2012 Priority Campaign: Go Dutch - Continental main roads

What do you think about making this the priority campaign for cyclists in the 2012 London elections:
Go Dutch - Contnental main roads
Clear space for cycling on main roads in every borough

more details...   http://lcc.org.uk/pages/main-roads


This post was edited by London Cycling Campaign at 6:17pm 20 November 2012.


  • By dave at 9:07pm 5 July 2011


"Road space" is such a woolly term. The LCC has worded it like this to be attractive to your mum/gran/son who sees the pretty picture of a segregated cycle track, whilst suggesting a simply more blue paint to appease the lycra warriers who want to keep the right to cycle at 20mph in A-roads round central London.

I really don't know what I'm voting for here. The title "Going Dutch" should by principally about segregation. Please LCC don't shy away from this word.

There is plenty of 'space' for bikes round Aldgate gyratory, or lanes covered in Boris' lovely blue paint. But motorcycles enter cycle-boxes, lorries drive into the blue lanes at the junctions, delivery vans park in space on main roads, etc. etc.. Waste of.

We need roads that my mum/gran/son will be drawn to cycle in. The ONLY way to avoid the BATTLE on the roads is to be segregated, like in Holland.

NO to blue paint. NO to wide roads. YES to physical barriers protecting cyclists along main roads.

Cologne has a simple rule - all roads have either a separated cycle track or allow you to cycle on the pavement. It is bliss. My mum hasn't cycled for 20 years, but was happy to cycle all around the town centre. There are only so many Greenways and canal tow paths in London which live up to this standard.

Any quick survey of cycling modal share indicate the only way to get out of the 2% doldrums we're in is to use our road space to segregate cyclists.


  • By emrobs at 9:05am 6 July 2011

actually I'm not sure we need to go that far.   Camden is a lovely example of what can work - I can cycle on dedicated, reserved lanes or signposted side streets from Holloway to Tottenham court road.  lovely.  It's not necessarily the quickest route but it works.   We don't need to give every road a reserved space but we do need to apply some common sense to obvious routes - how about the A1 through city route - we could sorely do with proper routes to work that don't end on ridiculous blue paint or a major gyratory system.   


In the meantime,   has anyone received a voting form?   I received the original email advising about the vote but I'm not a paid-up member - does that mean I don't get a vote?

  • By ma499 at 7:06pm 6 July 2011

@dave: the emphasis on road space is because the major challenge to good quality facilities is the political will to make the space available. This precisely to deal with the issue of superficial blue/green paint and advisory white lines.


@emrobs: the voting forms have gone out by email to paid-up members. We think it's only fair that they should make the decision rather than the public at large. Perhaps we shoudl have made that clear. Of course if you join up quickly we'll make sure you get a vote :-)

  • By Austen at 9:05pm 6 July 2011

For me, the infrastructure improvements of "Go Dutch: clear space for cycling on main roads in every borough" would enable "Start Right: getting 100,000 children cycling regularly to school" and "Love Thy Neighbourhood: double the number of local journeys by bike" to be met and hopefully deal with "Unwind: replace the 10 worst gyratories with cycle-friendly junctions" in one fell swoop. 

The difficulty with Go Dutch is that not every main road is within the gift of the Mayor. In my borough of Croydon, we have three red routes (A22, A23 and A232) under the direct control of TfL and thus the Mayor. Other A-roads like the A236 I use each day on my commute to and from work are the responsibility of the local councils. 

However, I think the Mayor can push through improvements, either directly through TfL or by controlling the allocation of funding to local boroughs via the LIP process.

What Go Dutch - "clear space for cycling on main roads in every borough" should mean in practice is key. We've had the LCN, then the LCN+ and now CSHs - and plenty to gripe about in each case.  

I wonder if the blueprint for Go Dutch should be for each borough to improve its A roads to the standards laid down in the London Cycling Design Standards manual - neither TfL nor the boroughs should be able to wriggle out of that, surely? But is it good enough for us?


London should aim to copy the successful Dutch Bicycle Masterplan. We need to fundamentally change the way our roads are designed in order to make cycling easy, fun and natural, as it is in Holland and Denmark. Every road engineering project should be required to incorporate high-quality cycle infrastructure, unless doing so is physically impossible. The mayor should support initial construction of a few high-profile segregated routes in central London (e.g. Regent's Park to the South Bank, and along Oxford Street), which will set the standard for other boroughs to follow. Cycle paths should be wide enough for tricycles, cargo bikes and other human powered vehicles.

