Category Archives: engineering

Confusion at busy ped/cycle crossing on City Rd

The 2016 pre purdah Consultation Frenzy

All London local authorities are rushing out schemes before purdah. Islington and Camden schemes are shown below.

Until midnight on March 20th

Islington

Highbury Corner cyclescape  |  TfL consultation  | guidance from LCC  | Quick guidance: If you would prefer a different layout say in Q2.  However make sure you select Option 1 or Option 2 when answering Q7 so that TfL/LBI can distinguish between your response and residents who want everything to stay the same i.e. no safe cycling.

King’s Cross cyclescape  | TfL consultation |   guidance from LCC  | Camden and Islington Cyclists’s call for a radical rethink. Note that this is at concept stage, there will be another consultation about the detailed design.

North-South Cycle Superhighway  cyclescape | TfL consultation | guidance from LCC

Next door in Camden

Camden is genuinely committed to making cycling mainstream. They have far more radical proposals that need our support.

Midland Road  A great route for North Islington residents and under attack from motorists

CS11      ‘A bike lane from Portland Place to Brent Cross will be absolutely massive’  says Tom Conti in the Camden New Journal. What more can we say.

Guide to responding to CS11

Recently closed

Central London Grid   on cyclescape
Junction Road on cyclescape

Later in 2016

Bowes Park to Farringdon Quietway  – Quietway 10

“Clerkenwell Boulevard” – Clerkenwell Road and Old Street, expectations are high!

The LCC Cyclescape Consultations Map showing all cycling related consultations for London

Report on Connect2 steering group meeting on Wed 23rd Feb

Connect2 steering group meeting on Wed 23rd Feb
Present: Alison Dines & John Ackers( ICAG);  Councillors John Gilbert (Lib Dem, Highbury East), Phil Kelly (Lab, Finsbury Park) & Richard Greening (Lab, Highbury West); Caroline Russell of Living Streets, Michelle Quin Sustrans rep, a TfL rep, Paul Taylor, Will Umney & Martijns Cooljmans (all LBI transport officers)
In summary:-

Station Place:

Nothing more can be done to the cycle lane through Station Place as TfL buses won’t relinquish any space; they need it for operational reasons.  The 2-way cycle lane is (just) over the minimum width. John queried whether it was appropriate use of a long length of shared space. But the view was that there weren’t many pedestrians and therefore there should be little conflict. They also want to keep the guard rail by the side of the cycle lane to prevent buses hitting pedestrians and cyclists. Caroline Russell asked why pedestrian and cycle groups weren’t involved in the discussions with TfL buses and Islington officers said it was their responsibility to represent cyclists and pedestrians.

John suggested applying political pressure & Richard Greening seemed to agree, if an alternative solution could be proposed.  The main concern was the length of time this would take so the majority view was to proceed with the proposed scheme (& possibly pursue the political action route thought a few).

Rock Street:

Of the 3 plans on Rock Street it was agreed that 2 lanes of motor traffic with shared use footway was the preferred option. John suggested keeping the northbound cycle lane so cyclists confident of being on the carriageway could use it & it was agreed that would be put into the scheme.

The consultation will show the 3 plans but recommend this option with the explanation. LBI will consult locally in March, including having a stand there & send feedback to TfL.  TfL have to put in a request for alterations locally (i.e. changing light phasing, there won’t be much engineering work) to their forward planning group & it might take 10 months to get considered.  However there seems to be no work being done in the run up to the Olympics (can’t remember the exact time periods) & the Connect2 project has to be completed by March 2013 so if they’re not careful they might run out of time! Phil Kelly was very disappointed there was no connection from this area up into Gillespie Park.

Drayton Park:

The officers had compiled a short list of work that would be undertaken but realised they had not forwarded it to anyone so they will do that.  Only minimal local consultation will be needed & they envisage the schemes going ahead without problems.

Overall:

Martijns Cooljmans said he appreciated ICAG were not happy with the scheme but had no suggestions as to what else should be done. The councillors generally acknowledged that the scheme was poor but they felt that it was an improvement.  John asked how it was an improvement and the councillors said that there would now be a southbound route. Phil Kelly said that we should make these changes and wait until more cyclists use the route which will then make it possible to make further changes. John said the Sustrans vision was to make the transformation in one step. Michelle Quinn restated that the connection into Finsbury Park was the key part of the project but did not express any objections to these latest proposals.

