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The cycle superhighway 1 revamp: will it get any better?

Cycle superhighway 1 (CS1) is approaching its fifth birthday. The route, which is the only fully-signed cycle route in the borough, runs from Tottenham to the City and should be a key commuter line for the east of Haringey and Hackney. Sadly, it has earned a reputation for epitomising all the compromises and bodges that went into the early cycle superhighways, with a lack of meaningful protection for cyclists. Haringey council has recently won £604,152 under TfL’s emergency Covid infrastructure scheme to upgrade their section of the route. Here we take a look at the proposed improvements.

The Haringey section of the route enters the borough in South Tottenham, running along Holmdale Terrace and St Ann’s Road before winding around some back roads to join the A10 pavement. There are multiple problems on this section of the route, with too much traffic for comfortable cycling and a narrow shared pavement under the railway bridge on the A10. After some relief on a decent cycle track, we get to one of the worst parts of the route. At Seven Sisters, there are multiple sets of traffic lights and the limited space is shared by people walking and cycling. This is especially bad on the section of pavement crowded with people boarding buses or getting onto the tube at Seven Sisters station. Bolder cyclists often forgo the whole experience and take to the busy junction instead.

After more cycling on the pavement, CS1 then routes onto Philip Lane. Here there have been some retrospective improvements: light segregation with wands. However, the cycle lane disappears at bus stops and southbound riders have to cut across traffic to turn onto Town Hall Approach Road. The route then winds up residential streets in Bruce Grove, running parallel to the A10. There is no protection for cyclists where the route crosses the busier roads of The Avenue and Lordship Lane, both of which involve navigating two lanes of robust traffic to make a right turn. Cyclists are required to use roads that have significant amounts of through motor traffic using the area as a shortcut, including in the opposite direction.

Light segregation using wands on Philip Lane
Light segregation using wands on Philip Lane

 

Southbound cyclists must cut across traffic to access Town Hall Approach Road, where the route continues
Southbound cyclists must cut across traffic to access Town Hall Approach Road, where the route continues
Cyclists need to cross two lanes of brisk traffic at Lordship Lane
Cyclists need to cross two lanes of brisk traffic at Lordship Lane
The entire route was originally proposed to be a straight run along the A10. As a compromise, it ended up winding along ‘quiet’ backstreets. Whilst a few sections of the route offer improvements for people who were already prepared to cycle, it falls very short of the oft-cited safety standard: something you’d be willing to let your 12-year-old cycle on.

Haringey’s successful funding bid proposes some edits to CS1:

  • Adding modal filtering on Broadwater Lane, one of the residential streets in Bruce Grove. TfL consulted on a similar proposal in 2015, with 67% support, but decided not to pursue the scheme.
  • Adding temporary ‘bus stop boarders’ on Philip Lane. It is vital to separate buses and cycles for a cycle route to be truly inclusive – most people feel very vulnerable moving out of the cycle lane into traffic to overtake a stopped bus. Waltham Forest cyclists have an explainer for the various solutions for bus stop/cycle track conflict, and whilst bus stop boarders are their least preferred option, Philip Lane may be too narrow for alternatives.
  • At Seven Sisters, to “relocate cycle track and shared-use track away from queue hotspots”. This falls short: there needs to be dedicated cycle space here, protected from cars and distinct from pedestrian areas; the area is simply too busy for any shared space to work. It is positive that Haringey council acknowledge the problem, but the true solution is likely to involve a significant amount of work, for example moving the entire route to the east side of the road to better integrate with the proposed cycle route from Tottenham to Camden.
  • Unspecified “cycling improvements” between Ermine Road and Holmdale Terrace. To make this part of the route truly inclusive, it needs far less through traffic on it.

Lacking from the proposals are:

  • Any plans to reroute sections onto the A10; we’re stuck with the backstreets strategy for now.
  • Any additional protection at the points where the route crosses busier roads (St Ann’s Road, The Avenue, Lordship Lane). These junctions are the limiting factor that would prevent a less-bold cyclist from using the route. As long as these busy points remain, improvements to other parts of the route are likely to be of limited value.
  • Any protection for people turning right from Philip Lane onto Town Hall Approach.
  • Improvements to the narrow contraflows on the route; for example, by moving car parking spaces.

