Designs for the North-South and East-West cycle superhighways, released for consultation by Transport for London today, represent a major step forward in creating streets that are safe and inviting for cycling, says the London Cycling Campaign.
A statement from the LCC said: “The plans show that the Mayor is finally delivering on his commitment the promises he made to LCC’s Love London, Go Dutch campaign and are a tribute to the efforts of LCC’s grass-roots campaigners. While LCC has concerns around some of the details which we will be addressing with Transport for London, overall we’re pleased to see that the scheme provides much more space for cycling, and also gives more space for pedestrians.”
Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive of London Cycling Campaign, said:
“In 2012, 10,000 LCC supporters took to the streets to call for streets that are as safe and inviting as they are in Holland. In response, the Mayor promised them that he would deliver all new cycle superhighways to best continental standards. We congratulate the Mayor on finally taking such a big step towards deliver on this promise, and will be working with TfL to address the concerns we have about parts of the new routes.
“LCC’s main concerns are that some of the planned new junctions are not safe enough and that the width of the new cycle tracks is too narrow in places. Our local groups and activists will ensure these and other questions are presented to TfL. Overall, though, LCC is really pleased to see commitments to substantially reallocate carriageway space to ensure protected space for cycling – particularly on the east-west superhighway, where cyclists regularly make up almost half of traffic during the morning peak.
“We’d encourage all our members and supporters who use the routes to feed back on the proposals.”
The East-West route (coined by some as the ‘Crossrail for Bikes’) will run from Tower Hill to Westbourne Terrace via Parliament Square and Paddington. This route includes much needed reallocation of carriageway space to cyclists, with segregated two way cycle track replacing traffic lanes on Shorter St, Lower and Upper Thames Streets. LCC welcomes the wide, protected cycle track along the river on Victoria Embankment and will be looking to ensure that segregated tracks do not go below the minimum of 4 metres elsewhere.
Blackfriars Bridge Junction
A great feature is that the slip road from the northern junction of Blackfriars Bridge onto Embankment is to be converted to a two way cycle only route. Blackfriars junction is where London Cycling Campaign organised flashride protests over the failure to provide safe space for cycling after the station’s renovation. Now, as the cycle superhighway junction, it becomes the iconic location for the transformation of London into a city with real space for cycling. We will lobby TfL to make it even better with easy links to Queen Victoria Street and quiet routes through the City.
Space for Cycling
The relocation and removal of parking and loading bays on Victoria Embankment is also welcomed, as well as the much needed simplification of the Hyde Park Corner south east crossing.
Details of the North-South cycle superhighway north of Farringdon are still in consultation, but the proposals published today suggest a commitment to dealing with safety issues, with a number of banned left turns for motor vehicles and improved junctions which would allow cyclists to run with ahead traffic, with turning traffic held back.
The proposals for both routes also include much more space for pedestrians, including increased footway at the junctions of Lambeth Road and St George’s Rd and on Westminster Bridge Rd and new signalised crossings in a number of locations.
There are some concerns that reliance on two-way cycle tracks on one side of main roads increases risk at junctions. LCC will be examining this very carefully. We have already identified that there is space for improvements at Tower Hill and St. George’s Circus.