The most recent Hackney council proposal for Whiston Road was presented during a consultation period with the public from 4 to 21 October. It includes recommendations based on Transport for London’s Central London Cycle Grid project, which encourages early release traffic signals and relocating bus stops.
The anonymous blogger, Hackney Cyclist, criticized the council plan in a blog post for including “some minor improvements along the eastern section of Whiston Road but virtually nothing for the rest of it and overall a very poor consultation which offers little to people cycling.”
Speaking to Eastlondonlines the Hackney Cyclist said that the junction at Pritchard’s Road and Whiston Road is a “very unpleasant road to cycle” adding that the council “needs to reduce motor traffic.”
“There are no restrictions for motor traffic and so drivers can use this route as a shortcut all the way from Bethnal Green to New North Road.”
— Ewan Crallan (@ewancrallan) November 3, 2016
Jono Kenyon, co-founder of cycling website Cycling Works and campaigner with Hackney Cycling Campaign, told ELL: “Hackney Cycling has drafted a response which is semi-supportive of the Whiston Road plans. However, we want a more ambitious plan overall. The road has huge numbers of rat running vehicles and we support plans to reduce these numbers.” Rat running refers to the process of vehicles taking a “shortcut” to avoid traffic.
Other cyclists also criticized the lack of direction provided to cyclists at the junction. Ewan Crallan, Hackney resident and ride leader with Cycle Club Hackney, told ELL: “That junction in particular sits between two sections of bike friendly routes — areas where cars cannot travel — and so cyclists flow that way. And then the route suddenly has no bike provision and cyclists are forced into car zones.”
Crallan has been cycling in Hackney for seven years and said that while there have not been any direct collisions, he has had “more close calls than I wish to be reminded of: daily”.
Hackney council described the Whiston Road proposal as a step in Hackney’s Transport Strategy to “encourage more walking and cycling.” Improvements are said to begin in 2017.