Cycle lanes are slowing down major UK cities

Cambridge is the slowest city in the UK with drivers recording an average speed of 13.73mph

Cyclists and motorists unfortunately don’t enjoy an harmonious relationship in the UK and new information from vehicle tracking firm Satrak could make the situation worse, as it is revealed that Cambridge’s many cycle routes are making it the slowest city centre in the country.
Those driving in the university city will reach an average speed of 13.73 miles per hour, slower even than London, where drivers average 14.59mph, according to data collated by Satrak. In fact, against all expectations, the nation’s capital only came in third on the top 10 list of slowest UK cities.

The many cycle lanes in Cambridge result in slower traffic, says MP

Cycle lanes blamed for city congestion. © N Chadwick.

In second place is the city of Hereford with traffic managing an average speed of 14.09mph here. Rounding out the top five is Ely, Cambridgeshire, and Wolverhampton, West Midlands.
In a bid to encourage bicycle use in Cambridge, the city council has been investing funds into a complex network of cycle lanes. The council claims the investment has proved worthwhile, as the amount of automotive traffic entering the centre has reduced.
However, Robert Flello, a House of Commons Transport Committee member, said the use of space for cycle ways had resulted in reduced space for vehicles, which is a contributing factor to the slow speeds recorded by city drivers.
The same can also be said for London, where millions have pounds have been spent on the cycle superhighways, an initiative started by the previous Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who wanted to create a city cycling route that could challenge the best in the world.
Robert Flello said: “Building more cycle lanes has led to a reduction in road space. You just need to look at London and Cambridge…. It is absolutely crucial that cyclists have a safe place to cycle – but the unintended consequence of this has been slowing down traffic and creating more air pollution.”
At the other end of the spectrum, motorists in Carlisle and Preston, both situated in the north of England, travel along quite comfortably at an average speed of 44.7mph and 39.8mph respectively.
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