One of London’s most dangerous junctions for cyclists is to get a £12.6 million makeover to make it safer for vulnerable road users, as one of a number of locations throughout the capital that will share £53 million in funding announced today under the Liveable Neighbourhoods programme.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Transport for London (TfL) will provide £9.5 million to redevelop the Holborn gyratory, with the balance made up by the London Borough of Camden.
Six cyclists and four pedestrians have lost their lives in the area in the past decade, the most recent being Dr Peter Fisher, a physician to the Queen, which led to the London Cycling Campaign holding a vigil there to call for the junction to be made safe following his death last August.
In October, the National Funeral for the Unknown Cyclist and Pedal on UK Parliament organised by the campaign group Stop Killing Cyclists assembled at nearby Russel Square and passed through Holborn on its way to Westminster.
But despite the high number of people killed or seriously injured in the vicinity, high levels of air pollution and the fact that the area sees 1,000 cyclists past through it at peak hours travelling east-west or vice-versa, it has never been included in TfL’s Better Junctions programme.
Features of the programme announced today include:
Installing segregated cycle lanes along High Holborn and Theobalds Road
Making Bloomsbury Way bus and cycle only, in both directions
Facilitating the Holborn Station upgrade by closing the southern end of Procter Street to motor vehicles
Improving the setting for the British Museum by pedestrianising Great Russell Street
Creating a traffic free stretch of New Oxford Street between Museum Street and High Holborn
Installing a series of modal filters on local roads, building on current schemes recently implemented by Camden
Developing a freight reduction scheme in partnership with BeeMidtown [the local business improvement district].
Among the other 10 schemes announced today, full details of which can be found at the end of this article – are projects in Bow, Brixton, the City of London, Croydon Old Town, Enfield Town and South Bermondsey.
Recent TfL research has highlighted the economic benefits of walking and cycling in local areas, with infrastructure improvements such as new cycle routes leading to increased retail spending of up to 30 per cent.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “For too long streets around London have been designed solely around cars and motor traffic. Our £50 million investment will transform neighbourhoods and local town centres in inner and outer London, making them cleaner, greener and more pleasant places to spend time.
“Working with these boroughs to make our streets more welcoming for walking and cycling is vital for our health and wellbeing, but also essential for the future vibrancy and success of London’s local high streets.”
Fran Graham, campaigns co-ordinator at London Cycling Campaign, commented: “These bold proposals to make greener, healthier neighbourhoods, where far more journeys can be walked and cycled, and where car use is reduced are great news.
“They come as a result of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s promise to London Cycling Campaign’s ‘Sign for Cycling’ campaign, to provide funding for such schemes in every borough.
“We look forward to working with the new Liveable Neighbourhoods boroughs to turn their plans into a reality and to help the remaining boroughs without funding to bring forward suitably radical plans to improve their boroughs as well.”
On top of the £53 million allocated by TfL to the 11 schemes listed below, the individual boroughs will be contributing a combined total of almost £40 million, taking the total spend on the projects to in excess of £90 million. The following descriptions have been provided by TfL.
Shortlands, Bromley: This project will improve travel connections for pedestrians and cyclists to and past Shortlands station from the surrounding area with new protected cycle lanes on Bromley Road and Valley Road and new pedestrian crossings across the busy A222. New public spaces will be created around the Shortlands war memorial and Shortlands village centre along with pocket parks and improvements for walking throughout the scheme area, thereby improving the sense of ‘place’. Station Road will be significantly improved for pedestrians crossing with the introduction of a new ‘pocket park’ and a new ‘cycle hub’ will be constructed at Shortlands station. School Streets will make it easier for pupils to get to school without cars and three low traffic neighbourhoods will be created, dramatically reducing the impact of traffic on residential streets.
Holborn, Camden: Holborn gyratory is one of London’s most intimidating junctions with high numbers of collisions, inadequate footway space and poor cycling facilities. This project will remove the gyratory and introduce protected cycle lanes along High Holborn and Theobalds Road. Sections of New Oxford Street and Great Russell Street will be closed to motor vehicles and a section of Bloomsbury Way will become bus and bike only. The setting for the British Museum will be improved by pedestrianising Great Russell Street and the pedestrian environment will be improved around Holborn station. A freight reduction scheme will be delivered in partnership with the local Business Improvement District.
