London Cycling Campaign writes to Transport for London about Olympic Route Network

Responding to complaints from Londoners, LCC has written (see below) to Transport for London's team in charge of the Olympic Route Network urging them to remove several dangerous infrastructure changes implemented this week

In many areas, changes to the road network have made conditions worse for cycling and pedestrians, needlessly putting Londoners in danger - problems include:

  • Southwark Bridge Road (photo above) is a busy cycle route that is now blocked
  • A barrier in Mansell Street has created a hazardous narrowing that squeezes cyclists into the path of motor traffic
  • Bow flyover has been restricted in width, forcing cyclists to share space with fast-moving vehicles

LCC's Mike Cavenett said, "Many of the changes required to make the ORN safer are relatively minor. They haven't been done properly because cyclists' needs haven't been adequately considered."

If you have a concern about the Olympic Route Network, please email info@lcc.org.uk with 'ORN' in the subject line - we'll pass these on to TfL immediately.

The letter sent to TfL is reproduced in below:

Letter to Transport for London ORN team

We are writing to you following complaints to our organisation from cyclists about the implementation of hazardous temporary traffic schemes along the Olympic Route Network which has come into operation this week.

Urgent, but relatively simple, actions are required to reduce the danger presented to cyclists and other road users, and we urge you to take such action swiftly.

Specifically, the safe movement of cycle users appears not to have been considered at several locations.

We share the concern of those writing to us that this may lead to unnecessary collisions at a time when London is at the centre of the world’s attention and seeking to make headlines through Olympic successes.

We also note that the use of roads by both commuters and Olympic traffic may be disrupted should collisions occur as a consequence of poorly laid out temporary traffic schemes.

We ask you to review ORN routes in the light of incoming complaints from road users and to take remedial measures.

We will pass on any further complaints sent to us so that Transport for London and the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games can take the necessary steps to address problem locations.

We trust that your action will enable those who wish to cycle to their destinations in the Olympic period, as they have been urged to do by TfL and LOCOG, to experience safe journeys.

We recognise the many challenges that TfL faces in helping to make the Olympics a success at the same time as keeping London moving.

Nonetheless, we're sure you'll agree that safety on London's roads must not be compromised.

We therefore look forward to seeing remedial action being taken to deal with reported hazards to pedestrians and cyclists from temporary traffic schemes on the ORN.

Below are examples of locations where poor implementation could be remedied if urgent, action is taken.

Mansell Street crossing at Tower Hill

(For vehicles travelling from Royal Mint St./Cycle Superhighway 3 and Mansell St towards Tower Bridge.)

The plastic barrier in Mansell Street has created a hazardous narrowing which squeezes cyclists into the path of other road traffic.

Widening the space for cycling by an extra metre would address this.

Additionally, the cycle and pedestrian crossing at Royal Mint Street (the crossing point for CSH3) has been closed with no mitigation or signage in place.

This is an important crossing that provides the only safe way to get across the two lanes of left turning traffic.

The lack of clarity for road users at this location, which only recently has seen a recent serious injury, is already leading to confusion and near misses.

Bridge Street to Westminster Bridge

The cyclist advanced stop area (ASL) has been removed and all traffic squeezed into a narrow opening. This is hazardous to cyclists and likely to lead to delays on the ORN.

Bow Flyover

As you will be aware the cycle lanes from Bow Roundabout towards the Olympic Park have been removed.

The flyover, which is the option chosen by 70% of regular cyclists, has been restricted in width, without any additional provision for cycle users, with the result that motor traffic can no longer safely overtake cyclists.

Parliament Square

Removal of the cyclist right turn into Whitehall from Bridge Street forces cycle users to negotiate four sides of this very busy roundabout – of particular concern in relation to those unfamiliar with cycling in London - eg, visitors to the city and new cycle commuters avoiding public transport crowding.

Southwark Bridge/Upper Thames Street

A pedestrian crossing has been closed, but pedestrians continue to need to cross there. We have already observed aggressive driving towards pedestrians who do so.

Travelling north from Southwark Bridge the right (straightahead) lane has been blocked off.

It is still accessible to cyclists but the gap for cyclists is minute. Cyclists would have to move from the segregated lane on the left into the right hand lane. To make this less hazardous the gap where they arrive needs to be comfortable so that they don’t need to brake suddenly or swerve.

Yours Sincerely

Ashok Sinha