Cycle route planning needs to be given higher priority in order to ensure that the routes are continuous and direct. For example, car parking spaces along roads should be removed if the space is required for a key cycle link. Road junctions should be designed to give cyclists priority over motorised traffic wherever possible.

We need illustrated standards, and some sort of notification system of when changes are planned, not waiting for the consultation when they've already made up their minds.  Blackfriars is a case in point, I'm not sure what we're for, 20mph can't be it, the cars going over there on Friday night were racing much faster than 20mph despite the apparent speed limit.

I think one main road in each borough, the full useful length, is a great idea.  I'd propose the A200 from London Bridge to Greenwich.  There's lots of space to work with there I think.  The A2210 down to Lewisham and A21 onwards would be nice.  Almost temted to say it should focus on junctions first (reverse of the failed LCN+).

  • By clneely at 12:05pm 31 July 2011

The key is good design, look at the dreadful, dangerous as you come off it, segregated route at Waterloo roundabout, but it is also the cultural stuff.

My nephew had a lovely well designed, direct, segregated cycle route from his home town in Nailsworth to school/college in Stroud but never used it.

He was driven by his petrol head stepfather, went on the bus with his mates and latterly drove himself.

This last year he has lived in my household in South London. CPZ on my street so he abandoned his car. Took up cycling to work along Coldharbour & Acre Lane and the A24 dangerous un segregated roads. Why?it gave him an extra hour in bed over 2 buses and was cheap, but crucially as I have seen with people who have lived here over the years, in this household cycling and walking is the transport mode of choice.

Stevenage is enough example, great segregation, everyone drives.

I've suspected for a while that the 20mph limit is the single most useful thing we can push for: the difference on Queens Gate SW7 in different traffic conditions is striking. Sometimes it is a very fast-moving dual carriageway (most motorised traffic moving at around 35 mph), and at others it is a calm, moderately fast integrated flow (around 15mph).Of course at other times it's a traffic jam that does no-one any favours!

So perhaps the key is pushing for 20mph that will be enforced.

I'm reticent about segregation because we know that it causes more accidents ( http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/digest/research.html ) and where in the UK it seems to have happened (e.g. Milton Keynes) it has not led to more cycling.

  • By Jon Fray at 12:26pm 17 October 2011

If "Dutch" bikes are suitable for Dutch towns and cities, Dutch cycle tracks and Dutch commuting distances, are Dutch bikes also suitable for commuting in London?

I'm guessing that people commute much further by bike in Greater London and for a longer time than Dutch people do, else they'd be much higher sales of Dutch bikes in the UK. I appreciate that facilities shouldn't only be there for commuting, but it's got me thinking.



I think the Go Dutch campaign is ace. Really good clear plans to help put policy makers make London safer for cyclists.

My only comment is about presentation. It would be really easy for all the candidates to sign up to these principles and then do nothing. It's also quite difficult for non-cyclists to understand what's being asked for. I'd suggest the need to have a clear commitment that involves a measurable result - x miles of extra safe cycling space or something.

I'd also think about how to present the campaign to the 'I don't cycle, I wish I could but it's too dangerous' public. I think it's a big constituency in London that could be mobilised to influence the candidates - a 'We Want To Ride' petition calling for some of the things the Go Dutch campaign maybe?

I'm new to cycling in London, having formally been in the 'I don't cycle, I wish I could...' category and recently decided to give it a go, and I don't really understand exactly what needs to be done but it's clear something does urgently need fixing. I think a lot of people are like me and LCC is in a unique position to present that message to them as well as to the candidates.

  • By WICnext at 12:27pm 24 January 2012

Hello everyone,

As a Dutch guy it's interesting to see this discussions. We are exporting a Dutch bike brand Union bicycles to the U.K. For us it's great to see that we can share our know-how about cycling and infrastructure. We have some interesting documents with research available from our server http://www.wicnext.com/Documentation

We believe this is really valauble information which should be shared with decisionmakers to create bikefriendly cities. In Amsterdam there is also little space for bikers on the road but we believe it's about acceptance and respect for the cyclist. Last November we cycled London we were blast away about the lycra racing guys on the bike which cycle like they want to end their lives. We cycled with our new models about 3,5 hour every day to visit dealers and feel the city. We didn't wear a helmet and we enjoyed being faster then the busses, cars and cabs.

This year we have some great bikes available and we believe our bikes fit the london culture. Follow us on http://www.facebook.com/unionbicycles and feel free to contact us with suggestions.

Greetings from Amsterdam

Rik van Eijk - info@wicnext.com

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