Friday, 22 July 2016

The Flat Of The Land: The Cycling Embassy Of Great Britain's 2016 AGM (Part 1)

Last weekend saw a warm and sunny visit to the City of Cambridge for the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain's AGM. Naturally, the event included some cycling around looking at stuff and a big thank you must go to the Cambridge Cycling Campaign for being wonderful hosts.

I'll blog some thoughts over this week's and next week's post because there is a lot to cover. My health warning is that I saw the city on a weekend and of course weekday highway conditions are usually different.

I would love to have a quarter of what is going on in Cambridge in my area and so people throwing stones in glass houses would be a legitimate repost! You may also wish to read the view of a former Cambridge (and now Netherlands) resident, David Hembrow, on far wider issues than I will cover, but the high levels of cycling in the city is not wholly tied to the infrastructure, but to demographics. However, where stuff is built, people clearly want to use it!

So anyway; this week I will show some of the big interventions and big roads.

Bridges
Cambridge is pretty flat (don't write in!) and at least on the rides I went on, I barely changed gear. Where I did change was on the approaches to many of the bridges the city has to offer. For people walking and cycling, the city has the River Cam, railways and roads to contend with and so there are plenty of bridges, many built purely for active travel. The first one to mention wasn't on one of the tours, but I accidentally found it (and it was a shortcut for me). The Tony Carter Bridge connects south-east Cambridge to the city over the main railway and gives easy access to the station;





The bridge was opened in 1989, which probably explains the colour scheme, but is wonderful to ride over. The cycle track is red and stepped down slightly from the footway to give clear space and some work is underway on the western side to improve the ramp detail. The bridge is covered from the elements, although one would get wet when not on it! I wonder if the closed-in feel affect social safety at night?

A little more modern (2008) is the Riverside Bridge to the north of the city. It connects Chesterton with the city centre and there is some nice modal filtering, especially on the southern side by the river which provides a splendid approach to the bridge as you can see in the photographs below.





As one heads onto the bridge, one comes across a split with walking going left and cycling going right. It's a gimmick but a bit of fun too. The deck could have been a little wider and the parapet rails not bent in (reducing working width), but there was no silly zag-zags and it flows along the desire line.


It wasn't all wonderful bridge-wise, with the example above not really suitable for cycling, but don't let that put you off, it's great to see active travel bridges being provided on their own merits.


Main Roads
I'll cover side roads in next week's post, although they have long been used as cycling infrastructure in Cambridge. Main roads, on the other hand, haven't had much investment and so many are awful;


The photo above is of Hills Road (A1307) at its junction with Station Road branching off. I took the shot at about 9.45 on the Sunday morning when there was a steady stream of people cycling and few cars. It's 1970s engineering, designed for motor traffic throughput. The left turn into Station Road is left-hook territory and it is the same as we see up and down the UK. Cycling here is despite the conditions.

Further south, there is a substantial investment ongoing along Hills Road where former (narrowish) mandatory cycle lanes are being replaced with cycle tracks complete with floating bus stops. The photo below shows the assembled kerb nerds looking at the difference between the old and the new.


The tracks are 2.3m wide and are uni-directional (so one each side of the road running in the same direction as traffic). The tracks have taken a little more carriageway than the old lanes and are nibbling away at the old footways (some actually giving more pedestrian space as old shared-use segregated cycle tracks are coining out) and verges (without affecting pedestrians). The floating bus stops are welcome and vital for a modern layout; dare I say getting a little boring? (It's a good thing, it means we are seeing more around the UK!)





The bus stop islands have been arranged with the shelters opening towards the cycle track which keeps the views between people walking nice and clear and humped (but uncontrolled) pedestrian crossing points are provided roughly where the bus stops. Whereas the generally wide tracks allow side by side cycling (or single line cycling and overtaking), the track narrows to single line cycling presumably to slow things a bit to keep it safer for pedestrians.


