Counts were mostly made in May 2019 at the time of peak am and pm flows. For some junctions we have large counts (around 1000) while at others only small sample counts were made (at least 53). It is best to take any values as liable to an error of at least +/- 20%. Flows are given as % max flow segment (Willow Walk). Actual peak flows at this site were: am, 1050; pm 650. For more information on flows and time trends, see https://southwarkcyclists.org.uk/quietway-1-cyclist-numbers-still-increasing/.
Key data is summarised in the Diagram above.
Patterns of joining and leaving are reversed in direction but otherwise quite similar for am and pm, presumably because many cyclists use the same route to work and homeward. Flows towards central London fell after Willow Walk. It is at this point that cyclists start to move off towards specific destinations often via the nearest bridges (London Bridge, Tower Bridge). Flows further out than Willow Walk increase as cyclists join Q1. For example at Oxley Close cyclists join from the south in the morning and leave in the evening, presumably taking routes to and from Peckham and Nunhead.
At the main junctions on this stretch between 12 and 36% of cyclists either leave or join. Q1 always keeps at least 64% of cyclists. Further out (not shown on the diagram) at the Surrey Canal Rd/Bridgehouse meadows junction the same pattern is seen. At this junction total flows in the evening approaching the junction are about half those on Willow Walk (312/hour). Around 77% of riders continue on Q1 along Surrey Canal Rd while 23% leave Q1 and continue across Bridgehouse Meadows.
A few counts are available for 2015-16. At the most central junction (Pages Walk) at the am peak 57% of cyclists left Q1 in August 2016, just a few months after the “official” opening. This is much higher than the 16% recorded in 2019. This probably indicates that, as cyclists found more of Q1, they switched routes, preferring to stay on Q1 longer. Or it may be that the many additional cyclists who now use Q1 (flows have doubled since 2016) do so because it continues for longer towards their destination. At the Oxley Close junction number joining the Q1 route has increased a small amount in 2019 compared with September 2015 (before Q1 created). This may be surprising as a feeder junction (Glengall Rd/Old Kent Road) was improved for cyclists in 2017. Although we should remember that the total numbers joining will have increased, just that as a proportion of the Q1 flows they have not changed.
Perhaps the most important general point to emerge from this analysis is to demonstrate how much joining and leaving there is. People use a designated route for the part of their journey where it suits them. But leave it as the near their destination, and join it taking routes from their personal starting point. In designing cycle routes it is essential to consider these aspects. We need to think about a network, not just single routes. It will never be possible for every origin and destination to have a designated route between them. Providing links to longer Quietways and other labelled routes is essential if we are to get maximum use from them. So consider the network, not just the A to B.