I'm a frequent user of this route and man I hate that cycle track - the number of drivers that try and turn across the cycle track along the stretch between TCR and Woburn Place is awful; I've had a few near misses along there myself. Also some cyclists along that route seem to have a real problem with overtaking into oncoming cyclists (and I wish the Hare Krishnas (and whoever it is that seems to frequently wheel metal trolleys down it) wouldn't tow their trolley down there, there just is not space for oncoming cyclists to pass them safely).
That said, at one point I lived near the junction of Tavistock Place/Marchmont Street and watched as TfL had to redesign that junction to protect (a, sadly and surprislingly large, number of) cyclists from their own stupidity. I saw no end of near misses with cyclists who couldn't be bothered to either wait at the red light or (if travelling eastbound) filter into the main carriageway and pass through the green light there. I currently frequently cycle from the north, down Marchmont St. and right onto Tavistock place and I'm still amazed by the number of near misses (or not near, just misses) I have with RLJing cyclists on this junction who go through when the Marchmont St. lights are green, or nearly hit pedestrains by going through when the pedestrian lights are green. And, in their infinite wisdom, TfL have decided to remove the traffic light on the opposite side of the junction - only leaving one in line with the ASL (when approaching from the north). This means that any cyclists that assumes that the ASL is a good place to stop (e.g. if they're unfamiliar with the junction) cannot see the lights.
And the number of times I've nearly hit pedestrians at the junction with TCR because they don't realise the cycle lane contraflows. And the merge back into the main traffic at both ends isn't always great, either - someone stops too far forward/encroaches on the cycle lane hampering the cyclist or cyclists stop right in the mouth of the lane, blocking it, rather than using the ASL. And if the lights are green merging with the moving traffic really isn't safe (especially if on the TCR junction, or turning right onto Judd St.).
There's a time and a place for such segregated cycle tracks, but a relatively small road with so many side junctions and vehicles turning in and out of them is not it. It would be far better not to have lanes such as these and spend the money saved on training cyclists and drivers on how to use the roads properly and safely.
This post was edited by
08:52pm 17 Apr 2012.