Friday, 2 September 2016

(not so)Quietway 6 - the joy of shared-use footways!

To say I'm unimpressed is quite an understatement!  

How can the same organisations and authorities get it so right with the East-West Cycle Superhighway, CS5, CS2/X/U and even much of Quietway 1 mess up so royally on this?!   

Here's what I sent to Tower Hamlets via their online form (you can respond in seconds and could win a £50 M&S card!): 

We all have our biases and pet peeves. What really grinds my gears is street designers often ignoring equality and safety laws by not giving safe routes for blind people or disabled cyclists in particular. 

Comments on entire scheme:

The designs will not enable cycling by all and are almost entirely unacceptable.  

Many young, old, disabled and utility cyclists / potential cyclists with either be totally excluded or very badly served by this route.  

The plans are almost entirely a collection of revised speed bumps and the raised tables - like we are seeing on most Quietway plans now.    

Wasting so much money on surfacing and paving is wrong, but when it is proposed to spend absolutely nothing on dedicated, accessible cycling infrastructure, it would be unforgivable.  

To have not even one metre of dedicated cycle track on a major cycle route like this is utterly insane.   

The designs retain and introduce many dangerous pinch points.  Instead of pinch points, point closures and filters should be used instead.  

The route is bizarre and indirect, repeatedly being routed onto footways, which is totally inappropriate for a major cycle route in an urban environment.

Not a single road on the route will be a formal Cycle Street.  Why?  If the streets are to be quiet enough for a Quietway, they will be suitable to be designated Cycle Streets.  You can't do a proper route like this on back streets without creating genuine Cycle Streets, where cars are treated as guests.  

Whilst ASLs (advance stop lines) are not an ideal form of cycle infrastructure, the near total absence of them on a route like this with no cycle tracks is unacceptable. 

Comments on specific proposals:
1. Junction narrowing only appropriate if motor traffic banned.  Current plan brings cycles and motor vehicles into conflict. Continuous footway a good thing, but should not be paid for from cycling budget.

2. Raised corner could increase risk to pedestrians.  Another pinch point is included. Extra general parking space included - new parking spaces should be for either electric cars or disabled bays.  

2.2 - More road humps and a 'Jeremy Vine' design.  A narrow road with parking on either side that isn't a designated Cycle Street will cause conflict.  Many drivers do not understand that cyclists are meant to ride in the middle of the carriageway in such circumstances, and will harass and abuse them, like happened to Jeremy Vine recently.  Unless the road is properly filtered and designated a Cycle Street, it will be dangerous and unpleasant.  

3. The parking bays on the north side of Worley Street and the end of Morpeth Street should be reduced to improve visibility.  Consideration should be give to altering the corner to be a formal junction giving clear priority to the cycle route. 

4. Bollard position at park entrance could make it inaccessible to cycles used by disabled people.  No bollard should be used at all unless there is a proven need for one.  Yet another altered speed bump is pretty much all that is offered.   4.2 Unsegregated shared-use footpaths are totally unsuitable for a major cycle route.  This will cause such significantly poor levels of service and comfort for many disabled people, especially blind and deaf people - to an extent that is probably illegal under the Equality Act.  An Equality Impact Assessment will be required.  There is ample space to have separate cycle and foot paths.  Mixing high volumes of cyclists and pedestrians is totally inappropriate and breeds conflict.  

5. See comments to 4.2. Further use of shared space that causes conflict and a bollard that is inaccessible and will cause injuries. 

6. Another proposal for an illegally-discriminatory shared footway.  The junction will require cyclists to make movements and be positioned on parts of the road that drivers will not be expecting.  A separate cycle track should be built that connects directly to Arbery Road and would thus not require any cyclists to use the footway.  A giraffe crossing instead of a Toucan would be more appropriate.  

7. Shared-use footway without tactile paving is extremely dangerous.  Instead, a clearly-delineated cycle track should connect Viking Close and Lyall Road.  Extending double yellow lines is essential and welcome.  The narrow usable carriageway of Saxon Road will bring drivers and cyclists into conflict, this could be reduced by removing parking bays or changing the road to become a Home Zone or Cycle Street. 

8. Middle bollard at end of Sutherland Road and at junction with Cardigan Road is unnecessary and inaccessible.  Use of shared footpaths highly undesirable and likely to provoke conflict.  Route unsuitable for high volumes of cyclists. 

