This week I've been cycling home really rather later than usual and it's a real surprise what a huge difference it makes to the journey. There are So Many cars and vans parked in the cycle lane that it isn't possible to cycle in it. I'd come across this one weekend on the way back from the North and I'd assumed it was a weekend thing, but apparently it's an evening thing too. Which really sucks. A lot. It did take "only" 44 minutes to get home tonight, including a stop to chat with someone and lend them my lights (well, give, I'm not expecting to get them back) but if I'd been able to cycle in the cycle lane it could have been quicker and a heck of a lot safer.
I don't know what the rules are about the cycle lanes, who isn't allowed to be in them and if there are time rules. I need to find out. And I need to be able to leave work at a time which means I can be a bit more protected from a reasonable proportion of traffic.