£1.2 billion redevelopment of London Bridge station fails to provide for cyclists

London Bridge station is the latest central location due to be subject to a massive redevelopment, but there are serious concerns about the possible removal of cycle routes and lack of attention to dangerous junctions in the area.

(View our official objection)

The planning application submitted to Southwark Council by Network Rail would reorganise this important transport hub, providing a badly needed new £1.2 billion station and concourse but - unless substantial changes are made - the consequences for cycling could be dire.

Where have the developers gone wrong?

Bike routes removed

The cycle route along Weston Street (London Cycle Network 22) will disappear into the station, where riders will be able to “walk bikes through the 24/7 part of the concourse".

Network Rail's representatives told us: “Cyclists will use alternative road routes. These have not been defined. There is no provision to cycle through the new station concourse."

Dangerous junction with London Bridge ignored

Cyclists make up 33% of traffic crossing the river at London Bridge at peak times, but nothing is to be done to address the junction at London Bridge and Tooley Street, which is a nightmare for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

Developers say traffic light timings might be changed but that is all.

Their planning application stops short of the junction and says nothing about the land just metres from the development, even though Southwark Council’s planning guidance, quoted in the application, says “Applications will be granted provided that there is adequate provision for pedestrians and cyclists within the development, and where practicable within the surrounding area.”

Inadequate cycle parking

With the consistent rises in cycling in London you might also expect the rail authorities to be aiming for standards seen at Dutch stations, where thousands of bike spaces are the norm, not hundreds.

The developers promise 500 spaces saying this is above the Transport for London 2004 advisory standards and above the clearly inadequate number that are provided at present.

What they don’t highlight is that 500 is below the standard recommended in a 2010 report for TfL, which the developers quote but then ignore, and that it doesn’t allow for growth in demand or all the people working at the station.

No detail is given about the quality or security of the parking proposed.

And in case you are one of the 400 registered users of the fully secure bike park at the On Your Bike Shop near the station and are wondering what next – that’s coming down too (in 2013) and any replacement, if there is one, will be subject to ‘commercial considerations.”

Nothing learned from Blackfriars

It's hard to believe that after all the public criticism of the £550m development at Blackfriars and the inadequate cycling parking at The Shard next to London Bridge, that Network Rail hasn’t done better at London Bridge.

It’s also surprising given that the Mayor, who plays a role in major planning applications, rides along Tooley Street daily, and has expressed his concern about the lack of cycle parking at stations.

What happened to the millions of pounds Network Rail allocated to improve cycling parking at its stations after it was publicly embarrassed by the former transport minister Lord Adonis?

The London Bridge planning application can be read online

Next steps

On Saturday 6 August 2011 we’ll be submitting our offical response (before the 6 August deadline), and publishing a letter that you can use to object to the scheme.

Southwark Council will consider the application, which might be referred to the Mayor.