Hammersmith gyratory, one of London’s most notoriously hostile junctions for cyclists, could be transformed under plans unveiled last week.
Under plans out for consultation the gyratory, which currently circles a shopping centre, a tube station and bus station, will remain one way clockwise for motor traffic, but will introduce a two-way, protected cycle track around its North side.
The consultation is being run by Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council with Transport for London (TfL), who acknowledge the junction is a barrier for cyclists travelling East-West through the heart of Hammersmith, as well as being hostile to those on foot.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “We want to completely overhaul this stretch of road and make some serious improvements for pedestrians, bus users and cyclists. Our proposals would greatly improve the area for everyone using it and I hope we'll see a positive response to our consultation.”
Hammersmith is the latest in a list of London gyratories marked for an overhaul to improve cycle and pedestrian safety, along with Elephant & Castle, Wandsworth High Street, Vauxhall Cross, Aldgate, and Hyde Park Corner, as part of London’s Road Modernisation Plan.
Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Residents’ Services, said “These bold, innovative plans underline our determination to make our roads safer for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. Minimising risk at Hammersmith gyratory is a big step in that direction,”
“The gyratory is very intimidating for those crossing on foot and particularly to negotiate by bike. Improving safety here was one of the key elements of our Cycling Strategy launched last year. These new proposals would provide riders of all abilities with a safer, more direct route across.”
At present those travelling East to West by bike between Hammersmith Road and King Street have to negotiate three sides of the fast-moving gyratory, which currently carries between three and five lanes of one-way traffic.
Hammersmith Gyratory - as it is now
The plans for the North side of the junction include cycle-specific signals at junctions, pedestrian countdown signals and wider footways, and a mandatory painted cycle lane on the junction’s West side. More cycle parking and a new bus lane will also be introduced. However, the South side will see no improvements for cyclists and a pedestrian crossing, less used than others, will be removed, so pedestrians will need to find alternative crossing points.
John Griffiths, chairman of London Cycling Campaign’s local group, told Get West London the plans are a major improvement for the town centre.
“This is the first time that this council has considered giving safe space for cyclists at the expense of some traffic lanes in places.
"It will do a lot to encourage cycling and hopefully get people out of their cars for short journeys. It should improve the air quality in Hammersmith.”
The consultation is open until 15 March 2016.