Cyclists still Hyde Park Cornered

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Despite the useful widening of the crossings at the north-west (Hyde Park) corner of Hyde Park Corner, a number of problems remain.

Cyclists' most common complaint is that they have to negotiate two separate crossings at each corner. So they could well have to stop four times to complete the crossing between Green Park and Hyde Park. By contrast, motor vehicles going around the gyratory system are unlikely to have to stop more than twice.

As a result, some cyclists can be tempted not to wait for the green cycle signal. This can be particularly dangerous for westbound cyclists coming from Green Park, whose view of approaching traffic is obscured by a hedge - see photo below.

Hyde Park Corner
Some cyclists can be tempted not to wait for the green cycle signal.

At the south-east (Green Park) corner, cyclists travelling in both directions have to squeeze onto a small island shared with pedestrians. This arrangement cannot really cope with current peak cycle flows, let alone the increase expected to result from the Cycling Crossrail route.

Hyde Park Corner
Cyclists have to share a small island with pedestrians.

Although the existing crossings may be helpful for cyclists following an east-west route, they may not help those leaving or joining the route. In particular, the movements from Hyde Park to Piccadilly and Victoria / Belgravia involve passing through a six-lane gyratory system - see Philip Benstead's photo below.

Hyde Park Corner

With the East-West Cycle Superhighway – the so-called cycling Crossrail – passing through Hyde Park Corner, we would expect Transport for London to be looking again at this intersection. So we look forward to working with TfL to find suitable solutions.

Replies

I was very dissapointed to see how badly the new work on these crossings, done in 2012, turned out. There is a basic problem in the lack of differentiated space for cyclists and pedestrians. Shared space is not appropriate on a high-volume commuter cycling route in the middle of London. The space allocated is actually quite large, but it is operating inefficiently because it contains a chaotic mixture of cyclists and pedestrians. The modes need to be separated and the cyclists treated as a proper flow of traffic, as, for example, Camden's engineering on the Royal College Street and Bloomsbury routes (the latter also over-capacity) does. Hopefully this point will be grasped when the Bike Crossrail project is progressed.

Really it would be better if, rather than being routed through the middle of the roundabout, cyclists were on a signalised track all round it. This would then enable all movements, for example, Hyde park to Piccadilly westbound, which is not currently possible.

David Arditti

Co-ordinator, Brent Cyclists

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