Monday, 3 June 2013

Cycle Superhighway 2 - Stratford Extension Planned to Start This Month!

Well, it is going ahead! TfL has published the outcome of the public consultation on the extension of Cycle Superhighway 2 from Bow to Stratford Town Centre and announced that work starts at the end of June.

You can download a full copy of the consultation outcome report here, but the headlines are that 19 stakeholders and 600 individuals responded; 83% of respondents supported the scheme outright; access & disability groups raised concerns about shared-use areas and the bus stop bus passes (conflicts with pedestrians essentially); Living Streets, like the access groups, had concerns where pedestrians here impacted on.

The current "quality" of CS2 on Mile End Road. CS2X needs to carry
on to the City. Image from Google Streetview.
The Licenced Taxi Drivers Association and London TravelWatch were concerned about the loss of the bus lane (LTDA members lose their priority, LTW from a loss of priority for bus passengers, plus other things); the Motorcycle Action Group didn't like the mandatory cycle lanes as their users would have to use normal traffic lanes (what, they admit to using advisory cycle lanes to filter?).

The Road Haulage Association was concerned about loading and cyclists undertaking lorries and the Brewery Logistics Association were concerned about reduction in road capacity and impact on deliveries to pubs and hotels.

I covered the scheme consultation in January where I raised three concerns;

(i) This scheme is actually on Newham's highway network and so will their politicians have the proverbials to see it through?

(ii) When this is shown to be a success, will TfL and the boroughs roll it out?

(iii) If the organised cycle lobby in-fights, then it might be another excuse not to do a proper job.

Well, the second will obviously have to wait, but TfL really must apply the concept of CS2X (yes, that's the shorthand) to the rest of CS2 all the way to the city because it is mostly awful. It is one thing reprioritising cycling space on Newham's road network, but what about on TfL's?

West Ham Lane - No contraflow here. Image from Google Streetview.
On the first issue, Newham has essentially required that the cycle contraflow on West Ham Lane is deleted as there are other aspirations in the area. Beyond that, Newham support he scheme and indeed TfL are going to work with them on what could be done on the Bow Flyover and on removal of the Stratford Gyratory.

My third point didn't come to fruition, cycling groups lined up their ducks giving support for the scheme - London Cycling Campaign, Newham Cyclists, Tower Hamlets Wheelers and Stop Murder of Cyclists Southwark (!) all agreed, but wanted even more. 

Sustrans supported the scheme, but had some concern about pedestrians in shared areas. Our friends at the Cycling Embassy for Great Britain supported the scheme, but recommended some design changes to the bus stop bypasses, use of two-stage right turns and concerns about shared-use areas and the positions of some of the ASLs.

This left me with just one question - where was the response from CTC on a scheme which is such a fundamental shift in cycle infrastructure design in London - perhaps they were too busy taking up the primary position somewhere else!

TfL has made a number of design modifications resulting from the consultation which are reproduced from the report as follows;

Bye bye horrible Stratford High Street (or Stratford Motorway!)
Image from Google Streetview.
As requested, we will be providing kerbs to create segregated cycle lanes separated from general traffic. We received a number of requests for angled kerbs to reduce risks of punctured tyres. However we feel 2m wide cycle lane should provide sufficient space so cyclists don’t hit the kerb. We will monitor the performance of the kerb once the facility is opened.

Enforcement of motorist offences including speeding
Replacing a general traffic lane with a cycle lane in each direction should reduce motor traffic speeds on Stratford High Street. When CS2 extension opens, the Metropolitan Police’s Cycle Task Force will be present to help educate users, and if necessary tackle both motorist and cyclist enforcement issues. If required, the Police and the highway authority, Newham Council, will identify any additional measures post implementation.

Improving local cycle feeder routes
We will support Newham Council with proposals to improve local cycle routes.

Concern about impact on general traffic
Our traffic modelling currently indicates journeys from Stratford Town Centre to Bow could take up to 90 seconds longer in morning peak times. We are working with Newham Council and other delivery partners to mitigate any impacts on general traffic. We will closely monitor any impacts when the extension opens.

Hello cycle-friendly infrastructure (well for part of the A11 anyway).
Cycle parking suggestions
We are working with Newham Council to deliver 400 additional cycle parking spaces.

Of course, the notorious Bow Interchange and the less notorious, but pretty horrible Stratford Gyratory came up, TfL commented as follows;

Bow roundabout
We will continue to discuss wider improvements in the Bow roundabout area including considering how pedestrian facilities can be improved with key stakeholder groups.

We will be installing a cycle bus stop bypass and early start traffic lights at Bow roundabout westbound by Summer 2013. For more information on proposals and the consultation, visit our website. We will support Newham Council with developing plans for cycle facilities on Bow flyover.

Stratford gyratory
We received a number of requests to improve this area, including removing the gyratory.
Following this feedback, we‘ve made a number of changes such as a tighter turn into Tramway Avenue to help slow traffic down. We will be erecting a cycle route sign post at Cam Road to Channelsea Path and the Three Mills. We will continue to work with Newham Council on their plans to remove Stratford gyratory.

I think the decision on the kerb will niggle quite a few people, it was a sensible suggestion and if it turns out to be a problem, I cannot see TfL ripping out the normal kerbs to replace them with angled ones. But, I think there is an awful lot we should congratulate TfL and Newham on (as this is on Newham's network) and I for one cannot wait to give it a go later this year. 

I am confident that as well as this scheme being a massive success, we will all learn how the continental approach will Anglicise, how traffic will cope with losing lanes to cycling (it will) and it should whet the appetite to push TfL and the boroughs to start using these design layouts across the Capital. Forget 2012 being the Summer of Cycling in London, it will be 2013!


  1. I am a cyclist (and also a car owner) so looking at the new startford cycle route with two sets of eyes.... i believe the cycle route has caused more issues... it has been made so wide (far wider than is required for a bike lane) taking up the bus routes on occassions and extra traffic lanes, meaning buses merge into the car lanes and cars have less lanes causing longer traffic queues at busy times...

    As you leave startford (towards Bow), the car lane, suddenly turns into a cycle lane meaning cars stop or swerve the lane (I've personally seen it and thought its only a question of time). Today as I walked past I saw oil all over the entry to the cycle lane and the keystones are smashed.... a vehicle has collided into the lane. (I took some pictures). Very poor design.

    When they remodelled the pathway for the olympics (from leaving Stratford to approaching Bow Island) why did they not put the cycle lane in then?!

    The pathments were made so wide for the Olympics.... ample space for a Bike lane and good sized path. Now, as you approach Bow roundabout, due to the lane loss, at busy times, there are worst queues than ever (in fact, all down the main road leaving Stratford).

    From a bikers prospective, I think the lanes are great..... bit wider than I need (there isn't much bike traffic either, you can look along the cycle lane stretch and see not a single bike using it) - doesn't need to be so wide. Other than this, very good a lane (which should have been put in at time of Olympics) is now in place.

  2. I was going to do a review with an engineer's eye, but so many people have commented it is pointless. I like the width as you can overtake other cyclists, but there has been pretty much no thought given to the junctions and left hook is still a big risk.

    The kerbs should have been 45 degree chamfered and the bus bypasses are not very good either.

    Some things going well, others not. The protected parts do feel very safe indeed.