Local cycling campaigners have welcomed plans for a new 5km cycling route with protected lanes and traffic calming measures between Hackney and Westferry but questioned whether planning at some junctions had been properly thought through.
Simon Munk, Infrastructure Campaigner for Local Cycling Campaign told Eastlondonlines that his group was “very supportive” of the Cycleway, part of Transport for London’s (TFL) £2.3bn plans to boost cycling and walking in the city. Work is set to get underway this winter.
He added: “The scheme … aims to provide safe cycling for lots more people in an area where lots of people already cycled, where there’s a clear need and desire for a cycling route, and where the roads the scheme covers are currently very hostile and too dangerous.
“That said, we do have some concerns about the design detail of the scheme – and whether it does enough at some junctions to protect those cycling and walking.”
Tfl’s aim is to reduce danger to people walking and cycling in the area. The upgrades to the route will include segregated cycle tracks on Burdett Road and West India Dock Road, as well as safety improvements at junctions, such as, protected lanes, traffic calming and new 20mph speed limits in some areas along the route.
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “I’m delighted that construction work on this major new Cycleway is set to begin this winter.
“The overwhelming support for the plans during the public consultation shows there is great demand for walking and cycling improvements which enable many more people to get around on foot or by bike as part of their everyday routine. By reducing care use we will improve air quality for everyone and reduce congestion.”
Davis Hughes, TFL’s Director of Investment Delivery Planning, said: “Our plans in this area will transform local roads for walking and cycling, reducing road danger and helping to clean up London’s toxic air.”
Locals were broadly supportive of the plans this week. Paul Dennis, a chauffeur, told Eastlondonlines: “Driving in the city is frustrating with all the traffic but this new cycleway should potentially and hopefully calm the roads.
“Much more work is needed to solve traffic and congestion in London. Chauffeurs, such as I, or taxi drivers who drive for a living do not have the ability to cycle or limit the use of our cars that the new Cycleway intends for us to do. Driving altogether can’t just be stopped, that’s a fact.”
Anastazja, a student, told Eastlondonlines: “I cycle to and from college and my part-time job. Sometimes I’m worried for my life with the traffic on the roads and driver’s road rage. I will definitely take the Cycleway route, even if it’s a small diversion, as long as it means the cycle lanes are protected. Cyclists can hopefully feel safe on the roads again.”
The proposed Cycleway was the first new cycling route to be considered from TFL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis, which used data to identify 25 areas which showed the best potential for growing cycling numbers.
The original plans were for the route to extend to the Isle of Dogs, but it will now finish at West India Dock Road, where it will connect with CS3. The options for section at Isle of Dogs is still being considered by Tower Hamlets Council.
Tfl said the council was “currently investigating alternative alignment options.”
Plans to potentially ban cars from Grove Road through Victoria Park is still being considered by Tower Hamlets, and another consultation will take place next year. TFL and Tower Hamlets will also work on plans for an improved cross-river ferry between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. Sadiq Khan announced that this a £142million project to decrease travelling by car.