Wednesday 15 May 2013

Child friendly cycle routes before construction lorries

I was horrified to read one of the reasons that both the British Film Institute and Southbank Centre have cited in their objections to a planning application (no 13/01797/FUL) being made for a further Barclays Hire Docking Station under Waterloo Bridge.

While both organisations state they are happy having bikes in the area, the BFI states,
6. There are already local stakeholder concerns about the increase in vehicle traffic by the major developments along Belvedere Road / Upper Ground over the next 5 years and that the TfL desire to increase docking stations on "quiet" roads is not suitable for this location as it will become very busy with construction traffic which poses a higher risk to cyclists.
and the Southbank Centre states,
10. Finally the general issue of locations of future docking stations/ expansions should be looked at firstly through the Spine route project for this area. Belvedere road will be a main construction road for the next few years so the rational that they want to increase availability in "quiet" streets really does not apply.
This is Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 4 that we're talking about. It should be a fantastic route running alongside the river away from the pedestrian throng of the river frontage. There are major A roads with no or dire cycle facilities the next road back (York Road / Stamford Street) so it's the only sensible option.

It surely cannot be accepted that, at a time when the importance of active travel is so clear and the support for cycling so strong within the council, this National Cycle Network route can be treated in such a cavalier way.

I hope there's a sensible plan to allow safe cycling for 8-80 year olds in the South Bank area and that the means of construction works within these parameters. The Dutch can do it, so I'm sure we can too.

Watch this space.