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Cyclists support RNIB campaign to re-route Cycle Superhighway

The London Cycling Campaign says cycling infrastructure needs to work for everyone after the RNIB raises concerns about plans for a Cycle Superhighway outside its HQ in London
Image: Cycle Superhighway plans for Phoenix Place, near Judd Street

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has voiced its support for a campaign to re-route a Cycle Superhighway away from a street that runs past the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) headquarters, in London.

The RNIB has raised concerns plans for North-South Cycle Superhighway, proposed to run directly past the charity’s headquarters on Judd Street in Farringdon, which include replacing a signalised pedestrian crossing with a zebra crossing, would pose problems for blind and partially sighted people who visit its HQ. 

The LCC, in its support for the RNIB, says all vulnerable road users should be considered in cycling infrastructure, and has reiterated calls to move this section of the cycle route to Farringdon Road, rather than diverting it along quieter back streets.

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Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive of LCC, said: “We want to create a safe environment for all road users including the visually impaired. We would be delighted to work with RNIB so future cycling infrastructure programs support their needs better, and will be suggesting joint education campaigns to improve safety and accessibility for both groups.”

In a letter to Transport for London (TfL) the RNIB says thousands of blind and partially sighted customers visit its HQ each year, along with its own staff, some of whom are blind and partially sighted. 

Isabelle Clement, Director of Wheels for Wellbeing said: “This highlights the importance of talking with all groups that are impacted by new developments. I’m shocked the RNIB were not properly consulted over the equality impact assessment. Judd Street needs a solution that works for everyone.”


North South Cycle Superhighway section 9 Judd Street.jpg

Plans for Judd Street, outside the RNIB

The RNIB has also raised concerns generally about the use of shared use pavements, and cycle routes that “encroach into walking areas”. It says visitors report aggressive cyclist behaviour nearby and the charity points out not all blind and partially sighted people are easily identifiable by a cane or guide dog. The RNIB has asked for the N-S Cycle Superhighway to continue on Farringdon Road, rather than following back streets, at its Northern end, a sentiment the LCC echoes.

The London Cycling Campaign says making London’s streets safe for everyone is paramount, and says it hopes to work with RNIB so the needs of blind and visually impaired people are taken into account in cycling infrastructure plans.

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thereverent | 7 years ago

I've got to agree with LarryDavidJr that the biggest issue seems to be the new zebra crossing. Keep the current crossing would surely solve this problem (unless the RNIB have a problem with cyclists generally).


The RNIB has also raised concerns generally about the use of shared use pavements, and cycle routes that “encroach into walking areas”.

This is fair enough, cycle paths should be seperated by a curb from pavements (a minor failing in some of the new cycle superhighways in places).

fukawitribe | 7 years ago

Forget it...

LarryDavidJr | 7 years ago

I see no reason why this street should be any different.  Do all the blind/partially sighted people only turn up by cab and not use any of the other streets in the city  then?

The main issue seems to be one of a signal controlled crossing being missing.  Put that back and all is well.  It simply doesn't need anything else different from any other street.


emishi55 | 7 years ago

The N - S CS route has already been re-routed onto quieter back streets (past Stonecutter road heading north?) - due to apparent road width and bus stop issues.

 Obviously the needs of those with varying degrees of partial-sightedness (which cover a larger proportion of the population than might be realised), but there still exists this tendency to tar all 'cyclists' with the same brush - as if 'they' somehow represent a greater threat than the current 'normalised' speedophile/road-raging and rat-running motor vermin that somehow continually escape public contempt (notice how the rain always makes the driving worse..? or was it the first sign of a bit of sun....?)

Judd Street is an example of one amongst many many streets that has to be filtered, whatever it is referred to as - 'CS route', 'QW' or 'cycling grid' route.

Tavistock Place has recently been transformed with the two separate  E-W segregated bike lanes, and restrictions on rat running motors (though it has taken a lot of additional campaigning to ensure the security of this in the face of local NIMBYs and the rabid arm of the LTDA). But there is still too much non-essential through traffic (like too many other places).

I was going to say I bet the Dutch never had this trouble...but then I remembered the footage of the street battles that went on in Groningen. 

It essential to get a network in place. We need the calming influence of mass and all-inclusive cycling out there.  This will be a more immediate example for UK politicians who need to fix their foulled-up towns and cities around the entire nation.   







bikebot | 7 years ago
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I was hugely annoyed on the day, and after revisiting the details yesterday I'm still conviced LCC have handled this very poorly.

These are the basic problems.

  • Judd St is intended to align with the changes on Midland Rd.
  • LCC still want cycling on Judd St, as a "Quietway".
  • As far as bicycles are concerned, the difference between a CSH or Quietway on Judd St are largely semantic.

The RNIB is just as likely to oppose the use of Judd St as a quietway as a CSH. They don't even seem happy with the Tavistock Pl trial, which crosses at the foot of Judd St.

It took awhile to figure out what LCC actually want, as the Farringdon Rd alternative was also in their response on NS-CSH, but still using Judd St.  The Farringdon Rd doesn't reach all the way to the Euston Rd, and you've got to jink west somewhere. The statement above that they have "reiterated calls to move this section of the cycle route to Farringdon Road", isn't accurate, the LCC consultation response recommending the Farringdon Rd still used Judd St.

It seems what they actually want is a larger change to the King's Cross area, which is due for an overhaul and will be going through rounds of consultation for sometime. It looks like the LCC alternative needs to have a section of protected cycle lanes on the Euston Road. I'm sceptical as to whether that's achieveable.  There would be major objections from bus operators, which TfL will be sympathetic towards.  Furthermore, providing a safe and high capacity EW route was the whole point of the Tavistock Pl trial.

And apart from all the detail about the scheme itself, I don't want the LCC appearing in the press supporting groups who say cyclists are dangerous.  They were stitched up 18 months ago by the Guide Dogs, and this doesn't look any better. Waiting to see how they're going to handle this in the next few days.



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