Chaos on Cycle Superhighway CS3

For years the CS3 Cable Street route has been notorious for random closures for all sorts of street works. Sections of it seem to be dug up every other month. Sometimes lorries park all over it to deliver motor cars or pick up rubbish.

Now Transport for London and Tower Hamlets council are responsible for the worst closure ever. Ignoring all the safety guidance on managing cycling around street works they have totally closed CS3 for the next three months. They are working on improvements to make a good pedestrian crossing of the road and route. 

Young rider forced to dismount to get around carelessly placed sign

As the pictures show the cycle route is completely blocked. The main carriageway is one-way westbound only, eastbound cyclists have nowhere to go and no signs to help them. The remaining pavement is too narrow to share with pedestrians and even that is blocked by huge signs in the wrong place.

There is a great opportunity to trial the effects of filtering out through traffic on this route during construction. Motor traffic can be diverted via Pinchin St. Filtering out motor traffic to provide adequate space for cycling has been proposed by LCC and is being considered by Tower Hamlets council.

Last year Transport for London published draft guidance for managing cyclists at roadworks as part of the London Cycling Design Standards. The guidance says  :

  • there should be adequate warning notices for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians
  • priority should be given to maintaining access during the works
  • when cyclists and motor vehicles share use of narrow roads there need to be 20mph limits and signs saying 'Narrow Lanes - Do not overtake cyclists'
  • a diversion for motorists should be considered before sending cyclists on a long poor quality diversion
  • providing a diversion for cyclists is the last option - it must be clearly signposted and the signs maintained throughout the work period
  • simply placing  'Cyclist Dismount' signs at the end of the works is not acceptable.

They are also starting work on the very worst junctions which have been causing problems for cyclists at Cannon Street Road, Hardinge Street and Horseferry Road E14.

These are all welcome improvements but fall far short of the Mayor's commitment to the LCC Love London Go Dutch campaign to ensure that the Cycle Superhighways are completed to the best practice design standard.

Tower Hamlets council supported by the local LCC group Tower Hamlets Wheelers are proposing a major re-design of this route:

"Future Proposals:  The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is currently investigating proposals to increase the capacity for cyclists along Cable Street and enhance the experience of local residents and pedestrians.

"Options being considered involve filtered permeability and allocating more carriageway space to cyclists. TfL will be working proactively with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to ensure any future proposals take into account road safety improvements and cyclist priority."

Plans for the current works can be seen here:

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LCC supports the concept of the Cycle Superhighways but we've often been concerned about the quality of the routes. Our campaigning on CS2 is resulting in upgrades along the route and the East-West and North-South Superhighways are a direct result of our Love London, Go Dutch campaign. We continue to campaign to ensure that the remaining superhighways are delivered to the highest possible standards.

As a membership charity we rely on funds raised through subscriptions from individuals who share our vision of making London the best cycling city in the world. If you share our vision and want to help create Space for Cycling please join LCC today.