The photo above shows the old shared/ segregated track which will be turned over fully to pedestrians soon. The verge area is actually a narrow strip of sedum matting which gives some separation between people walking and cycling (and provides space so people can use the whole track width. The red surfacing and double yellow lines give good visual priority on the track.



It all seems great so far, but I'm going to have to talk about kerbs and it's a criticism I'm afraid. Cambridgeshire County Council worked with supplier Aggregate Industries to come up with a gently ramped kerb which would give vertical separation, but be safe to cycle up and down. I heard about this a long time ago and thought it was being used for the kerb between the footway and cycle track (known as a "forgiving" kerb as it doesn't throw you off); in essence, a small step down from the footway to the track but using a gently ramped kerb. This is how they do it in the Netherlands and as it happens, in Leicester as I saw on last year's CEoGB AGM tour.

The "Cambridge" kerb has a slope of 22.5 degrees on its top surface giving a step of about 35mm. It is made from the same basic UK kerb dimensions and formed in a mould put through a hydraulic press. The different kerb profiles are created using formers placed in the basic mould. The manufacturer has developed profiles for some of the London cycle superhighway schemes and can competitively produce a run of about 500 metres.
 
For Hills Road, the kerb is for the cycle track/ carriageway interface which I thought was strange (and I still do). The official reason is as follows;

The raised cycleway option would allow emergency vehicles to pass more easily than the kerbed segregation option. This option would also be less visually intrusive than the kerbed segregated option.

I'm an armchair pundit on this I admit. I'm not the designer and I'm not party to the discussion and debate which led to this layout. A stepped track does provide more usable space compared to a kerb-protected track. Yes, it is less visually intrusive than a kerb-protected track, but we are talking about a busy A-road which carries lots of traffic which is presumably visually (aurally, nasally and pulmonary) intrusive and getting out of the way of ambulances near a large hospital is plausible. 

However, I look at it two ways. If motor traffic is not stuffed, then an emergency vehicle on blues-and-twos will get round. If motor traffic is stuffed, then speeds are slow enough for drivers to mount the kerb if they really have to and that assumes both directions are stuffed. Stepped tracks don't have to have a high kerb (although higher might give more protection) and so if we had a 60mm general upstand, dipping to 25mm at private accesses, the levels can be made to work and drivers could bump up if they really had to.

Because of the use of the forgiving kerb on the carriageway side of the tracks, I'd have to class them as giving "light" separation. I did cycled up and down them and barely noticed and on my way home from the weekend, I probed them in the car (not at a great speed and when there was nobody cycling near me I will add) and they were hard to detect.
I'll let you be the judge, but, on the flip side, I saw nothing by high compliance and the space felt comfortable to use, even near buses as the photo below shows.


I am not able to vouch for the junctions in detail, but the track dropped (35mm) to the carriageway at side roads. For private accesses, the Cambridge kerb was maintained which is absolutely fine to drive over to park up on one's driveway! As far as I could see, there are no plans for the big junctions just yet.

To the north of the city, a similar main road treatment is taking shape on Huntingdon Road (A1307) and this includes a parallel zebra crossing bu Oxford Road which I think is another road used as a key local cycling route as the crossing helps movements into and out of the side road.





The photos above show Oxford Road approaching Huntingdon Road, left onto a shared area/ adjacent track, the parallel zebra  crossing and the view back. Apparently, because traffic is often stuffed at peak times, people use the track and swing right into the crossing to then head the other way (essentially a right turn out of Oxford Road). There is a centre island in the crossing (about 3m wide), although it does mean some drivers might treat it as two crossings. My view is that it's a layout which doesn't immediately come across as intuitive to all road users.

One last main road to look at is Gilbert Road which (after a modal filter) leads north-east from Oxford Road onto a more residential street. The treatment here is red surfacing inlaid into the carriageway with advisory cycle lanes (common in the city). The centre line has been removed and the overall idea is that this reduces traffic speed and is more likely to keep drivers out of the lane.




