Thursday, 17 October 2013

Is Nine Elms en-route to being more cycle friendly than Amsterdam?

Exciting stuff - the Barclays Hire Bike docking station has gone in opposite Battersea Power Station

Doubtless Wandsworth or TfL will soon put in a dropped kerb so you can comfortably cycle directly to Nine Elms Lane

The new blocks of expensive flats, some with an element of affordable housing, are going up. You can see Riverlight taking shape behind this sign, advertising imminent traffic delays

Embassy Gardens building work is taking place on the other side of Nine Elms Lane
and advice is offered to cyclists, so they're aware of turning lorries even if the drivers can't see them

I dropped into the Embassy Gardens Marketing Suite, taking my bicycle with me as there is no cycle parking outside
There's also none inside the grounds, but the sales clerk kindly invited me to bring the bike into the building
Having ascertained that all available flats had been sold, I continued up Nine Elms Lane towards Vauxhall, mingling with other proponents of active travel

towards The Tower

which planning conditions dictate has loads of cycle parking, plus a few car parking spaces. You get into the Cycle and Car Park here:
There are no guest Sheffield Stands for St George's Wharf Tower but there's much better than that - the gatekeeper assured me the concierge would arrange for the valet to look after your bicycle (don't ask how much the service charge is, if you can afford a flat here it's loose change)
Continuing to the top of Nine Elms Lane I tested my bike control skills around all the signs relating to the St George's development to take the segregated cycle path past Lassco
and when the van had gone I made my way back to Kennington

Across the river there's lots of discussion about the planned pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Thames http://www.warwicksquarepimlico.co.uk/1050/troubled-bridge-over-waters-nine-elms-bridge/

So, I think we can see that everyone's pulling their weight to ensure that Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea is well on its way to being 'Better than Amsterdam' for cyclists as Boris Johnson promised.

1 comment:

ken sparkes said...

Hello Charlie, thanks for mentioning discussion from North of the river http://www.warwicksquarepimlico.co.uk/1050/troubled-bridge-over-waters-nine-elms-bridge/ ! Pimlico residents generally seem to favour extending the cycle lane grid and also the new bridge from Nine Elms, viewing both as potentially positive for the local area.
There's problems though.
Superhighway 5 (CS5) zooms up to Vauxhall where it stops. Vauxhall Bridge Road has heavy motor traffic and several snarly junctions culminating in Victoria Station chaos, so there is a new proposal to guide Northbound cyclists around Bessborough Street and onto Belgrave Road, then via Belgrave Square to Hyde Park and Marble Arch. The roads on this link aren't suitable for segregation. In fact, it wouldn't be a formal cycle route but simply cycle symbols painted on the tarmac.
Meanwhile, TfL and the Nine Elms developers are pushing option 1 for the new bridge to Pimlico, which maroons Northbound cyclists by the riverside on Pimlico gardens. They can either go the long way round to Vauxhall Bridge and loop back to the Belgrave Road link, which kind of defeats the point of having a new bridge, or they can try a Russian Roulette short cut across the busy four lane Grosvenor Road traffic to St George's Square to join the Northbound link at the junction with Lupus Street.
Most worries in Pimlico centre around the impact of tens of thousands of rush-hour cyclists zooming through previously quiet garden squares and then getting squished by HGVs on Belgrave Road. That doesn't sound like Amsterdam-on-Thames at all!
So, what about a cycle bridge adjoining Grosvenor railway bridge, option 4, and a new cycle route along the rail tracks to Ebury Bridge, Victoria and beyond?
Would love to hear your ideas...
Cheers
Ken