Sunday 8 February 2015

Towards child-friendly cycling in north Lambeth

The following is my submission in response to the consultation by TfL on the Quietway junction of Cornwall Road and Stamford Street

These are blue-skyish thoughts of mine on ways to meet Lambeth Council's Cycling Strategy on the South Bank

Lambeth wants to encourage more cycling and believes that the only way to do this is to make cycling safe and attractive for a broader cross section of people. Anyone who wants to cycle should be able to – women, children, parents, older people – as happens in Denmark and the Netherlands. Our vision therefore is that:

Lambeth will be the most cycle-friendly borough in London where 1 - 100 year olds feel safe enough to cycle.

To get a child friendly cycling (and walking) environment in the South Bank area there will, in my view, need to be some impact on the immediate convenience pf some other road users .

How can the South Bank be made child cycle-friendly while also allowing deliveries of goods and building materials, taxis to drop off theatre-goers, and people with blue badges or an aversion to public transport to drive to the area?

I've put some starting thoughts on a map. They are moderately large changes, which I think are what is needed to achieve the goal; there will certainly need to be refinements, but I think these could be the bones of a child-cyclist friendly area. They're not based on any existing plans and I welcome comments and suggestions.

Key points with regard to the Belvedere Road / Upper Ground spine are:
  • Improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists through cutting out as much motor traffic as possible
  • Stop traffic rat-running along Belvedere Road / Upper Ground spine through bollarded closures that allow pedestrians and cyclists through. 
  • Use raising bollards in some places to enable access by residents and for business deliveries
  • Have taxi drop off, pick up and turning points by the London Eye and the Southbank Centre / Royal National Theatre - but no option for taxis to travel along the spine.
  • Replace the huge RV1 bus with a free, child-cycle friendly, easy pick-up and drop-off Fun Land Train (priority to the elderly and infirm; with wheelchair access) - or have the RV1 run along York Road and Stamford Street, supplemented as needed on the spine with electric mobility shuttles as used in airports

It may be worth checking out the Swansea/Mumbles land train / cycle route 

  • Retain access to purpose built car parks; especially maintain blue badge parking.
  • Have a family and tourist friendly two-way, smooth, segregated cycle track along the Belvedere Road / Upper Ground Spine that links to the North-South Superhighway and then turns to continue to Tate Modern and beyond. Going west it can continue to Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea allowing children to follow the river along to the South Bank and Tate Modern.
  • Alongside the segregated cycle track, have a two-way single lane road with passing places for the few vehicles that are entering and leaving the South Bank area.
  • Bring the two parts of Bernie Spain Gardens closer together, with a pedestrian footpath and cycle/fun train track passing through rather than a constant flow of taxis, vans, lorries and minicabs. 
  • Nurture a motor-reduction culture in local businesses - consolidated deliveries; air driers not paper towels etc. 
  • Cornwall Road north of Stamford Street to be a No Through Road, Except Cycles - access to Doon Street, for properties and to the public car park is retained. No loading or parking in this stretch of Cornwall Road (use Doon Street). The layout of the road making it visually predominantly a cycle track while still having access/egress by motor vehicles.
  • Bollards at Cornwall Road south of Stamford Street; access and exit for motor vehicles to the area via Exton and Alaska Streets. Again Cornwall Road appearance as a cycle track, with 'guest vehicles' and the minimum of parking/loading.
  • In the bigger picture, the Elizabeth House etc. redevelopment allows for opportunities such as a segregated cycle track on Waterloo Road for fast commuters using Waterloo Bridge.