De Beauvoir Improvements: A great opportunity – missed?

De Beauvoir Town has some of the loveliest streets in London.  Since the 1970s, half a dozen roads have been accessible to pedestrians and people on bikes – and blocked to rat-running drivers.  Now, residents have the chance to extend this area of safety and tranquility to cover almost all of De Beauvoir.  It’s not yet clear whether they will take it…

Lawford

Lawford Road – Image: Chris Whippet

When planning for ‘Cycle Superhighway’ 1, Hackney Council and Transport for London decided not to tackle the A10 – the main North-South route through the borough, the road on which most shops and services are located, and the current main site of casualties for people on bikes.

Instead, the route was put along the existing ‘London Cylce Network’ alignment through De Beauvoir.  They may be safer than the A10, but these roads attract a lot of rat-running drivers, and certainly do not meet the criteria for a safe and desirable route on which ordinary people, aged 8-80, will willingly cycle.  Hackney Cycling Campaign and Hackney People on Bikes requested filtering to create a worthwhile route which met the needs of people who cycle, and who might in future.

Separately, a large number of residents organised themselves to petition their councillors calling for filtering.  These streets can be very busy with fast-moving drivers and are not fit for pleasant residential use.

The result from TfL and Hackney is an admirable and thorough plan to remove through traffic from the area.  Building on the existing excellent filters in the bottom left of the map below, this area would see through traffic only on the main roads along the edge, and through Englefield Road in the middle.

CS1 closures

While the money has come from TfL’s ‘Cycle Superhighway’ 1 pot, it is primarily a neighbourhood improvement project: cutting out through traffic, reducing noise, pollution and danger.  This is an area which has seen a number of crashes over the last ten years, shown below – a danger and an unpleasantness which local people now have the chance to avoid.

When I attended a Ward Forum on the topic of the closures, I was disappointed to find that many of those attending were hostile to the closures (they numbered perhaps thirty-five or forty, but made up in heat what they lacked in numbers).  While almost almost everyone seemed to recognise the negative effects of large number of outsiders driving through the area, many seemed minded to object to the proposals.  In a meeting which was at times exceptionally unpleasant as attendees shouted over one another, council officers (and me), a number of strange arguments were made: the dangers of people cycling were brought up, ‘Will the council put a police officer on the junction of Culford Road’; the undesirability of restricting rat-running drivers, ‘it’s better to have ten cars go down ten roads than down one’ and of course ‘road tax’.

There were many strong, positive voices too.  Local residents attended who had knocked on one another’s doors to gather support for the plan.  One lady noted that she was on crutches and wouldn’t be able to cycle, but we must do more for people who do – and that she can hardly get her car out of it’s parking place on Ardleigh Road owing to the weight of traffic.  Another lady noted that she was willing to be inconvenienced by a slightly longer route when she needed to drive, because it would be good for the area and for local people.

I very much hope that those in favour of these excellent proposals will make their voices heard too.  If you want to see a safer, nicer De Beauvoir, be a good citizen and respond to the consultation – you have until the 18th November.  All you have to do is click this link, choose ‘yes’ and write your name on the next page.  You can add a reason and additional details about yourself if you like.

There are two additional consultations for closures further up the ‘Superhighway’ route – please do support these too:Wordsworth Road Consultation
Broadwater Road Consultation

Silvertown Tunnel – the best TfL can offer?

If you invest £1000 in my business, the best thing I can offer you is learning.

21st century planning

The cost of small production lines and website development is so low that £1000 is best spent testing the water: make 100 T-shirts and a website, and see if they sell, rather than building a factory for millions only to find out your T-shirt design is unpopular, or out of fashion.  The idea that the currency of success is now learning – from a friend who once worked in tech startups – seems a very 21st century way of doing business.  There is another way to do business that remains popular though; with plans for Silvertown Tunnel, TfL are doing business in the style of the 1950s.

