Stratford Cycle Superhighway extension plans gets thumbs up from London Cycling Campaign (well, parts of it do)

Campaign group praises some aspects of plans - but it also still has a number of reservations

by Simon_MacMichael   January 11, 2013  

CS2 Consultation Stratford Cycle Lane (source TfL).png

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has welcomed much of the design for the extention to Barclays Cycle Superhighway CS2 to Stratford unveiled this week by Transport for London (TfL) and the London Borough of Newham. The LCC is particuarn particularly keen on the proposal to install a 2.4km segrgated cycle lane along Stratford High St which it says demonstrates that its Love London, Go Dutch campaign, launched last year, “is bearing fruit.”

Proposals for the route are open for consultation until 10 February and are on public display in Stratford on the 19th and 20th of January (details below).

In it's response to the plan the campaign group says it is “delighted with many aspects of the designs,” such as the inclusion of 2.4 kilometres of segregated cycle lane on Stratford High Street, which it points out are sufficiently wide so as to allow quicker cyclists to safely overtake those who are slower.

Road layout changes proposed by TfL in the consultation, which you can view here including detailed plans and a link to make comments, are:

The new route would bring substantial changes to the road layout to improve safety for cyclists, including:

3km of new cycle lanes, including 2.4km segregated cycle lane along Stratford High Street

Improved road surfaces and fewer obstructions to make cycling more comfortable

New road markings and signs showing journey times and links to existing cycle routes

New innovative bus stop and traffic signal bypasses to help cyclists get ahead of other traffic and improve safety.

Other proposals highlighted by TfL include:

Over 400 new cycle parking spaces along the route

Cycle safety checks

Free cycle training

Industry-recognised safety training for drivers of large goods vehicles.

The plans will be on public display at Stratford Centre, E15 1NG on Saturday 19 January from 10am to 4pm and at the View Tube, Marshgate Lane, E15 2PJ on Sunday 20 January from 12 noon to 4pm,

LCC has welcomed the way the lanes are routed past bus stops – the latter, in effect, become islands with the lane running between the stop and the pavement – as well as the fact that the space required to create the cycle lanes has been taken from the main carriageway, rather than the footway.

Despite those positives, LCC says it has a number of reservations about the plans. First, it points out that the ‘extension’ does not in fact complete the route as originally planned; nothing has been announced about a proposed third section from Stratford to Ilford.

It also raises concerns about the safety of cyclists on Bow Roundabout due to the deployment of early start traffic lights which it says aren’t suitable for such a large junction, the dangers still posed by the Stratford one-way system, problems with accessing the northbound lane from, as well as over two-stage right turns for cyclists.

Finally, it takes issue with the proposed use of staggered pedestrian crossings, saying that these are out of step with the desire lines that people on foot will typically use to cross a road.

In conclusion, LCC says “we strongly welcome TfL’s decision to use segregated cycle tracks on this busy main road, removing road space from motor vehicles, not pedestrians, in order to accommodate cycling.

“However, to make the route truly safe and inviting for cyclists requires the removal of the Stratford one-way system and improvements at Bow and other junctions.”

It adds that it will make its detailed submission to the consultation public on 11 February, the day it closes.

Derided by many as nothing more than a lick of blue paint when the first Cycle Superhighways were opened in 2010, the plans released by TfL reflect the hard work of campaigners in ensuring that the safety of cyclists is uppermost in planners’ minds, added impetus given by the death in October 2011 of Brian Dorling at what is currently the eastern end of CS2, where it joins Bow Roundabout.

His death, plus those of other cyclists in late 2011, led to cycle safety being put centre stage during last year’s mayoral election campaign, and pressure put upon Mayor Boris Johnson by cycle campaigners and opposition politicians caused him to order a review of existing key junctions in London as well as those on the Cycle Superhighways yet to be built.

10 user comments

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those bus stops look likely to cause a lot of conflict between pedestrians and cyclists. Who has right of way? Will pedestrians care if it isn't them? Will they even notice that they're wondering across a cycle lane? Accident waiting to happen

posted by md6 [161 posts]
11th January 2013 - 9:15

8 Likes

I was initially sceptical about the bus passengers/cyclists sharing the same space, but after thinking about it I'm not sure.

If I was pootling along on the shopping bike I'd be on the cycle path and I'd just stop and ting-ting my bell at anyone loitering. I don't tend to be in a hurry when I'm on the shopper. If I was on the road bike I'd be on the road in the primary position or filtering through traffic - not using the lane.

posted by qwerky [150 posts]
11th January 2013 - 9:49

5 Likes

md6 wrote:
those bus stops look likely to cause a lot of conflict between pedestrians and cyclists. Who has right of way? Will pedestrians care if it isn't them? Will they even notice that they're wondering across a cycle lane? Accident waiting to happen

To minimise conflict between users, a segregated lane is excellent, so why then cause a conflict point at bus stops? Surely a better solution is to use the space for the bus to pull in, thus removing a possible pedestrian/cyclist conflict? There does seem t be strange thinking behind the present design - maybe the designers think all cyclists potter along at 5-10 mph?
It's a concern that is this design is installed, it may be copied around the country. Pedestrians may even regard cyclists passing along the lane as riding on the pathway, and it's clear that this is one matter that needs no escalation!

