Thursday, 1 December 2011

Piecemeal cycle disaster in Heygate Street?

A couple of weeks ago the consultation company working for the Heygate developers, Lend Lease, told me (my bold):
Heygate Street will remain a more traditional highway, but Lend Lease are working to gather evidence to support its reduction in width to make it more pedestrian and cyclist friendly. They are also working to increase the number of pedestrian and cyclist crossings to ensure north south accessibility.

I'm not sure that I believe them.

Southwark Council have today published draft plans (under the misleading title MINOR PUBLIC REALM IMPROVEMENT) to 'tweak' one side of Heygate Street, a wide road with a long, useful mandatory cycle lane on the E&C cycle bypass going from the Walworth Road to the New Kent Road. It's not clear whether they've really considered the whole street (they plan to keep the bus lane on the other side but say nothing about the stupidly narrow cycle lane within it, for example). They're seeking comments on their plans and I really urge you to demand to see the whole plan and find out whether this part of it really delivers for cyclists.

The draft plans for this side of the street
a) make part of the existing Mandatory Cycle Lane (i.e. motorists can't enter it) into an Advisory Cycle Lane (i.e. motorists can enter it). SURELY LESS CYCLE FRIENDLY

b) has this lane end, with cycle and motor traffic merging/fightingt into a shared traffic lane. SURELY LESS CYCLE FRIENDLY

c) before splitting again to an Advisory (rather than existing Mandatory) cycle lane and general carriageway. CERTAINLY NO IMPROVEMENT

I think there's lots wrong with this road and lots wrong with the E&C cycle bypass that this currently forms part of. From this document it really appears that the Council plans to fiddle around half a street at a time rather than work out and publish a cohesive plan that is unequivocably active travel friendly.

I'm gobsmacked - I'll be writing in demanding they don't proceed with the half-baked plan presented and I urge you to also.

Persons wishing to object to the proposal, or make any other representations in respect of it, should send a statement in writing to that effect, and in the case of an objection, stating the grounds thereof to, either: the Traffic orders officer, Southwark council, Environment & leisure, Public realm, P.O. Box 64529, London SE1P 5LX, or via e-mail to quoting reference PR/PD/TMO1112-028 by 22 December 2011.

1 comment:

jamesup said...

Great blog Charlie, thanks for spotting this!

I've done some angry letters - this is a big deal and flys in the face of everything we've been told at the E&C consultation forum...