Silvertown: 1950s planning

1950s thinking – particularly around road design was to ‘predict and provide’:

Predict and provide

The earliest, and perhaps most destructive road transport policy in the UK, whereby traffic levels were forecast, and capacity provided to meet this forecast (University of Nottingham)

At Silvertown, TfL have predicted a massive growth in cross-river traffic by people who will want to drive.  Rather than seeking to provide alternatives, reduce that demand or prioritise those who actually need to drive there, they propose a tunnel:

The Silvertown Tunnel will reduce congestion at the Blackwall Tunnel, improve the resilience of the surrounding road network and support economic and population growth.  (All quotations are from this TfL page or linked documents, unless otherwise indicated).

Despite creating a new, quicker way to drive, TfL claim this won’t attract many additional drivers, in fact:

We estimate that by 2031, delays on the approach to the tunnel would be virtually eliminated.

This is in defiance of the experience of every major road-building scheme in Britain over a period of thirty years, which shows that ‘improving’ roads invariably induces more people to drive:

The average traffic flow on 151 improved roads was 10.4% higher than forecasts that omitted induced traffic and 16.4% higher than forecast on 85 alternative routes that improvements had been intended to relieve. In a dozen more detailed case studies the measured increase in traffic ranged from 9% to 44% in the short run and 20% to 178% in the longer run. This fitted in with other evidence on elasticities and aggregate data. The conclusion was:

 “An average road improvement, for which traffic growth due to all other factors is forecast correctly, will see an additional [i.e. induced] 10% of base traffic in the short term and 20% in the long term.”

(Taken from this post, which summarises this DfT report).

If Silvertown Tunnel is similar to every other major road scheme, it will increase traffic on the Greenwich Peninsula.

Note to TfL - you cannot build your way out of a traffic jam (source - Citylab)

Note to TfL – you cannot build your way out of a traffic jam (source – Citylab)

So, TfL’s other claims seem doubtful too:

The environmental impact of current traffic congestion on some of London’s most polluted roads would be reduced

The scheme would bring about an overall air quality improvement on the main approach routes to and from the Blackwall Tunnel,

TfL promises to charge for the tunnel, and for Blackwall, to alleviate the otherwise inevitable harm.

TfL proposes to use to manage traffic impacts arising from the Silvertown Tunnel is user charging, which would act to deter increases in demand and should therefore minimise adverse impacts (TfL)

A 21st century business proposal

What upsets me about this (apart from the waste of money, induced demand caused, additional pollution and general obtuseness of the approach) is that TfL’s approach does not offer us any learning.

Were we to charge for the crossing now, we could find out how many people actually need to drive across the Thames here.  Demand might be managed sufficiently to avoid the massive expense of a new bridge. Pollution might be reduced in the area.

That’s what happened when Stockholm did something similar, as beautifully summarised in this TED talk.  Introducing a very small congestion charge has a significant effect.

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One or two euros was enough to make 20 percent of cars disappear from rush hours.  If you can reduce traffic even somewhat, then congestion will go down much faster than you might think

People changed their behaviour.  Were they massively inconvenienced?

We did this huge interview survey with lots of travel services, and tried to figure out who changed, and where did they go? And it turned out that they don’t know themselves.  For some reason, the car drivers are — they are confident they actually drive the same way that they used to do.  

This seems logical, but without doing it, we’ll have no idea.  What I can’t understand is why TfL don’t start by charging, then decide whether we need another crossing.  Rather than building another crossing, then charging, then see if things clear up.

This is an amazing offer for TfL: it’s a trial which would make them money, rather than costing it.  (And there’s no negative – it’s infrastructure they will have to build, and unpopularity they will have to face anyway – as they’ve promised to toll the new crossing and Blackwall Tunnel eventually anyway).

TfL desperately want this toxic tunnel

However, even if it were to charge, TfL are adamant that a new bridge is needed:

While a charge at the Blackwall Tunnel would reduce some demand, a charge alone could not prevent incidents at the tunnel.

