City Report Demands Changes To Cycle Superhighway

BethPH
By BethPH Last edited 42 months ago
City Report Demands Changes To Cycle Superhighway

run runA City of London Corporation report on the Mayor's cycle superhighway has demanded 'key changes' from Transport for London (TfL) before it will support the £50m scheme.

The authority's Planning and Transportation Committee published the interim report, which makes 11 demands of TfL to redesign junctions it describes as 'unsafe', manage traffic flow and improve pedestrian access. The report says:

These proposals have significant benefits as well as implications. It represents a major change in the way cycling facilities on the public highway should be provided. However, the proposals could lead to implications that cannot easily be reversed such as the reinstatement of turning movements or the way junctions operate.

The City considers that the proposals are too heavily biased towards cyclists with insufficient consideration given to the needs of other users.

The City's director of the built environment claims that Ludgate Circus, where two cyclists have died this year, will become more dangerous for pedestrians if the superhighway goes ahead as planned. 'Excessive' pedestrian wait times are criticised. In fact, TfL plans to lengthen these further at Tower Hill's Minories, Blackfriars station and Ludgate Circus — which the report calls 'the most dangerous location in the City':

It is already a location where many pedestrians ignore the pedestrian crossings. The proposed stagger crossings, reduced refuges island widths, excessive increases in wait times and the additional two-way cycle lane running through the junction, will add further risks and collisions, particularly to pedestrians.

Other proposals, such as the relocation of Blackfriars Pier to Puddle Dock, are expected to bring greater foot traffic into the area but without providing better access for pedestrians (or the disabled, who astonishingly, will have no access at all). The report calls these 'a huge missed opportunity' to improve pedestrian space where it's most needed. It also notes that increased congestion of motorised traffic resulting from the superhighway changes could become a risk to cycling safety as cyclists weave in and out of jams.

As is to be expected, the City of London Corporation aren't the only people not happy with the existing plans. City Hall released traffic impact timings which suggest motorists could face an extra 16 minutes on their journeys in some areas, however unlikely this is to actually happen.

The Canary Wharf Group has also defended its objections to the superhighway. It was revealed earlier this month that CWG's finance director is on the board of TfL and chairs its Finance & Policy Committee. Which is quite some conflict of interest. Dave Hill in the Guardian has more on this.

The scheme has been dubbed ‘Crossrail for bikes', with two routes — north-south from King’s Cross to Elephant and Castle, and east-west from Barking to Acton. The second phase of London's cycle 'Quietways' was announced yesterday. TfL's consultation has been extended from 19 October to 9 November. You can see TfL's plans here and read the City of London Corporation's report here.

Photo by James Lemons in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Last Updated 22 October 2014

Guest

I generally have no strong feelings about integrated versus segregated cycle lanes, as long as they interact with junctions properly.

But I'm not convinced of the wisdom of trying to fit a two-way segregated cycle lane down the side of London streets, it seems to make junctions extremely complicated.

Nicolas Chinardet

The City Of London wasn't so concerned about pedestrians when the Blackfriars junction was redesigned a couple of years ago, where people are now forced to jaywalk a busy road for the most direct route across, after a crossing was removed...

While there is indeed opposition from the Corporation and CWG, those "old men in limos" as champion cyclist Chris Broadman calls them, numberous employers, including major firms, have pledged their support to the project: http://cyclingworks.wordpress....

This post by one of London's prominent cycling bloggers debunks most of the CWG's claims against the new lanes: http://cyclelondoncity.blogspo...

HHGeek

I wouldn't ignore the pedestrian crossings at Ludgate Circus if they were anywhere near the junction. As it is, I often wind up skipping around the railings / around the buses, taxis, cars etc. just so's I don't have to walk back tens of yards away from my eventual destination prior to crossing, only to recover those yards again. The bus stops aren't exactly near the junction either, other than on Fleet Street.