As Easy As Riding A Bike)
Hackney Cyclist has just drawn attention to Whiston Road, a ‘Quietway’ the forms part of the Central London Grid. As it happens I cycled this morning on another ‘Quietway’ that forms part of the same network, this time in the City of London. It’s a short section that runs from Farringdon Road (where it meets, or will meet, the North-South Superhighway, CS6) and then runs east through the Barbican into the City of London.
I have to say, it is not very good, and as poor a use of money as the Whiston Road scheme, at least as far as enabling cycling (which is what cycling schemes should be doing). Here’s the section I cycled, with the red arrow indicating the obvious desire line.
The first problem is actually getting onto it, at the western end. At the moment there isn’t any help at all; you have to ‘negotiate’ out into a stream of heavy motor traffic as you pass under Holborn Viaduct.
Once the extension of CS6 is built here, there will be an ‘informal’ crossing here, with an island offering some (but not a lot of) protection in the middle of the road.
I was in a small ‘peloton’ of around 20-30 people, and the first thing I noticed is that not a single person opted for the ‘Quietway’ route – everyone else cycled straight ahead, through Smithfield Market, rather than turning right to join the Quietway.
Almost immediately we meet our first ‘Give Way’ – having to yield to traffic heading down the hill from the Market to Farringdon Road. The geometry of the road here means the traffic is travelling pretty fast.