Mitcham Road Loves Hogging the Limelight

Yes its more on Mitcham road again, where this week a car has mistaken a traffic island for an overtaking lane. Local cyclist Peter “4ChordsNoNet” Mead recorded this footage of the resulting carnage.  Look carefully and you’ll see the ghost bike we placed at this exact location two months earlier.  Doesn’t that just make you want to go for a spin to visit Merton?  More on the cause of this crash when we hear back from the council on what happened.

Meanwhile we’ve finally managed to get hold of the response of Croydon Council chief exec Jon Rouse’s response to the mother of Neil Turner, who was killed on Mitcham Road in July.  Full e-mail is on our forum. It seems the cycle lanes on which Neil Turner was hurled 30 feet by the car that struck him “complied with guidance in 2007”.  Thankfully, this guidance is due to be updated: “The main change is that when a cycle lane is to be placed outside parked cars we allow a 2metre lane which is an increase from the current 1.5metres”.   Well, its an improvement, what more did you want? Cycle lanes built outside of door zones?  Be serious.

Besides you’ve missed the fantastic news in that message. The road space in Croydon is about to increase by one metre in order to accommodate wider cycle lanes on both sides of the road!  It is not often that the laws of physics bend over backwards to accommodate cycling, so it is great to see them putting in the effort to back our cycling campaign.  Or more likely, the extra half a metre has something to do with this: “These lanes are advisory which means that motorists may drive over or in them”.  Ah, so to fix the dangers on roads with cycle lanes in door zones, one line of paint which offers neither physical nor legal protection to cyclists, is going to move half a metre.  We are saved!

Ah my faithful reader, please don’t despair.  Fortunately there is some good news for cycling on Mitcham Road as in July the Croydon Guardian reported a new cycle-to-school scheme for the pupils of the Archbishop Lanfranc school on this road.  Although I must admit that this has left the Croydon Cycling Campaign a little confused, as the head teacher of this school recently told us “We do not allow pupils to ride bikes to school for reasons of both health and safety and security”.  We are even more confused as to how cycling can be banned by someone who has found that “at our opening and closing times… the traffic is frequently stationary; inconsiderate parking and driving, eg 3 point turns in heavy traffic, are more of a problem”. Banning cycling leads to congestion problems, who would have thought it?