I recently attended the first seminar in a new LCC Policy series, at which the Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan addressed an audience of about a hundred people, discussing in detail the future plans for cycling in London.
Gilligan made it quite clear that he wanted to be informed of new developments being proposed in London that were not up to scratch, as far as cycling was concerned. He gave the example of the Heygate development in Southwark, which would have compromised cycling if the original plans had been left unaddressed. He also wanted criticism of TfL plans to continue; a message he repeated at a meeting with Camden Cyclists on Monday –
Gilligan encouraging campaigners to keep pressure up on TfL on delivery. Reception of Cycling Vision from activists was “almost too good”.
Well, from what has been posted on the City Cyclists blog this morning (please do read this important post in full), there is an issue – a big issue – at Aldgate. The plans to remove the gyratory and replace it with a two-way road look absolutely miserable.
The roads in the area are enormously wide. The space between buildings is vast.
The plan is to remove this gyratory, and restore the roads here (including the similar eastbound section just to the north) to two-way running.
But there is nothing for cycling. Here’s what the plans for this particular bit of road look like –
Amazingly, it’s being converted into a two-way road, with just one lane in each direction, but with no infrastructure for cycling at all, bar a couple of ASLs with hopeless lead-in lanes.
The westbound capacity of this road has been reduced from four lanes to one, and yet somehow no space has been reallocated for cycling. Even the bus lane has disappeared. Given the amount of space between the buildings you can see in the photographs above, this is an extraordinary oversight.
A huge opportunity is being missed here. Gyratory removal is seemingly taking place in a complete vacuum; motor vehicle capacity is being reduced, without considering how the space could be used for cycling, and for public transport. This is something I wrote about, at length, recently – it seems that trend is continuing.
We desperately need to start using the enormous amount of road space available in London in a more constructive way.