Light protection vs kerb protection? Londoners have strong views

Visualisation of proposed segregated cycle tracks on Whitechapel High Street low_resDoes the new East–West Cycle Superhighway really need kerb-protected cycle lanes?

While there is a mountain of research from around the world, we wanted to find out what Londoners think about different types of segregation.

In our YouGov poll last month, we explored this topic by asking how much safer different types of segregation would make Londoners feel if they were to cycle.

As a reminder, the survey was not of cyclists, it was of a representative sample of 1,000 Londoners chosen by the polling team at YouGov.  The majority of the respondents do not cycle in central London today.

The question asked was Thinking about different types of cycle lanes, how much safer would the following make you feel about cycling or cycling more in London?’ The four types of cycle lanes that we covered in the survey were painted lanes, rumble strips, light segregation  (i.e. plastic wands), and full kerb segregation.

There were five possible answers to the question of how much safer would these types of segregation make you feel: much safer / a little safer / not very much safer / not at all safer / don’t know.

The results in Figure 1. illustrate clearly what Londoners want: kerb-segregated cycle lanes.

Figure 1.

Poll results - Kerb Segregation

The preference for kerb protected lanes is true across all genders, ages and political affiliations.  Unsurprisingly, it is strongest in women and older age groups.

The perception of safety is the single greatest obstacle to increased cycling in London. If any politician, council or business is serious about increasing active travel, then the only solution is the delivery of kerb-protected routes on main roads. There simply is no amount of training or marketing that will have the same impact as basic, proven, kerb protection.


1. Figures are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1,002 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th – 13th October 2014.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all London adults (aged 18+).

2. Full survey data can be downloaded from the or here

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