2 min read

Cycle Superhighway 1

Cycle Superhighway 1

Sometimes analysis is gathering large amounts of data, building complex models, or sexy machine learning.

Sometimes analysis is quick and dirty, and just as effective.

This is part of the Leeds-Bradford Cycle Superhighway 1, and at this point it is about 2’ wide:

Cycle lane, photographer’s foot for scale. Cycle lane is approximately 2 foot wide.


The name “Cycle Superhighway” suggests to me that it should be world-class infrastructure. “Superhighway” suggests it should be at least as good as a motorway, maybe even autobahn levels of quality.

In many segments CS1 falls short of these goals. This is the first I’m ranting about.

The lane generally shrinks this much, or worse, when it passes a bus shelter. It forces cycle traffic into conflict with pedestrians, and people waiting for the bus.

This photo was a couple of weeks ago, I’ve had low motivation lately, but if I went back now it’d be covered in wet leaves. So the clash is even more dangerous than normal.

On the plus side this is one of the rare points where they use a contrasting colour to regular pavement to reinforce that it’s a segregated lane.

I cycle and also drive a car - as a car driver we’d be miffed if we got a super-motorway that was as narrow as the vehicle in places.

Also, part of what makes motorways so safe is the segregation. Forcing bikes into conflict with pedestrians (much slower) or cars (much faster) increases risk on both sides.


In this case, they’ve struggled to squeeze a bus shelter and a segregated bike line on the pavement. On the main road next to it is a 3-lane road with a 40 mph limit and spaces for police to sit in cars waiting for speeders.

There was a half-hearted attempt to make the leftmost lane a bus lane, I’d strengthen it. Preferably to the level where at least the fast bus would not get stuck in traffic.

Without measuring everything, and going OTT, the remaining lanes could probably be narrowed, possibly reducing the limit if necessary. Right now that street communicates that it’s a fast street, but if it were narrower then it might better communicate that there’s driveways directly on it.

In this case there’s plenty of space for cycle and pedestrian/bus users, just most of the space is taken up by cars with 1 or 2 people in them at peak hours.