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Is This the Shortest Cycle Lane in the County?

Published on: 23 Jul, 2022
Updated on: 26 Jul, 2022

By Hugh Coakley

A bike freshly painted on Worplesdon Road in Guildford shows a cycle lane for both the lycra clad and the more casual cyclist. It’s complete with a give way triangle and dotted line.

A four-metre long cycleway on Worplesdon Road.

But it’s less than four metres long. Not enough to get up speed or change gears.

Just up the road, also on Worplesdon Road, there is an even shorter example only three metres long, too narrow even to fit the painted cycle without overlapping the yellow line and spilling into the gutter.

An internet search found articles claiming even shorter than our three metres. So we don’t have the proud boast of the shortest cycle lane in the country.

But can we make the claim for Surrey?

A three-metre cycleway on Worplesdon Road.

“No” said a spokesperson for Surrey County Council claiming they “actually cover large distances of the road but they have breaks within them for certain features such as bus stops and driveways.

“However, we acknowledge these cycle paths are not up to the modern standards set out in the Local Transport Note 1/20, which requires modern cycle paths to run consistently without breaks. We are developing local cycling and walking infrastructure plans (LCWIPS) for cycle paths to meet these standards.

“We look forward to developing an LCWIP for Guildford, and if this particular corridor is identified as important for cyclists, we will prioritise funding to bring this up to modern standards.”

Cyclists don’t feel safe with painted cycle paths with one cyclist telling The Dragon they were not brave enough to venture onto Guildford’s roads on two wheels. She said: “The cycle lanes don’t protect you from cars and it’s too busy and fast. And they just stop at the places where you need them most.”

Tom Page from Cycling UK told The Dragon in 2020 he had been clipped by a car on this narrow cycle lane in Burpham.

Tom Page, Cycling UK, said painted lines were “inadequate and play second fiddle to other infrastructure”.

He said: “They are so narrow they encourage dangerous overtaking. The bike symbol doesn’t even fit into the lane in the second photo.

“It’s normal to see school children in Guildford cycling along the pavement next to these so-called bike lanes, a clear demonstration of the lack of protection and sense of security these lanes provide.

“Traffic congestion is a major issue in Guildford. Increasing journeys made by cycles is a great way to ease the pressure on the roads and to create a more livable and local community.”

A long-suffering cyclist told The Dragon: “I’ve been waiting the best part of 40 years for safe cycle routes across the centre of Guildford that don’t involve getting off and pushing.”

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test 3 Responses to Is This the Shortest Cycle Lane in the County?

  1. Nick Bomford Reply

    July 24, 2022 at 11:10 am

    Maybe cycle lanes should now be considered redundant? See: New Highway Code rule that tells cyclists to pedal in the middle of the lane takes effect 29 Jan 2022.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/17419666/highway-code-cyclist-centre-road/

    Should we now perhaps spend all SCC’s hard-earned(!) money, time and effort on removing cycle lanes?

    • J Holt Reply

      July 24, 2022 at 5:14 pm

      Nick Bomford’s comment is not an accurate summary of the Sun’s article or the revised highway code.

  2. Dave Middleton Reply

    July 25, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    While I fully agree that the cycle routes in and around Guildford could do with improving and extending, I personally don’t have a problem getting around on my bike, be it on cycle routes or on shared road space.

    Possibly because I plan my journeys, pay attention to what’s going on around me, use my bell or my voice when needed, ride at a speed that allows me to stop in a safe distance, and I never assume that just because I may have priority (so-called “right of way”) at times, other road users may not defer to me, so I am able to take appropriate action to avoid them.

    Yes, in an ideal world we would have complete physical segregation of cycles, pedestrians and motorised vehicles, but short of flattening our towns and cities and starting afresh, that’s not going to happen.

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