9. Removing the islands is welcome, bollards should be wide enough to permit use by all kinds of cycles, especially those used by disabled people.  Keep clear hatching welcome.  Junctions in this section will only work if there are very low levels of slow-moving motor traffic - if traffic is heavy and/or fast, then more filtering will be required. 

10. Relocation of parking welcome.  Pedestrians refuges cause pinch points and no-overtaking cyclists signs would be required if they are to be retained.  Raised table of questionable benefit without filtering.  Parking should be prioritised for disabled people - at least some of relocated bays should be disabled bays.  There are grossly-insufficient wayfinding signage and symbols proposed it is totally unclear where the cycle route even goes.  

11. Yet more unnecessary shared-use footways.  There is no reason whatsoever not to have a clearly-delineated cycle track separate from the footway through this section.  Again, this section will create unnecessary pedestrian-cyclist conflict that will be particularly severe for blind and deaf people.  Moving the fence to create space is welcome and makes a defined cycle track and separate footway even more possible.  The cycle track should connect directly to the road, not go via a footway.  The retention of the bollards will cause serious difficulties for cyclists in accessible/recumbent/cargo bikes to continue North.  The design of the shared footway will encourage cyclists to be positioned in unexpected places on the road and cause conflict and collisions.  

12. Instead of having buff-painted borders, cycle lanes or tracks should be used.  It is unclear why chevrons will be used here and nowhere else on the route. These would be unnecessary if the road was a Cycle Street.  Cycle symbols in the middle of a lane are meant to indicate to all where cyclists should ride-however that only happens in the minds of planners.  Almost no-one understands what these symbols mean.  The bus stop location is extremely dangerous, covering the end of a T-junction.  Instead it should be located further north and instead of inset parking, a bus stop bypass should be used.  Alternatively the bus route(s) should be moved to another nearby street.  There is an extremely dangerous pinch-point at the junction of Cedar Close and Parnell Road, with no ASL or filtering.Resoond here now!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Wandsworth Town Centre cycle tracks - sign the petition

Petition started at, please sign it! 

To make it easier to register a protest about TfL's awful plans for Wandsworth Town Centre, I've created a petition.  Please take a moment to sign it.  

If you want more info or to give detailed feedback, there are links to the formal consultation on both the petition page and my last blog post (which is by far the most viewed post I've ever written!). 

Thanks for your support! 

Friday, 1 January 2016

Plea for help! TfL's Wandsworth Gyratory plans are a travesty - but will anyone say so?!

After some thought, I decided to edit this post.  A lot.

It originally had a load of waffle about lots of worthy stuff, but can be summed up so much more easily and clearly (I hope!)...

Where are the cycle tracks for Wandsworth TfL?!

(See - deadline 17/1)

TfL are upgrading lots of major junctions and every similar project includes protected cycleways...

Except Wandsworth Town Centre.

Did we do something wrong?

The ONLY way you can enable young children, older and disabled people to get around safely on bikes around heavy vehicles in a town centre is to physically protect them with kerbed cycle tracks and low&slow traffic streets.

The cycle tracks being planned or built at Elephant & Castle, Aldgate, Stockwell, Archway, Vauxhall, Whipps Cross Roundabout, Blackfriars, Westminster Bridge South, etc, etc, aren't perfect, but at least there are some!

Cycle tracks are also brilliant for scooter users, wheelchair users and all other kinds of human on wheels.  They also significantly reduce the pollution inhaled by pedestrians and make driving less stressful and faster for motor vehicle drivers.

Yes roadspace has to be reallocated, but it does when we build footpaths.  There is no evidence of proper cycle tracks ever causing delays for drivers - all those studied showed faster journeys for drivers in every example but one, where there was no change.

Protected cycle tracks benefit everyone.  They can only do that when we build them.  Despite our hostile roads, Wandsworth's commuter cycling levels are already double the London average and over half of residents own bikes.

If you have some time to spare to help fight for decent #spaceforcycling in Wandsworth, please get in touch.

Please take just a couple of minutes to ask TfL (before 17 January 2016) to build a proper cycle network in Wandsworth.  One that exists on more than a PowerPoint slide.

PS Previous comments have been retained but deleted from public view as they don't relate well to this modified post and some included mention of other people and I don't have time to ensure they get a right to reply.