TfL say there were almost 1,000 incidents at the Blackwall Tunnel

Although a charge at the Blackwall Tunnel might reduce some demand from motorists – depending on the level at which it was set – it could not prevent planned and unplanned incidents at the tunnel, which is a significant cause of congestion across a wide area.

So we are building a toxic tunnel due to ‘planned and unplanned’ incidents.  What kind of incidents?

The new Silvertown Tunnel would significantly reduce incidents at the Blackwall Tunnel which force its temporary closure, in particular incidents involving overweight vehicles.

So, we’re going to spend £750 million to accommodate drivers of overweight vehicles – who presumably know they shouldn’t be using the tunnel?

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Source: TfL

Surely TfL can come up with a smarter approach to preventing people using a tunnel they don’t fit down than building another tunnel?

Automatic_level_crossing_with_height_restrictions

Image credit: Mcivory

We could even combine my two ideas: charge now, and spend some of the money on better incident prevention and breakdown services.  At at least £2 per journey, TfL can get its hands on perhaps £250,000 pounds a day – this would nicely cover something a high-tech solution and an investment in sustainable alternatives.

I don’t know for sure.  TfL may be right:

We concluded that a charge at the Blackwall Tunnel without any increase in new crossing capacity was not a suitable option, since it would not address our wider objective of reducing incidents at the Blackwall Tunnel and providing more resilience and choice for people crossing the river. In addition, although charging would reduce some demand to cross at the Blackwall Tunnel, there would still be significant congestion and adverse impacts on alternative crossing routes.

TfL don’t know either.  Concluding that a charge wouldn’t work without trying it is lunacy.  The best TfL can offer is a toxic tunnel, at a cost of £750m.  We won’t learn anything for five years, and we’ll face all the negative consequences before and afterwards.

TfL desperately need to take a 21st century approach – trial charging and find out.  Maybe some of those journeys aren’t necessary.  Maybe some of them could be retimed, rerouted or put on a changed mode.  We could find out and TfL could make a profit in the process…

Tell TfL you are against their toxic tunnel here – demand user charging instead.  The consultation is live now until Sunday, 29th November.

And help the No campaign, here.

Left Dangling: Crossing the Thames in East London

Should we be worried about the proposed Silvertown Tunnel?  Having cycled to work from East London to Woolwich from 2012 to 2014, this part of the world already faces illegally poor air quality, congested and dangerous roads, and a scar in the face of the A2 motorway cut through Kidbrooke.  The unwelcome news that my employer is moving to North Greenwich next year both reminded me of this issue and posed a more immediate concern: how do I get to work?

TfL are pushing to build another road crossing beside the Blackwall Tunnel.  Their latest consultation response came out earlier this year.  There are many, many things which make little sense, but I wanted to start with one which will directly affect me: their attitude towards people on foot and on bikes.

Improving cycling and walking links

At a number of points in the consultation response, TfL responded to requests for better links for people on bikes or on foot.  Each time, they followed the same formula:

We explained in our consultation materials that even with dedicated provision for pedestrians and cyclists (which would be necessary for their safety) the Silvertown Tunnel would not be an attractive place to walk or cycle through, and it was in recognition of this that in 2012 we introduced the Emirates Air Line cable car.

As set out in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, the Emirates Air Line cable car was introduced to provide a convenient crossing for pedestrians and cyclists between the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks.

In reality, few cyclists and an extremely small number of pedestrians would be likely to use a facility within the tunnel given that it would be quicker to cross the river via the Emirates Air Line, which provides connections to key areas on each side of there river.

The implicit claim then, is that, for pedestrians and people on bikes, the Dangleway is “attractive” (quotation 1), “convenient” (quotation 2), “quick(er)” (quotation 3).

As someone unlucky enough to have to work in North Greenwich from next year, and living in East London, here is my Dangleway Level Of Service assessment:

Attractive

Attractive cycling and pedestrian links generally don’t charge you for the privilege of using them.  Or at least, they aren’t substantially more expensive than the alternatives.