Again, traffic was light and drivers tended to give us space. I'm not sure if that's because we were in a group or if its how people drive in the city; it was notable that driver behaviour was far better than my local area (yes, anecdata alert!)


Cambridge Guided Busway
The busway connects towns and villages around the city into the centre via the station. We had a look at the section south of the station because rather wonderfully, a very nice service road-cum cycle track has been provided next to it!







The busway itself has concrete "tracks" used to guide the buses in a kind of tram-like fashion. It's all nice, but the cycle track is the thing we were interested in. It's fairly wide, smooth and lit and so very usable (although it could perhaps feel lonely at some times of the day/ night I'd imagine). We took a spur to the Addenbrooke's Hospital complex which featured a rare climb overt the mainline railway. This is a route which can be walked, but really, it's a cycle route and was very good indeed. I think my only slight concern is the track is right next to the busway and some separation would have been welcome.


A 1970s Throwback
Cambridge has a ring road, although it is essentially a groups of roads acting as such and not a purpose-built road. On the north-west side of the city, the Ring Road (A1134) was an attempt to solve the problem of not having a proper continuous ring road with an elevated dual-carriageway (going over the River Cam). It's of 1970s heritage (give or take) and it shows. Cycling is relegated to a shared cycle track which is basically the concrete flagged-footway with some shared use signs.


  
To the south of the Cam, we have an excellent example of 20th Century anti-people distopia where people walking and cycling are expected to dive into narrow and intimidating subways which open up into a concrete open space. Well actually, Kevin couldn't get his recumbant tricycle down there which is a sod because it is his mobility. It's truly awful.


The sole benefit of this motor-nightmare is the bridge over the Cam gives wonderful views along Riverside which links to the Riverside Bridge which I referred to in the first secton.



Conclusion
Despite the high levels of cycling, Cambridge is a city trying to come to terms with the private car. On the one hand, there are large interventions to try and civilise main roads or provide good links away from busy roads. There is also the busway which aims to provide a quick run into the city

On the other hand, it is a growing city where people drive in and this in turn leads to a demand for parking and more roads; there are city centre car parks which raise revenue for the City Council which means reluctance to lose funds which I can understand.
 
Next week, I'm going to look at some of the smaller things we saw and some cycling infrastructure which is a little further out from the city.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Loopy

I attended a briefing this week about a planned "improvement" to a motorway junction and for me, it's a microcosm of how we simply cannot wean ourselves off predict and provide.

It doesn't matter too much where the scheme is proposed, but it essentially adds a single lane wide, grade separated loop road to an existing junction between a motorway and a trunk road to replace a turning movement on the junction's roundabout which is always stuffed at peak times. 

The road would be around 750m to 1000m in length (as best I can recall) and would have a budget of about £60m; or £96m to £128m per mile (ball park figures you understand). There are all sorts of costs involved including bridges, acquiring land, moving utilities and so on, but already it has a larger budget than the new CS3 in Central London which is about £2.6m per mile. Yes, I am repeating myself again as I am always going on about investment choices.

The issue here, though, is this; there was a time before this motorway existed (I remember it being built) and presumably the world turned. We built the motorway which took long-distance traffic out of the towns by the motorway which might be a good thing, but we didn't capitalise and change the towns to make them pointless to drive through. People quickly saw the motorway as a way to access to new markets further away and so got rid of their vans and bought lorries to transport more stuff, further away.

Some people saw the motorway and realised they could work further away from home and so they did (although two-thirds of trips are under 5 miles). Fast forward 20 years and the motorway is creaking under the amount of people using it, and the junctions are now approaching capacity. The junctions get extra few lanes bunged into them with wider slip roads which works for a bit, but it's not enough, so an extra lane gets added and things are lovely again. 