PPS I know that the minute section of segregated cycle track on one corner of Wandsworth Roundabout will be retained.  Not the TfL took much effort to highlight that.  I can't think why.

PPPS Oh no, I can.

PPPPS Give em hell! Grrr...

Why I am not supporting the 'Save Wandsworth Common' Crossrail 2 campaign.

... well, it's about time I restarted this blog!  I've been surprised by how many people have read my posts and started to follow me on Twitter, so thanks for taking the time to read what I have to say, it's your views and support that has got me back at the keyboard.

Sorry for the long delay since my last post, sometimes this being sick and disabled thing can be a royal pain in the backside!!  So, after a couple of operations, loads of different medicines and a gruelling physio/rehab programme, I'm hopefully going to be able to write a bit more often.  Life is still a major struggle, but at least I'm getting over a particularly horrid patch.

Hope it's not all waffle, but no promises ;-P

Below is a copy of my post on the Wandsworth Gaurdian's website in response to the 'Save Wandsworth Common' (sic) campaign that has restarted following TfL's announcement of a planned route change.  As the Common is effectively my front garden, I think this qualifies me for a 'I'm not a NIMBY' badge!

I can't promise to be able to debate this, but alternative viewpoints are welcome in the Comments.

"I live opposite the Common, where the shaft is planned and can't support this campaign based on the information available.  And I'm not sure why all the vitriol is being directed at a local councillor when this is a TfL decision...

If it will cost an extra £500 million to go via Tooting, where is the money coming from.  Put it into perspective: the entire cycling budget for TfL for all of greater London (which funds most borough cycling projects too) is less than £98 million per year.  £500 million could pay for a brand new hospital or an entire tram line.  We can't just be NIMBYs, we need to have a logical alternative and none has yet been suggested.

The other options if Balham is chosen all involve demolishing homes, churches, schools and/or businesses.

And the killer argument for me is: what about the frikkin railway lines?!  The planned shaft will take a tiny piece of land.  The railway lines that bisect the Common take tons of land and how many people campaign for them to be ripped out or put in tunnels?  None (well apart from me who keeps suggesting that at least some of the rail track gets covered by a green bridge and getting zero support from the ranty NIMBYs who just prefer to say No to everything).

It makes no sense to support the railway lines (which were built on land that used to be part of the Common), but not this single shaft that is necessary to deliver a vital new public transport service serving millions of people.

Sometimes, we need to recognise that our fear of change distorts our perceptions and encourages us to make illogical decisions.  This is one of those times.  The idea of our lovely Common being a building site for a long time isn't nice but I'm sure people felt the same when the railway lines were built.

The shaft will help take cars off the roads.  The roads around the Common suffer traffic jams every day and the pollution levels on the roads around the Common are a disgrace.  That is a real threat to us all - hundreds of Wandsworth residents die early from pollution and thousands from lack of exercise every year.  That's not just stats.  It's our friends, our families, ourselves who suffer and die early for no good reason.

Why not campaign for something that would improve the Common?  If not my green bridge idea, by placing cycle tracks between the roads and the footpaths around the Common, we could hugely reduce the pollution inhaled by pedestrians, get cyclists off the pavements, give people a proper alternative to driving local trips, reduce collisions and reduce the increasing volume of cyclists using the ++awful shared-use footpaths on the Common.  We could also create 'pocket parks', adding more greenery to streets surrounding the Common.  Please respond to the consultation, but please also try to make some sensible suggestions as just saying No isn't likely to achieve much."

Monday, 28 April 2014

Cycle lanes in Wandsworth and Tooting Bec Commons Desegregation

Here is the response I received about the planned changes to our local cycle lanes.  The answers are quite shocking.  

For Wandsworth Council to claim that the lines are too expensive to maintain, but to have spent virtually no money on maintenance of them is somewhat concerning!  

As you'll see there are no serious recorded accidents on the segregated cycle lanes, but there are numerous on the roads surrounding the Commons - spending money on cycle lanes that are relatively safe instead of on the roads that are not beggars belief.  Anyway, apologies for the delay in sharing this, I've not been well of late and been more on the stick than the wheels!

