London Cycling Campaign protests against Westminster Council plans for Haymarket and Lower Regent Street


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This is despite council statistics showing huge increases in people cycling to work in Westminster in recent years.

Haymarket and Lower Regent Street are two one-way streets with high volumes of fast taxis, buses, coaches, cars and lorries are intimidating for even the most experienced cyclists, creating a barrier of fear for any new or inexperienced cyclists trying to cross the West End.

The primary improvement in the current plans (see them on the Westminster Council website) is to give more space for pedestrians, because very often the pavements are not wide enough and pedestrians spill into the road.

We welcome allocation of more space to people on foot, but the solution proposed does nothing to address the dangers and fears of cyclists, nor to tackle the speed and volume of motor traffic. 

Cycling there now is very intimidating

Travelling south, downhill, on Haymarket traffic frequently cuts from side to side while also accelerating to get through the traffic lights at the junction with Pall Mall.

On Lower Regent Street, which runs parallel, the volume of traffic often blocks the road, with taxis and buses jostling for gaps heading for the narrow junction at Piccadilly Circus

Here, with the current road layout there is often barely space for cycling at all.

Coming from Shaftesbury Avenue, there’s no safe route for cyclists through to Piccadilly or St James’s.

Currently, most cyclists who dare cross this area find the safest way to do so is by illegally following the narrow bus contraflow route.

New proposals don’t address cycling dangers

Recently, we and other campaigners met with Westminster Council officials and walked through the streets.

We stressed the need for safe and inviting Dutch-style routes through this area. 

The proposed plans provide only minor improvements for cycling, with fewer traffic lanes and extra ASLs.

The entry into Cockspur Street towards Trafalgar Square will be wider, but there will be no better protection at the junction leaving Haymarket, where most motor traffic has to turn left across the cycle route.

Our proposals include the following:

  • A two-way protected cycle track on the East side of Lower Regent Street and Waterloo Place (shown in blue on map), including reopening the Piccadilly end of Glasshouse Street to cycling in both directions (green pin on map)
  • Two-way cycling along all of Jermyn Street, with a safe crossing of Lower Regent Street (shown in red on map)
  • Two-way cycling in Wardour Street and Whitcomb Street (shown in green on map)
  • A cycle crossing from Charles II Street across Waterloo Place/Lower Regent Street (yellow marker)
  • Safe cycle access to the bus lane from Shaftesbury Avenue to Piccadilly (shown in purple on the map)


View London Cycling Campaign Westminster proposals in a larger map

Replies

Excellent proposals. I might add to this, two-way cycling in St Alban's Street, Norris Street and Panton St, and a cycle crossing between Norris Street and Panton Street. 

Can I add - cycle parking please!

Since Westminster took out all the barriers (which I think was a good idea) there has been NOWHERE to park bicycles in the area.

The island running along the centre of Piccadilly is an obvious place - a wide long stretch of no man's land. 

I heard that Westminster's plan for it was that it is clear so that pedestrians can cross at any point, but no one does as the road is too wide, busy and dangerous with two lanes in both directions - so everyone waits at the trafiic lights to cross safely.

This means that the island is a perfect place to put loads of lovely cycle hoops.

I've been trying to get BAFTA to lobby for themed cycle parking - so outside BAFTA the stands could be shaped like BAFTA masks, outside the Royal Acadamy, the Ritz, Fortnum and Mason - they could all look different to suit - and perhaps those institutions could help fund them. It would add character, and would increase custom as bicycle riders would be able to visit them much easier. 

Can anyone help with this? 

Good on you for tackling Westminister with their road designs which manage to be awful for everyone: lots of traffic going nowhere, wide roads which are unpleasant to walk next to & no space for cyclists and anyone else who might not want to be part of the jam.

  • By Gardda at 5:40pm 6 March 2014

the valuable thing about cycle campaigning is not so much the on road cycleways but the improved and hopefully slower use of the highway and pavements for cyclist and pedestrian alike.

if i have safety issues in the west end on my bike, i get off and push it, across pedestrian crossings, and along pavements until i know i'm safe, however many other pedestrians there are, not forgetting that if you are pushing your bicycle, your rights are exactly the same as any other wheelie pushing pedestrian

there are pedestrians who are prepared to knock you in to oncoming traffic if you do cycle on the pavement. two wrongs are two wrongs; one of you dead and the other in timbuctou.wrong?  

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