I filmed the cyclelane on Cherry Hinton Road from a drivers perspective whilst viewing other people's treatment and driving around it. It becomes apparent that people driving can't cope with it and regularly fail to respond to it correctly.
I'd argue that the cyclelane itself is thus useless and that it could be considered dangerous to use by people riding.
I believe the cyclelane is relatively new as not on the Google satellite image but do appear on the Google Streetview here. Note that looking through the Google Streetview photos, I'm not alone in finding issue with the cyclelane!
Looking in detail we have several issues.
- Evidence shows that if a cyclelane is painted on the side of a road, people driving tend to place their vehicles closer to riders as they pass. So to include one on a road you have to be fairly sure that it will help people driving stay well clear. In most cases this simply doesn't work.
- Essentially, people driving tend to view the cyclelane as another lane on the road where simply being inside the lines either side is good enough.
- People riding need space on the road bigger than the cyclelane. This is recognised in BikeAbility cycle training and the Highway Code (Rules 163 and 213). This is for wobble room (a gust of wind, a large pothole), just in case they fall over (same reasons), and to avoid airwash from passing vehicles.
- This road is only just wide enough to include an on-road cyclelane and the two lanes going either way. (Note that there is plenty of space a lot of the way down the road outside of the roadspace.) A non-mandatory (dashed lines) cyclelane means cars can use it when necessary. Obviously this is open to interpretation.
- However, if when necessary includes simply when is a straighter line along the road than if not, the whole concept of having a cyclelane in the first place is pointless. It adds no safety to anyone riding. If a painted lane can't train people driving to avoid space for cycling then what's the point in having it?
- On a section towards the end, the cyclelane passes some off-road space where cars are parked. Again, BikeAbility cycle training (PDF page 20) tells anyone riding to not use the cyclelane space. If a door opens, anyone riding in the cyclelane will have their safety seriously compromised.
- Training says move out to being in a space that'd be just outside the cyclelane (where the left handlebar would have plenty of space from an opened door).
- On several occasions, the cyclelane passes a side road. Again, BikeAbility cycle training (PDF page 21) tells anyone riding to not use the cyclelane space. If someone drives from the side road but fails to stop accurately at the Give Way line (which happens a lot), anyone riding in the cyclelane will have their safety seriously compromised.
- Training says move out to being in a space that'd be just outside the cyclelane.
Quite why, in the leading city for cycling in the UK, we are still getting such awful infrastructure diminishing any budget for proper, safe build is laughable if it wasn't so serious.
Here's a few more pictures from Google Streetview showing the failure of people to deal with this cyclelane along with the satellite view showing no cyclelane up until recently.