Please take a few seconds to sign our petition opposing the bizarre desegregation plans:

Response to FoI request from Wandsworth Council:

"Freedom of Information Act request - 2014/9209 - Desegregation of Shared-Use Paths

I refer to your request for information received on 24/03/2014.  Please see the information below in response to your request: -

Please provide the following information (preferably in an electronic format, such as .pdf files sent by email):

1 Confirmation of the numbers of people who have been recorded by Wandsworth Council ('the Council') as supporting, and the number of those opposing, the proposed changes to the cycle lanes in Tooting Bec Common and Wandsworth Common ('the cycle lanes'). 
In support
1 member of public
Wandsworth Common MAC
Tooting Common MAC
Open Spaces Society
1 member of public
Petition signed by 376 people

2 Details of the projected cost savings from the desegregation of the cycle lanes.
The projected cost saving of not having to remark the raised white line and repeater symbols is £22,195 every 6 to 10 years. 

3a Details of the amounts spent (specifically) on maintaining the cycle lanes per annum since the current layout was implemented (excluding cleaning / sweeping of paths).
See response to 3b

3b Details of any works that have been undertaken to repair or improve the painted lines, path surface or bicycle/pedestrian symbols on the cycle lanes since the current layout was implemented.
No maintenance works have been carried out to the central white line or cycle symbols on the cycle tracks since they were introduced in 2006/7.
Several small areas of tactile paving have been repaired. 

3c Details of the problems that the raised white lines have allegedly caused for Council vehicles (or those of the Council's contractors) and an explanation of the alleged associated costs, with supporting evidence.  If no such information is held, please explain why such an allegation was made to Sadiq Khan MP. 
The white lines in themselves pose no problems to Parks maintenance vehicles.  The problem was that heavy maintenance vehicles used to remark the white lines, which carry heavy boilers to heat the thermoplastic material, experience difficulty driving on the soft ground adjacent to the cycle tracks.  This would entail maintenance crews having to work uneconomically as they would regularly have to return to their lorry parked on the highway to fill their marking machines with material.

3d Please explain why the Council or its contractors would use vehicles in the Commons that are unable to cope with the raised, white dividing lines (which are significantly smaller than the large number of traffic-calming facilities in the borough, like speed humps and raised tables at junctions).
See response to 3c

4 Details of the number and severity of recorded collisions on the cycle lanes over the past ten years.  Details of the number and severity of collisions on the roads adjoining/bisecting the two Commons. 
Wandsworth Common cycle route
No recorded collisions

Wandsworth common adjoining/bisecting roads
Fatal= 1
Severe = 8
Slight =  85

Tooting Commons cycle route
No recorded collisions

Tooting Commons adjoining/bisecting roads
Fatal= 0
Severe = 2
Slight =  51

5 An explanation of how this desegregation proposal meets the policy of the Council to provide segregated cycle lanes 'where possible'.
Council policy on cycle route segregation was formulated in 2005; since then guidance from Transport for London, Department for Transport and SUSTRANS has progressed, and their policies encourages unsegregated use with off highway tracks where appropriate.  Council policy will be updated in due course to reflect this development.

6 Where was funding for the construction of the current layout of the cycle lanes obtained from?
Transport for London

7 Where will funding for the desegregation of the cycle lanes be obtained from?
Transport for London

8 If the project is to be financed from funds intended for the improvement of cycling facilities, why is a scheme that the vast majority of local cyclists oppose deemed to be an appropriate use of such funding?
There is no evidence to suggest that the vast majority of local cyclists oppose the proposal, as demonstrated by the Wandsworth Cycling Campaign’s support of the proposals.  Also, SUSTRANS’s  support lends weight to cyclists being in favour of desegregating these tracks.

9a What is the Council's understanding of the policy of Guide Dogs and the RNIB regarding unsegregated cycle lanes (particularly heavily-used ones)? 
The RNIB and Guide Dogs preference is for segregated facilities on cycle tracks.

9b How can the desegregation of the cycle lanes benefit those with visual, hearing or mobility disabilities?
Shared unsegregated use encourages cyclists to reduce their speeds and take more care as they do not have the perceived priority they experience under segregation.

9c What impact assessment has been undertaken of the impact of these proposed changes to the cycle lanes on disabled people, young and old people and other people who have 'protected characteristics' as defined by the Equality Act? 
Feedback from stakeholders and user groups, including those representing disabled groups, has been considered together with a safety audit which takes into account the needs of all users irrespective of age and both able bodied and disabled. 

