Olympic countdown - Reasons for a London Cycle Map, #43. The LCC was advocating a similar plan just two years ago.

#43. THE LCC WAS ADVOCATING A SIMILAR PLAN JUST TWO YEARS AGO. This article on the LCC’s website shows that, amazingly, just two years ago they were advocating a plan similar to the London Cycle Map.

Their ‘BikeGrid’ was designed to provide ‘a series of east-west and north-south traffic-calmed or cycle-lane-equipped routes that provide a cost-effective and complete Zone 1 cycle network’.

The article complains about the ‘lack of any complete east-west or north-south cycle routes in London’, and the ‘scrapping of the London Cycle Network while only 60% complete’.

In the article’s comments section, Mike Cavenett, the LCC’s communications officer (now manager), explained that ‘The BikeGrid is formed largely around calming existing roads in central London, rather than building new segregated facilities’.

Since 2010, the LCC has completely changed direction and is now advocating ‘segregated bike tracks where motor traffic is heaviest’ as part of three flagship Go Dutch schemes. The LCC, in other words, now wants to see expensive new cycle routes on main roads (because ‘main roads are fast, direct, easily navigable routes that many Londoners want to use’) rather than a completed network of backstreets (which are ‘frequently indirect and disconnected’).

What happened? Did the LCC discover how difficult it is to market the idea of a properly mapped and signed London Cycle Network? Admittedly, the idea doesn’t sound very glamorous! Was the LCC not getting enough donations and members based on the BikeGrid proposal? I’d love to know the answers to these questions.

Parker’s London Cycle Map offers an ingenious way to sign and mark the streets of the otherwise bewilderingly complex London Cycle Network. His plan, which was clearly the inspiration behind the LCC’s BikeGrid, offers not just east-west or north-south routes, but a comprehensive set of routes spread right around the compass face, thereby connecting just about any two places in London with a single straight cycle route. There is nothing ‘indirect’ or ‘disconnected’ about the routes on Parker’s London Cycle Map, save for a handful of extra segments that would be required to complete its implementation.

Parker’s extremely cost-effective proposal would be exactly what non-cyclists in London need – safe passage from anywhere to anywhere in the capital – yet the LCC have turned their backs just two years after championing a similar scheme. Never mind going Dutch, that’s going AWOL.


The LCC's 'BikeGrid'...

Looks familiar..? (An early version of Simon Parker's London Cycle Map)


You ask what happened to the

You ask what happened to the LCC's proposal to develop a series of east-west and north-south cycle routes. The answer, of course, is that nothing happened to it, just as nothing happened to another great idea of theirs to make London a world-class cycling city, the LCN+. If we were to judge these people solely by their fruits, rather than by their 'good intentions', it would appear that all we need to know about the LCC is that they offer their members free third-party insurance.

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