After a hiatus following the incredibly bold and rapid roll out of schemes early in the Covid pandemic, the City of London Corporation seems to have found its active travel feet (and pedals) again. It has announced a consultation on removing the much-loathed St Paul’s one-way system around King Edward Street, Aldersgate Street and St Martin’s Le Grand, just to the east side of the cathedral.
The City has a really simple consultation running now. Not all the options on the table are transformational (details below), so please use the survey sliders to show your support for prioritising people walking and cycling over motor traffic. You can then use the separate feedback form to support ‘Option One’: this is the best option proposed, turning a section of King Edward Street next to the cathedral into a much-needed and brand new plaza alongside delivering decent quality north-south cycle tracks (details below).
It’s super easy, just takes a minute and the consultation only runs until 25 January so please fill it out today
King Edward Street currently
What it could look like (Option 1)
The actual proposal drawings and details from the City can be found here. The City has put forward three options, ranging from mediocre to excellent.
The weakest of the current three at consultation stage, confusingly labelled Option 4 (there is no Option 2!), retains the gyratory for motor vehicles but adds one-way contraflows for cycling, some cycle track and some cycle gates (these are where cyclists get space in front of the lights with their own signals to enter the box and then go ahead of traffic) on Newgate Street. It will bring benefits to those walking, wheeling and cycling – but it hardly maximises the opportunity to change this area to a more people-before-motor-vehicles space.
Option 3 adds some two-way working but at a cost of the cycle gates on Newgate Street, replaced by ‘ASL’ boxes (Advanced Stop Line). Again, this is a step forward, but again hardly matches the bold and brave transport strategy from the City, and it won’t really help deliver on the City’s net zero plans either.
Option 1 is the clear prize the City should be and hopefully is aiming for. While it does have weaker ASLs on Newgate Street, it turns the section of King Edward Street next to the cathedral into a much-needed and brand new plaza. It also delivers decent quality north-south cycle tracks and contraflows on St Martin’s Le Grand and Aldersgate Street, dramatically improving walking and wheeling as well as public space in the area. It delivers a good cycling route north-south and more minor improvements east-west (particularly welcome will be simpler turning movements around the St Martin’s Le Grand junction with Newgate).
Looking at cycling in isolation, none of these options are exactly gold standard – and we want the City to really up its game on cycling – but overall, and particularly with Option 1 on the table, these could be a big leap forward for the area in terms of safety and more people-friendly space.
Want to make specific points? There’s no free-form comments box in the survey, but it looks like you can use the separate feedback form.
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