10 What is the Council's understanding of other guidance regarding the segregation of shared-use cycle lanes that have high levels of usage (as issued by Sustrans, TfL and the DfT, including the Mayor's 'Cycling Vision' document)?  Does the Council consider these cycle lanes to have high levels of usage by cyclists and/or pedestrians?
The TfL publication “London Cycling Design Standards”, Draft Appendix D , Off-highway design guidance gives the following criteria for usage designation.  This guidance was developed in association with SUSTRANS.  The Council does not consider the cycle lanes across Wandsworth and Tooting Commons to have high usage in accordance with this guidance.

Level of flow on greenway
Pedestrians per hour
Cyclists per hour
Very low
Very high

11 What are the current usage levels of the cycle lanes?  When were these measured, and by whom?
The survey data available was captured in 2007.

Pedestrians per hour
Cyclists per hour
Tooting Commons
Very low
Wandsworth common

12 Please explain why no letters or leaflets were sent to residents around the two Commons to advise them of these proposals.  What is the Council's policy regarding such correspondence?
It was not considered appropriate or necessary in the circumstances to send leaflets to nearby residents.  Many users of the commons do not live locally and it was decided that notices should be displayed prominently at all access points to the cycle tracks so as many users as possible could be informed.  Notification was also provided in the local Guardian newspaper.  Councillors and the Wandsworth and Tooting Commons Management Advisory Committees were also informed, together with all statutory consultees which include local groups representing pedestrians and cyclists."    

Thursday, 13 February 2014

My submission to TfL about the planned Quietways

Please add your voice to ensure that vast amounts of public money are not wasted on another cycling scheme (especially unsegregated ones like CS2).  Just search for 'TfL consultation hub Quietways'.  

My submission might give you some ideas.  The main idea re-reading this gave me was that I really need to learn to be less verbose!! 

1. The branding of this scheme as being 'for a new kind of cyclist' is divisive, discriminatory and frankly, bizarre.  The scheme will be used by all kinds of people who cycle.  Many people who cycle who ride a bit faster will prefer to use these safer and easier to navigate routes.  So-called 'fast commuter cyclists' rarely travel above 20 MPH and there is no reason for them not to be encouraged to use all of the Grid.  The idea that people who cycle quickly can complete a journey only using main roads is ridiculous.  All cyclists need to get to numerous destinations, many of which will necessitate travelling away from main roads. 

The scheme should be designed for and promoted to *all* people who cycle or could be encouraged to.

2. Accessible cycles, such as recumbent ones, require a bit more space for turning and appropriate sight lines (railings, and low-level signage are a particular danger for those riding at lower heights).  Planning for the scheme to be accessible to a wide range of disabled people should be embedded from the outset.  It is unacceptable that the needs of disabled people who cycle (or want to) were not prominently mentioned in the consultation documents.  Other provisions that are helpful to all people who cycle but especially disabled cyclists include:

- kerbs / footrests at junctions to make waiting more comfortable, and moving away safer.
- clear signage on all routes in accessible formats.  Route numbers only marked on the carriageway are insufficient.  Looking at the road surface repeatedly could be dangerous.  At every 'decision point' (usually junctions), eye-level direction signage should be used.  Signage should be fixed in a way so that it cannot be moved easily by vandals.
- maximum use of any form of segregation.
- tube lines are easier to visualise than bus routes.  Branded routes should use tube lines where possible. The East West route could be branded 'Cross-Trail' and the North South one 'Thames-Link'.  'North-Circular', 'South Circular' and M25 routes should be added and connected to other routes, especially Superhighways.
- large Advanced Stop Line (ASL) waiting areas which can be accessed by all cyclists via Lead-in Cycle Lanes (LICL) - the 'gates' that are replacing many LICLs are only accessible to the most able and confident cyclists.  The Grid should have ASLs with segregated or semi-segregated LICLs wherever possible.
- consideration of 'no overtaking cyclists' rules and signs on narrow sections of road.  Disabled cyclists are less likely to follow a completely straight line and need more space when drivers overtake them.
- provision of tabbards, cycle jackets, etc with 'disabled cyclist, give extra space', or 'Deaf cyclist - I can't hear you', 'New cyclist' etc text and logos to be made available via TfL website and travel information centres (even if for a fee to cover costs).
- provision of effective air filter masks to enable cyclists with asthma, cystic fibrosis, COPD, etc to cycle more safely (again perhaps for a modest fee).
- Cycle Hire docking stations and website to have brief videos in British Sign Language with subtitles, and ones with simplified English explaining how to use the system.
- instalment payment plan (quarterly, monthly or weekly direct debit or continuous card payment) to enable those on fixed/low incomes to buy annual Cycle Hire access.
- 'gift card' Cycle Hire access to be available so organisations, families etc can buy access for others.
- free or discounted access to a Cycle Hire for Freedom Pass holders, perhaps using similar type of reimbursement scheme as provided to bus operators - thus incentivising the Cycle Hire operator to enable and promote access to disabled people.
- greater, active engagement with organisations representing disabled people during design, implementation and evaluation.
- more use of British Sign Language videos on TfL website, including cycling sections.