We then have to sort out a major river crossing and so we spend a bit of time tinkering with that to get traffic flowing and it sort of works, but not as well as the politicians have promised. Oh, and that lane we added, it attracts an 10% growth in traffic in a year. Rinse and repeat.

I asked about what happens then they sort the junction out and it spills the traffic up the back the next queue along the trunk road (which is stop-start for miles; has been for 20 years) and the answer was that another team were working on "improvements" (adding lanes in reality). There was talk about planning for growth, I said perhaps it was more like building to a policy, noting of course that this was a bigger and political picture. 

I kept my questioning professional and the presenters answered the questions well. I am sure one of them almost regretted using the phrase "induced demand" in an answer to me; I'm convinced there was a glimmer of realisation there somewhere. The people we met were working to the Government's £15bn road building plans and the scheme is a politician's "quick win" (in road building terms). I did make the point that the project budget was about 25 years of transport funding for my local area which raised a chuckle; although I was being serious.

My involvement here is utterly peripheral and to that extent I am not going to be in a position to influence anything; the scheme is a done deal as far as I am concerned and consultation is the tick box exercise you'd expect. As we can see all over the UK, consultation for modest schemes, even a simple filtering of residential street seems to be a pitched battle every time. Building big roads and adding to big roads seems to be a piece of piss by comparison.

It's been a funny sort of journey for me as an engineer, but never did I think that 21 years after graduating would I end up being an anti-road building highway engineer. Yes, there is still plenty of cognitive dissonance going on as I still have a car. To be honest, motorways and trunk roads are not my bag and I find no interest in them professionally. They are useful for long-distrance travel (for personal travel because trains and buses are variously expensive and crap), but my focus has to be urban areas. 

At the end of the day, we are generally not in a position to add motor traffic capacity in our urban places and we must focus on moving people. For me, that's where the future and the excitement for engineers lies. Am I loopy? Possibly, but no more than deciding to spend £60m on a single motorway junction; and certainly no more loopy than the bunch of people running our basket-case country. 

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Good, The Bad & The Bollardy: London's Quietway 1

Last Saturday, a small group of us rode Quietway 1 from Waterloo to Greenwich. I think it's fair to say that the cycling infrastructure was variable, but overall it is a potentially useful route which has some unfinished business. A special thanks to Lewisham Cyclists for joining us and giving some useful local insight.

So, Quietway 1 is headlined as a route between Waterloo Station and Greenwich town centre. I must admit I knew some of the route as I had cycled a section between Borough and Bermondsey a few years ago with Sustrans London and more recently with them a few months before Q1 was opened. I was therefore intersted to see how it had all turned out.

The route spans four boroughs; Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich and I'll say it now; this is the reason the route is variable, together with the route trying to avoid main roads. Sustrans is involved as Transport for London's delivery agent for the Quietways programme and in some cases is helping with design work; and in others making sure they are delivered in accordance with what TfL expects to see; but do not be under any illusion, the decisions lie with the boroughs and it seems the four have made slightly different decisions with Greenwhich deciding to do pretty much nothing. TfL is involved in some places where its roads are crossed and they deal with traffic signals across London. I did feel cheated in places as the route obliterates some perfectly good old London Cycle Network routes and I feel that Q1 should have been in addition to them.

On the whole, I would say the route doesn't quite know what it is. It can be used for commuting, but the A roads will be quicker; it can certainly be used for local trips; and it certainly can be used for leisure. With local trips, its largely away from main roads where the shops and services are; and in some cases, the route choices seem a little strange. But, there is still much to praise.

So, using plenty of photos, let's follow the route from the Waterloo end.

  
This is Upper Ground which runs along part of the south bank of the Thames; behind the London Eye, the South Bank Theatre and the National Theatre to name a few attractions. It's also the place to access Waterloo Station, but it took us a while the find the signage which is terrible. The road surface is utterly shot and there is far too much traffic, even on a Saturday and we had to mix with taxis, coaches and plenty of private cars.



