The Cycle Super highway has no immediate benefits whatsoever to the ordinary cycle commuter. All that the new lane has done is further aggravate the already 'cycle-negative' driving public with a year of traffic disruption and compromised roads. None of this of course is the fault of cyclists, motorists however, seem to think otherwise...
As a cyclist who can reach 20-25mph as an average speed, the ill thought out, tokenistic nature of the way the lane has been planned, installed and revised once the top down plan was seen as unworkable on the ground is in a word, dangerous. Junctions with intersecting roads appear as afterthoughts or orientated in a manner that the cyclist will always lose out.
Previously, the painted lane, although seen as more dangerous actually helped the cyclist and traffic flow in harmony by channelling their priorities in the same direction. The new cycle lane crosses side roads at the point where the car would usually pull up to if turning from that side road, putting the cyclist in danger at every junction.
This morning's close call, van let out & doesn't look. Struggled to stay on after evasive action #Leeds #cycling pic.twitter.com/rpPaKYlMrs— Joe Stenson (@LeedsUrbex) March 7, 2016
This, coupled with drivers attitudes towards cyclists now being more hostile than ever before due to the ordinary cyclist being the point at which drivers can vent their anger for the problems they've encountered, time lost and the seemingly wasteful project that is the Cycle Superhighway.
I'm sure those who also cycle, and who have used the roads along this route to commute whilst the 'infrastructure' installation has been underway have endured a number of problems, however I am writing to highlight how what used to be an ordinary commute by bicycle has now turned into a daily fight.
The cycle superhighway has large blue signs plonked in and around it stating that it is opening in 'Spring 2016' However, to the casually observing motorist, the lane looks complete and when a cyclist doesn't use the lane to avoid roadworks, masses of tyre bursting gravel and other obstacles this seems to make them extremely angry. So much so that I encounter almost daily conflict and abuse, sometimes escalating to having to defend myself whilst riding due motorists attempting to bully me towards the lane with their vehicles.
The objective of the lane was to create a safe environment for cyclists, instead it has done the exact opposite.