This bicycle creates its own cycle lane

bike lays its own cycle lane

The news that Oxford Street is to be free of motorised traffic couldn’t come soon enough. Research by King’s College recently found nitrogen dioxide levels on London’s Oxford Street to be the worst on Earth – a shocking revelation that is prompting new restrictions on the type of vehicles permitted to enter London.  Dr David Carslaw, Environmental Research Group, was quoted in relation to air pollution levels on Oxford Street: ‘To my knowledge this [level] is the highest in the world in terms of both hourly and annual mean.  NO2 concentrations [in Oxford Street] are as high as they have ever been in the long history of air pollution.’

But now for the bad news. The London Mayor and planners at TfL have decided to make no provision for cycling on the 80 ft-wide street – even though many similarly sized pedestrianised shopping streets in Europe manage to operate very successfully as a shared space.

The broader context is deadly air pollution, the fact that any proposed alternative cycling route will not free of buses and HGVs, and as strong need to send a practical and political message about shared space. It makes the decision to ban bicycles ridiculous. In response we’ve cobbled together something equally ridiculous; a bicycle that lays its own cycle lane.

If plans for Oxford Street remain unchanged, we’ll be visiting it with our  contraption…

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  1. Jim Clark


    In my youth I knew this area well, I worked in Stratford Place and was a regular at such dens of iniquity as the 100 club, Marquee and several other jazz clubs and pubs both sides of Oxford Street and in the lanes of Soho. All within easy walking distance of Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road tube stations which are in Oxford Street and several other stations nearby
    Until cyclists stop acting like car drivers and think they have the right to mow down pedestrians, then I’m all for them being prevented from cycling along this section. The clue is in the word pedestrianized.

  2. Pete Webb


    ETA needs to set up a campaign/petition to allow bicycles BUT cyclists are sometimes their own worst enemy – i.e. speed of a few selfish cyclists in shared & pedestrian areas. Maybe a small cycle lane. I cycle a lot and even I get fed up with lycra louts on bikes

    • Jacob


      Research from CCTV of pedestrian areas (not necessarily shared use) has shown that the vast majority of cyclists moderate their speed based on the numbers of people on foot. Having said that, clearly there need to be rule and enforcement for those that are unable to moderate their speed

  3. The ETA


    Jim, if you are a regular visitor to this site, you’ll be familiar with the fact that many pedestrians are killed and many more maimed as they walk on the pavement by cars. Given that of the 1,730 people killed on British roads in 2015 just two – 0.12% – were killed in collisions with cyclists, it is obvious to us that cyclists are not ‘ acting like car driver’ and that their contribution to the road danger that injures tens of thousands every year (not to mention to 50,000 dying each year in Britain due to air pollution) is at best negligible. .The point we are trying to make is that many enlightened cities around the world have found that shared space does work and that the result is fewer deaths and injuries, cleaner air and a more pleasant environment for all.

  4. Jim Clark


    Sorry but I’ve been forced to step into the road by a cyclist on a pavement recently, who was also going the wrong way down a one way street.
    There is a shared use path near me that when I was working I was involved in the planning negotiations as it went through a site I was responsible for. Now retired I frequently use this, I now step on to the verge when I see a cyclist just in case. Most slow down and say thanks, or at least nod or smile, some even stop to have a chat, Some though speed by as if they have the right of way.
    I’m not talking about deaths I’m talking about aggressive cycling that I expect every pedestrian has encountered.

    • The ETA


      All types of anti-social behaviour need to be dealt with. The problem is that many equate the threat posed by cyclists as the same, or worse, than the road danger caused by motorised traffic.

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