If I caught the Dangleway to work with my bike each day, it would cost me £3.40 in either direction; £6.80 return.  Paying £6.80 for a journey, when one of the attractions of cycling is it is practically free is hardly attractive.

Indeed, almost any other way of getting to work would be cheaper: it would cost me £1.70 each way to use the Overground and tube.  Or, at present, no fee at all to drive.

While there is a discount for regular ‘commuters’ on the Dangleway, it is equal to the cost of getting to my new workplace by Overground and tube.  And since I have the choice, there is no chance I will visit the North Greenwich offices five days a week, which is what’s needed to gain this discount.

Attractive cycling and pedestrian links also don’t wobble: as someone who’s afraid of heights, I don’t find adding a terrifying Dangleway ride to my scary enough cycle particularly attractive.

Convenient

The Dangleway opens at 7am and is closed by 9pm in winter.  At my last job (in Woolwich), I had to be at work by 7.25, so getting their with my bike via the Dangleway would have been impossible.  Sometimes I have to work late; sometimes I like to join colleagues for a drink after work: a convenient crossing would cater for such circumstnaces by being open 24 hours a day.

A convenient transport link still works when it’s windy, too.

Quick(er)

The average Dangleway crossing takes seven, eight or perhaps even ten minutes.  A quick crossing would not have an alternative mode of transport offering a far swifter route next door (the tube).

Indeed there are few journeys in central London which are 2 1/2 times faster by car than by bike.  Yet TfL’s priority is to make it easier to drive across the river here, not to cycle or walk.

Cycling

Driving

Dangleway success?

If TfL intended to create an attractive, convenient and quick crossing for people on bikes and on foot, they failed: the Dangleway had four regular commuters in 2013 and none in 2014.  An attractive, convenient and quick link for pedestrians and cyclists would be free, open 24 hours a day, and no slower than its neighbouring tube journeys.

What TfL have created in the Dangleway is a tourist attraction, and one that doesn’t even break even.  I don’t mind (although I struggle to see how this fulfils TfL’s mandate); I do object to TfL doing nothing to improve crossings for people on foot and cycling, proposing to spend £750 million on an additional link for drivers and then using this joke of a crossing to pretend that they have done anything for sustainable travel.

In Central London, TfL are finally building for the future, with the East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways making it possible for ordinary people to consider cycling to work and play and a sensible reallocation of road space towards healthy and sustainable forms of transport a reality.  Meanwhile in East London, they are planning for the past, for a world in which everyone drives, and every driver’s desire to go wherever they like quickly must be accommodated, while cyclists and pedestrians can be fobbed off with a crossing which is inconvenient, unattractive and expensive.

Two factors in mitigation

  1. TfL have given Sustrans £200,000 to sketch out plans for a new walking and cycling link from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf: something far cheaper, and far more sustainable.  It won’t get me to work, but it looks like they are finally considering sustainable transport links.
  2. Silvertown Tunnel makes no sense, on almost any rational grounds.  I’ll write more about them in future, but a close examination of the business, traffic and air pollution cases for the tunnel should make it possible to prevent it being built.

There is far more on this by Darryl at 853blog and at No to Silvertown Tunnel.

We want Wick Walk

It’s worth going back to Hackney’s transport strategy, and thinking a bit about the competition here.  Hackney promise us:

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 12.44.20

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 20.13.52Councillors have suggested that there is ‘no chance in the next decade’ of getting all the money to sort out the Victoria Park one-way system properly.  So we have to get this road right now, not wait for possible changes we may not live to see.

At the very minimum, there is no reason to remove the current segregated cycle track.  We would like to see this track extended the length of Wick Road (from Morning Lane to Kenworthy Road).

However, why stop there?  Wick Road is an unusual road with amazing potential:

1) It has several parallel routes dedicated to taking large numbers of motor vehicles.  (At its narrowest points, the Victoria Park one-way system has one westbound lane (Cassland Road) and two eastbound lanes (Victoria Park Road and Wick Road)- a clear imbalance).

