Campaigners have branded a new cycle route – dubbed a Quietway – from Waterloo to Greenwich which opened this week as neither safe nor quiet enough.
The 9km route – part of a £120m scheme – runs through Southwark and Lewisham along traffic-free paths and quieter backstreets. Six more routes are to be completed by spring 2017.
Amy Summers, campaigns coordinator for the London Cycling Campaign (LCC), said: “It’s a mostly good-quality and fairly direct route. But there are several sections that remain too busy and where the design isn’t good enough so that anyone cycling will feel safe and comfortable.
“In other words, even this first and flagship Quietway isn’t quiet enough along its entire length.”
According to TfL further improvements to the part of Quietway 1, which runs through Deptford, are planned for 2017. These include raised junctions and speed humps to calm traffic on Childers Street as well as a one-way entry to Rolt Street to reduce motorised traffic volumes on Childers Street.
Summers said: “If the Mayor, City Hall, TfL and our local councils are serious about making cycling safe, comfortable and enjoyable across the whole of London, then it’s time to get a move on.
“We need safe, direct routes that don’t just give up at the tough bits. On the Quietways programme, based on the mixed bag that is Quietway 1, the jury’s out.”
The Quietways scheme, which was supposed to be launched last spring, is delivered by TfL, local boroughs and walking and cycling charity Sustrans.
“It has been frustrating that the scheme has been delayed by up to a year and that one section (Childers St) is still not finished. We do have concerns that opportunities to reduce vehicular traffic along these routes, thereby improving the environment for local people, pedestrians and cyclists in what are mainly residential areas, may be being missed through a lack of determination by local council(s).”
A TfL spokesperson said: “By making sure that the routes provide benefits right across local communities and that they influence the design of the Quietways the implementation has taken longer than anticipated in some instances.”
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said: “It is important that we make it safer and easier for Londoners to cycle across our city and we want the first of the Quietways to make a significant contribution towards that aim.
“I am already looking at what works best from the existing cycle schemes to ensure we deliver the best and safest road cycling network possible.”