They just don’t work in Britain, do they?
Brighton has its own testament to the uselessness of bike lanes, The Weird Bike Lanes of Brighton – including the example above. If you want a good chuckle, take a look at it.
In Brighton we should have one of the best cycle lanes – it runs for several miles east-west along the seafront. But it’s kind of lethal.
For a start, pedestrians don’t really believe it exists. I have, in the past, ended up colliding with one who suddenly jumped into the lane right in front of me. But what irks me even more is that cyclists seem to think that because it’s a straight line, it’s an excuse to go as fast as they can and shout at anyone who gets in their way.
It seems to me that the only way to cycle along a seafront is Quite Carefully. And I’ve yet to see a cyclist there give way to a pedestrian on those sections where the pedestrian actually clearly has priority. I’ve even been shouted at by cyclists myself on my bike for daring to stop in front of them to let a family cross – when the family is crossing in exactly the place they’re supposed to.
Cyclists. Their own worst enemies.
Which is something that a slightly nervous Matt Seaton – the Guardian’s cycling correspondent – hinted at in this recent lecture. He says that as green consciousness grows, we’re on the verge of a new golden age of cycling. Don’t let’s blow it by being too self-righteous all the time.