buses at bus stops

Lanes will cut into pavements so bikes don't have to swerve out into traffic...

New plans by the Mayor of London will see cycle lanes in the capital undertake buses at bus stops, stopping riders from having to swing out into busy traffic when buses pull over to pick up passengers.

The lanes are at present to be an extension of the blue Cycle Superhighways, and cut left into the pavement at bus stops. Passengers alighting from buses will have to check bikes are not coming before crossing the path.

The lanes are in testing near the notorious Bow Roundabout in East London.

To cyclists it's obviously a great idea - taking away a lot of the stress of overtaking a bus, trying to check the driver won't pull out again - but not everyone thinks so.

However, David Kent, London engagement officer of Guide Dogs for the Blind, told the Evening Standard the design would put visually impaired people at risk.

He said: “Cyclists are impossible to hear — they are the silent menace. Where it puts our particular client group at risk is exactly with designs like this.”

Six of the new bus stops will be installed near Stratford as part of a 1.5 mile extension to the superhighway scheme there, and Transport for London will place more elsewhere if the design proves effective.

TfL said the number of cyclists using the existing superhighway had increased by 28 per cent since it was installed in September 2010, with a 55 per cent rise in the Bow Road section.

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35 comments

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a.jumper | 11 years ago
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Is it better? It replaces one problem - bus/bike conflict - with another - bike/walker conflict. Crashing into Walkers might be better for bikes, but is it better in general? I'd rather have no problems if we could!

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daloriana | 11 years ago
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Whilst I agree with the sentiment of most of the comments here, perhaps 'we' are not the intended users of this facility?

Riders who lack the confidence to overtake at a 'current' bus top might just find this idea a real bonus. Also ideas such as this enhance cycling as an inherently safe thing to do in a city, thereby encouraging those who might not currently consider it.

regarding 'collisions', which would you prefer, a pedestrian, or a bus/car? I'd take an increase in the former for a decrease in the latter.

For a refreshing take on the wider issues here, try looking at: http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/enough-is-enough/

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a.jumper replied to daloriana | 11 years ago
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daloriana wrote:

Whilst I agree with the sentiment of most of the comments here, perhaps 'we' are not the intended users of this facility?[...]
regarding 'collisions', which would you prefer, a pedestrian, or a bus/car? I'd take an increase in the former for a decrease in the latter.

Seems like a false dilemma. If there's enough spare width for a decent bike lane, dent the bus stop into the path by it and enable bicycles to overtake, in lane, on the right.

Maybe we're not the intended users, but we're the ones who'll get abuse for not using this dangerous nonsense!

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daloriana replied to a.jumper | 11 years ago
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Baby steps, this idea being a small step in the right direction.

Canning this idea will not stop abuse.

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a.jumper replied to daloriana | 11 years ago
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daloriana wrote:

Baby steps, this idea being a small step in the right direction.

Canning this idea will not stop abuse.

It's the wrong direction! This is on the left when we need space on the right!

Canning this idea will prevent more abuse.

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daloriana replied to a.jumper | 11 years ago
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So, lets keep everything exactly as it is, and achieve peak cycling early?

I KNOW this isn't ideal, but I think its progress. Perhaps not in the direction we'd like, but its better than what we've got is the only point I'm trying to make.

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cat1commuter | 11 years ago
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I believe that cycle lanes around bus stops is standard practice in the Netherlands. You obviously can't have bus passengers stepping off the bus directly into the cycle path. There needs to be an island for the passengers.

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Municipal Waste | 11 years ago
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Wow I wrote something people agree with  26

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a.jumper | 11 years ago
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If I take avoiding action and leave the marked lane, is that cycling on the pavement? Could I be fined?

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John S. Allen | 11 years ago
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This plan reflects an emphasis, whether through naiveté or willful ignorance, on promoting bicycle use by creating the appearance of safety rather than actual safety -- and at the expense of other travelers.

This from an American visiting Copenhagen:

"I was in Copenhagen for only four hours the summer of 2011 ... I also saw two bus riders hit by cyclists as they exited a bus directly into a cycle track. Nobody hurt, but much shouting and picking up dropped packages. All in all, an exciting four hours."

The recent large-scale Copenhagen study found a crash rate increase of 17 times and an injury rate increase of 19 times in collisions between bicyclists and bus passengers when bicycles were routed on the kerb side of bus stops. Do the London planners bother to read the research literature?

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kie7077 | 11 years ago
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Better idea: have the bus stop placed back in to the pavement so that when the bus pulls to the left to stop, it leaves space for cyclists to pass the bus on the right, in the bus lane.

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Furry Mommy | 11 years ago
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Mmmmm....while I do appreciate that there has been some thought of cyclists needing to pull out around a bus waiting at a bus stop but cutting through on a cycle lane on the inside of a bus!??  39

Who in Gawd's name thought this one up, it will put you right in the path of passengers entering and egressing a bus, which is often unpleasant when on foot, let alone on two wheels!??  14

As to the concerns that David Kent(London engagement officer of Guide Dogs for the Blind) - well if this went ahead I do agree to a degree that this could cause a serious incident if a cyclist was not paying sufficient attention while attempting to "undertake" a bus a bus stop and a visually impaired pedestrian managed to "get in the way".

Personally from my experiences cycling in London I would honestly prefer to see all the bus stops (where practical) cut deeper in to the pavement with a cycle lane provision on the off side of the bus, rather than cycling on the inside of a bus stop!

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Brooess | 11 years ago
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The only result of this will be a tangled mess of bikes and people in a heap by the bus stop...

I can only hope that the committee who came up with this idea had a small number of people of very low intelligence who overrode all the others who pointed out that they would be designing conflict into the flow of bikes and pedestrians... I can forsee lawsuits.