CIMG9117

Cassland Road

 

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Victoria Park Road

2) Large lengths of the street does not need motor vehicle access.

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Not a single door way in sight

3) The road is exceptionally wide wide.

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Three lanes, a lane of parking and two generous pavements. For a road which narrows to a single lane for moving traffic at the far end…

Introducing Wick Walk

We are calling for the closure of Wick Road as a route for through-traffic, to be replaced by a linear park – Wick Walk.

Initial discussions with residents have elicited excitement about including:

  • a cafe
  • tables to play chess

But we’re in the earliest stages of our planning and are open to ideas.  What would you like to see in the park?  Please add your ideas in the comments at the bottom.

But what about…?

What about the money?

The council are proposing spending £700,000 creating more space for drivers (most of whom don’t live in Hackney).  That money could be better spent on a park for local people.  There is also £1 million available to be spent for the community within Wick Ward.

What about traffic?

The single most important thing to remember is that cars are like work – they expand to fill the time available.  If we make more space for people to drive through, more drivers will use it.  If we reduce the space, drivers will choose to use other roads (like Mile End Road and Commercial Road – massive dual carriageways designed for through traffic).  And some people will choose to cycle and walk, now that they can do so safely.

This idea is brilliantly explained in this TED talk which shows that people will stop driving, and won’t even notice they’ve changed their behaviour.

The other key thing to remember is that most local people don’t own cars.  People driving from Essex to Central London don’t care whether they’re taking Mile End Road, Commercial Road or the Limehouse Tunnel or the North Circular – if Wick Road is closed, they’ll go elsewhere.

What about access?

We would maintain access to all off-street parking and houses along access roads – a solution which works well in areas around Well Street Common.

What about local businesses?

What could be better than a wonderful attraction encouraging the local community out.  Whether buying food for the barbecue or ice cream, businesses can make money out of this.

What about buses?

Buses would be best served by the provision of bus lanes where there is space down Cassland Road (most of the length of that road) and Victoria Park Road.

CIMG8466

Ample room for a bus lane on Victoria Park Road

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This is a two-lane road – ample room for a bus lane on Cassland Road

 

 If New York can do it…

New York was far more car-dominated than Wick Road is.  What they proved was that it is possible – easy even – to close off space to drivers, and make room for people to enjoy the streets.

times-square

Image credits

 

To see how, try this TED Talk from Janette Sadik-Khan, who led this effort.

If New York can knock out four lanes for drivers in its biggest square, surely Hackney, seeking to be an ‘exemplar for sustainable urban living’, can knock out one lane?

How do we get Wick Walk?

Crucially, we are simply ordinary residents asking for something better.  There will be many questions and issues as we create Wick Walk, and we look to work with professional architects and designers and the community to make this work.  But the first step is to make it absolutely clear to the council that we want a better solution than what we’ve been offered.

There are three levels of support available – choose what you can do:

1) Bronze support

Complete the consultation saying:

  1. I oppose the current scheme – it’s damaging for the area.  Please mention you’d like to see the cycle track stay and be extended!
  2. I wish to see a feasibility study into the creation of Wick Walk linear park.
  3. The feasibility study must include a three month experimental traffic order closing Wick Road to traffic, from the junction with Barnabus Road to the west.

2) Silver support

  1. Tell three other local residents about the plan, and ask them to respond to the consultation.
  2. Email our local councillors, Christopher Kennedy (christopher.kennedy@hackney.gov.uk), Nick Sharman (nick.sharman@hackney.gov.uk) and Jessica Webb (jessica.webb@hackney.gov.uk), to ask them to support Wick Walk.
  3. Leave a comment on this post saying why you support the park.

3) Gold support

Get in touch (use the comment section below or tweet) to help us build Wick Walk.  We particularly need people with time to pass on the message, people who can help us with visualisations, and local businesses keen to get involved.

