Last week Mayor of London Sadiq Khan opened a consultation on Cycle Superhighway 4 (CS4). The proposals for 4km of separated cycle lanes on what is a busy commuting route have been welcomed by many – but not by all.
CS4 will run along Creek Road, Evelyn Street, Lower Road (which will be subject to a separate consultation next year), Jamaica Road and Tooley Street.
Southwark News spoke to Simon Dyer, of F A Albin & Sons funeral directors, near Rotherhithe Roundabout, who seems to subscribe to the ‘cycle superhighways cause congestion’ school of thought.
“What they need to do is improve the system now and they shouldn’t be clogging up the road. I will do everything I can to stop them because I don’t want it. It’s just crazy; it doesn’t need to come through this way.
“It already takes us so long to get back here at the end of the day – it’s already bad enough. We’ve been here so long and we’ve got this beautiful garden here; we can’t relocate.”
Dyer found little support in the reader comments to that article.
Alex Raha, who describes himself as “a driver/cyclist/pedestrian/bus user travelling this stretch every day for the past 12 years”, said that a “ridiculously high number” of cyclists had been killed or seriously injured on Jamaica Road, Lower Road and Evelyn Street. “This scheme makes that stretch safe, and has little to no impact on the current traffic flow, which is pedestrian at best.”
Local GP Brendan Delaney said: “I commute down this road to work (and on home visits), as do very many cyclists. The cycle lanes are currently shared with buses and taxis, and stop, getting filled by stationary traffic.
“Eastbound it’s a matter of filtering through clogged lanes of buses and HGVs. Westbound the entry on and off Rotherhithe Roundabout is a death trap and I've attended a seriously injured cyclist there a few years ago. Further up towards Bermondsey station I've been forced off the road at speed by a coach and 'close-passed' and sworn at several times by black cabs.
“It’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed. There were four deaths further up by Tanner St during the Shard construction.
“The area is very polluted and 10,000 Londoners a year die from air pollution. The congestion and pollution will not be solved by making space for more cars, but by making the road safer for children and less hardy 'cyclists' to reduce overall traffic. I'm sorry Simon Dyer is opposed to this, but once it’s in I think EVERYONE will see the benefits.”
Councillor Anood Al-Samerai, the leader of Southwark Liberal Democrat council group, also welcomed the proposals: “We are pleased that they have proposed improvements to Jamaica Road and the plans are helpful for pedestrians and cyclists.
“The new/improved crossings at St James’s Road, Bermondsey station and Southwark Park and the changes to the roundabout are very welcome.
“We are keen to make sure that the changes reduce congestion and will be responding to the consultation to demand further improvements for the junctions and tunnel.”
Construction is expected to start late next year, with the consultation, which can be found here, open until 19 November 2017.