3. People who cycle in London and their loved ones are extremely frustrated by the poor quality and excessive delays in delivery of existing schemes like the Superhighways and arerightly sceptical that this plan will come to fruition.  A clear delivery timetable should be publicised, reasons for delays announced clearly and a process of 'over-programming' used to ensure that available funds are routinely spent, not rolled over.  TfL planning and engineering staff to be incentivised to get cycle schemes delivered and financially rewarded for delivering routes that are safe and increase modal shift.

4. Appropriate solutions for all kinds of roads and junctions such as all those in the Grid have already been created by Dutch planners and engineers.  Instead of seeking excuses for ignoring these, Dutch planning guidance should be followed as closely as possible.

5. Wherever a street has more than one lane for traffic on one-way streets or more than two lanes for traffic on two-way streets, it should be assumed that there is sufficient road space for full or semi physical segregation.

6. Segregation should not be avoided in the way suggested for Quietways.  Segregation makes cycling accessible to many more people, especially disabled, nervous, inexperienced, older and younger cyclists.  Segregation works and as Royal College Street has proven, can be done cheaply whilst delivering 50% or more increase in cycle traffic.

7. 20 MPH speed limits should be introduced on all routes where cyclists are expected to share road space with motorised traffic.  There can be no exceptions to this.  Traffic in the Grid area rarely moves above this speed anyway and any perceived increase in travel times will be offset by lives saved, injuries avoided, plus the multiple benefits of modal shift and improved air quality.

8. Sensor controlled traffic lights in the Grid must be able to detect the presence of waiting cyclists to reduce the risk of red light jumping.  Greater use of traffic light offence cameras should be used to prosecute red light jumping offences.  Cyclists who feel safe and are not made to wait excessively are much less likely to jump red lights.  Offences should be analysed to inform planning and revisions to the scheme.  For example, if large numbers of cyclists are jumping red lights at a specific junction, the reasons for that should be obtained and responded to.  When fixed penalty notices are issued, the cyclist should be asked why they jumped the light and this data recorded on the notice and analysed.

9. On side streets, the risk of 'dooring' incidents is increased.  Where parking bays on narrow streets create such risks, road markings (lines, not bike symbols which few people understand) should clearly indicate that cyclists should ride a safe distance away from parked cars.

10. Parking and speed of motor traffic should be considered to be of *significantly* lower importance than safety of all road users.

11. Wherever possible, slow and considerate pavement cycling should be permitted and encouraged for very young children and other vulnerable cyclists.

12. The Grid should be designed and promoted as a 'first step' and an expansion programme considered from the outset - there is no reason that it should not spread out to cover all of the area defined as 'inner London'.  Including as a minimum: all of Camden, Hackney, Islington, Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham, Chelsea, Westminster and The City.

13. Journeys will start and end on all roads in the area.  In addition to the proposed Grid routes, safe space and riding conditions should be provided on all roads.

14. Bus lanes are not suitable for many vulnerable cyclists.  Most bus drivers strongly support segregation.  Shared bus/cycle lanes should be used only as a last resort.

15. Junctions designed to minimise the risk of injury from left-turning vehicles.

16. Significantly greater use of traffic police and CCTV on an ongoing basis to fine / prosecute drivers who do not indicate well in advance of turning where full segregation is not provided.  Cyclists die and are injured at junctions in alarming numbers and most collisions are entirely avoidable.

17. White painted lines indicating unsegregated cycle lanes to have uneven, rumble surfacing as used in Stockholm, making it impossible for drivers to enter cycle lanes unknowingly.

