Space4Cycling at Battersea roundabout but is it Dutch?

Wandsworth council have today released a radical new design for Queens Circus roundabout at the corner of Battersea Park.

They are providing separate space and signals for cycle traffic at most of the junctions, but is this really the best practice "continental style" design we have been promised?

Wandsworth council describe their hugely complicated plans for Queens Circus at Battersea park as "cycle friendly" and "the first of its kind in London".

London Cycling Campaign expressed serious concerns about this design when we saw them last year.

Cyclists about 1/3 of peak hour traffic

Currently cyclists make up about a third of the morning peak hour flow on the roundabout. Often there are so many that they fill a whole traffic lane and cars give them space.

The new design gives less space to cyclists with added delay, well over a minute in the worst case. That can only lead to congestion and risk taking behaviour.

Is this best practice Dutch style infrastructure?

Cyclists in London have been waiting for years for Dutch style infrastructure at junctions, while the proposals at Battersea provide segregation from motor traffic at the busiest points it is at the cost of a confusing set of signals which are likely to increase the number of times cyclists have to stop and increase the waiting time, especially for those coming out of town in the evening peak.

A Dutch style roundabout is where motor traffic is calmed while cyclists and pedestrians have priority over turning motor traffic.

LCC have suggested that this junction would work much better as a cross roads with protected space and turns for cyclists; the minor estate roads would join away from the main junction.

A cross roads would provide much more open space available for pedestrians and public realm improvements. Currently the green centre of the roundabout is inaccessible to all.

The developer's plan cuts into this green space to provide extra capacity for motor traffic. They have missed the opportunity to free up green space to make this junction an attractive addition to the park instead of a barrier to be negotiated.

Better for pedestrians

The funding and drive for these plans come from the developers of Chelsea Bridge Wharf and the Battersea Power station site. They have promised to provide safe crossings for pedestrians but also want to increase the capacity for motor traffic being generated by their developments.

Developers promised to provide safe signalised crossings for pedestrians. At the moment getting to and from Battersea park on foot can be frightening, especially with young children.

Where Cycle SuperHighway 8 crosses Queenstown Road pedestrians and cyclists compete for space. There will be better crossing for pedestrians but cyclists will soon have to go through four sets of traffic lights to stay on the SuperHighway.

Keeping the roundabout creates many more points of possible conflict. The busiest ones have separated lanes and separate light phases. At the minor junctions there is not protected space for cyclists and risks of collision remain. It is quite likely that motor traffic will block the cycle routes, queuing to get into the general traffic flows.