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Date & time Aug 31
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More cycle lanes are being built across Britain

Among London's black cabbies the received wisdom used to be that whether you wanted to travel to the east or west, 'the Embankment is best'.

Not any more. Flag down a taxi and ask to travel along the Victorian thoroughfare that borders the Thames in Central London and passengers are met by the driver's pitying stare and a meter that just ticks on and on and on.

As part of a 913 million project by former mayor Boris Johnson, a network of so called cycle superhighways has sprung up across the capital, segregating road space for the exclusive use of cycles.

Phased traffic lights that give bikes a head start over cars have also been introduced.

The idea is to enable cyclists to travel safely, encouraging more people to ditch four wheels for two, and so cut pollution. Which are, of course, noble aims.

The trouble is that it is only now, knock off van cleef necklaces with many of the changes finally being implemented, that other road users are starting to fully feel their impact gridlocked streets bordered by cycle lanes that seem virtually empty outside the rush hour.

Partly as a result, the capital is said to be the world's most congested city, with the average driver spending 101 hours in traffic last year, according to transport experts INRIX.

Traffic delays are up, while average copy van cleef necklaces vehicle speeds in Central London have fallen to 7.4mph slower than a horse drawn carriage in the 18th century.

Cycle highways are becoming a common sight across London but are 'virtually empty' (file picture)

So concerned are members of London's Assembly that they have launched an urgent investigation into the problem.

From Cambridge to Cornwall, lanes are being marked off for bicycles, and residential streets are being turned into rat runs by desperate motorists looking for a way past the jams.

In Manchester, 42 million is being ´╗┐replica van cleef arpels jewelry spent on a Cycle City scheme, which has seen a range of new cycle paths.

The largest links Manchester city centre with the affluent district of Didsbury, and to accommodate the lane wide enough so a road sweeper can keep it clean the road has had been narrowed in many sections, causing lengthy delays to other traffic.

Lelant, a Cornish village near St Ives, has been plagued by traffic chaos ever since a road was made one way to accommodate a generous cycle lane earlier this year.

During the summer, some vehicles took an hour and a half to travel just two miles.

Cycle lanes imposed in Newbury, pictured, were controversial after road users said they would lead to confusion

In Gloucester, two 6ft wide cycle lanes installed either side of a busy road have been branded 'an accident waiting to happen'.

'There is not enough room for two cars on that road,' explained John Gough, a Gloucester driving instructor.

'Cars will have to go into the cycle lane to prevent wing mirrors smashing.'

In Cambridge, residents are fighting council plans to tear out up to 100 cherry trees planted in the Thirties to make room for new cycle paths.

The city council wants to widen Milton Road, introducing dedicated cycle lanes and a bus lane.

Back in London, the former Chancellor Lord Lawson went so far in a debate in the House of Lords as to suggest that cycle lanes were doing more damage to the capital than 'almost anything since the Blitz'.

Congestion is now said to cost the capital 5.4 billion a year, or 2,765 per household.

David Leam, infrastructure director at business group London First, explains: 'In real world terms, it means that people's journeys are taking longer and, of course, for goods and freight that means those businesses have to employ more vans and more people to guarantee deliveries.

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