Cycle lanes torn apart by readers for ‘increasing congestion’ and ‘narrowing roads’

Nick Ferrari discusses cycle lanes with fellow cyclist

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Britons are being encouraged to recognise the health, financial and environmental benefits of cycling. Earlier this month, on August 4, workers were urged to bike their commute on Cycle to Work Day.

Yet readers argued that cycle lanes are not beneficial to road safety due to incorrect usage.

In a poll that ran from 11am on Thursday, August 5, to 3pm on Tuesday, August 16, asked readers: “Have cycle lanes contributed to road safety?” 

Overall, 4,218 people cast their votes with the overwhelming majority, 89 percent (3,771 people) answering “yes” cycle lanes have contributed to road safety. 

Meanwhile, nine percent (367 people) said “no” they have not, and a further two percent (80 people) said they did not know either way.

Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on cycle lanes. 

Username TruckerTips said: “All these cycle lanes and super highways have done is take through routes from a fairly free flowing route to absolute gridlock.” 

Username Bandersnatch said: “Cycle lanes have contributed greatly to increased traffic congestion by the narrowing of roads.” 

And username wych1 wrote: “Cycle lanes either on roads or part of the roads are dangerous things.”

Some £35million has been invested in the UK’s National Cycle Network and a new £8million e-cycle programme was launched in May. 

Transport for London recommends cycle lanes are 2.2 metres wide on each side and research of the capital’s roads in 2020 found that a sixth are wide enough to accommodate suitable cycle lanes. 

Dr Ashley Dhanani, of The Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL, said at the time: “Many Londoners want to cycle to avoid using public transport but are concerned about their safety when cycling on main roads. 

“This new analysis shows there is plenty of space to create cycle lanes on key routes across the city.”

Other readers argued that cycle lanes were beneficial but were not being used enough to make a difference to road safety. 

Username Klazix said: “Cycle lanes are great as long as the cyclists use them.” 

Username Shadowman said: “Yes, cycle lanes probably have improved cycle safety overall but the way it has been done is far from ideal. 

“Some cyclists are still a danger to themselves by disobeying the rules of the road.”


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Another, username Atra said: “No, cyclists don’t use them, they ride on the main road running parallel to the cycle path.” 

While username Durfel said: “It must be made compulsory to use them where they exist.” 

In 2020, across Great Britain, 141 pedal cyclists were killed and a further 4,215 seriously injured. Meanwhile 1,938 were slightly injured, according to the Department of Transport. 

Cycling traffic rose by 46 percent and cyclist fatalities increased by 41 percent. 

The Government aims to ensure that at least 50 percent of all journeys in towns and cities are walked or cycled by 2030.

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