Cycle superhighway 8 and 2 start to paint London blue

Cycle Superhighway 8 showing the starting sign that points the route

By Summer 2011 two new Cycle Superhighways will be crossing through London. I wanted to see how they were coming along so I posed the question on Twitter..


  • @suspectpackage cs8, painted the road blue a bit, wouldn’t call it progress though, just back from Holland 😛
  • @ianbar33 CS8 getting on but surface not good between Vaux Bridge and Chelsea Bridge as I now have the blue over my frame and top!! Not happy
  • @angus_fx there’s been blue paint on Battersea High St for a couple of months now. Don’t know if that counts as "progress" :o)
  • @rokav enjoyed a cycle along a largely-complete section of CS8 on Grosvenor Road on Sunday

Armed with the knowledge there would at least be a few strips of blue paint to checkout (so exciting!) I went along with my camera to investigate.

CS8 coming to an abrumpt end

“Oh no, we’ve run out of blue paint. Where’s the nearest B&Q?”

The above picture shows the previously dilapidated green cycle route. The new blue route is now located on the road. Not really an improvement. If anything a beginner cyclist, which is exactly who we need to encourage, would probably feel much safer on the previous route. Hopefully, if the planners have any sense, which we know they rarely do when it comes to cycling provision, they will build a barrier to keep cars out of the cycle lane.

Cycle Superhighway 8 the big blue

This picture above is far more encouraging. A nice big wide blue lane that has plenty of room for cyclists to overtake. Full points for this part of Cycle Superhighway 8 go to TfL!

Cycle Superhighway 8 problems

Unfortunately, the final picture was less encouraging. When I was asked what I thought about the motorbikes in the bus lanes trial I would of given a more favourable answer if motorbikes hadn’t translated the trial as permission to ride in all cycle lanes too.

I recognise it’s a little harsh to critique Cycle Superhighway 8 even before it’s finished so I’ll be revisiting when it is officially finished.

Note: Nicole is meant to be posting on Tuesday but she’s very busy at the moment with work so you are stuck with me!

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24 Responses to Cycle superhighway 8 and 2 start to paint London blue

  1. Tommi 17/05/2011 at 12:13 pm #

    I filmed (almost) the whole CS8 route on Easter Friday so it’s somewhat outdated, but you can see the videos in and

    Took another ride few days later in rush hour and I can’t say it filled me with any confidence. My favourite part must’ve been in Wandsworth where the blue lane is regularly interrupted by a couple parking places – the lane does not move to the right, it just ends. After two cars the lane continues for hundred or so metres and ends again. Few more cars, etc…

    • b 30/06/2011 at 2:58 pm #

      got car-doored on one earlier. the route is probabaly more gaps, bus-stops and car-parking spaces than it is blue line. and even then most cars drove in it anyway. these things are a dangerous joke. and sadly they will probabaly serve as an excuse untill the next bunch of idiots comes along to waste our money on a new way of getting injured………..

  2. botogol 17/05/2011 at 12:32 pm #

    I prefer the cycle-lane on the road to one on the pavement
    – usually a better underlying surface
    – pavement ones seem to be easy options to dig up (viz CS3 on cable street)
    – when there are side roads the on-road cyclepath makes it much clearer who has right of way… cycle path is part of the main road makes it clear you are part of the main road traffic
    – cyclepath on the road makes it clear that bikes are entitled to the use the raod – viz CS3 on Cable Street again: if a cyclist strays off the bumpy narrow blue cycle path and cycles along smooth Cable St itself, cars hoot as if it’s not allowed.

    • Andreas 17/05/2011 at 1:25 pm #

      I imagine they will dig up the pavement and I agree with you that I would choose (and did choose) the route on the road.

  3. Yvann 17/05/2011 at 12:38 pm #

    CS2 is coming along nicely, long stretches through Mile End are all done (including *thankfully* levelling off drains so that it’s not bumpitybump central). Too many motorbikes sitting in the advanced stop boxes though – very unpleasant for cyclists who have to breathe their exhaust!

    • Andreas 17/05/2011 at 1:24 pm #

      Thanks for reporting on CS2 – glad to hear it’s making good progress!

  4. Kerena 17/05/2011 at 12:45 pm #

    What’s the deal with motorcyclists in bike boxes at traffic lights? Are they allowed to use them or not? Drives me up the wall – but of course, even if they’re not allowed to use them, no one is policing it…

    • Andreas 17/05/2011 at 1:24 pm #

      This is murky waters Kerena and it took a Guardian journalist a lot of phoning around to discover if it’s breaking the law. Eventually they discovered it is:

      • Kerena 17/05/2011 at 1:46 pm #

        Thanks Andreas. I thought I remembered reading something about it. Don’t suppose it’ll get policed any more. Motorcyclists are frequently in the boxes very deliberately. It’s definitely more tricky with cars – but no one seems to care either way!

  5. Ian 17/05/2011 at 1:05 pm #

    CS8 is looking good but WARNING – there is a bit between Vauxhall Bridge and Chelsea Bridge under a tree which is fading fast all over people’s bikes!! Took me 2hrs to clean my carbon frame the other day. Not impressed by the build quality of the road!! Sort it out Boris. Rant over – CS8 will be great when sorted properly.

  6. thereverent 17/05/2011 at 2:44 pm #

    CS8 is a bit like CS7, some good bits and some bits where TfL need to improve it.

    I took a look at it last month.

