Transport for London’s flawed “Cycle Superhighway” proposals

I am a strong supporter of sensible measures to promote cycling. Indeed I have written about this regularly on this site – see here, here, here and here.

However the proposed Transport for London Cycle Superhighway strike me as deeply flawed. As Charlie Dewhirst has noted it would worsen traffic congestion and lengthen pedestrian journeys.

The scheme would cost £70 million. Hammersmith and Fulham Council is backing it – but there is a huge financial conflict of interest for the Council with these big TfL schemes. That is because the Council is provided with substantial funding from TfL to help promote and implement them. That makes it impossible for the Council to be objective in delivering a verdict on whether such schemes are beneficial or harmful to our borough. I have asked the Council how much money it has been promised.

There is concern among residents that as well as limiting access to the side streets the Superhighway will cross, there will be a damaging impact on the businesses, nurseries and schools on the south side of King Street.

For example of particular concern is the impact of changes to the Goldhawk/ King Street/ Chiswick High Road/ British Grove junction. This includes changes to access and the reversal of the one way system at the south end of British Grove onto Berestede Road such that instead of turning from a narrow street with no pavements (British Grove) into a wider one (Berestede Road) it will be the other way round.

When challenged on the risk to pedestrians this could entail at a consultation in Chiswick, I hear the TfL response was “… well it is a mistake that they will only make once…”

Would it not be less disruptive to route the Superhighway along the A4?

Please let me know your views.

Artists impression of the new scheme looking east along Hammersmith Road

Here are the dates for some proposed exhibitions of the scheme:

Grove Neighbourhood Centre  Sunday 1 October 11am-4pm

Lyric Square  Friday 6 October 11am – 3pm

Cross Keys Pub, Black Lion Lane Wednesday 11 October  5pm-9pm

Ravenscourt Park  (TfL doesn’t say where in the Park) Sunday 22 October 11am-3pm

The deadline for comments is Tuesday 31 October. You can respond here.

The letter from TfL gives more details.

13 thoughts on “Transport for London’s flawed “Cycle Superhighway” proposals

  1. I am not a fan of trying to create these segregated stretches of roadway for cyclists. They are expensive and can severely compromise the existing road network by taking out space for vehicles and complicating entry and exit points.

    Much better to deal with specific danger areas like roundabouts and tricky junctions and leave normal stretches of roadway alone.

    Car traffic moving at typical London speeds of between 10 and 25mph is rarely a danger to a moderately confident cyclist. Less confident riders can usually find alternative routes along quieter streets that are hardly any longer.

    Most cyclists in London are killed by lorries. Let’s invest in measures that will reduce that danger – education of drivers, better design standards and fixing problem junctions and turns where a rider is vulnerable.

    • Education of cyclists into basic road safety issues (eg. a red traffic light means stop, on a pedestrian crossing pedestrians have priority) might be useful too.

      • I agree. I do think cyclist behaviour has improved a bit in the last few years but there are still people who sail through red lights and that is unacceptable.

        A very unhelpful message has been given in Camden about cycling on the pavement, where it is now regarded as something cyclists have a right to do if they feel in danger being on the roadway proper. That is absolutely the wrong message. Pavements are for pedestrians only

        Equally there needs to be a campaign against jaywalking by pedestrians, who will routinely wander out into the road staring into their phones without even looking around. Often there will be a proper crossing point only a short distance away.

      • Reply essentially for Richard Owen:
        “A very unhelpful message has been given in Camden about cycling on the pavement, where it is now regarded as something cyclists have a right to do if they feel in danger being on the roadway proper. That is absolutely the wrong message. Pavements are for pedestrians only”

        I think that you’ll find it was a Conservative transport minister, Robert Goodwill, who said that cyclists could cycle on the pavement if they had fears for their safety. So the message is: some are above the law. What do pedestrians do when they fear for their safety against cyclists who couldn’t care less?

        The lawlessness includes the ‘die-ins’ led by Occupy London’s Don McCarthy in an ongoing attempt to get ever more unreasonable sums thrown at cycling. Militants with nothing better to do blocking the roads to fire engines and ambulances, but the former Mayor just opened the cheque book. There’s always money in government and GLA circles for appeasement, shame it has to be provided by taxpayers and by borrowing.

  2. Hi Harry, interesting article. If you don’t mind I would like to publish it on W14london. I am concerned about the impact it will have on residential roads. Does this mean teams of cyclists will be using residential roads instead of main ones?

    • I shouldn’t worry, cyclists will continue to use cycle lanes, residential roads, main roads, pavements, one way streets in either direction and pedestrian crossings entirely as they see fit and ignoring all traffic lights so I doubt we’ll notice any impact.

  3. Some cyclists seem to think they can sometimes behave as pedestrians on cycle, sometimes as car drivers on cycle!

    I see cyclists mount pavement around corners at a furious speed, narrowly missing pedestrians.

    Is this a good behaviour?

    To prevent pedestrians crossing at inappropriate points, local govts would need to put up fencing.

    All very expensive.

    If only politicians had enough Political Will to cut back the number of cars on the road,( toll roads?) they would not have had to promote cycling so aggressively.

    Sigh …

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