Friday, 21 October 2011

Upper Ground Update

I emailed a link to yesterday's blog on the Upper Ground detour to Lambeth's Road Danger Reduction Manager, Norma Fender, and received the following detailed response:

Sorry you came across an unexpected diversion when you were cycling with a group of children recently.

There are currently major works on Upper Ground behind the Royal National Theatre, accommodating 5 utilities plus Lambeth's own works, which has meant that we have had to authorise a road closure for all vehicular traffic (including cycles) from Cornwall Road to the up ramp to Waterloo road from 10.10.11 until 05.12.11. The road will have to be closed again for another period for more works in the new year.

The provision made for cyclists during these works is that they should dismount and walk their bikes on the footway past the works site for the short distance involved and then remount to continue their journey. At the moment there is no signage to this effect, but this signage (asking cyclists to dismount) will be installed, and this will make it much clearer to cyclists what is expected.

I'm sure you are aware that Lambeth is keen to promote considerate cycling on shared space for pedestrians and cyclists where appropriate (such as on the Thames path) but this is not always appropriate in places where there is a very high density of pedestrians, for example, the Vauxhall foot tunnel, where cyclists are also asked to dismount.

This is not the ideal situation for cyclists or pedestrians, however, major roadworks do require temporary road closures and diversions and less than ideal road situations until the works are completed.

It'll be interesting to see how the road works develop over the coming months and whether, for most of the time, there would be space for a cycle path, rather than a requirement for cyclists to dismount.


David said...

I have a similar problem with some Crossrail works between Finsbury Circus and Moorgate. There the roadway is being used for storage of materials which is blocking the road. With a small amount of effort it could be passable to cyclists but the City of London don't care. I should probably contact Crossrail directly and see if they are any better.

Gary Marsh said...

Cyclists are expected to dismount. This is obviously a typo and should read "cyclists must mount the pavement and travel at speed disregarding pedestrians, unless yelling abuse at them for being legitimate users of the pavement"
As this is what happens without exception every single day around Upper Ground & Backside.

Charlie Holland said...

Gary, I suspect we're in agreement that we'd both like to see the police taking a more active stand against agressive and dangerous behaviour by our road (or pavement) users. In this case I would have preferred to see Lambeth make a requirement for the site builders to maintain, where possible, a cycle path on the road - allowing pedestrians and cyclists to indepentently make use of a back road while motor traffic takes the main road. I have no idea how hard Lambeth tried to achieve this outcome.