This is Cornwall Road, the site of a pretty old bollarded traffic filter with the cycle bypasses bizarrely on one side of the road. This needs to be changed to a central bollard so people can intuitively pass. Note the excellent cafe on the left which I had breakfast in the other week as I watched the weekday rush hour go by; the place was dominated by people walking and cycling with the area simply motor vehicle access and quiet from what I could make out.
 


Here, the route crosses The Cut into Webber Street which is filtered (you can see the cycle bypass ahead. There were signs of failure on the expensive stone surfacing - I really think we should stick to asphalt. 
 


Here Webber Street has passed into Southwark and we approached Blackfriars Road which has the excellent CS6 running north-south. You can see a sign explaining how to get onto CS6 and then above, another sign with the Quietway branding. It's clear both were being looked at separately as a single unified sign would have been so much clearer.
 


Still in Webber Street, we have a brand new and expensively paved humped zebra crossing. I like humped zebra crossings as it is easier to cross on a level surface. The planting to the left is nice, but it will block the view of people crossing. Southwark seems to have spent a lot on making the street pretty, but there is no specific cycling provision. The street is not filtered and my guess is at peak times, it's going to be too busy.



At the end of Webber Street, it's a right turn onto Great Suffolk Street (again, I reckon it will be a busy road during the week).


We carried on across Southwark Bridge Road (which carries the paint'n'signs CS7). The low level cycle signal was welcome, but this junction has no early start for cycles. Some junctions on Q1 did, but it was inconsistently applied. Great Suffolk Street crosses Borough High Street (yes, we're avoiding shops again) to become Trinity Street which is filtered. However, as the next four photos show, the filter is a nightmare!
 





Yes, it's an utter disaster. The gates have been here for years and apparently the residents like them as they stop mopeds using the road. The wider estate it filtered and one can use a couple of other roads to bypass this tangle of steel, at the end has another filter which is useful for cycling, so why send people out of their way so more. Apparently Southwark have a plan to use camera enforcement to allow the barriers to be opened up and in my opinion it can't come soon enough.



A quick left after the barriers took us into Globe Street which ends in a signalised crossing of Great Dover Street. Again, it's an old feature which has lots on money spent on it; nice enough, but was it needed? The crossing goes into Pilgrimage Street which is also filtered and then into Tabard Street. My photo didn't come out, but Tabard Street is one way and has a kerb-protected contraflow cycle track which did seem weird given how quiet it was in yet another nicely filtered estate.



The route then goes along Law Street where one can find a nice little bidirectional cycle track connecting to Rothsay Street. 



At the end of Rothsay Street, we have another nice little filter creating a signalised parallel crossing. By that I mean cycles have their own crossing (within the square "elephant's feet" markings) and just next to it (to the right in this direction) pedestrians have a PedX crossing. (PedX is the replacement for the Pelican and doesn't have a a flashing amber to traffic/ green to pedestrians). The problem here is the cycle crossing ends up on a bit of shared-use footway and you have to joggle back into the carriageway of Webb Street.



Looking back the other way, one has to use a narrow contraflow lane to get onto the footway to use the crossing as Webb Street is one way in from the main road (Tower Bridge Road). I saw this location before this layout was put in and it is leaps and bounds better than it was. Rothsay Street and Webb Street were not filtered. What needs to happen is the estate leading from Webb Street needs to be rethought so it can be closed to motors and a diagonal cycle crossing provded. Apparently the presence of a school on Webb Street means it can't be reworked as parents in cars need to be easily got into and out of the estate.



Still further on, we reach Willow Walk. There are speed humps here which suggests a rat-running and/ or speeding problem. At the end of Willow Walk, there is a right, then left movement through a recently signalised junction into Lynton Road. This is an issue as there is no early start signal and if one is on the nearside, one is at risk of a left hook. Again, filtering is needed here. Next it's right into Chaucer Drive and into a series of cul-de-sacs for motors which are connected with little bidirectional cycle tracks. The next five photos show this wonderful example of how to make a whole area of residential streets access for motors and through routes for cycling and walking.