This whole project has been poorly managed and lacked any desire to do something really ambitious (but perhaps you can’t at Station Place with the money on offer).

Lost permeability – Marriott Rd, Huddleston Rd and Huntingdon Rd

Whilst the council was previously spending money on making some roads more accessible for cyclists, elsewhere in the borough they seem to be doing the opposite (although one of them may be temporary).

HUNTINGDON ROAD

Huntingdon Road Closure viewed from across Caledonian Road

Huntingdon Road closure viewed from across Caledonian Road showing the high kerb that has been installed

Huntingdon Road (left) has been closed off with a very high kerb. Virtually the same has happened to Bridgeman Road a little further, leaving only Offord Road, to the north, providing access to Caledonian Road.

A local cyclist wrote to the councillors for this ward expressing her disappointment that the closure had happened. She received a reply from a councillor stating that he did not want to see cycling on the pavement!

MARRIOT ROAD

Marriott Rd before it was improved by Islington Council

Marriott Rd on Feb 1st 2011 without a cycle lane on the left hand side and now impermeable to cyclists

Update.

14-Feb-2011 Council officers say “the restriction was removed to enable haulage traffic to service the construction of the New IAMS School. The restriction will be returned to its previous condition as soon as the abnormal load haulage has stopped.”

HUDDLESTON ROAD AND STATION ROAD

Station Road showing closed accessed to Huddleston Road

Access from Huddlestone Road (in the background) to Station Road has been closed off by a high kerb and railings

On Feb 24th 2011 a cyclist wrote to Islington Council and said:

“The route was previously very useful in avoiding the Tuffnell Park junction and the concentration of motor traffic and air pollution there, and one I regularly use; especially when carrying my daughter on the bike.”

“The ramp is fine, but it is onto a pavement so dismounting is required, and is inconvenient. Furthermore, there is no drop kurb on the station road pavement, which makes getting a child laden bike off/onto the road less than easy. I would not expect an alteration to be made simply for my convenience, however this route is shown on TfL maps as a recommended cycle route on quieter roads. Routes such as this, which allow cyclists to avoid busy and dangerous junctions strongly contribute to the take up of cycling by non cyclists, and this is, for obvious reasons, desirable, and in line with national and local government policies.”

” A slalom barrier on the ramp appeared about a week ago, and the railings the edge of station road have been extended today to join that raised bed. It’s a complete pain!”

If you have used any of these roads and now find your journey disrupted please let your local councillors now. You can find out who they are by entering your postcode here.

£500,000 for Cycle Permeability disappeared

Background

Some parts of Islington that are difficult to reach safely in Islington on a bike because it involves cycling across or along a busy road.  For example, it is particularly difficult to reach Nag’s Head because it is in the middle of a high speed, high volume gyratory.

Often alternative quieter roads have been blocked at one end to stop motorists using them as a rat run. Also many narrow streets were changed to one way operation to improve traffic flow many years ago when it was fashionable.

Bunhill Row

ICAG’s number one permeability priority is Bunhill Row .

All Other Schemes

A large group of other permeability schemes was assembled in 2009. It includes several one way residential streets; Penn, Freegrove and Cardozo Roads which are wrapped by the Hilmarton/Parkhurst/Camden/Caledonian Roads gyratory.

History

In February 2009, £500k funding was secured thanks to a ‘rebel’ budget amendment tabled by LibDem Cllr Andrew Cornwell and Cllr Green councillor Katie Dawson abstaining.

Cllr Andrew Cornwell and ICAG members drew up a list of almost 100 potential permeability schemes. That list was was then filtered by local councillors leaving around 20 schemes. That list was eventually prioritised in terms of how much parking would disturbed or removed.

ICAG suggested further schemes in the south end of Islington for which funding was received from TfL as part of rollout of the Cycle Hire scheme.

About half of the £500K council funding was slipped from 09/10 into 10/11.

In July 2010 ICAG was asked to comment and prioritise on the 31 schemes listed and costed in this google doc spreadsheet from July 2010. Note that the most expensive schemes include resurfacing even though cyclists do not cause road wear!

