Saturday 26 January 2013

A11 Mile End Road/ Burdett Road - Cycle Scheme

tfl has analysed the responses to proposals to upgrade the junction which will go a little way to improve the conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, but they could have done so much better.

Transport for London (TfL) had a rash of public consultations just before Christmas under the Mayor's "Better Junctions" initiative. The idea was to look at the "worst" junctions in London which have been whittled down from 500 which were quickly reviewed, to 100 which were going to be looked at in more detail. Of course, what about the other 400?

Anyway, whatever the motivation behind this review, the outcomes are gradually being reported on and decisions being made. We have had schemes such as the Lambeth Roundabout being shelved in favour of off-street trials, but others being taken forward as-consulted.

One such scheme is the junction of the A11 Mile End Road and Burdett Road which currently looks like this, complete with left turn slip roads from the side roads onto the A11, multi-lane approaches and blue "superhighway" stripes which offer pretty much no protection and may lull some users into a false sense of security. Pedestrians also have to cross several roads to get across the whole road.  In fact, pretty much a standard UK layout when a dual carriageway passes through an urban area (or cuts a community in half as it does here).

The biggest changes for the new layout is the removal of the left turn slip lanes which are especially hazardous to cyclists trying to cycle across the junction, mandatory cycle lanes "feeding" advanced stop lines and slightly narrower crossing points for pedestrians who of course no longer have the slip roads to cross.

The trouble is that there are still multi-lane approaches (3) and so cyclists turning right when traffic is flowing will still find it difficult and with oncoming traffic still flowing, I am not sure how anyone except the fast and furious will get there (I suspect they will get off the road and use the green men)

The left turn conditions are better without the slip roads, but where vehicles want to turn left when cyclists are not in the ASLs, we still have the left hook issue. 

Pedestrians still have to cross several roads to get across the whole junction, but it is a bit better than currently.

So, the layout is a bit better and perhaps brings the layout from the 1970s to the 2000s, but it is still old hat. In fact, the only cyclists who this helps are existing users - it will not attract new cyclists and certainly not children. After the enthusiasm of the proposed CS2 extension to Stratford (on Newham's roads), has TfL dropped back to form on its own network where it doesn't want to make tough road space reallocation decisions (apart from the slip roads)?

CS2 is not very good and this (in my opinion) makes it slightly better, but perhaps TfL should have looked at a common London junction like this and looked at a radical redesign to prioritise pedestrians and cyclists over traffic, even off road as a trial to roll out afterwards rather than spend precious money now?

I can, though, think of terrible junctions in Outer-London which this scheme would be great for to bring the debate forward (and as much as activists would argue, local politicians would not do radical - yet).

Of course, the political decision will be one to restrict the motorised traffic flow on a busy urban dual carriageway. Even in work, I have colleagues who baulk at the idea as car ownership and use is an aspiration, a freedom and I probably shouldn't give a view on politicians because as usual, I need to earn a living!

No comments:

Post a Comment