Elephant and Castle Northern junction is now out to consultation. What an opportunity missed! The scheme going to consultation is exactly the last scheme sent in confidence to LCC by TfL last December. We were extremely critical. Perhaps the most serious problem is the fast junction between the Link Rd and St Georges Road. Counted again in morning rush recently. One cyclists every 4 sec going straight on with 1 motor vehicle every 12 sec crossing their path going left. Attached below is the Powerpoint I made to illustrate the problem. There is other material in an earlier post below. I will put more information up here when I have the energy, but would welcome comments.
Grids, Quietways, Superhighways
The terminology is very seductive. It makes wonderful copy.
But every ride is different. There are an infinite number of destinations – shops, schools, libraries, museums, cinemas, places of work and so on. We do not want to have to check the map every time before setting out. And if a destination is not on the grid or a super/quietway what do we advise – leave the bike at home and take the bus? And beware the lobby that wants to sideline us into a cheap ghetto. Only allowed on a few streets for our own safety.
So the Grid etc needs to be viewed as just a beginning. Will these proposals be the first stage of a policy that leads eventually to ALL roads being good for cycling? We cannot know. But the Grid etc are on offer, so the pragmatic response is to work for these and hope. So that is what we will do.
But we must not lose sight of the real requirement – to have the total road network suitable for cycling.
Info on Central Grid here
On the Southwark part here
Cycling Lessons for London
Street Talks session with John Dales (Director Urban Movement http://www.urbanmovement.co.uk/index.html)
Dec 5th, 2013 at Look Mum No Hands, Mare St
Interesting evening hearing about a TfL commissioned study looking at cities that had markedly increased their level of cycling in recent years.
John Dales and others had visited 12 cities, some well-known European cycling cites (Utrecht, Berlin etc), some less well-known for cycling (New York, Minneapolis, Christchurch NZ) and some in the UK (Brighton, Cambridge).
Common features of cities successfully improving cycling included:
Movement for Liveable London http://movementforliveablelondon.com/ who put on the Street Talks may put the slides from the talk on it’s site, but for now can get a lot of information from the Urban Movement site, eg Copenhagen, http://www.urbanmovement.co.uk/2/post/2013/04/copenhagen-my-two-kroner-christopher-martin.html; Amsterdam http://www.urbanmovement.co.uk/2/post/2013/08/a-pragmatic-look-at-cycling-in-amsterdam-by-a-traffic-engineer-oli-davey.html
Summary of Main Aspects of the Study
Comments regarding cycling. In relation to Old Kent Road walkabouts and workshop: Report of Findings (Southwark Council, August 2013, (http://www.southwark.gov.uk/download/9393/old_kent_road_walkabout_report_august_2013)
Comments by Bruce Lynn Healthy rides Co-Ordinator, Southwark Cyclists
This report from Southwark Council in August 2013 followed 3 walkabouts along the Old Kent Rd (OKR). I have been cycling in this area for several years including leading 50+ group rides for less-confident cyclists. Cycling along the OKR is unpleasant for cyclists due to the high traffic flow, high pollution and many parked vehicles. This is all mentioned in the report but it is not clear that any solutions are likely in the near future. To get cyclists in to the OKR need to use side roads and, crucially, need to be able to safely cross the OKR itself. This is a problem for cyclists, but also affects all the communities that lie along this road as it serves as a major barrier to cyclists and pedestrians. It will be hard to really improve the street environment until this issue is addressed. So here are a few comments about OKR crossings and some modest suggestions for improvements.
At Bricklayers Arms there are proper cycle crossings. However, these do not really feed people into the OKR area itself. One request to me was for a route from the south west to the Aldi on Massinger St. It would be helpful to allow dual use of the pavement from Bricklayer’s Arms to this store.
The crossing from Surrey Square to Penry St and Marcia Rd is good for cyclists going SW. But in the NE direction Marcia Rd is one way in the wrong direction. Although narrow with parked cars, Marcia Rd could allow a safe cycling contraflow as there is very little traffic. This route is part of London Cycling Network route 2.
The report mentions on page 8 a quieter parallel route to the OKR. This does not exist as far as I know!
