London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has strongly criticised Transport for London (TfL) proposals for Nine Elms and Battersea Park Road, saying they fall some way short of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s ambition to make London a ‘byword for cycling around the world’. In response, the capital’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, has encouraged cyclists to have their say before designs are finalised.
“For something that was billed as being ‘better than Amsterdam’ for cycling, the new proposals for Nine Elms and Battersea Park Road are woeful,” writes LCC on its website.
“Instead of having a safe, physically separate, cycle lane along this wide road, cyclists will have to make do with a part-time bus lane and painted cycle lanes. The major junctions will still offer cyclists and pedestrians no protection from ‘left hooks’, where vehicles can turn across people heading straight on – incredibly risky given the high number of large lorries in the area.
“This is far below the standard needed to encourage large numbers of people to cycle, and doesn’t match the Mayor’s ambition to make London a ‘byword for cycling around the world’.”
The campaign group says it has seen a number of recent schemes that prioritise motor traffic badged as ‘Healthy Streets’ – which is supposedly the term for a long-term plan to encourage more Londoners to walk and cycle.
“What message does this send from Sadiq, his Walking & Cycling Commissioner Will Norman and TfL to the rest of London?” it asks. “We think it means anti-cycling boroughs will think any old rubbish they want to bring forward will get funding; that putting some ASLs and a bus lane in will mean the scheme ticks the boxes for cycling.”
Norman subsequently got in touch with the group to say: “We are committed to improving cycling right across London and I want to assure you that we will only take forward projects that will bring real benefits.
“We will ensure that the final designs for Nine Elms Lane and Battersea Park Road offer a safe, high quality cycle route that can be used by all Londoners to travel between Battersea and Vauxhall. The proposals we published are not finalised designs, they are ideas for consultation and I strongly encourage you to have your say.
“We want to hear views from as wide a range of people as possible as the plans are developed. We need both your support and your criticism, and I can assure you that your voice will be listened to and reflected in the changes that will be made to the design for this route following the consultation.”
The deadline for feedback is August 20. You can have your say here.
Norman continued by highlighting other upcoming cycling projects.
“We are consulting on a long-overdue transformation of Waterloo IMAX, closing off one arm of the roundabout to create a tree-filled public square and segregated cycle lanes. And a little further up the river, we have developed proposals to make walking and cycling safer at the northern and southern roundabouts of Lambeth Bridge. On the bridge itself, our plans include two-metre wide cycle tracks in both directions.
“I can also tell you that we’re looking forward to sharing our plans for the next two major cycling routes – Cycle Superhighways 4 and 9 – in the autumn. As you’ve seen from our Strategic Cycling Analysis, we’ve got big plans for the future of cycling in London. Our Cycling Delivery Plan, to be published later this year, will set out more details on which of these routes we will be prioritising for investment and I encourage you to keep making your voices heard so that that we can take these projects forward.”