Lack of coordination blamed for ill-timed works in Southwark

With just days to go before the first Barclays Cycle Superhighways open, some of the route has already been torn up by roadworks.

The South London Press reports that part of route CS7, which runs between Merton and Southwark Bridge – and which is due to open for business next Monday (19 July) – has been dug up by Southwark council contractors just weeks after being laid in the first place.

The paper reports that the situation has frustrated cycle campaigners and the London Mayor’s transport adviser, who said councils should join a London-wide roadworks scheme.

Barry Mason of Southwark Cyclists, which represents 900 cyclists in the borough, told the SLP, “It’s so frustrating. Boris is quite rightly pressing for the cycle superhighways to be completed. But there’s no co-ordination between the utilities and the people who run the roads. It’s crazy that Transport for London can’t co-ordinate all this.”

The cycle tracks are the responsibility of Transport for London (TfL), which is part of City Hall, but Southwark Bridge Road is under the control of Southwark council – which is not part of the roadwork permit scheme.

The Mayor’s transport adviser Kulveer Ranger said, “Transport for London and the boroughs have been working closely to deliver the new cycle superhighways and ensure this type of issue does not arise.

“Unfortunately this demonstrates exactly why better co-ordination of roadworks carried out on borough roads is required and why the Mayor is requesting that all boroughs sign up for the permitting scheme.”

Councillor Barrie Hargrove, cabinet member for transport, environment and recycling at Southwark council, said, “The roadworks were always scheduled to be done at this stage, as agreed by TfL. We are seeking the co-operation of the contractors to reinstate the road markings before the formal opening of the new cycle superhighway.”

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine (www.simpsonmagazine.cc). 


OldRidgeback [2875 posts] 7 years ago

It's no surprise. Utility companies are supposed to co-ordinate their activities but don't as a rule and London's roads have suffered badly as a result. I can think of one busy road in particular where this has serious safety implications. On the busy South Circular, close to Tulse Hill, there is a corner with the camber running in the wrong direction on the bend. The section of road was resurfaced around 18 months ago, improving the safety for all road users (not just cyclists). However two or three months after the resurfacing work had been carried out, a utility company dug holes in the road and inexpertly refilled them, leaving uneven and bumpy patches directly on the most dangerous spot of the corner where the camber runs in the wrong direction. By moving this work forward a few months (prior to the resurfacing) the utility company could have solved the issue but instead there is now a danger spot on a corner that makes it treacherous in the wet, particularly for anyone on two wheels (whether a cyclist, scooter rider or motorcyclist). As I know the road, I avoid it and use another route but this is basically an accident waiting to happen. Only when a fatality has occurred will the local authorities take action. If this was a single instance it would be a mistake but unfortunately this type of problem is endemic across the UK's road network and results in needless deaths and injuries to many.