Plans have been drawn up for many schemes but only the TfL/Cycle Hire funded schemes have been implemented. Council officers provided this status report on 25th Jan 2011:

Calshot Street Being implemented 2010/11 with TfL funding from London Cycle Hire Complementary Measures
Cloudesley Place Ready to Implement
Cloudesley Road Ready to Implement
Compton Street – Being implemented 2010/11 with TfL funding from London Cycle Hire Complementary Measures
(St Peter’s border road) Rotherfield Street – Ready to Implement
Annette Road – Ready to Implement
Annette Road, junction Jackson Road – Ready to Implement
Freegrove Road, junction Caledonian Road – Ready to Implement
Penn Road, junction Caledonian Road – Ready to Implement
Penn Road, junction Hillmartin Road – Ready to Implement
York Way – Ready to Implement
Whittington Park – Ready to Implement
Ferntower Road, at Newington Green – Ready to Implement
College Cross – Ready to Implement

The withdrawal of funding for cycle schemes was approved by the Executive on the 27th July 2010. Further in year savings were approved at the Executive on 13th January 2011.

In a nutshell, a lot of money was spent designing quite a few schemes, not all of which are particularly useful.  Then funding was withdrawn before any of the (council funded) schemes were implemented.  In hindsight, it would have been better if a smaller number of schemes had been designed and implemented in the first year 2009/10.

What’s happening elsewhere

City of London embraces LCC’s ‘permeability’ principle

Permeability Restored in Hackney

ICAG objects to Connect2 proposals for Finsbury Park

Sent to Islington Council on August 28th 2010.

The guidelines to the Connect2 project say “Connect2 will create a new way of living, where people, and not cars, are at the heart of travelling within communities throughout the UK.”

Connect 2 schemes are supposed to be ‘inspirational in design’. This location is a strategic cycle route as well as a providing access to one of London’s major interchange stations. While we appreciate that it may be difficult to deliver a bridge across the main road here, which was always ICAG’s aspiration, the scheme that is now presented to us fails to meet minimum standards.

Far from providing a step change for walking and cycling it would bring high flows of people walking and cycling into conflict with each other. A sticking plaster solution, it neither meets the aspirations of the many people who voted for Connect2, including many LCC members, nor is it likely to offer value for money.

The significant length of proposed shared use pavement (between St Thomas’s Rd and Seven Sisters Rd) has high footfall, particularly during peak hours. The London Cycling Design Standards says on high flow routes you need 3m for cyclists and 3m for pedestrians as a minimum, besides a safety margin between tracks and the carriageway. In any event tracks are at the bottom of the hierarchy of consideration.

The problem here, an issue not dealt with in the LCDS, will be that people waiting to cross the main road will block the pavement area. Conflict will be even worse when people cross on the toucans. The Pitfield Street crossing of Old Street shows the degree of conflict, where there are such crossings of major roads, and we are opposed to toucan crossings that do not have separate marked paths for those on foot and on cycle were flows are so high.

We would like to know the proposed signal timings for this junction. Having to use three stages to get from St Thomas’s Rd to Stroud Green Rd reminds cyclists of their lowly position in the transport hierarchy.

This is a flagship project and we are looking for transformational change to tackle this barrier to active travel and achieve significant modal shift. The sort of solution we’d like to see would be:

  • 20mph limit on all roads around station, with advisory 10 in station forecourt to remain. Average traffic speeds are already low enough due to congestion to allow this.
  • widened crossings with gently raised surface to help slow traffic down (as on A10 Bishopsgate around Liverpool St (that may be there already) station and also A201 around Farringdon Station: i.e. rely on these precedents for treating red route around busy stations)
  • formalise two-way cycling through station forecourt and remove the silly cycle lane on the east side
  • remove gyratory and associated Pedestrian Guard Railing (replacing with cycle stands where appropriate), restricting direct access for motor vehicle to top end of St Thomas St, with significant areas of public space around top end of Rock St, which currently has a very poor streetscape.

We would like to know the amount originally budgeted for this scheme and the cost of the proposed scheme now.

On a side note, there is very limited short term cycle parking around the station. A woman in Hackney told me recently that she didn’t want to spend £11 locking up her and her daughter’s bike at the station for a one off journey to Hertfordshire. Not everybody is a commuter. Although public space in the station forecourt is limited, removing motor traffic from the top of Rock Street would create space for cycle parking, with high levels of passive surveillance.

I am sorry that these comments are not positive but over the years we have seen many stop-gap schemes being implemented – such as the present facility through the station forecourt – that have not been worth the effort or funding. We therefore feel we have no choice but to object to the current proposal. We would be pleased to help you make the case for real improvements with our local council and GLA representatives.