Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Will TfL's junction review be feeble or robust?

Transport for London have started a cycle safety review of some 200 junctions. The first batch they've started work on include several in our backyard and there's a commitment to implementing change as a result of the review so it's really important to get involved.
Once a preferred option is agreed we'll start design and construction work, subject to our consultation and approval processes.
The immediately local junctions are:
Lambeth Bridge (northern roundabout)
Albert Embankment (Lambeth Bridge/Lambeth Road), aka Lambeth Bridge (southern roundabout)
Waterloo (inc. IMAX roundabout – York Road / Stamford Road / Waterloo Road / Waterloo Bridge)
Oval triangle
St George’s Circus (Blackfriars Road / London Road / Borough Road)

My biggest fear about the review is that TfL will concentrate on making the junctions safer for those who cycle, rather than making the junctions desirable for those who aren't currently cycling but would like to.

Putting aside actual casualty statistics for a moment, the reality is that all of these junctions feel bloody horrible to use as a cyclist. Parents are hardly likely to encourage their teenage children to cycle across Lambeth or Waterloo Bridges as things stand, and the children are hardly likely to feel inspired to cycle there in the first place.

For a review and subsequent works to have any validity, the minimum outcome must be that teenage cyclists are routinely using these junctions and bridges, and that their parents feel it's safe for them to do so.

TfL also need to be mindful that while being hit by a truck is one way of lessening life quality and/or length, another way is being obese and unfit. If our population are too scared of the road network to choose active means of travel then TfL's junction review will have been inadequate.

With the current mega development and high-rise residential growth of Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea as one specified area, Waterloo as a second, and the Elephant & Castle as a third, it must be made clear to our politicians that it is time to fundamentally change the way our road network operates in this patch of central London in favour of the pedestrian and cyclist and against the hegemony of the motorist.

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