On page 8 the entrance to Burgess Park is mentioned. I agree very much with the point that a crossing from Humphrey St to the Park entrance is much needed. A cycle crossing, plus improved pedestrian crossing phases, would really help here.
On page 16 the crossing from Glengall Rd to Mawbey St is mentioned. This is a very useful cycle crossing and is on London Cycling Network (route 22) and the National Cycle Network (route 425). Note is not on a “cycle superhighway” as stated in the report. Occasional conflict occurs with turning motor traffic. A signalled cycle crossing phase would help. This could coincide with the pedestrian crossing phase as pedestrian numbers are quite low on this junction.
The final section considered was from St James Rd to Brimmington Park. Nothing about cycling was mentioned in this section of the report. However there is a need to provide a cycle crossing from Ilderton Rd into Brimmington Park (and to improve the pedestrian crossing phases as well). There is an excellent cycle path through Bridgehouse Meadows north of the OKR and cycle paths across Brimmington Park on the south side, but no cycle crossing to safely link them. In fact the very top end of Ilderton road on the west side is really horrible and detracts from the OKR environment as well.
1. Remove through motor traffic from St George’s Road. The proposed right turn into St Georges Road makes this junction extremely complex. A simpler solution is to return London Road to 2-way working. London Road is 5 lanes wide. It is within the congestion zone and the traffic figures indicate could carry the existing traffic plus the motor traffic that presently uses St Georges Road. Buses and cycles could continue to use St Georges Rd and local access could be made via Garden Row. Changes would also be needed at St Georges Circus, but these are needed anyway.
2. Get the highest volume cycle traffic off the motorised roads and on to a separate cycle route straight across the middle of the system. This is the traffic coming down the Link Road and heading for the city via London and Southwark bridges. The biggest problem concerns northward cyclists who on the TfL scheme would be at risk from left turning vehicles at both the St Georges Rd and London Rd junctions. Our proposal is to create either an underpass or a bridge/flyover from the top end of the Link Rd across to Newington Causeway. An underpass may be slightly the better option. The depth required is less than the bridge height to clear double decker buses. Also part of the line of one of the present pedestrian subways could be used. To make it more attractive it would be possible to bring the bike path into the open between the two crossings and landscape it. A diagram of a possible layout is below plus a possible profile.
3. Improve the east bypass cycle route. At present the east bypass goes way off to Rodney road. It is much too long a detour to be useful to commuter cyclists. A much better route is possible using Elephant Road (see map below). It would be necessary to move the crossing on New Kent Road. A more direct and safer route between London Road/ Newington Causeway to Walworth road would take some of the cyclists off the Peninsula road network. It would also be possible to link Elephant Road through to the exisitng bypass on Hampton St, thus creating a viable option for the heavy cyclist flow from Newington Causeway to Kennington Park Rd.
Elephant and Castle. New consultation
Previously looked at this in February and July this year. No new papers from TfL.
July scheme involved removing roundabout, peninsularisation from south and possibly moving the Northern Line ticket Office. Scheme lacked detail and looked over complex, with cycle space inadequate for present, let alone future, flows. Even now, at peak, cyclists outnumber all motor traffic on the main N-S route yet get almost no road space. If current trends (falling motor traffic, rising cycle traffic) continue, cyclists will outnumber motor traffic on all arms of the system.
I would welcome comments which can be made here.
Two new ideas people might like to think about. Why not make an underpass for the heavy W to E motor traffic from the A3 to New Kent Road (on the “Ring Road”). How about an elegant flyover/bridge for cyclists from the E&C Link Rd to Newington Causeway?
Those who would like more detail, can find it as follows.
From July consulation we had only the press released information:
Fantasy images, http://www.flickr.com/photos/southwarkcouncil/sets/72157634588086157/
Good summary plus some images and same video, http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/6957
This was big improvement on Feb scheme. Now the idea of “peninsularisation” was accepted and a realistic budget proposed.
