The first of the Mayor's Mini Holland projects is signed off

In Waltham Forest, the first of the Mini Holland projects has been signed off; the Ruckholt Road Walking and Cycling Improvement Scheme. Works are due to commence on implementing the £770k project this month.  It will be the first of Waltham Forest’s Mini Holland Scheme to break ground and we believe the first of any of the London Mini Holland schemes to commence. The scheme went out to consultation in November 2014 and 74% of respondents were supportive. One aim of the scheme is to pilot different types of segregation measures to see how they work in practice in the borough.

TfL and the Mayor of London announced a competition for outer London boroughs to bid for £100 million total to transform major town centres into areas ideal for cycling – with ideas taken from continental approaches to design.

Waltham Forest only has one “major town centre” that met the selection criteria – Walthamstow. So the council made a bid for Walthamstow to become a “mini Holland” and won £30 million (Enfield and Kingston also won the same).

Whilst we have some concerns about the project (see below), we’re broadly supportive and are pleased to see the first of the Mini Holland projects get started!

BACKGROUND

The Ruckholt Road Walking and Cycling Improvement Scheme forms part of the Waltham Forest Mini Holland project, which as the Council put it "aims to create and enhance walking and cycling facilities, and improve local environments". The Council have identified Ruckholt Road as a key route and as such have developed a scheme to redesign this street as part of the boroughs' Mini Holland project. The route connects Leyton High Road, including the town centre, westbound towards the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, LB Hackney, the A12 and central London.  

THE PROPOSAL

Ruckholt Road’s existing cycle route is to be improved between the junction with Temple Mills Lane and the junction with High Road Leyton. The scheme is proposing to provide a largely segregated route. The scheme also includes improvements for cyclists on Alexandra Road & Maud Road. The Council are proposing to trial armadillos, shared cyclist/pedestrian crossings and wands & low level traffic signals for cyclists.  

The proposals suggest 2 floating bus stops on the route between the junctions of Orient Way & Oliver Road. New shared cyclist and pedestrian zebra crossings are going to be installed at three locations.

There is also a proposed banned left turn for general vehicles from Oliver Road to Ruckholt Road, and banned right turn from York Road to Ruckholt Road. The north end of York Road will be closed at its junction with Ruckholt Road.

Find out more about the proposals.

WALTHAM FOREST CYCLING CAMPAIGN

London Cycling Campaigns’ local group in Waltham Forest, the Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign has already fed back on the plans. They are broadly supportive, but there’s a few minor issues that they believe are outstanding:

  • Plans for Alexandra Road aren’t ideal – with buses and traffic mixing it up with cyclists (albeit with speed tables due to be in there).
  • The eastbound lights from Oliver Road might appear daunting at first – so they want to make sure the council communicates clearly that even slow cyclists will be able to clear through the non-segregated section without pressure from vehicles coming from behind as there will be a 30 second 'early start' for cyclists before other traffic can move off, giving plenty of time for slower cyclists to reach the next section of segregated track
  • They want “filtered permeability” (a road closure) for Maude Road where it hits Leyton High Road
  • Leyton High Road is due to be looked at later on during the mini-Holland process as part of the North-South routes, but any quick fixes to sort out the junctions with Ruckholt Road and Alexandra Road would be good to help cyclists get in/out of the scheme smoothly.
  • The Temple Mills Lane junction is very poor, eastbound cyclists are squeezed with traffic at the most dangerous point and there is nothing for northbound cyclists coming from the Olympic park routes.

Read Waltham Forest Cycling Campaigns' excellent FAQs on the Mini Holland Scheme