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“Watered down” cycling and walking scheme “putting bus times before cyclists’ lives”, claim road safety campaigners

Changes to a Liveable Neighbourhood design appear to have scrapped a previous plan to install a protected cycle lane on a busy road, and have been described as “radically scaled back” and “simply dangerous” by local cyclists

Transport for London and active travel charity Sustrans have been accused of “prioritising bus times over cyclist and pedestrian lives” and “putting motor traffic first”, after newly released designs for a Liveable Neighbourhood programme appear to have “radically scaled back” and even scrapped previous proposals to install protected cycle lanes on a busy road where a cyclist was killed in 2017.

A consultation was held last month concerning proposals to overhaul West Ealing Broadway as part of the Transport for London-funded West Ealing Liveable Neighbourhood scheme, an £8.5 million project Ealing Council says will “transform” the area, creating “more attractive, accessible, and friendly public spaces” by reducing motor traffic and rat-running and encouraging active travel and public transport by introducing new cycling and walking routes.

However, Ealing Cycling Campaign and the Make Uxbridge Road Safe group have claimed that the latest designs put forward for the project by the council and Sustrans represent a “radically scaled back” version of the proposals first introduced in 2019.

These original proposals, the campaigners say, included protected bike lanes along a section of road where former Metropolitan Police officer Claudia Manera was killed in a collision with a lorry driver in 2017.

Lido Junction, West Ealing (Ealing Cycling Campign)

> Leader of Ealing Council says “segregated cycle lanes are the answer”

Following the 51-year-old’s death, Ealing Council’s then-leader Julian Bell wrote in a local newspaper column that in order to prevent similar tragic collisions and to create a “safer environment” for cyclists, “the critical thing is to create segregated cycle lanes and give cyclists their own protected road space”.

And in 2019, an Ealing Council-funded Cycling Level of Service report also recommended the introduction of protected cycle lanes to improve cyclists’ safety in the busy area.

However, campaigners have noted that the latest proposals consulted on last month fail to include any protected space for cyclists along the Uxbridge Road, despite three other residents being seriously injured in collisions since Ms Manera’s death.

According to Make Uxbridge Road Safe, the latest designs also only include advance stop lines and early release signals at lights for cyclists, while failing to address the “highly dangerous lead up” to Lido Junction, where a pedestrian was left in critical condition after being struck by a HGV driver earlier this year.

Both groups also say that Sustrans and Ealing Council told campaigners that plans for the protected cycle lanes were rejected by TfL’s consultants due to their potential impact on bus journey times.

> London cycling journeys up 20% compared with before Covid pandemic

“Ealing Council’s plan for the West Ealing Liveable Neighbourhood fails to deliver any significant improvements for cycling,” the Ealing Cycling Campaign said.

“It fails to provide a west-east cycle route along one of TfL’s highest priority cycling corridors, provides no signalled crossings of the Broadway for cyclists heading north-south, and removes cycle access from two roads: Leeland Road (no access from the south) and Walsingham Road (no access from the Broadway).”

“TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis has designated the Uxbridge Road as one of London’s top priority cycle corridors, and it’s a primary active travel route on Ealing’s new Local Plan,” the group continued.

“It should meet TfL’s Cycle Route Quality Criteria. This calls for segregated cycle lanes on routes with more than 500 vehicles per hour at peak times. The Broadway carries around 1,800 vehicles per hour at peak, but this scheme doesn’t even provide light segregation with wands.

“The Lido junction should also have a separate phase for cyclists, but according to the consultants this would slow buses down too much. It looks like bus times have been prioritised over cyclists’ safety.”

> “Extremely intimidating and unsafe” junction and impatient drivers stopping children cycling to school and forcing them into cars, students, teachers, and parents say, after 11 collisions in five years

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for local road safety group Make Uxbridge Road Safe said: “We are extremely disappointed by the proposals put forward for consultation by Ealing Council, Sustrans, and TfL.

“They significantly water down the plans put forward in 2019 and ignore several key recommendations of the council-funded safety audits conducted in 2018.

“The latest proposals fail to build out the narrow pavements around Lido Junction, despite these sections being used regularly by wheelchair users and those with pushchairs. They fail to include a new pedestrian crossing point at Grosvenor Road, even though this was highlighted as a danger spot in Sustrans’ pedestrian safety audit in 2018.

“And, alarmingly, the proposals don’t include any protected space for cyclists either in the lead up to Lido Junction or along the Broadway section of West Ealing, despite a cyclist being killed here.

“We feel the proposals as they stand don't comply with either TfL’s or the Department for Transport’s best practice guidance for road and junction design. Therefore, we have referred the plans to both Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, and Brian Deegan, head of inspections at Active Travel England, for urgent review.

“The proposals are simply dangerous and will do little to improve the appalling safety record along this section of the Uxbridge Road.”

A spokesperson for Make Uxbridge Road Safe has told that Will Norman and Active Travel England have agreed to assess the proposals as they stand.

Sustrans has been approached by for comment.

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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Andrewbanshee | 1 month ago

I understand that this is appalling, but London, London, London. Jeez.
I suppose for the majority of the UK there really isn't a lot to talk about due to there being no action plan at all for people cycling. Let's face it banging a cycle and pedestrian sign on a pole without any adjustment to the pavement is the most that could be expected.
Yes I am bitter. It is perhaps about time money is spent on proper infra in the rest of the UK too.

Rendel Harris replied to Andrewbanshee | 1 month ago

Andrewbanshee wrote:

I understand that this is appalling, but London, London, London. Jeez...It is perhaps about time money is spent on proper infra in the rest of the UK too.

On the same day as this article also has articles about traffic schemes in York, Edinburgh and Cardiff. I don't wish to seem unsympathetic but if you are dissatisfied with the cycling provision in your area you need to put pressure on your local representatives and their spending priorities, the money hasn't been taken away from you by London, which contributes £12 billion more to the national economy than it gets back. The reason we have (some) good cycling infrastructure is that we've been lucky enough (if one can describe having Johnson as mayor as being in any way lucky) to have had two mayors over the last 16 years who have been exceptionally keen on encouraging cycling. When other areas choose mayors with the same priorities then they start to see the same benefits, e.g. Andy Burnham in Manchester.

Andrewbanshee replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago

To be honest I am just being a curmudgeon. I have been involved in campaigning but until cycling becomes more prevalent it just doesn't look like provision is going to happen. I suppose almost being killed by a drivist whilst I was on my commute, cycling, and nothing being done about it and essentially feeling my life was worthless hasn't helped, plus a visit to London earlier this week compounded the difference between the metrop and where I live.
BTW York cycling isn't that great with appalling cycle lanes.

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