Hackney Council: making Wick Road worse?

Wick Road is not an appealing environment.  It’s designed for people in cars.

It’s probably not very appealing in a car either.

I’ve got any number of photos like the one below, but let this represent all of them.  Wick Road is a fast, wide race track, with parking on one or both sides of the road.  It’s extremely unattractive for pedestrians (there’s a reason you can only see one in this picture) and has nothing at all for people on bikes (unless they want to either share the road with dangerously fast drivers, or cycle on the pavement).

CIMG9154

Last week, Hackney brought out proposals to change Wick Road.  I was excited to see how they promised to make it better for people living here.

I was disappointed.

The last thing I’m going to do is defend the current design.  Yet Hackney managed to offer something which will make Wick Road worse.  The details can be seen here, but the key thing is that the council want to make the road two-way.  In doing so, they will:

  • remove some parking (fine, no one uses it since the Controlled Parking Zone came in)
  • remove an off-street cycle track giving a safe route across the road (see below) – people on bikes will have to use the main road
  • add a lane for drivers (at the moment, the road narrows to one lane near the eastern end of the road; this will make it two lane, two way in either direction)
  • and so – allow lots more rat-running drivers to pass through Wick Road – now in both directions, not just one.

I don’t think this is good enough.

Why are the council doing this?

It’s not very clear from the consultation (there are no statistics about casualties, speeds, or the number of drivers using these roads at the moment).  But the council begin their ‘Background: section of the consultation by saying:

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 11.39.14

But this scheme mostly seems to be about people in cars and commercial vehicles having more options to drive.  (In explaining this, I refer a lot to Cassland Road.  It’s parallel to Wick Road, a couple of hundred metres south.  At the moment, Cassland Road is one-way westbound (and Wick Road is eastbound).  So any drivers who go down Cassland Road at the moment will be able to use Wick Road instead.  So Cassland Road gives a fair indication of what Wick Road will be like once it’s two-way).

(At the bottom of the post, I’ve listed all the Hackney Transport Strategy policies I don’t think this follows, for any readers who are really interested).

Let’s consider the claims from the leaflet one at a time:

“Promoting sustainable forms of travel such as walking”

Paradoxically, while it’s unpleasant, it’s not that hard to cross Wick Road at the moment.  In the mornings, it’s solid with drivers who can hardly move, so you can cross – carefully – between them.  Not fun or safe for families, but not terrible by Hackney standards.

In the afternoons, drivers move far too fast, but there are long gaps between them speeding through, in which people can cross easily.

CIMG9164

4pm on a weekday. I stood in the road for a good 30 seconds before some more drivers zoomed down the road.

Two-way traffic will make it harder for people living here to cross the road, as at any time of day they’ll have to look two-ways, and the road will be much busier.  Putting in a couple of extra arms of pedestrian crossing and an ‘informal’ crossing point won’t help people cross where they want.

“Promoting sustainable forms of transport such as… cycling”

Lots of drivers will choose to come down Wick Road instead of Cassland Road, so we can guess at what things will be like from what Cassland Road looks like.

The photo below shows part of the ‘Greenway’ from Finsbury Park to the Olympic Park (you can just see the blue cycle route sign on the lamp post).  You’re meant to share the road with all these jammed in drivers.  Too narrow to overtake safely, too busy to feel safe.

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One hundred metres further west, you can see what the road is like when vehicles are able to moved: people on bikes are meant to share space too narrow to feel safe, with vehicles like this.

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Giving these drivers additional space on Wick Road means either:

  1. Traffic speeds up and people on bikes are in scary spaces like that with the lorry above, too narrow to be overtaken safely, too slow for impatient drivers to wait.
  2. Traffic clogs up like the first photo and people on bikes are left trying to squeeze past along narrow lanes.

(Obviously, 2 is much more likely, given induced demand).

