Last summer, a man called Everton Smith was killed cycling along Vauxhall Bridge Road towards Drummond Gate (turning left).
Sergeant Simon Seeley, from the Met's road death investigation unit, said: “Our traffic management unit has advised me that that cycle lane is not of the required width. It is not the proper width for a cycle lane.”
Seeley pointed out that: Not only was the 1.2 metre-wide cycle lane below the minimum 1.5 metre width set out in government guidelines, but the adjoining traffic lane was only 2.9 metres wide and went on to point out that the lane was only 40cm wider than the HGV that ploughed into Mr Smith killing him.
Guess how wide this cycle lane was? 1.7metres. In other words, two people were killed in a cycle lane that ran down the middle of two fast-moving motor vehicle lanes. That lane was wider than the one TfL is planning to install on Vauxhall Bridge Road directly next to the spot where another cyclist was killed by a too-narrow cycle lane.
It's utterly scandalous.
TfL is refusing to allocate road space to cycling. It is borrowing space from one side of the street to make the southbound side safer after a cyclist was killed there last year. It is then implementing an entirely insane cycle scheme heading northbound that directly mimics a scheme where two cyclists were killed. The cycle lane is too narrow. The motor vehicle lanes are too narrow. The motor vehicle speeds are too fast. I wouldn't cycle my niece down this. Would you?
TfL is laying out Cycle SuperHighways that bluntly refuse to allocate space to cycling. To me, this is a deeply cynical and flawed compromise that shoves two fingers up at cyclists.
What TfL should be doing is removing a lane and creating enough space for people to cycle here in safety. Instead, it is creating the illusion of bicycle facilities while protecting space and speed for motor vehicles. An illusion that we know is deathly.
Thanks TfL. As the Londonist article stated a few weeks ago: Please stop trying to kill me!
If you think this plan looks rubbish, then send your thoughts to