Kensington Gardens Broad Walk needs better connections
The Broad Walk in Kensington Gardens has proved popular with cyclists young and old since cycling was allowed along it a few years ago. But the connections with the road network outside remain poor.
Earlier this year, the Royal Parks commissioned consultants to review Black Lion and Palace Gate entrances to Kensington Gardens. The project aimed to improve access and circulation for cyclists and pedestrians at these heavily used junctions.
CCTV surveys and analysis of use and conflict were then undertaken. Draft proposals for modification of the pedestrian crossing at Black Lion Gate and for improvement of the junction adjacent to Palace Gate have now been developed and Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster consulted. (The Broad Walk forms the boundary between these two authorities.)
Black Lion Gate, at the north end of the Broad Walk, currently connects with a pedestrian crossing of the Bayswater Road that adult cyclists are not allowed to use.
Monitoring of this gate showed high levels of use during morning peak periods, predominantly eastbound cyclists turning right into Kensington Gardens. Only two accidents are recorded in this area, but both involved cyclists. Two options have been developed for the crossing:
- Introduce a widened toucan crossing with a cycle lane in the centre of Bayswater Road and improved surfacing to ease cyclist and pedestrian access into the Gardens.
- Introduce a widened toucan crossing facility with extended traffic islands and a dedicated cycle lane on the footway on the north side of Bayswater Road.
Palace Gate, at the south end of the Broad Walk, does not connect directly with a crossing, but is situated a short distance west of the junction of Kensington Road with the street also called Palace Gate. Westbound cyclists in particular have to cross several lanes of traffic to turn right into or out of the park.
Monitoring of Palace Gate showed lower levels of use than those recorded at Black Lion Gate, with the majority of cyclists exiting the Park (westbound) during the evening peak period. Proposals for this scheme include reduction of the existing number of traffic lanes, introduction of a pedestrian and cycle crossing facility on the western arm of the junction and provision of larger islands to protect crossing users. Implementation of this scheme is likely to be linked to progression of Barclays Cycle Superhighway 9.