Old Town, Croydon: Neighbourhoods in Croydon’s Old Town area, including Wandle Park and Minster Green, will see massive growth in the coming years, but are divided by the traffic-dominated Croydon Flyover. This project will reduce speeds on the flyover, reallocate road space to cycling and turn an unhealthy major road into a Healthy Boulevard with new green infrastructure, reducing severance between Croydon’s communities.
Enfield Town, Enfield: Investment in Enfield Town Centre will focus on Church Street, reducing traffic dominance by narrowing the carriageway, connecting Market Square and the shopping centre and making it safer to walk to the train station. Junctions will be redesigned to be safer for pedestrians and cyclists and segregated cycle tracks built on Cecil Road, connecting with existing routes built as part of Enfield’s mini-Holland programme. Little Park Gardens and Town Park will be revitalised and new 20mph speed limits will reduce danger while sustainable drainage on roads will help to reduce flood risk in the area
South Chiswick, Hounslow: Investment in South Chiswick will provide a new pedestrian bridge under Barnes railway bridge to fill a missing link in to the Thames Path at Dukes Meadow. New cycle connections will be made between the Thames Path and the upcoming Cycleway 9. Grove Park piazza will be redesigned, school streets introduced and low-traffic neighbourhoods developed in the residential areas south of the A4.
Brixton, Lambeth: This project is focussed around Atlantic Road in Brixton, which will be transformed for people walking, cycling and using the bus. Local freight access will be maintained with technology utilised to better manage loading and servicing. Investment will overhaul public spaces, widen footways and add a number of new pedestrian crossings, creating a much more welcoming environment for the area’s many visitors, residents and businesses. The project will build high-quality infrastructure on three key strategic cycle routes: Brixton to Clapham Common, Brixton to Camberwell and Brixton to Herne Hill. Low traffic neighbourhoods will be created in the Ferndale and Railton neighbourhoods and a new, fully segregated cycle route linking to the Loughborough neighbourhood.
Freemasons Road, Newham: This project will transform the Custom House Area of Newham for walking and cycling, building on the Crossrail investment in the area. A high-quality cycling link will be built between Custom House Interchange and Cycle Superhighway 3 on Newham Way and a network of local routes developed to enable sustainable travel across the wider station catchment area. A new town square and arrival point from the Crossrail stations staircase will be created by reclaiming carriageway space from Freemasons Road. General traffic will be removed from the New Barn Street underpass, restricting it to buses and bikes only.
South Bermondsey, Southwark: Investment at the Bramcote Park estate will reduce car use by make walking and cycling much easier for local residents and connect the area with the future Cycleway 4 and Old Kent Road. Roads will be closed to through traffic, junctions re-designed and streets made easier to cross on foot. Links will also be improved to the Deptford Parks Liveable Neighbourhood, for which Lewisham Council was awarded funding last year
Bow, Tower Hamlets: The town centre on the historic Roman Road will be transformed to make it a much more pleasant place to live and visit. Roman Road will become one-way for motor traffic, dramatically reducing traffic. Bus improvements will also be made to better service the town centre. Proposals for St. Stephen’s Road include provision of continuous footways and the removal of the car park to create a new outdoor space. Proposals for Old Ford Road better traffic management and will the introduction of cycle facilities. Modal filters will reduce traffic on residential streets throughout the area, including the road underneath Coborn Street rail bridge.
Ilford, Redbridge: The project will transform access to Ilford Town Centre by breaking down the severance of the A406 North Circular Road and the river Roding. New segregated cycle lanes will enable people to cycle around the area safely. New bridges will be built over the River Roding and Alders Brook, enabling more people to walk and cycle to neighbourhoods north of Ilford Town Centre. The project will enable the thousands of new residents of the future Ilford Housing Zone to access good quality open space along the river Roding valley and cycle links to Wanstead, Stratford, Barking and Essex. A new walking and cycling route will be provided to the Tunneling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA).
City Cluster, City of London: This project aims to reduce traffic passing through the ‘City Cluster’, in the east of the City of London, an area with the highest density of business activity in the Square Mile. A zero-emission zone will also be created with innovative technology developed to implement and manage the zone. Reductions in traffic will enable streets to be transformed in line with the Healthy Streets approach to create a quality environment for people walking, spending time and moving through the area. This will be coupled with a programme of activity to open streets as public spaces, initially with lunchtime closures rolling out to permanent traffic restrictions in the busiest streets.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.