Dismount? Are you having a bubble?

Two thousand cyclists per day are currently being instructed to get off their bikes at a temporary narrowing of the Kingsland Road for bridge works being conducted by the East London Railway extension project … and 2000 cyclists per day are quite reasonably ignoring the instruction.

What is the practical difference between a powered two-wheeler (eg a 50cc moped) and a cyclist going at 15-20mph in these circumstances? Nothing. Both will need to negotiate to merge with other traffic and go through the narrowing one vehicle at a time, as we do at every other kind of road narrowing. The fact that this narrowing happens to be under a bridge makes no difference. The instruction to dismount is based on sheer superstition.

What is required here, if anything, is a sign to warn all traffic to slow down through the narrowing. Some extra temporary lighting under the bridge wouldn’t do any harm either.

It is particularly disappointing to see this sign rear its ugly head on Kingsland Road now, because last summer we successfully worked with Transport for London’s Cycling Centre of Excellence to persuade the East London Railway team (also a division of Transport for London) that¬†similar dismount instructions at bridge works round the corner on Old Street were unreasonable. Those signs were removed, and we were given an assurance that all of the project’s bridge engineers would be informed about the issue, and that the problem would not recur as the project proceeded north to Dalston.

We shall be contacting the East London Line Project once again to request the immediate removal of this sign and to seek a further assurance that we shall not see it pop up elsewhere.