Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Problems with maps and routes



The new cycle lane crossing London created by Transport for London (TFL) called the Barclays Cycle Superhighway was officially launched this week. It has opened but it appears that a number of the routes have not been completed. The one that I could use taking me from Woolwich to London Bridge is not due to be completed until 2015! From what I can see it appears to be just like the other cycle lane road markings which are currently green but this route is blue. It suffers from all the current problems that we have with current cycle lanes, namely other vehicles parking in the lane. Personally I am a bit disappointed with the highway, but maybe I will feel differently in five years when the route from Woolwich is open. I don’t think calling it a ‘super highway’ helped as it raised my expectations.

Transport for London is not in my good books this week. I went to the revamped map gadget on the cycling web page today, put in the relevant post code for a route from Highgate to Hornsey and after a minute I as was given a route in South West London to Uxbridge. I was not happy and I have sent them an email. In the mean time I have gone back to the other TFL journey planner which can also give you a cycle route as well as the a list of bus and train routes.

One cycle path I would like TFL to provide is a joined up route right along the Thames on both sides of the river. Two days ago I went cycling to the shops and took the long way round along the river, taking photos on the way, and cycled from the Thames Barrier to the Greenwich Peninsular. This is a beautiful route which goes all the way to the Dome but then stops. Such a shame.

The fuzzy quirky colour photos are done on purpose and come from my low-tech digital Harinezumi 2 camera. 

4 comments:

Joseph said...

Hmm, the blue lanes leave a lot to be desired.

They ought to have learnt from the magnificent example that is Paris. On busy roads where traffic is fast moving, create dedicated cycle-lanes on the pavements (so there is a physical partition between cars and the cyclists); otherwise create and enforce use of bus lanes for public transportation, bikes, and taxis.

I really hope they don't fudge things up with this cycle hire scheme, we have all the resources to make London even better than Paris for cycling, only apathy, laziness, and halfbaked ideas/implementation can stop things now.

Joseph said...

BTW, love the photos, rather psychedelic looking, remind me of the lomographs.

Leslie said...

I agree, the new lanes seem to be half advertising stunt and half useful addition to London. Around the Oval, they are a nice blue, but they don't seem to join up into a route. They offer a clearer way through some complicated traffic junctions, but still disappear too often into nothing to help cyclists feel particularly safeguarded.

I presume you already know about Camden Cyclists' online maps? camdencyclists.org.uk/

Cycling in Heels said...

Yes, I think there should be more dedicated cycle-lanes with a physical partition. The best example I know of is Cable Street in Popular E1.

I don't see the point of the Superhighway if the blue routes stop and start like the old green cycle lanes. No I didn't know about the Camden Cyclists online maps. I will check them out.

J. Thanks for the nice words on the photos. Yes they are like lomographs which is why I got this camera. I have a Lomo but I don't use it anymore.