Cycling campaigners have welcomed the completion of CS1, a long-distance cycling route partially independent from the main road, after five years of deadlock.
The works will connect CS1 between the junctions of Culford Road and Kingsbury Road using a segregated cycling track, at the expense of removing the eastbound bus lane on Balls Pond Road.
Simon Munk, Infrastructure Campaigner for the London Cycling Campaign told Eastlondonlines: “We’re really excited to see it come through. The road in its current state is too unsafe.” He also went on to say: “We’ve waited 5 years for this, so we’re very happy to see construction starting soon.”
Local residents who responded in the initial proposals raised issues of increased pollution, congestion and noise.
Daniel Weston, owner of About The Bike, a cycling shop in Dalston told Eastlondonlines: “There are two sides to it, I’ve been cycling for 25 years and I think the road is safe.”
The works will be funded by TFL, costing approximately £400k, including the cost of resurfacing Balls Pond Road between Culford Road and Kingsbury Road.
Councillor Jon Burke, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm, told Eastlondonlines: “Hackney has a higher cycling rate than any other London borough, and we’re committed to making cycling even easier and safer. We are working with Islington Council and Transport for London to construct new segregated cycle lanes on Balls Pond Road, which will improve road safety for cyclists travelling on CS1 and create better crossings for pedestrians.”
Balls Pond Road borders two authorities.
Culford Road is in Hackney and Kingsbury Road is in Islington, however in this case, Hackney council will be carrying out the works.
Consultation for the CS1 route began in 2015, with residents given two options. A: a segregated cycling track or B: cycling lanes either side of the road. Residents voted in favour of option A.
In a week-long study, it was found that over 1500 vehicles on Balls Pond Road reached speeds of up to 30mph, 10mph over the limit. These speeds are considered excessive and dangerous for cyclists.
A number of accidents on the road have happened over the years, one being a ‘race’ on Balls Pond Road which ended with two men being seriously injured back in 2015.