TfL funds cycle lane upgrade

The new 'cycleway defenders' and (inset) the 'orcas' they have replaced
The new ‘cycleway defenders’ and (inset) the ‘orcas’ they have replaced

Report by Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

A £230,000 upgrade of cycle lane barriers was not carried out because of reports of accidents, according to Enfield Council.

The council says plastic fins known as ‘orcas’ along the A105 were upgraded to larger ‘cycleway defenders’ to “maintain a consistent approach across the network” following a review of products for a separate stretch of road.

Orcas were installed on the A105 to separate cycle lanes from the main carriageway as part of Cycle Enfield – a Transport for London (TfL)-backed scheme to boost cycling and cut down on car use. The A105 cycle lanes were completed in 2018.

But earlier this year, TfL spent £232,139 removing the orcas and replacing them with the cycleway defenders – larger barriers with vertical bollards in the centre.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has previously reported on pedestrians who said they were injured after tripping over the orcas. A common complaint was that the plastic fins were difficult to see.

In June 2018, councillor Daniel Anderson – who was then deputy leader of Enfield Council – said the local authority had no plans to remove the orcas, adding that they were encouraging more people, including children and families, to cycle.

Commenting on the latest development, a spokesperson for Enfield Council said: “The council conducted a review of products for the A1010 south project. It became clear that the range of products on the market has developed since the start of our first project. We identified the cycleway defenders as a suitable product to inform light segregation for the A1010.

“To maintain a consistent approach across the network, we have also upgraded the orcas on the A105. The funding from TfL includes the total cost for removal of the orcas and installation of cycleway defenders and bolt-down kerbs.”