Tell your borough and the Royal Parks to get behind the Central London Grid to change the culture of cycling in London
- By London Cycling Campaign on at 05:06pm 13 Feb 2014
- Posted in: Blog
- Tagged with: tfl, Boroughs, grid
Last week we asked you to urge Transport for London to make sure the Central London Grid is genuinely safe and inviting for everyone. Thank you to the thousands who have already done so.
This week tell them what is really important in the borough you live or work in. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org - all the boroughs are monitoring the messages coming through. Copy your message to you local councillors.
LCC sets three key tests for the Central London Grid Read LCC's Chief Executive's blog post
Routes through the Royal Parks are really important for the Grid. These need to be open 24 hours and have safe crossings at all exits.
- The Central London Grid must be designed in a way that makes it suitable for all people who ride bicycles, not just slow or novice cyclists.
- Removing through motor traffic (using bollards, for example) should be a core principle of the Central London Grid, helping to ensure no-one cycles on a street with motor vehicles over 20mph or more than 2000 PCUs (passenger car units) per day.
- Cycle routes should be direct, with safe and convenient crossings of minor and main roads, in particular the inner ring road and the River Thames.
- There should be a coherent network of routes, without major gaps that force people on to streets that are unpleasant or dangerous to cycling.
- The Central London Grid should be delivered in a reasonable time, with 12 months as a realistic timetable for a working "coarse grained" network. After that new links should be added to make the grid have a finer mesh.
What we are saying to the Boroughs and Royal Parks
The Royal Parks
While there are some existing routes through sections of the Central London Royal Parks they are over capacity and need other links to share the load. It is essential that the Royal Parks provide safe alternative routes for cycling. Currently cycle restrictions force cyclists onto some of the most hazardous roads in London and deter many people from cycling.
All the Central London Royal Parks should be open for cycling throughout the night while there is still high speed motor traffic on the alternate routes.
Regents Park needs a strong north south route on the Broad Walk and exiting through Brunswick Place to link straight across the ring road into Harley Street. The canal bridge at Charlbert Street is essential to link cyclists from the north west into the West End and City.
As well as facilitating the Cycling Super Highway East West route, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens must support several east west and north south routes, crucially providing access to Kensington High Street and Bayswater / Notting Hill.
The Superhighway route through Green Park/St.James's needs north south linkages through the Spur Road gyratory and along the Queens Walk linking cross routes in Mayfair.
Lambeth have proposed every minor in the sector as a Quietway. Without a clear plan to provide linked up routes with Southwark and crossing the river the benefits from quickly achieving a functioning network will be lost.
The minor routes are still important but should be developed as Quietway links feeding to and from the Grid network and the Cycle Superhighways.
The routes proposed for Southwark are close to those in the LCC network. The missing link in Union street is inexplicable.
The arbitrary closure of cycle network routes for the re-building of London Bridge station has caused chaos and must be remedied with a quiet link to Tower Bridge.
City of London
The proposed network in the City of London provides many useful links on a tortuous network of lanes. It does not greatly contribute to the whole of the Grid where a set of effective through routes is needed to avoid forcing cyclists onto the busiest streets and hazardous junctions.
For example we propose a through route on Charterhouse Street on the north side of Smithfield Market with a link through Grand Avenue (outside night-time market hours). This would minimise the number of junctions and reduce the conflict between cyclists and market traffic.
There is nothing shown for Tower Hamlets. That is unacceptable and safe links are desperately needed across the ring road and to provide access to the City and Tower Bridge. Several routes linking South West Hackney with the rest of the borough require links through Tower Hamlets at the very least.
The London Borough of Hackney is already developing networks of quiet routes in the city centre section of Hackney. The major problems are safe crossings of the Ring Road and Transport for London Road Network. Many junctions need improved priority for people on bikes. The lack of involvement of Tower Hamlets make this difficult in the Shoreditch High Street / Bishopsgate area. Hackney must work with Islington and Camden to develop a high quality solution for the Old Street, Clerkenwell Road route.
Islington needs to build on their existing cycling network to remove through motor traffic and increase capacity and priority at the crossings of the Ring Road and other major roads, particularly on the borough boundaries. Islington, along with Camden should be developing a high quality solution for the Old Street, Clerkenwell road routes.
Current proposals for removing through motor traffic on the Torrington Place route should be seen as the model for all the routes in the Central London Grid scheme. Camden needs to ensure that gaps are removed to deliver a fully functional network particularly on the north south alignment of Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street and also a two way continuous east west route through Covent Garden.
City of Westminster
The Westminster section includes some very useful routes, but they are too complex and need to be worked out as simpler two way cycle routes throughout. The alternate routes shown on the consultation map are closer to those proposed by London Cycling Campaign. Filtering out through motor traffic in Marylebone is far better than the complex contraflows proposed and has less impact on services and parking.
Priorities should be direct crossing of the Ring Road especially into Regent's and Hyde Park. There need to be continuous north south routes linking the Superhighways through Green Park and Mayfair as well as through Trafalgar Square, Soho to Camden.
Kensington and Chelsea
There are few if any satisfactory east west routes through Kensington and Chelsea and very poor connectivity between the ones shown. There is a poor casualty record on the east west main roads in the borough. Quietway routes should maximise the opportunities to cooperate with the Royal Parks and provide a route through Holland Park. As with all the boroughs we expect a consistent standard of cross borough Quietways linked to and supporting the Central Grid.