This is an old route, but it has been upgraded really well. The second photograph up shows a curious double speed hump which is there to slow moped riders down and is perhaps a pragmatic acceptance that the route will be used  by them. I saw a pizza delivery rider use the route when I rode it some months back and they did so gently, so is it a real issue? I do have two criticisms and that is there were way to many bollards and the upright signs were too small and not frequent enough (an issue generally we found as it is nice to know one is definitely still on the route!)



At the end of the wonderfully filtered estate, we reached a bridge over the Rotherhythe New Road. Until recently, this was a bridge to nowhere; it got you to South Bermondsey Station, but that was it. Now, a new greenway link has been threaded through the web of railway lines in the area with views of the The Den (Millwall Football Club). The link runs through Network Rail land and to be able to deal with that organisation takes a special kind of determination! One issue with the link is that it gets shut when Millwall plays at home (management of the crowds) and the diversion wasn't clear. But, this link has unlocked a huge area for access by foot and cycle. 

The track was smooth and reasonably wide, but shared-use. I think some people might find the route a bit lonely, despite the lighting and this shows the downsides where a track isn't directly overlooked and fenced in; the social safety tends to suffer. The next six photos give a flavour.








The route is reasonably wide, it's lit and the surface is smooth. It is one of the highlights of Q1 and all credit to Sustrans for making it happen with Network Rail and the football club. At the end of the link, we entered Lewisham via Senegal Road (above). The route carries on along Surrey Canal Road (after a very tight left turn under the railway). The next three photos show the shared-use cycle track which is set well back from the road.





This was already a shared-use cycle rack, but it has been widened and a light coloured surface added which was fairly smooth to cycle on. The colour was an applied fine chipping (probably anti-skid) and I wonder if some machine-laid red asphalt might have been a better choice. The private accesses and side roads are a let down as cycles give way, but are also given a suggested priority by the unlawful use of elephant's feet which are reserved for controlled crossings.
 


The shared route continues across Surrey Cabal Road into Trundley's Road via a ahred-use refuge. Some of the local cycling group members wanted this crossing signalised, but apparently TfL wouldn't allow it because of the impact on (motor) traffic flow undert the adjacent low bridge. I wondered if as cycle zebra on a hump might have been the answer. The refuge is fine for standard cycles, but not wide enough for trailers. I have been told that the road here is very busy with industrial traffic and so we have the tension of trying to thread a route when an area-wide solution is needed. The crossing took us into Folkstone Gardens as shown on the next three photographs.




The wayfinding was a bit poor - the top of the three photos should have had an arrow to the right rather than ahead and there were no upright signs. Again, trying to thread routes through backstreets gets let down by having to wayfind non-intuitive movement.



The gardens took us under another railway bridge (this is South London after all!) and into Childers Street. The link from the park to the end of Childers Street is a lovely little treatment. It serves a couple of private accesses, but is there for walking and cycling. It is all flush, but there is visual contrast between space for walking and space for cycling; and it replaces a really awful cobbled surface, although again, the link under the bridge already existed.


The sign at the end of the link was much better than most we had seen. IT was of a decent size so one could make a decision on which way to turn and it wasn't fiddly finger posts which end up pointing the wrong way; I also like the additional of "Deptford" as it helps you know you've arrived somewhere. The right turn is into Childers Street which was LCN2 from what I can work out and again, it seems the old LCN is being obliterated which is going to leave us with random sections of routes which no longer join up. 

Childers Street is another awful rat-run even on a Saturday morning and again, the wider area needs to be reviewed for filtering. Childers Street gives way to Clyde Street, the first part of which is through a little park. The next three photos show this. The dropped kerb to get from Childers Street into the park was too high (first photo) and again, the wayfinding was too minimal at the end (third photo). I know signs aren't an urban designer's favourite thing, but they are needed.