    The lane on Milbank is nice and wide (although I have seen Taxis using it as a undertaking lane).
    The turn off Chelsea bridge onto Milbank is difficult as there is often so much traffic it can be hard to get in the right hand lane.
    Battersea Park road stil has too much parking on it meaning often the lane disappears and in rush hour it’s too narrow to get past the static traffic in the only lane.
    The bits where is heads off road (around Queenstown Road and Wandsworth one-way system the wait for a green light at the crossings is very long.

  7. U1875 17/05/2011 at 5:19 pm #

    CS8 is good. Nice to ride and quite large and plenty of space for cyclists. Only, beside motorbikes, vans and cars invading the CS8 there are a lot of crazy cyclists zigzaging in and out of the lane in a very dangerous way. Today, I saw a cyclist invading the space of a motorbike coming out suddenly out of the CS8 and the motorbike almost hit the cyclist (for once it wasn’t motorbike’s fault). The cyclist started shouting at the biker and they went in this way for quite a while…. More respect from bikers and cyclists would make life easier for everybody.

  8. skippy 17/05/2011 at 8:18 pm #

    Looking at the width of the cycle lane makes me wonder if the “planners” have FINALLY woken up !
    My recollections of riding in the UK are dominated by memories of dodging “foxholes” in the dry and “Swimming pools” when wet .
    Staying alive on English roads involves being prepared to ride wide early or you get sideswiped into stationary vehicles .
    Currently at the Giro and am finding that more of their drivers are behaving as if they lived in the UK , or have most UK drivers moved to Italy for the better weather and brought their bad habits with them ?

    When a bike lane is built it should be continous not an after thought where drivers can park to grab a fe items from the store ! M/cycles also need to remember that they have their place and if the rider wants to be a cyclist then they are welcome w/out the noxious exhaust fumes !

  9. tmw1708 18/05/2011 at 8:40 am #

    Used to hate the York Road section between Tirinty Road and Lombard Road as was very tight with traffic hugging the gutter so no room for bikes. With the changes (still) being put in there looks like they’ll be more room for everyone. Also, having been a sceptic about the worth of the blue paint I was pleasantly surprised how well cars etc kept themselves to themselves. So far so good…

    • Andreas 18/05/2011 at 9:45 am #

      Pleased to hear about the cars sticking to their lane!

  10. JonF 18/05/2011 at 11:24 am #

    “their lane”????

    It’s ours too you know. 🙁

  11. Kenny 19/05/2011 at 5:45 pm #

    What is the law regarding motor cycles in cycle lanes? I mainly use CS3 and only really see the problem at the junction at Poplar High Street and Cotton Street, however on Upper/Lower Thames Street where there is a marked cycle path (recently repainted too) which whilst it isn’t a Cycle Superhighway, I find I get tailed with motor bikes and scooters every time I use it – and I mean the full length of the cycle lane – not just at junctions! They’re a blooming nuisance.

    • Andreas 20/05/2011 at 8:29 am #

      Good question Kenny. I’ve not read anything about motorcycles in cycle lanes. I only presume it is illegal. Anyone have any info on this?

  12. Ale 20/05/2011 at 10:23 am #

    Depends wether there’s a solid or dashed white line delimiting the lane. If it’s a solid line, it’s a compulsory lane and only bicycles are allowed in it. If it’s a dashed line, it’s advisory, and anyone can drive in it, including cars and lorries.

    Unfortunately most cycle lanes are of the latter type.

  13. Crustdabike 20/05/2011 at 11:12 am #

    I have to say that my experience of the Cycle Superhighways is that the blue paint becomes something of a slip hazard in the wet. Probably just me, but does anyone else have this experience?

  14. rosamundi 22/05/2011 at 9:35 pm #

    CS2 isn’t so great. Seems to be two different types of road marking being used, and they’ve taken two lanes of traffic down to one and a half by painting the blue stripe down the road. Cars, and especially anything large (e.g. the 25 bus which goes down the Mile End Road) have no choice but to go into the cycle lane because the left-hand lane of traffic has been narrowed so much. Meanwhile, the pavement is wide enough for ten people to walk abreast. Really don’t understand why they didn’t split the pavement and have half for bikes, half for pedestrians, and leave two lanes on the road for cars. It’s going to be hell come the Olympics, I think they’ve declared the Mile End Road a priority Olympic traffic route.

  15. Carolyn 01/06/2011 at 8:29 am #

    As a user of the CS 3 & 7, a year later, the state of these is awful, with many bits having been dug up and replaced with lumps of tarmac other bits blackened by bus use? No sign of any proper upkeep.

    Let’s hope instead of cyclists having to fight for road space, it will be motorised traffic that will be assigned a small specific space to drive in. 🙂

  16. Kenny M 01/06/2011 at 8:27 pm #

    I very much agree with you Carolyn. It almost disappears in Poplar since they resurfaced the road, although the surface is much better now, and it’s fast fading away in Wapping although the little blue patches on the road weren’t the best anyway. Pretty crazy seeing as CS3 and 7 cost 15 million quid each to paint and within a year they’re looking rather sorry for themselves.

  17. Dave 22/05/2012 at 9:54 am #

    When I first started riding a bike aged 12 my Nan taught me this little rhyme

    Here lies the body of Jonathan Gray
    Who died maintaining his right of way
    He was quite in the right, as he sped along
    But he’s just as dead as if he had been wrong.

    I never want it as an epitaph

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