UK News Council blasted for installing 'crazy' cycle lane through bus stop
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A cycle lane which runs right through the middle of a bus stop has been blasted as 'crazy' by commuters who are forced to dodge speeding cyclists as they get on and off the vehicle.
The elderly and young parents with buggies are among those who face the risk of being knocked down as they attempt to cross the newly built cycle lane.
The new initiative, known as a bus boarders' shared lane, is part of a north London council’s attempt to encourage more people to cycle and abandon cars as the capital struggles with the coronavirus pandemic.
The lane is aimed at protecting cyclists on a busy road stretching from Kings Cross to Tufnell Park in north London.
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But one commuter who was almost hit by a cyclist as he exited the No 390 bus near Kings Cross told Mail Online the installation was an ‘accident waiting to happen’.
He said: 'There are no warning signs and people getting off the bus have no idea that cyclists are bearing down on them.
‘I was almost hit by a cyclist as I stepped off the bus. Imagine how hard it must be for a young mum with a pram trying to exit backwards. It really is crazy.'
The 20-metre-long strip of black tarmac has been built over the existing red bus stop and adjacent to a bus shelter.
White diagonal painted lines at the roadside edge are aimed at providing a safe space for passengers to stand in before attempting to walk across to the pavement.
But on the two shared lanes installed in York Way, no warning signs are visible for bus passengers and no announcement is made by the driver to warn those leaving about the risk of cyclists.
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One commuter who stepped off the 390 bus said the scheme was a waste of money and predicted an accident.
‘Sometime the cyclists come speeding along here and unless you’re paying attention there is going to be a nasty collision. Most cyclists never stop at red traffic lights, so why are they going to stop when they see a bus stop?
‘I just don’t get the council building a cycle lane for a few feet. It just seems a waste of money.’
A young mum with a two-year-old daughter who was waiting for a bus said she would be concerned about getting off at night when there is less visibility.
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She said: 'It is alright during the day as I can just look along the road and see if a cyclist is coming, but at night it is a different matter. Many cyclists don’t bother to use lights. I don’t get why this has been built.’
Another passengers, a man in his 40s, said the cycle lane was more of a statement by the Labour run council to show their priority for cycles over cars.
‘Just take a look at what they are doing to the borough with all the pop up cycle lanes. Traffic is a nightmare in Camden and it is only going to get worse.’
The shared bus boarders' lane was installed six weeks ago as part of Camden council’s aim to protect cyclists using the busy road.
The cycle lane is now protected by plastic wands to stop cars from stopping in the lane and forcing cyclists to manoeuvre around parked cars.
The shared bus boarders' lane, jointly financed by Camden Council and Tfl, is designed for the same reason. Two have been installed in Camden, with more set to be added around the capital.
Notices displayed at the bus stop on York Way are labelled Covid 19 Cycling Safety.
It says the shared bus boarder and other changes are to help provide a ‘safe continuous cycling environment’ and also includes the removal of parking spaces and the introduction of double yellow lines to prevent cars from blocking the route.
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The notice adds: ‘The changes we are implementing are mandated by the Government. The Department of Transport has issued statutory guidance to councils to rapidly reallocate road space to people walking and cycling as a response to Covid-19.’
Dozens of pop up cycle lanes and the introduction of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods across the UK have enraged motorists who face increasingly lengthy traffic jams.
The Government offered councils £250m to install barriers across roads to stop them being used as ‘rat runs’ during rush hour by motorists looking for the quickest route to work.
The traffic changes have led to the backlash from motorists and residents of roads affected by the LTNs.
There have been demos in several London boroughs, including Ealing where planters erected to block off roads were overturned.
A spokesman for Camden Council said stop signs have been painted at the start of the shared lane to warn cyclists to slow down and the move is part of an 18 month trial.
The spokesman said: 'The Covi-19 pandemic has created new road safety challenges in Camden, with more people choosing to walk, cycle and drive.
'This change in the way people travel has placed extra pressure on our streets and both the Government and the mayor of London have been clear that local authorities need to be taking steps to address this.
'York Way is key to this and has been identified by residents as somewhere where they would like to see improved walking and cycling features.'
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