Liverpool Council’s Pop-up Cycle Lane Fiasco

Earlier this month Liverpool Council opened its second pop-up cycle lane and what a disaster it was! At just one meter wide the lane was completely unusable for anyone other than the stereotypical middle aged man in Lycra. Disabled cyclists, those with family, trailer, cargo or delivery cycles were completely excluded from the lane and forced to cycle in the road. This failure also apparently contravened the Equality Act and the public sector equality duty by specifically disadvantaging disabled people. After a short social media campaign by @merseycyclists, @GreenbankGreens, @ellispalmer94 and others the council agreed to widen the lane, although it is still not clear if they will be following the Inclusive Cycle Design Guide (https://wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/FINAL-v3.pdf) or the London Cycle Design Standard (https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/streets-toolkit#on-this-page-2) both of which are freely available and highlight best practice in cycle infrastructure – and to date no alterations appear to have been made to the lane. In the last couple of years the Labour council has been making a lot of noise about its green credentials, but their actions reveal a failure to understand what greening this city actually entails. If we are to get more diverse and increased numbers of people cycling, which will improve health as well as cut carbon emissions, then cycle infrastructure has to be fully accessible and attractive to everyone. Infrastructure that excludes disabled people, families, older people and others who cycle something other than a standard two-wheeled bike only adds to the inequalities, poor health and pollution problems that are already endemic in the city.

You can read more about the experiences of disabled cyclists here: https://dsq-sds.org/article/view/6513/5468 or check out Wheels for Wellbeing https://wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk/