Road Safety News

Games Lanes ‘will put cyclists’ lives at risk’

Wednesday 11th July 2012

The decision to ban bicycles from more than 80% of London’s ‘Games Lanes’ will put cyclists’ lives at risk, according to the ETA (Environmental Transport Association).

More than eight out of 10 Games Lanes are situated on the outside of traffic queues, but cyclists will not be allowed to enter these offside Games Lanes for what has been described as ‘safety reasons’ – a policy at odds with national standards for cycle training and one labelled as potentially highly dangerous by the ETA.

Andrew Davis, director at the ETA, said: “Transport planners have wrongly assumed that the best place for bicycles on busy roads is hugging the gutter, but experienced cyclists know that the safest place to overtake slow-moving traffic is down the outside – slap bang where the Games Lanes are.”

The ETA says the problem is particularly acute because the bus lanes that offer cyclists a refuge from London’s busiest traffic are to be removed on the roads affected by Games Lanes.

Andrew Davis continued: “With no bus lane to use and the Games Lane a no-go area for bicycles, a busy stretch such as the Marylebone Road will see cyclists forced to jostle for space with cars and lorries.”

With the exception of roads that cyclists are never permitted to use, the ETA is calling for cyclists to be allowed to use all Games Lanes.

Click here to read the full ETA report.


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Does the coach driver who got lost en route from Heathrow to Stratford count as experienced? Have all of the extra "chauffeurs" been trained on driving in and around London, or is that why they need these lanes with no one else in them? I am going to do what TFL requested during the games - commute on my cycle (as usual). I shall cycle where I consider to be the safest place on the road at the time. Are the fines being imposed spot fines? Or do they have to take every one to court to explain why they consider cycling in the zip lane the safest option?
steve knattress, central london

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

As a London cyclist from the 80's I got fed up of buses and lorries which seemed intent on squashing me. So my answer was to cycle down the middle of the traffic lane, holding everything to my speed.
Jim, Aberdeen

Agree (2) | Disagree (5)

Dave, you beat me to it, as a motorcyclist and cyclist I get fed up of my chosen mode of transportation being neglected by the so called transport/highway planners, you know the kind of thing, slippery manhole covers humps on corners, granite blocks at the mouth of junctions, dangerous wire barriers now Olympic Lanes. I will be very surprised if TfL respond to your request on this one...
Michael Piechocki, Retired Class 1 Police driver, Surrey

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)

What about motorcycles and other powered two wheelers? They are currently allowed to use a lot of the bus lanes in London (not sure if these are the ones being removed?) so they are also being forced back into the main flow of traffic. And faced with a queue of traffic most bikers will choose to filter down the outside where these Olympic lanes will be. Has that been considered? Could someone from TfL respond?
Dave, Leeds

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)

Oh dear, who forgot about the cyclists then? Now I know why motorists have been advised to avoid the area, it is to allow more room for cyclists. Seriously though, this is a major oversight by the traffic planners and it seems to me as a damage limitation exercise it will be best to allow cyclists to use the Olympic Lanes. After all, it's only for 8 weeks and the cars using the lanes will be driven by experienced drivers who should be able to cope with a few cyclists. It is a bit late in the day to repaint a few new cycle lanes. Lessons to be learnt on this one then?
Michael Piechocki, Retired Class 1 Police driver, Surrey

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)