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New segregated cycleway across Westminster Bridge confirmed

Safer cycling in Waterloo and the South Bank also part of the plans - which link into east-west 'Crossrail for bikes'...

Westminster Bridge is to have segregated cycle paths, in a move announced by the London Mayor Boris Johnson.

It will become the fourth river crossing in the capital to have safe passage for cyclists, following findings that a third of those using the bridge in the rush hour are on bikes.

A public consultation found majority support for the plans, but more ambitious redevelopment was blocked by locals.

48% of respondents expressed a preference for the option of 1.8 metre segregated cycle tracks on Westminster Bridge, compared to 20% who preferred the option of 2.3 metre mandatory lanes and 23% who wanted neither option.

The consultation response document noted that: “We have noted that a number of respondents felt that 1.8 metre cycle tracks would be too narrow and we will monitor their usage after implementation to ensure there are no safety issues arising from the lane width.

“As part of the ongoing design process we will also continue to work with stakeholders to address concerns raised regarding the bus stop bypasses.”

Construction work is scheduled to begin in autumn 2016 and be completed by January 2018

As the cycle lanes leave the Westminster side of the bridge, they will link into the east-west “Crossrail for bikes” scheme on the Victoria Embankment, which will be formally opened on April 30.

The layout of the Waterloo side will be remodelled, with segregated space for cyclists, separate traffic lights giving cyclists an early start on the roundabout and improved pedestrian crossings.

There will also be a new cycle route along the South Bank as part of the “central London grid”.

Mr Johnson said: “Every day we see flocks of cyclists sweeping back and forth across this iconic bridge, so it makes real sense for it to become the next bridge to benefit from a segregated lane.

“It’s going to make a real difference to the safety of cyclists, and with further improvements being made to this out-dated junction, pedestrians are going to benefit too.

"We’ve been working flat-out to improve roads across the capital, and I’m delighted that Londoners have once again stepped forward to back our plans.”

Specific cycle-friendly measures in the plans include:

  • Provide cyclists with dedicated road space on Westminster Bridge, Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth Palace Road, Addington Street and York Road; cyclists would be separated from traffic by a kerb or white line
  • Separate cyclists and motor vehicle movements at junctions; cyclists would have their own traffic signals which would operate at different times to those for other traffic
  • Widen the pedestrian/cycle crossing by the south end of Belvedere Road and improve the connection between Belvedere Road and Westminster Bridge Road
  • Convert the pedestrian crossing on Lambeth Palace Road outside the hospital to a pedestrian/cycle crossing so that cyclists can access Royal Street from Lambeth Palace Road. The crossing would be changed from ‘staggered’ (two separate crossings with an island in the middle) to ‘straight across’ (a single crossing)
  • Provide bus stop bypasses at bus stops D and E on Westminster Bridge Road, bus stops B and C on Lambeth Palace Road and the tour bus stop at the east side of Westminster Bridge so that cyclists could avoid having to mix with traffic. Cyclists would continue behind the bus stops on a carriageway- level cycle track, which would feature a chicane and narrowed track to reduce speeds. Bus passengers would access the bus stop waiting area by crossing the cycle track
  • using a marked crossing points
  • Widen the footway on the corner of York Road and Westminster Bridge Road to slow down left turning vehicles
  • Cyclists would still be able to use the northbound bus and cyclist only route from
  • Westminster Bridge Road to York Road

TfL said that 74 per cent supported or partially supported the proposals. Leon Daniels, managing director of surface transport at TfL, said: “This latest radical redesign of one of London’s most disconnecting and intimidating junctions will bring it into the 21st century to support an ever-growing London.”

At Vauxhall, 61 per cent of 1,247 people responding to a TfL consultation were generally positive about removing the gyratory, while 31 per cent were opposed.

A sizable number of community activists objected to the loss of the bus station and said the proposals to convert the gyratory to two-way streets were not good enough.

TfL said it would review all points raised in the consultation and publish a fuller report this autumn.

Construction of the cycle lanes on Westminster bridge is due to start this Autumn and be completed by 2018, subject to works approval.

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