Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade better for everyone
- By London Cycling Campaign on at 11:10am 2 October 2014
- Posted in: News and blogs
- Tagged with: superhighway, bow, whitechapel
The impact study of the dramatic upgrade to the cycle superhighway from Aldgate to Bow shows benefits for all road users. Figures released by Transport for London are better than many had feared. Increased time on some journeys by car and bus are balanced by improvements on other routes. And the forecast journey times could be shorter if more people take up cycling and walking as a result of reduced road danger.
TfL is consulting on the plans to upgrade Cycle Superhighway 2 - you can make your comments heard by sending them in by the 2nd of November.
London Cycling Campaign is always sceptical of road traffic modelling predictions. The Mayor's Vision for Cycling and the Cycle Superhighways project are intended to transform London into a cleaner, safer city by enabling more people to travel by bike instead of by car or, often overcrowded, public transsport. Current modelling invariably dosen't consider modal switch.
As Transport for London's Benefits and Impacts study explains the modelling assumes that people do not change their travel behaviour. Yet the purpose of the investment in cycling is to encourage people to change their travel behaviour. That explains why the predicted delays are always pessimistic and always overstate the negative impacts.
Whitechapel market, shown above, is at the centre of the new route. Currently market traders load and un-load in the bus lane, sometimes causing chaos for other road users. The plan is for floating loading bays outside the cycle lane. Traders have raised concerns about how this will work.
London Cycling Campaign is looking at the options, TfL is talking to the market traders, we are talking to Tower Hamlets Council. Evidence from other shopping areas in London and abroad suggests that improving cycle access to the market will be good for trade. At present, cycling on this route is so intimidating that people don't dare stop to see what the market has to offer.
The data released this week shows very small impacts for most journeys, some a bit faster some a bit slower. Given the unreliability of the traffic data models it is quite possible that more journeys could be improved.
The most obvious benefits of the scheme will be to cyclists and pedestrians: by reducing the risk of injury and reducing the fear of crossing the road. The scheme will also reduce the dominance and 'burst' speed of motor traffic (acceleration between traffic lighrts) on the Whitechapel - Bow road corridor so making it a better place for shoppers and other road users. Last year a spate of cyclist fatalities along this route highlighted the failure of the existing blue paint cycle highways to provide safe space for cycling.
London Cycling Campaign is urging all our supporters to support the plans for improvements: make your voice heard on the TfL consultation pages, or use our online tool to quickly write to TfL in support of the proposals.