18. Contracts for planners to include a requirement to conform to the highest design standard, incorporating Go Dutch principles.  Planners who put motor traffic speed above pedestrian and cyclist safety should be removed from their posts.

19. Design standards for cycling to be readily available on TfL website, including links from cycling pages.

20. Cycle journey planner to be updated to take into account issues like Hyde Park shutting at night and options for safe routes with minimal turns - many routes suggested at present are nearly impossible to memorise before starting a new journey. Frequent stops to check printed maps or maps on a mobile device are dangerous, frustrating and retard modal shift.

21. Support for affordable cycle hubs, caf├ęs and public showers.  Have a scheme like the one where pubs and businesses are paid to allow public access to the toilets, for them to be paid for providing public cycle stands, showers, etc, with greater contribution for best facilities.  Analyse such schemes to see if they can become self- financing through increased patronage of participating businesses.  Make such data accessible to website and App programmers so they can be added to popular cycle hire, Bike Hub, Cyclestreets, etc services.

22. Parking spaces for Blue Badge holders to be increased wherever parking bays are removed so that those who genuinely need to drive can do.  More spaces should be made available to Blue Badge holders who do not also have a Camden Green Badge or Westminster White Badge so disabled people from outside central London can access the area covered by the Grid more easily.

23. Go Dutch, Go Dutch, Go Dutch!

24. Get on with it!!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Cycle Superhighway 5 update

TfL has been rather quiet about the planned Cycle Superhighway 5... 

In an attempt to squeeze some more details about this from TfL, I made a Freedom of Information request, and got the response copied below. 

Sadly, the details about the delays and new timetable hasn't revealed much new, but the financial breakdown is certainly new to me. 

Only 57% of the £15 million budget will be spent on the infrastructure for CS5.  Over £2,350,000 is being spent on design work, but the initial designs were so bad, they have been chucked in the bin.  

The new plan to put in green painted lanes then change them to blue later will probably eat up even more of the infrastructure budget.  

It really is time for TfL to stop dithering and get on with this.  If they listened to cyclists and used tried and tested Dutch designs in the first place, more could be spent on the decent infrastructure we need so urgently.   

Here's the response:

1.    What are the reasons for the delays in completing CS5?

We have decided to postpone the full opening of the New Cross – Oval section of CS5 until we have finalised our previously announced plans for semi-segregation. Semi-segregation will see all the bus and mandatory cycle lanes on this part of the route separated from the general traffic using measures such as cats’ eyes, rumble strips, traffic ‘wands’, or a combination. Semi-segregation is not being done immediately as we are trialling which form of separation works best.

The blue surfacing and signage associated with Barclays Cycle Superhighways will therefore not be delivered as part of the first phase of work. We will however complete a number of previously announced road layout changes in this area, by March 2014.  These changes include new cycle and bus lanes, road resurfacing, and new junction layouts.  We will review these layouts as part of our work to install semi-segregation, to see if they can be even further improved for cyclists. Green cycle surfacing will be used until this part of the route is ready to be opened as a Barclays Cycle Superhighway.

We will also implement the new and extended 20mph speed limits in Camberwell town centre and New Cross respectively early this year. Additionally, we are proposing a new 20mph speed limit in Peckham town centre, and will consult on this in the spring.

As previously announced, we are substantially upgrading the previous proposals for the Oval – central London section of CS5.

2.    What is the projected delivery timetable for CS5?

The future delivery timescale is not yet confirmed as this will depend on the extent of proposals for the Oval to central London section, and the response we receive to public consultation. We plan to start the public consultation by summer 2014.

3.    Please provide a breakdown of the expenditure for CS5, noting in particular how much of the total budget will be spent on infrastructure. 

The CS5 cost estimate covering New Cross to Central London is:

Cost (£m)
Infrastructure design 
Powers and Consents
Supporting Measures
Staff costs
Total Base Cost


Estimated Final Cost

What do you think?  Am I being unreasonable about this?  Should it really take over £2.3 million to design one cycle route?! 


Welcome to my first blog on cycling, transport in London and disability. 

I hope you find it interesting!

I became interested in safe cycling when a brilliant, kind woman I knew was killed by a tipper truck in London.  I believe that everyone who wants to cycle should be able to do so without fear.  I'm disabled and hope to make people more aware of the needs of disabled people who cycle or would like to.