Doc

posted by doc [167 posts]
11th January 2013 - 9:53

8 Likes

In addition to pedestrian-cyclist conflict, it surely creates another conflict between busses moving off and cyclists attempting to rejoin the carriageway when the bypass ends.

Unless the cycle path remains segregated after the bus stop, in which case it doesn't matter.

posted by jstreetley [61 posts]
11th January 2013 - 10:38

11 Likes

Yes, the cycle path needs to be segregated after the bus stop. This is the usual arrangement in the Netherlands. But note how in the Dutch design the cycle track flows much better, with gradual curves, and doesn't have the ramps up to pavement level of the proposed London design.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1380 posts]
11th January 2013 - 12:10

14 Likes

A few years ago we had speed calming measures installed beside a local school. These took the form of ramps in the road that came up to pavement height. Due to them forming a 'bridge' between the pavements on each side of the road, some pedestrians took this to be part of the pavement and assumed right of way, walking out into traffic as a result.

Also, if these lanes are as narrow as they would appear in the illustrations, there will be increased conflict between cyclists trying to pass each other and between those who choose not to use them and motorised traffic who will assume cyclist must use the facility.

posted by adscrim [116 posts]
11th January 2013 - 12:32

15 Likes

This is the best way to deal with a bus stop along a segregated cycle path. Smile

Some of the current Cycle Superhighways just stop and have some cycle signs further out in the road round bus stops.
The way the cycle path is at road level should avoid most conflict with pedestrains.

There is a junction near me where to make the turn sharper (to stop cars taking it at speed) they put a segregated cycle lane in, creating a pedestrain island. This causes very few problems as the cycle lane is a road (rather than pavement level).

posted by thereverent [322 posts]
11th January 2013 - 13:13

11 Likes

I can't think of a better way for the cycle lane to pass a buss stop. It would require cyclists to slow down if there are pedestrians getting on the bus, with the only other option being the lane going through the actual bus stop where cyclists would then have to look out for buses pulling in.
The cycle path will have to raise up to pavement level otherwise wheelchair users would struggle to get across it and onto the bus.
If these lanes are put it, cyclists not using them are likely to get abuse from drivers, so there will also have to be an easy way to exit the lane at junctions, otherwise if you are going in a different direction to the lane you wouldn't be able to get on it and would have to use the road. If it is wide enough for one cyclist to pass another then it would probably be safer and quicker than the road.

posted by Flippa [36 posts]
11th January 2013 - 17:44

9 Likes

qwerky wrote:
I was initially sceptical about the bus passengers/cyclists sharing the same space, but after thinking about it I'm not sure.

If I was pootling along on the shopping bike I'd be on the cycle path and I'd just stop and ting-ting my bell at anyone loitering. I don't tend to be in a hurry when I'm on the shopper. If I was on the road bike I'd be on the road in the primary position or filtering through traffic - not using the lane.


Personally I am not convinced. There'll be less space to filter through the motor traffic and you're guaranteed to have some smart alec in their motor telling you to use the bike lane.
The only sensible comment from the LCC is about getting rid of the curators. That would make the area for everyone rather than just one set of road users (no matter how special we think we are).

posted by CotterPin [64 posts]
11th January 2013 - 19:05

10 Likes

I live cycle walk and drive in central London and for the life of me I cannot understand why we want these type of segregated cycle lanes (with the exception of busy junctions).

Can somebody please do an independent report on the accident ratio between popular roads for cyclists and quite ones as I'm a great believer in critical mass.
The bus stop solution looks great on paper but in reality I think it will be a disaster. So lets do a test stop, I suggest Brixton High St, Peckham High Rd or any really busy urban High St, lets CCTV it up from all angles and then as well as recording the info for collating purposes also allow live access to the images over the internet so the public can see how affective or not the stop is.
Any figures supplied by TFL or your local council really cannot be trusted unless backed up by video evidence and independent bodies doing the collating (bus use numbers in Clapham Old Town is a good example, google Save Clapham Old Town for more info on that).
I'm all for improvements especially at dangerous junctions, but as a cyclist in central London it's all about Critical mass and spending money on more traffic police and stricter enforcement of traffic law.
The more cyclists on the road, including cycle lanes that aren't physically segregated the more drivers become aware.

posted by belgravedave [223 posts]
12th January 2013 - 10:18

9 Likes