Transport for London has opened a public consultation on its plans to upgrade the existing London Cycle Network ‘Plus’ Route 10, which is meant to run from the City of London to Tottenham. The route passes through the London Borough of Hackney, via Shoreditch, De Beauvoir, Dalston, Stoke Newington, and Stamford Hill.

When the ‘cycle superhighways’ programme was first proposed by TfL’s Commissioner’s Policy Unit in February 2008, it was thought that it might be possible to run a ‘cycle superhighway’ up the A10 itself. When we heard about this, we pointed out that this would not be acceptable while the Stoke Newington gyratory remained. The powers that be also realised that it would be very difficult to create segregated cycle tracks along the A10 under current conditions (which include a 60% modal share of trips being by bus), resulting in a joint decision by TfL and Hackney Council several years ago that instead of a ‘superhighway’, some funding should be dedicated to the existing parallel route, where previous work was stopped in its tracks by the Mayor of London’s decision to cancel the London Cycle Network Plus funding in 2008.

We are preparing a detailed response to the consultation. While we are happy with many elements of the proposals, some of which originate directly from our suggestions, there are other items which require more attention. These include the proposed scheme for the ‘Apex’ junction of Old Street and Great Eastern Street; the need for a reduction in car parking along the link through Hoxton; and the question of the alignment of the route around Dalston.

At the ‘Apex’ junction, the most high-profile scheme, we are very pleased to see that TfL is now willing to follow the suggestion which we made in 2000 that the right turn for motor traffic from Great Eastern Street into Pitfield Street should be removed. However, there are some major problems with the proposal as it stands. The layout proposed would not cater for one of the most popular movements there, which is for cyclists to go from Pitfield Street west along Old Street. In order to do this, riders would have to cross the whole crossing and then ride along the footway across the mouth of a pedestrian crossing. There would be a lot of conflict with pedestrians. We say that the pedestrian crossings need to be relocated to east of the cycle track to minimise conflict. This can be accomplished by extending the ‘spur’ of the apex further west and relocating the junction of Old Street and Great Eastern Street away from the junction with Pitfield Street. We also say that modal filters (selective road closures that permit cycling and walking, and sometimes buses) should be located away from main streets and are calling for the filtering, which we welcome very strongly in principle, to be achieved at the junction of Pitfield Street, New North Road, Bevenden Street, and Fanshaw Street. This cuts out through motor traffic in the whole area as opposed to just in one street.

On the central section of the route in our borough, there are some proposals to reduce the impact of on-carriageway motor vehicle parking, but a lot would still remain under the proposals, leaving inadequate space for motor vehicles to pass cyclists comfortably, meaning that many cyclists would feel intimidated and would ride in the ‘door zone’, with the obvious risks which that brings. The problem is especially acute on the section of Whitmore Road and De Beauvoir Road between Hoxton Street and Downham Road.

Where the route arrives at Balls Pond Road, the consultation presents two options for a dogleg between Culford Road and Kingsbury Road (veering briefly into Islington), whereas our long-standing suggestion has been for a different alignment closer to Dalston Kingsland town centre. This would entail creating a crossing between Bentley Road and Kingsland Passage.

We will be discussing our response to the consultation at our monthly meeting on Wednesday 4th March. The venue is still to be confirmed, so please check our meetings page for updates.

The public consultation runs until Sunday 29th March.