Watered down plans for CS2 upgrade will compromise cycling safety, say LCC

18 December 2014 - for immediate release

Transport for London has published its consultation report on the upgrade to Cycle Superhighway 2 (CS2) between Aldgate and Bow roundabout.
The consultation, which ran from 23 September to 2 November, showed 95% of respondents supported protected space along the route - yet despite this overwhelming support, LCC believes that Transport for London has watered down the plans, which will compromise cycling safety.

After opposition from Whitechapel Market, plans for a segregated cycle track on this section of the route have been axed. Instead, cyclists will be expected to leave the protected cycle track and mix with buses and vans while passing the market - a daunting prospect for many people who cycle, or who would like to start cycling.

There are currently no hours of operation signed for the eastbound bus lane (picture). Other bus lanes in this area only operate for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. At best there will be minimal benefit for safe cycling for 25% of the day. Parking is allowed from 7pm till 7am.

Where the cycle superhighway disappears on the original plans, leaving no protected space for cycling opposite the council-owned Ocean Estate, Tower Hamlets Council have invited Transport for London to speak with them about purchasing land to enable reallocation of space for cycling, but at a later date.

LCC's Campaigns Manager Rosie Downes said "When this consultation opened we welcomed the proposed protected space as long overdue, but we stated that gaps in the segregation, where cyclists are expected to mix with heavy, fast moving traffic, are unacceptable. So we're disappointed to see that rather than addressing this problem, the plans now offer even less protection for cyclists.

"This is a route on which six cyclists have died since it became a cycling superhighway in 2011. The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, and every other local politician have called on Transport for London to make the upgrade of this route the highest priority. Yet the very same local politicians appear to be blocking Transport for London from making the changes needed to ensure this route offers safe and inviting space for cycling."

LCC understands that Whitechapel Market have raised concerns about the safety of loading goods across the cycle track, and that the superhighway could negatively impact on their business - though loading across cycle tracks is a common sight in the Netherlands, and in New York local businesses saw an increase in sales of up to 47% when protected cycle lanes were installed.

LCC is also disappointed that concerns around the safety of the proposed junctions have not been taken on board. Over 70% of the most serious injury collisions to cyclists in London happen at road junctions. Poor design of junctions, even where there are segregated routes for cyclists, is a serious concern within the current proposals for the CS2 upgrade. All cross roads carry cycle traffic and there are some with high numbers of cyclists. At many junctions there are plans for 'early release', letting the cyclists move off before other traffic. We consider this is only acceptable on minor roads with little or no turning traffic, and recommended in our response to the consultation that TfL implement cycle segregated junctions, which TfL have previously agreed are 'capacity neutral' so would not cause delays to traffic.

Click here for a full-size version of the Whitechapel Market area layout.


Notes to editors:

  1. The Transport for London consultation response report released today:   https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/cs2-upgrade
  2. See thefull consultation response from Transport for London here: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/cs2-upgrade/user_uploads/cs2-upgrade-consultation-report-tfl.pdf
  3. London Cycling Campaign's response to the TfL consultation here: http://lcc.org.uk/uploads/7872