My love for Southend council is well known, but isn't it wonderful that even with my low opinion of them, they still strive to dip further in my estimations! Currently the council are car parking crazy... having in one fail swoop stopped just about every 'free' roadside parking space that was left in town. All of these spots have now been converted into 'permit holder' only spaces... roads and roads of 'em. And to be honest, I'm not sure if anyone has actually got one of these 'permits', because just about every space now seems permanently empty day and night. Still, you can of course park in the council car parks instead, a bargain at £10 a day.
This permit scheme remains in force on Saturdays too, thus ensuring the council are doing everything they can to attract much needed shoppers to the area. This will be the same council who will be scratching their heads in the near future saying they just can't understand why everyone is going to the nearby Lakeside shopping centre with its 13,000 FREE parking spaces....
But this isn't my reason for blogging.... The council must have bought a job lot of paint to mark out all these permit holder parking spaces, and with a few tins left over decided to scrawl a few cycle lanes in the town. Very commendable I hear you cry, just the thing to encourage people to be green, get some exercise blah blah... But I'd wager that the person who designed this particular cycle lane that sprung up a couple of weeks ago has never ridden a bike in his or her life. How can I be so sure? Well would a cyclist design this:
Yes, roll-up, roll-up ladies and gents, try your luck in Death Ally. Successfully survive a whole week and win any prize off the top row. It must be like a game of Russian roulette, as you nervously pass each parked car, just waiting for the door that springs out and sends you 20 yards down the road (minus bike).
a brave cyclist tries his luck at this latest game of skill and chance.... will he make it to the end? I hear the makers of that Total Wipeout programme are considering using it in the next series.
Oddly I always used to think cycle lanes were devised to protect cyclists, not lure them into added danger! Isn't there supposed to be some sort of barrier between the two, or at least a gap? There is only parking on one side of this one-way street, and before this lane appeared, all the bikes were just in the inside of the road, which as you may just see in the pictures is all double yellow lines.... so the odd drain to contend with yes, but at least no spring-door in the face at any moment. Admittedly this road is fairly narrow, but if that was the problem, wouldn't someone with half a brain have just put the cycle lane on the OTHER side of the road, where there is no car parking??!
They have also just created a similar death-trap along part of Southend seafront too. Well done SBC, yet another example of an excellent spend of our council tax..