Saturday, 30 January 2016

Seven Sisters Road consultation

There's a consultation on Seven Sisters Road which I need to alert you to which is a real cause for concern. It ignores cycle safety and presents a series of sub-standard options some of which appear to be positively dangerous.

The photo on their front page shows the very spot Stephanie Turner was killed by a lorry last year, a fact they seem totally unaware of. 

They have floated seven 'ideas', to "design a solution for the road which balances the needs of residents and pedestrians". In fact they have presented a motor centric vision for Seven Sisters Road maximising traffic speed, marginalising residents & pedestrians and ignoring cyclists and safety. They are suggesting ideas which are totally inappropriate for London as a safe, pleasant and healthy city.

Respond to the consultation:

Please respond to the consultation visiting the website and emailing the address provided. Please add your own comments, you can copy and paste from below or use it for inspiration:

Due to the volume and speed of traffic on this road, fully protected cycle lanes are needed to keep cyclists safe and allow people of all ages and abilities to cycle. These should include physical separation in the form of significant kerbs and/or bollards to provide proper separation from the road.

It is essential we see proposals for all the major junctions including protection for right turning cyclists and designed to prevent 'left hooks', which are totally neglected by this consultation. Without understanding the junctions it is impossible to design or evaluate a scheme such as this.

The road will require regular safe signalised crossings to allow people of all ages and abilities to cross in safety. This should include crossings for bikes side by side to the pedestrian crossings. The designs of all junctions and crossings should avoid potential conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians and avoid 'shared space' solutions.

All parts of the scheme should be designed fully in accordance with the latest issue of the London Cycling Design Standards. All proposed options should be assessed against the 'Cycling Level of Service' tool and the results of the assessments included in consultation documentation.

The ideas suggested in the consultation are badly thought through and most of them would be dangerous for cyclists and/or pedestrians. In addition the consultation fails to consider the option for a bi-directional track on one side of the road in some instances can provide a higher quality solution (perhaps due to fewer turnings on one side of the road) depending on safe and convenient connections at both ends and allowing easy access for cyclists to/from turnings on the far side of the road.

In summary of the ideas put forwards:

  • Ideas 2, 3 and 6 would be dangerous for cyclists. 
  • Idea 1 has insufficient protection for this busy road with fast traffic and would not allow people of all abilities to cycle. 
  • Ideas 4a and 4b are positively dangerous for pedestrians and do nothing to allow people with impared mobility, or with children, to cross the road. Providing pedestrian crossings is the only way to allow vulnerable pedestrians to cross safely.
  • It is worth noting that although 'idea 5' shows a protected cycle lane, this design appears poorly thought through and does not provide acceptable pedestrian safety. In particular the central island will encourage high speeds and does not constitute a safe crossing.

Due to the generally very poor quality of the options proposed in the consultation, and the failure to consider options which could provide the best solutions for cycling, we feel the results of this consultation may be unsound. Where respondents expressed preferences between the ideas put forwards this will have failed to identify where the ideas proposed failed to meet the aspirations of the consultee as preferences my represent the 'least worst' ideas due to better options not being presented.

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