The council also plan to remove this little bit of cycle track here:CIMG9160

Again, it’s not amazing, but it does mean people on bikes can get from one side road (Barnabus) to another (Bradstock) without going on the main road.  That won’t be possible any more.  I find this a bit strange, as the pavement is massive and I don’t really see why you’d force people onto the main road with all the drivers.

“Promoting sustainable forms of transport such as… public transport”

The council want to run the 30 bus down Wick Road.  This is what 4pm on a Wednesday during half term looks like on Cassland Road.  Two buses, trapped among the massive number of rat-running commercial drivers.

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If the council want to increase the use of public transport, they have to help buses move faster.  If people on buses are stuck behind people driving, they can’t go faster.  If the council make space for rat-running drivers, that won’t work.  They would have to block the road to cars and only allow buses down it if they wanted to help public transport.

Conclusion

This scheme offers a couple of extra pedestrian crossing points.  But primarily Hackney Council want to make it easier to drive around Homerton.  The people who will benefit will be the drivers cutting through Homerton each way from outside the borough.  This is what we’re told Hackney Council are aiming for:

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This scheme is a step away from all of these supposed promises.

I would urge everyone to oppose the scheme and demand something better.  In my next post, I will set out an idea of what this ‘something better’ might look like.  We can create a Wick Road which is an ‘exemplar for sustainable urban living’.

How to create a better Wick Road

  1. Come back and read my next post, on what we could create with this space next week.
  2. Get in touch to say you’re interested and support the campaign.  Comment below, or tweet me (@hazzer2001) and Hackney People on Bikes (@hackneypob) who are leading the campaign.
  3. Attend the consultation event this Tuesday (2nd June, 6pm-8pm; Gascoyne Community Centre) and tell the council it’s not good enough.
  4. Respond to the consultation (you can do it very easily in two minutes online).  Demand a better solution from the council.
  5. Watch for the answer to my Freedom of Information request about the costs and data behind this scheme.

 Appendix – Hackney’s Transport Strategy

For the seriously interested, here are a list of policies from the Draft Transport Strategy for Hackney, with a quick comment from me on each one.  Bizarrely, the only thing on the council’s main website is the 2006-2011 strategy, but these quotations are taken from the draft of the 2014-2024 strategy:

“C22 Pursue a policy of ‘clear space for cyclists’ when designing public realm and traffic schemes on busy routes and where there are high vehicular traffic flows.”

This is a very busy route, but there is no clear space for cyclists, even though the road is massive!

“C22 Look to progress and complete the removal of the network of one-way systems in South Hackney during the lifetime of the strategy.”

I’ll come on to this in my next post, but there is no proposal for the other bits of the one-way system!

“C37 Work with Tower Hamlet [sic], Islington & TfL to create a high quality, direct & safe cycle route between iCity/Olympic Park and Shoreditch/TechCity and onto the West End”

This could be on that route, if the council were willing to allocate space to people on bikes, not just to people in cars.

“C42 Undertake area wide traffic reviews in neighbourhoods still subject to rat-running and consider options for reducing traffic flows, such as filtered permeability cells.”

Unfiltered streets in Homerton are full of dangerous, rat-running drivers.  Wick Road should be tackled as part of an area-wide scheme to address this.

“PT16 Improve bus journey times and reliability through new bus priority measures – completing missing gaps in the network and reviewing bus lane hours.”

This could be a bus priority scheme.  It’s not what I’d prefer for the area, but it could be.  An opportunity missed.

“LN1 Increase the tree canopy coverage in the borough from 18.5% to 25% by 2024.”

New trees aren’t the priority, but still…

“LN9 Restrain the levels of external traffic cutting through the borough and look to reduce the number of trips made by commercial vehicles on our roads.”

This is the crux of it I reckon.  These roads are full of external traffic, but Hackney want to make more space for these drivers!  Rather than taking it away from them.

“W22 Seek to create 10 new public spaces and pocket parks through road space reallocation by 2024”

This is a golden opportunity to put wasted road space to use for people, not for drivers.  But don’t worry, local residents have a plan…