Separately, Haringey have won funding for an extension to CS1, carrying it further north to the borough boundary with Enfield. Done properly, this could link into Enfield mini-Holland, give people in Ponders End a route into the the City, and allow cycle access for people travelling to North Middlesex Hospital from Haringey.

Map of the proposed CS1 extension (from Haringey's bid documents)
Map of the proposed CS1 extension (from Haringey’s bid documents)

The alterations proposed to create a CS1 extension are:

  • Partial parking bay suspension – Queen Street & White Hart Lane
  • New two-way cycle track on Bull Lane or footway widening (shared-use path)
  • Road closure in Beaufoy Road changed to modal filter
  • Narrowing of carriageway
  • Decluttering and Wayfinding

It is encouraging that Haringey are considering adding cycle track on Bull Lane; although, as Bull Lane is in Enfield (the same street is called Queen Street in Haringey) it isn’t clear whether any of this track would actually be in Haringey.

At Beaufoy Road, Haringey’s proposal is to replace the existing road closure barrier with a modal filter. However, the existing barrier already prevents rat-running traffic and so many cyclists will notice no difference here.

Furthermore, the new extension again fails to offer any solutions at junctions with busy roads. Specifically, there is no protection when crossing White Hart Lane.  And again, Haringey has chosen to route along side streets. On entering Enfield the route will have park on one side and industrial units on the other; potentially a deserted and therefore intimidating environment, particularly for female cyclists using the route in the evenings.

Haringey Cyclists has sent the council our proposal for how Haringey can deliver on their bid and address the other problems on this route. Let’s see if they can keep the promise of ‘a much-improved north-south link in the east of the borough reducing the burden on public transport by providing a viable alternative to private car use’. We hope these extraordinary times might lead to Haringey having at least one decent cycle route.  But it looks like CS1 may hit its fifth birthday with little to celebrate.

news

Haringey draft transport strategy consultation: our response

Haringey’s draft transport strategy comes at a vital time for London and its boroughs. As the Mayor of London makes clear in his own plans for transport in London, a shift away from car-based travel is absolutely vital to prevent congestion getting out of control and an escalation of existing public health problems related to poor air quality and inactivity.

With the population of this borough expected to rise significantly over the coming years, it’s clear that ‘do nothing’ is not an option. In order to prevent gridlock, a significant shift to transport modes that make better use of existing space – walking, cycling and public transport – is required. Added to the negative impacts of road congestion, there is a substantial and growing understanding of the negative health impacts of an inactive, car-based population. Currently 2/3rds of all journeys by car in London are less than 5km, a distance that is easily cycled or walked in around 20 minutes. Cycling for just 20 minutes a day has been shown to bring astonishing health improvements, greater than other moderate activities, because cycling encourages people to exert themselves for example when they encounter a hill or set off from traffic lights. Like walking, cycling for transport is an ‘incidental activity’ – exercise that is built into everyday life, not an additional burden on your discretionary time like other exercise can be.

Cycling is for everyone, now more so than ever. Adapted cycles are helping people with mobility issues for whom cycling can be easier than walking. New technologies like e-bikes are opening up opportunities for active transport to those who can’t or don’t want to overexert themselves and e-assist cargo cycles are bringing forward exciting opportunities for freight consolidation. New developments in dockless bike hire technology mean that not owning a bike is no longer a barrier to cycling. Currently just 8% of 243,700 potential cycle trips in this borough are being made by bike. The key to unlocking this enormous, untapped potential is putting cycle infrastructure in place to support it.

We look forward to seeing detailed plans and targets for how cycling growth will be supported in the forthcoming cycling and walking strategy. As the 2015/16 review by the Environment and Community Scrutiny Panel correctly identified, motor traffic speed and volume is the greatest discouragement to cycling. The overriding focus of the Cycling and Walking Strategy needs to be delivery of a dense cycle network that is entirely separated from fast or heavy traffic flows, complemented with the creation of low, or no-traffic neighbourhoods. This is the only proven way to deliver a step-change in cycling levels on a population scale, with encouraging results from Haringey’s neighbouring boroughs showing that this rings true even in places more car dependent than Haringey.

