Insert Loved One Here

How would we feel about a piece of transport infrastructure if we expected people we care about to be using it regularly? 

We certainly wouldn't want our friends, family or loved ones to be exposed to danger, or to be placed in frightening or intimidating situations. Yet this is what using cycling infrastructure in Britain routinely involves, even the kind of cycling infrastructure that appears in our latest manuals and guidance, and that is commonplace on British streets and roads. 

A powerful way of shining a light on this kind of poor cycling infrastructure is to ask a simple question: would you want your loved ones cycling on it? 

The 'Insert Loved One Here' image creator allows you to do this for your photographs of bad cycling environments. Simply upload your photo, add and resize the 'target', then download your image, or submit it to our gallery. You can also share it on social media using the hashtag #ILOH.

That infrastructure might be the ubiquitous, tokenistic painted cycle lane at the side of a busy road.

Insert Loved One Here - Parsonage Road, Horsham

A strip of paint might convince a local authority that they have 'done something for cyclists', but that same strip of paint will look very different when there is an HGV thundering alongside it, and when we consider someone we love cycling in that space.

That same cycle lane might be sandwiched between parked cars and general traffic, introducing the prospect of negotiating out and around those vehicles, and the hazard of a car door opening at any moment.

Alex Pedaller ILOH

We might also consider how we would feel about our loved ones using bus lanes, surrounded by large, intimidating vehicles - bus lanes that are still considered to be 'cycling infrastructure' by many local authorities and planners.

 TwoWheelsGoodUK ILOH

Or Advanced Stop Lines, the 'go to' option for cycle design at most British junctions. They might work, a bit, for the kinds of people you see cycling on the streets at the moment, but how would they look if someone you care about was using one, positioned in front a lorry, waiting for the lights to turn green?

Albion Way ILOH

We would also feel distinctly uncomfortable about our loved ones trying to negotiate their way to these Advanced Stop Lines, down narrow corridors of paint, sandwiched between large vehicles.

Peter Siemensma ILOH

We would find the sight of a young child or an elderly woman in any of these situations pretty alarming, yet these are all standard types of design that you will find in any British town or city, on any busy road. We seem content to splash some paint on the road, satisfied that 'cyclists' have been catered for, but who are we actually designing for?

Do they actually pass the "Insert Loved One" test? Upload your own images and share them!

Picture credits - @AlexPedaller, @petersiemensma, @TwoWheelsGoodUK