Maybe the intelligent people persuaded the others to at least release the idea to the press to see what response they got?

Can we send them this link?

And I agree this design suggests a mindset that bikes should be 'out of the way' of the flow of the traffic. For as long as that mindset pervades in road design circles then we're going to have to keep making our voices heard...

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joechin13 | 11 years ago
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This is a terrible terrible idea that must be stopped and reversed immediately! It is wrong on every level and will not help the cause of safe bicycling in London. Bicyclists must operate by the same rules as drivers and motorcyclists so that there is consistency in behaviour on the road. This means overtaking is safer than undertaking since all (good) licensed road users have been conditioned to check the overtaking side before pulling out. Relying on the consideration of pedestrians (many of whom are lacking in situational awareness) is just setting everyone up for failure even before we consider the special needs of groups such as that of the visually impaired.

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GREGJONES | 11 years ago
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this is exactly the system they have in Salford, only with trams instead of buses there. It's a waste of time for two reasons,
-the alternative lane isn't swept so it becomes a haven for all detritus including glass
-it's much more likely to remain icy in winter is it's at road level with a two kerbs just a foot apart.

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CraigS | 11 years ago
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Awful idea, not only potential for collisions with people getting off the bus but I can imagine numerous accidents with cyclists rejoining the road and buses pulling away at the same time!

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bordoi11 | 11 years ago
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Sounds like a bad idea. Why don't they create a lay by for the bus to pull into and then maintain the cycle route so you don't have to pull out. Even a partial lay-by is better than none. Thi "idea" has collision between passengers particularly those with prams. They just need to ensure they find areas which are wider to locate the bus stops. They do this already opposite Battersea Power Station. Sure the road may not all be wide enough so other better ideas need to be thought through. Problem is that people who are devising these ideas are not necessarily the end-users!

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bambergbike | 11 years ago
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It's much easier for a cyclist to interact safely with one bus driver paying careful attention to traffic than with multiple passengers who may not be paying attention to anything at all and must be worried that they will miss their stop (or cause somebody else to) if they don't alight promptly.

Keeping cyclists in the carriageway is also the solution that caters better to different types of cyclists: speedy, confident cyclists can overtake busses, and less confident cyclists can simply remain behind them.

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Carl | 11 years ago
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The word 'undertake' sounds horribly foreboding with a scheme like this. Accidents waiting to happen.

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giff77 | 11 years ago
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I'm with municipal on this one

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OldRidgeback replied to giff77 | 11 years ago
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giff77 wrote:

I'm with municipal on this one

Me three

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brakesmadly replied to OldRidgeback | 11 years ago
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OldRidgeback wrote:
giff77 wrote:

I'm with municipal on this one

Me three

Me four, and I wouldn't use it.

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Charles_Hunter | 11 years ago
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Sounds dodgy to me, is this proven to work anywhere currently?

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The Rumpo Kid | 11 years ago
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Have I read this right? People getting on and off buses will cross the cycle lane? Who comes up with these ideas? Have they ever ridden a bicycle? Or travelled by bus? (Runs out of question marks).

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notfastenough replied to The Rumpo Kid | 11 years ago
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The Rumpo Kid wrote:

Have I read this right? People getting on and off buses will cross the cycle lane? Who comes up with these ideas? Have they ever ridden a bicycle? Or travelled by bus? (Runs out of question marks).

Agreed, and the bit that's missing is right of way. Given the potential presence of kids, the disabled etc, the pedestrians will (correctly, really) be given right of way, so meaning that a cycle commute cannot be any quicker than a bus journey.

No way I'd use it.

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Municipal Waste | 11 years ago
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 37 I continue to stand by my belief that if everyone drove/cycled as the law intended then we wouldn't need any cycle lanes at all.

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jollygoodvelo replied to Municipal Waste | 11 years ago
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Municipal Waste wrote:

 37 I continue to stand by my belief that if everyone drove/cycled as the law intended then we wouldn't need any cycle lanes at all.

I agree.

Stupid idea IMO. In London, at peak times the pavements get full of people waiting for buses... are they going to part like the Red Sea to allow cyclists through? Not a chance. Traffic should be on the road and all road users should pay each other due care and attention.

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a.jumper | 11 years ago
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Cyclists are easy to hear - they have bells and shout hello... And pedestrians should get used to not jumping when belled or called. Just wave hello - no need to jump off of the path.

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AlexStriplight | 11 years ago
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I think it's important that cyclists are seen as legitimate traffic. If these undertaking sections are incorporated as part of an off road cycle path then fair enough but to route cycles around busses in this way gives the impression that we are not welcome on the roads. As a cyclist in London I find Buses to be generally quite courteous in their driving, it's the minicabs that are desperate to over and/or undertake that are the real menace. If the roads were properly policed, especially Advanced Stop Boxes, Bus lanes and those rare parts of Cycling Superhighways that traffic isn't supposed to stray into, it would make the roads much safer to navigate. It annoys me that all these initiatives make it seem that cycles are just a nuisance to other road users.

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Bob's Bikes | 11 years ago
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Mr. David Kent, London engagement officer of Guide Dogs for the Blind, told the Evening Standard the design would put visually impaired people at risk.

He said: “Cyclists are impossible to hear — they are the silent menace. Where it puts our particular client group at risk is exactly with designs like this.”

Dear Mr. Kent you appear to be blaming the cyclist for something that has (as yet) not happened I suggest you direct your ire towards the idiots that came up with this stupidity.

I must admit I think this is an ill concieved answer to a problem which yet again ignores the elephant in the room THE standard (or lack of) driving being displayed by people on our roads. Either that or this is an attempt to share the anti cyclist hate by putting cyclists and pedestrians into direct conflict

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