At the end of the park was a level surface shared space, but it was so quiet, it was absolutely fine (and it goes nowhere for motors). We were then onto Edward Street which is a real gem of the route. Previously, it had a wide carriageway with triple rows of speed cushions and pedestrian refuges. The street now has a bidirectional cycle track and humped zebra crossings as the next three photographs demonstrate.





The criticisms are that the kerbs on the cycle track are not forgiving and I would have liked to seen the kerbed divider between the track and the carriageway being finished in concrete to give a light coloured contrast. The zebras crossing in the photo above had a bulge into the track to help people walking; I'd like to have seen this evenly divided with the carriageway. One point to make was that there were no side roads to contend with which can be a safety issue for bidirectional cycle tracks.



All too soon, the track ended and we had to turn right across a parallel zebra crossing and cycle into a housing estate on a shared track. The zebra was fine, but because it linked shared areas and the cycle side had flush kerbs, it's going to be a problem for visually impaired people.




The route through the housing estate was good, with clear space for people walking and people cycling; and we had a nice bit of red asphalt. This took us to Hamilton Street.



Hamilton Street was very quiet and most people just walked in the road; it could be transformed into something very nice in the future, but I'm not aware of any plans.



Hamilton Street connects to Deptford High Street which had nothing to protect people cycling. The sign on the photograph above was telling is to turn right and then left, although it's the second left. The sign is right, but it confused me!



Deptford High Street, left into Crossfield Street.



Crossfield Street is filtered, but with really poorly arranged bollards. And cobbles again. This takes you into Coffley Street which is just a local access street.



Another nice clear sign at the end of Coffley shows the route across Deptford Church Street into Bronze Street which requires a person cycling to swing across the entrance of the side road which is not particularly intuitive.



The crossing was being dug up and we had to use a temporary 2-stage staggered Toucan which was too tight and a bit of a mess. From Bronze Street we turned right into Creekside which is partially filtered, but has a fair bit of industry which will generate larger vehicles. A turn off Creekside took us onto another shared use cycletrack which went onto a bridge over Deptford Creek and into Greenwich (a previosuly existing link, shown on the next three photos).





On the Greenwich side we entered Norman Road. We were meant to turn left immediately onto a narrow shared us cycle track which was there before Q1. After a while, one crosses the road with a Toucan crossing which is as poor now as it was before Q1. Most of the group rode in the carriageway, but I bet it's awful on a weekday (next four photographs)






Let's be honest, Greenwich, you have just put up some signs calling a footway a cycle track, haven't you? We than had a left turn into Lovibond Lane which by the signage, appears to be a private development. It was all very nice, apart from the old railway lines set into the surface (I assume some twee historic reference to the site's previous use). At the end of Lovibond Lane, Q1 ends at Greenwhich railway and DLR station (next two photographs).




Ending Q1 at the station is good for those who want to go to the station, but utterly bizarre given that the historic attractions of the Cutty Sark, Maritime Greenwich and Greenwich Park (and Observery) are still over 600 metres away! Just down from the station, there is Waller Way which connects to Greenwich High Road which has no cycle protection, so it all fizzles out in Greenwich.


  
So there you have it, a bit of a mixed bag, which is expected when we try and avoid main roads. There are some good features here, but they need to be deployed across entire neighbourhoods as being done in Waltham Forest. For my mind, Q1 has created some really useful links, but it is not consistent; even the Quietway branding is not consistently applied.

I understand the difficulties. As with the example of the Trinity Street barrier, lots of time and effort can get sucked in to deal with one traffic filter and with every compromise, the route as a whole suffers, especially if we set out to avoid main roads and especially shopping streets. I'm afraid I don't have the answer, this is difficult territory, especially as we get our of the centrew of London where mode shares are tiny and people like their cars. It's real chicken and egg stuff.