Monday 25 November 2013

London Cycling Campaign and Lambeth Cyclists response to draft Nine Elms plans

Transport for London held a consultation, now ended, on the draft Nine Elms South Bank (or Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea Opportunity Area in old speak) Design for Cycling strategy document.

This is the response, in full, jointly submitted by London Cycling Campaign and Lambeth Cyclists

London Cycling Campaign and Lambeth Cyclists response to draft
‘Nine Elms on the South Bank – Designing for Cycling’ strategy by TfL

Overall, we commend this as a hugely encouraging document and one that, in its final form, will hopefully set a standard for the future of London as it ‘goes Dutch’.

We applaud the use of the Dutch criteria, the intention to use filtered permeability; segregation where there are high motor traffic volumes; and the need for the cycle routes to be direct and efficient, and the provision of a finely grained cycling grid throughout the area.

Page by page comments are below, but there are some general points that we would like to raise:
  1. It has been said that the best cycling policy is a motor-vehicle policy. This document majors on cycling infrastructure but is light on detail concerning locations of filtered permeability and matching vehicle turning locations; taxi stands; loading/unloading bays; drop off points of passengers by drivers, and location of cycle parking in relation to car parking by shops. The design needs to ensure that space intended for fantastic cycling by the widest range of ages is not subsequently compromised by poor design for essential motoring needs, while reducing the need for motor vehicle journeys and making cycling the obvious choice for most journeys.
  2. There should be a map with local schools showing how Dutch quality cycle routes will reach them and permit independent travel.
  3. Given the length of time before the Northern Line Extension happens (if it is approved) and the indeterminate time-scale for completion of an uninterrupted linear park and Thames path, Nine Elms Lane should be made very cycle friendly as a priority in order to inculcate a cycling culture as soon as developments come on stream. We recommend considering making this part of a realigned CS8.
  4. The policy should be to design for clear pedestrian and cyclist priority over turning traffic at minor side roads and building entrances.
  5.  Where segregated tracks are used alongside a road, great care must be taken to make turning right using the track as efficient as turning right through being on the road. Hopefully a resolution will be identified as part of the revised London Cycling Design Standards with regard to the different rules for turning traffic that the Netherlands and Denmark have. Signal timings and banning certain turns for motor traffic may facilitate this.
  6. An appendix giving details on planning policies with regard to cycle provision (e.g. cycle parking for visitors) and motor-traffic reduction, with a statement on their quality in terms of the ‘Go Dutch’ ambition, may be useful.

P5 – ‘Characteristics of successful cycle routes’
Add to point 2) Directness: Where traffic lights for cyclists are required, the time on red should be kept to the minimum. There must not be more green time for road users than cycle path users.

P8 – ‘Initial Observations’
Should 2) Secondary Roads be amended to read ‘…well used by adult cyclists’?
Amend point 3 within Opportunities: Make cycling the easy option, whether adult or child’ for local journeys to shops, schools, friends and local services

P9 – ‘Diagram of principal through routes’
Should include Wyvil Road on secondary routes

P10 ‘Routes – existing’
Pts 1 and 2: CS8 and CS7 – add ‘not designed to be used by children under 14’
Pt 4 LCN route 37 – amend to very low quality. The bus lanes however are well used by adult cyclists.
Pt 6 cycle lanes on Vauxhall Gyratory ‘ Their low quality and time inefficiency compared with being on-road means they are under-used.
P11 Photo labelled 6: change under-used to ‘un-advantageous’

1 CS5 – State whether or not this is designed to be used by under 14s.
3 Thames River Path – This has provision to be an excellent leisure cycling route, as long as faster/commuting cyclists are given a route they prefer to use, in order to avoid pedestrian conflict’

P14 ‘Cycle Parking’
Requirements – add ‘conveniently’ to cyclists needs list
Proposed – is sufficient cycle parking at grade for visitors and at commercial and retail developments being designed into developments?
Potential – Extensive secure and convenient cycle parking provision needs to be designed into proposed Northern Line Extension stations

An exemplary cycling network  - Amend to include ‘makes walking or cycling the obvious mode for short journeys’
Objectives – Direct Routes – amend as on P1

Add to potential options:
CS8 – re-route proposed alignment of CS8 along Nine Elms Lane and the Albert Embankment

P18 ‘Main Roads’
Treatment, Both
‘Junctions designed to ensure that cyclists on cycle facilities are not at a time disadvantage to being on road’

P20 ‘Quietways: Side Roads’
Treatment: 20mph speed limit; Motor traffic restricted to local access (filtered permeability).

P22 Greenways: Off-road tracks
Intro: Remove redundant ‘can’ or ‘to’
Coherent paths that are not linked to each other but seamlessly link to other parts of the cycle network

P24 Treatments – common to all routes
Signposting – Signs should be attractive, incapable of being swung around by wind, vehicles or the mischievous, and readable while on the move

Surfacing  - needs to be immediately recognisable as a place for cycling

Demonstrates requirement to include Wyvil Road within this strategy

P38 ‘B’sea Pk Rd / Nine Elms Lane’
Make it CS8
Easy right turns onto side roads
Consider two-way cycle tracks on each side

P40 ‘Wandsworth Road’
Priority at side roads for main road cycle tracks
Consider banning certain turns by motor vehicles

P41 ‘Albert Embankment’
Make it CS8
Review options for stopping this being a traffic-choked A road, making it an attractive cycle and walking promenade with caf├ęs etc.
Remove coach parking on river side of road

P42 ‘Queenstown Rd etc.’
Chelsea Bridge Road
Replace Queens Circus with a cross-roads

P45 ‘Phasing and Delivery’
Every effort should be expended to making this area cycling friendly from now onwards, whilst acknowledging that there is a high level of construction activity. To this end Nine Elms Lane should have Dutch standard cycle provision implemented as quickly as possible.

In conclusion, we hope that the above comments are constructive and helpful, and again wish to commend TfL on an excellent draft document.