We had already in Feb proposed “peninsularisation” – the “teardrop” solution. See my postings at http://healthyrider.weebly.com/traffic-and-junctions.html and
Charlie Holland scheme http://kenningtonpob.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/all-change-for-e-c-northern-roundabout.html
Only new information this October comes from the TfL cycling census, data available at http://cyclelondoncity.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/local-roads-in-london-up-to-75-of-peak.html
Or visually at http://casa.oobrien.com/traffic/
Or appended to the document linked here
Data from DfT Annual average daily flows, 2012
Count Point Location AADF E'ward AADF W'd
47604 RNR East arm 8,210 13,316
48701 Hawkstone Rd 5,921 797
58323 RNR West arm 14,485 12,728
The main flow is E-W along Rotherhithe New Road (RNR), with about a third of traffic cutting down Hawkstone Rd when going (north)eastward. Hawkstone Road is virtually unused going (south)westward. Abbeyfield Rd us a no thorough route to a smallish estate, so traffic will be light. So the immediate question is: why have we a roundabout here at all? It would be interesting to know the history of what seems a ridiculous piece of road planning, but for now we need to look at a 21st century solution.
Remove the roundabout.
The traffic flows show that the roundabout is completely unnecessary. A simple set of t-junctions would do, simplified further by making Hawkstone road one-way NE-wards. Such an arrangement releases a nice piece of public realm and greatly simplifies the organisation of crossings.
But why not do something much more attractive? Block off Hawkstone road and allow access only from the 1-way system, plus maybe a fire gate at the SW end. This creates a delightful lightly trafficked road along the East edge of Southwark Park. It greatly enhances access to the park, especially for the large Primary School. Makes that school much safer, as it does the medical centre on Hawkstone Rd.
Figure 2 shows a rough version of the proposed layout.
There would be clear through route, apart from a signalled crossing, for the main EW traffic. The minority of traffic currently cutting through Hawkstone Rd could easily be carried on the 1-way system. Note that the extra flow along Rotherhithe Old Rd is about 20%, not enough to significantly alter the normal slow pattern of peak-hour traffic on the Surrey Quays 1-way system. Cars have to travel a bit further, but no longer have to negotiate a large roundabout.
The cost may be a bit higher initially than the proposal that has been presented, but there would be much less signage to maintain and fewer crossings required. Something quite imaginative ought to be possible in terms of linking Southwark Park to RNR. There is also the possibility of improving the pedestrian and cycle crossing at Lower Rd when the Cycle Superhighway comes through (and especially if the Surrey Quays redevelopment goes ahead). This could provide a safe cycling/walking link along Hawkstone Rd and across into Surrey Quays.
Simply fiddling with the roundabout as proposed will in the long term be a waste of resources. As the traffic flows show, the roundabout should never have been built and will, sooner or later, be removed. So why not save money, take the long-term view, and remove the roundabout now?
Council consltation document and plan here
Download as word doc
Cycles outnumber all motorised traffic by 50% on major London road
My impression was that this nice weather had really brought out the cyclists. So repeated my counts at Dockhead this morning (July 17th). Compared with last October there were 66% more cyclists, an amazing 880 per hour. All motorised traffic (cars, motorbikes, vans, buses, lorries) was down 10% at 570 per hour. So for every 2 motorised vehicles there were 3 cyclists. It does not look like that because cyclists take up so little road space. But when you start counting there really are a lot of bicycles out there.
For those who do not know it, Dockhead is the Jamaica Road-Tooley Street junction on the A200. On one of the main routes from SE London, close to Tower Bridge. Counts from 8:08 to 8:45.
Well, did the Level 1 course on Sunday 16th June. Very efficiently run with two sessions riding on the local roads (north of Bruce Castle Park, Haringey).
Some interesting ideas. You lead from the back - so someone else who knows the route essential. You ride 2 abreast at all times - going to be interesting on some of the Southwark roads, or on the narrower cycle paths. At junctions leader sprints to the front and sees group across/around. OK except where there are a lot of turns.
I have to be an ambassador for Sky at all times. OK as long as I can make it clear that I hate them, News International and all their works....
Now I await my free hi-vis jacket, after which I can sign up to lead a ride.
Meanwhile, Healthy Rides will continue unabated.
I run short "healthy rides" for Southwark Cyclists. Have a background in exercise science.