So there has been much hooing and haaaing over the whole, do cycle lanes make cars get closer to bikes debate. I just don't understand the hype, of course they do.
Along the Uxbridge Road there are both cycle and bus lanes and I lurve the bus lanes. The cycle lanes, not so much. Drivers seem to disengage the part of their brain that judges safe passing distance because if they're not crossing the dotted line, surely that means they're being responsible? Actually it just means that they're being totally selfish nobheads.
Bus lanes are fab because buses are far less frequent than cars so you have huge stretches with just you and the bike sailing along in a large, bright-red lane that no cars will touch because they'll be fined if they do. Cycle lanes are often parked in, driven in by scooters as well as cars, and many are so narrow that to get the whole width of your handlebars between the lines you cycle in the gutter through gravel, glass and the occasional dog poo.
The flagrant abuse of cycle lanes is what makes them so rubbish. Why the hell can't parking wardens get with the programme and start ticketing those who would force cyclists into the path of traffic because they need to avoid the five-minute walk caused by parking somewhere sensible (and legal)?
With this in mind, I've signed the Sustrans petition on making cycling safer (for women in particular).
I love to cycle and I love my bike, but when idiots swing in close 'But I haven't crossed the line even though my wing mirror's practically smacking your bottom' I know why other women are put off. Men tend to be far more risk-loving in my experience albeit limited. Maybe the government should stop whining about traffic congestion and actually invest in getting more people out of their cars.