Cycling provision in Bounds Green slammed by locals as dangerous and unfit for purpose

New off-carriageway cycling facilities on the A406 in Bounds Green have been strongly criticised by local cyclists, who warn of increased danger to cyclists from the "inadequate and poorly designed facilities".

Coordinator of Haringey Cycling Campaign Michael Poteliakhoff said, "The cycling provision appears to have been factored in to the design at a late stage and with a very low priority and without a proper safety audit.

"There is a strong case for segregated cycle routes to be provided around fast multilane roads such as the A406, and junctions that cross them.

"However, these types of routes have to be designed to be fit for purpose, as they are in Copenhagen, Berlin, Amsterdam, and other sucessful cycling cities."

Works started in spring 2010 on 'improving' a long stretch of the A406, and these have recently been completed.

The new street design includes several cycle tracks intended to make cycling safer and more convenient, but Transport for London failed to approach the London Cycling Campaign or our Haringey group pior to the works to hear the views of local cyclists.

LCC's Mike Cavenett said, "These cycle tracks conform to every dreadful stereotype of British bike lanes. 

"The engineers should be ashamed to have designed and installed solutions that are unfit for purpose, and in many instances endanger people on bikes and on foot, and certainly discourage cycle journeys.

"Mayor Boris Johnson has signed up to our Love London, Go Dutch campaign, which includes a committment to provide highway designs to continental standards. 

"This is his and Transport for London's chance to prove that appalling designs like these are a thing of the past."

Major objections to the new cycling provision include:

  • Priority given to side streets and car park access roads when they cross cycle tracks
  • Cycle tracks beside four-lane highways simply disappearing, leaving cyclists with nowhere to go
  • Toucan crossings designed for pedestrians cyclists that have 'cyclists dismount' signs, encouraging cyclists into unsafe road positions
  • Major junctions that expect people on bikes to cross several lanes of fast-moving motor traffic to turn right
  • Cycle tracks that end at bus stops and create hazards for cyclists and pedestrians

Photos courtesy of Haringey Cycling Campaign's Michael Poteliakhoff

1. Exit from car park on A105

The exit from this car park near the A105 junction looks particularly dangerous because the wall is high enough to obstruct a motorist's view of child cyclists and priority is given to cars. Cyclists are also discouraged from using the route by the stop-start nature of the journey.

It's clear there's space for proper cyclist and pedestrian provision at this junction if some of the roadspace was reallocated to other modes of transport.

2. Cycle tracks disappear into four-lane highways

This two-way cycle route on the north side of Pinkham Way ends with no connection to the westbound carriageway. Cyclists are asked to cross four lanes of two-way traffic to continue to the West. No sensible cyclist would use this route.

3. Toucan crossings with 'cyclists dismount' signs

Toucan crossings at the north and east of the junction to Bounds Green Road and Station Road have prominent 'cyclists dismount' signs, so are not in effect Toucan crossings and could not have been safety audited at the design stage.

4. Right turns where cyclists must cross lanes of fast-moving traffic

Junctions at the A1110, B106 and A105 have no provision at all for cycle use, apart from a right turn bus lane at the B106, reached by crossing two lanes of fast moving traffic.

The sections of cycle track between these junctions have no provision for cycle access from the A406 or from the main intersecting roads. The only way to get on or off them at main roads is to stop and dismount in fast-moving traffic (or if you are lucky when the lights have turned red), making these tracks effectively unusable.

5. Cycle tracks that end at bus stops

At this bus stop east of the A1110 junction the cycle track ends with no indication of where cyclists are meant to go. Pedestrian visibility is obstructed by the advertisement panel. Cyclists may skid on the corduroy paving and the dished channel if going behind the shelter. The cycle track sign is also facing the wrong way.

It would be much safer if the track continued behind the bus stop, or at least merged safely in to a shared-use area (see photo of Spaniards Road, Camden, bottom).