Cyclists in the Netherlands using main roads like Stratford High Street are protected from cars

This street (below) in Rotterdam is a busy thoroughfare for motor traffic, but also for bicycles by virtue of the two-way cycle track running alongside it.

Large roads like this typically have two-way tracks either side because making cycilsts cross over large streets to ride 'with the flow' could make short journeys much longer.

Again in Rotterdam, this street (below) benefits from wide, smooth tracks on both sides of the road.

Even though this road is narrower, with only motor one lane in each direction, planners have again opted for two-way cycle tracks to make bike journeys safer and more comfortable, as well as more direct and convenient. 

If we compare these facitlities with the three lanes of motor traffic in each direction on Stratford High Street (below), we quickly realise why so few East Londoners are prepared to travel even short distances by bicycle.