Thursday, 10 December 2015

Reducing Pedestrian / Cyclist conflict Westminster Bridge Rd / Belvedere Rd

TfL is consulting until 22 December on a scheme to benefit cyclists and pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and the Lambeth side of it.

There is much that is promising, but the illustration and the plans show that the entrance and exit to National Cycle Network Route 4 remains across the pavement (where the people are standing above and below) behind the former County Hall.

There is a simple way to reduce pedestrian / cyclist conflict at this point, which is to replace the barrier you can see with a retractable bollard so that cyclists can easily and conveniently enter and exit Belvedere Road rather than Belvedere Road (Obstructed) Pavement.

The Toucan allowing access from the upstream side of Westminster Bridge Road should remain, but cyclists would move to the right to enter Belvedere Road, reducing interaction with pedestrians. Likewise cyclists emerging from Belvedere Road can cross on the Toucan parallel to pedestrians instead of co-mingled.

Given that this is a Sustrans National Cycle Network Route, that there is minimal motor traffic on that private section of Belvedere Road, and that an original condition of planning consent is to provide a cycle route here, why is a simple improvement not being shown?

The money is there - S106 funds were negotiated by Lambeth Council, consequent to responses from the public, to enable this as a requirement for Merlin Entertainment's receiving planning consent for Shrek's Adventure on the Shirayama owned former County Hall site.

It is well known that the owners of this land are difficult to deal with regarding cycling. But if TfL with their new cycling scheme and budget; Lambeth Council with their S106 money and aspiration to be London's Most Cycle Friendly Borough; local politicians eager to reduce pedestrian / cyclists conflict at the crossing and local cycling and equality campaigners are all in favour of this easy solution then it must surely be possible, finally, to force quality cycling and pedestrian provision to be provided.

When responding to the consultation, whether as a pedestrian or a cyclist, please demand that this cycle route junction be made first class off the pavement and along the lines I have proposed.