Staying in your own lane
29th September, 2021
Over here at Jorvik we conducted a survey to uncover what cyclists find annoying about motorists and give them a chance to let everyone else know what they think about their annoying road habits! The survey revealed that compared to only 19% of people getting annoyed by cyclists not obeying road laws, 29% of cyclists were most annoyed by pedestrians and motorists intercepting cycle lanes.
Everyone has surely got distracted by their phone and drifted into a cycle lane without realising. Or maybe even parked in a cycle lane while you’ve quickly popped into the shop? While we’re all guilty of making these little mishaps, cyclists aren’t able to stay in their own lane if it’s clogged up with wandering pedestrians and parked vehicles.
This doesn’t make too much sense to us though … blocking cycle lanes force cyclists manoeuvre back into the flow of traffic, which is what motorists are always moaning about. So who is it who needs to stay in their own lane?
Pop-up cycle lanes
During the pandemic, pop-up bicycle lanes were installed throughout the UK not only to test new traffic management strategies but also a temporary solution to manage higher levels of bicycle traffic. Cycling levels massively increased during the pandemic as people began cycling to improve their fitness, pass the empty hours and also to get from A to B without using public transport.
Although these pop-up cycle lanes didn’t cause much commotion during the pandemic because traffic levels fell dramatically, as road traffic returns to post-pandemic levels they have begun to cause some controversary. Many motorists are complaining that they are taking up existing traffic lanes, narrowing busy roads and causing severe congestion in towns and cities. Many of these pop-up cycle lanes are also simply marked by bollards and cones which have frequently been ‘removed’ by motorists themselves!
So, what’s the plan now?
Although these pop-up cycle lanes may not very popular with motorists, it is more important than ever to introduce new and improved bike-friendly infrastructure to accommodate for the higher number of cyclists on the roads.
Boris Johnson announced plans to pled £2 billion towards new cycling and walking initiatives, initially looking to put £250 million into creating new and safer cycle lanes, increasing access to e-bikes as well as consulting to strengthen the Highway code to better protect cyclists.
So … although cycle lanes were initially introduced for cyclists ease, comfort and also in an attempt to alleviate the tensions between cyclist and motorists. It seems that segregating the rivals hasn’t helped, but has only heightened tensions as both motorists and cyclists have become territorial of their own lanes.
But, with everyone always telling cyclists to get back in their own lane, is it about time motorists and pedestrians listened to their own advice?