Haringey is well placed to make progress in this area. The borough already has several low-traffic neighbourhoods, relatively low (and falling) car ownership and high proportion of trips are already made by walking or public transport. In places there is a vestigial cycle network, but such networks are only as good as their weakest link, with junctions a particular failing. The challenge over the coming years is to make complete routes that offer a consistent standard from end-to-end.

It’s clear that this won’t be easy – the issue is one of urban space and how best to use it. Despite overwhelming evidence that cycling is good for people and business, the difficult choices that need to be made to enable all-ages cycling means tough choices to change how our urban space is allocated. Change always meets with resistance, and it’s clear from other boroughs making progress towards fairer, more liveable streets, that a minority of people will never be satisfied with any reallocation of road space to cycling. Strong support from all levels of local government is required to deliver outcomes that match strategic goals. An attempt to satisfy everyone often leads to outcomes that please no-one. Haringey’s resulting strategy needs to be followed through root and branch with delivery of all transport-related projects in the borough. From minor residential development to even the smallest highways amendment, the question needs to be asked – how will this help deliver Haringey’s stated goals? Delivery needs to match strategic aspirations every time, or opportunities to improve our borough will continue to be missed, to the detriment of us all.

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UPDATE – Haringey Cycling Campaign – views on proposals for Middle Lane/Park Road junction

UPDATE 17 Nov – we received the news last night that the proposal for a mini-roundabout has been dropped. We look forward to seeing an alternative proposal come forward.

Haringey Cycling Campaign were first consulted on these proposals in July this year. We objected at that time on the grounds that the proposals were not compliant with Transport for London’s London Cycle Design Standards (LCDS) and as such would be detrimental to the safety of people cycling through this junction. At that time we suggested an alternative light-touch junction alteration, pending a more extensive area-wide scheme being brought forward, would be to place the existing zebra crossings on raised tables to slow vehicle speeds and improve safety for all road users.

LCDS, paragraph 5.5.4 states: Mini-roundabouts are not generally recommended for inclusion on cycle routes. The main problems they raise are failure of vehicles to observe give way due to the geometry and failure to reduce speed through the junction. Where they exist, they should be considered for replacement where they have more than one entry lane and/or where there is an angle approaching 180 degrees between the entry and exit arms (and therefore little horizontal deflection).

Collision statistics for the last 5 years at this location (2 slightly injured cyclists, 2 slightly injured pedestrians and one slightly injured motorcycle rider, all in collision with motor vehicles, with no recorded injuries at this junction since 2013) suggest that this junction is not exceptionally dangerous in the context of other nearby junctions. It is probable that some of these injuries to cyclists and pedestrians were caused by failure of vehicles to observe give way… and failure to reduce speed through the junction. A mini-roundabout at this location, given the proposal includes an angle approaching 180 degrees between the entry and exit arms and other issues described by LCDS, is likely to increase such risks to vulnerable road users.

We formally objected by email again on 2 November, adding that in addition to the issues described above, this scheme may jeopardise the recent bid for Liveable Neighbourhoods funding for Crouch End, given that the design principles for Liveable Neighbourhoods specifically require adherence to TfL’s ‘Streets Toolkit’, including LCDS.

In the longer term we would like to see a scheme put forward that minimises or eliminates turning conflicts at this junction. A more ambitious scheme could deliver this alongside increased green space, including sustainable drainage features to unlock multiple benefits to people and the environment at this location. The proposal for a mini-roundabout is dangerous and should not be taken forward.

consultations, news

Support Wightman Road filtering – complete the council survey by this Sunday 14 May!

‘Daddy, can we please cycle to Finsbury Park again this weekend?’

wightman photo

Last summer extraordinary things happened in one part of Haringey. It was a summer of fun for kids: on roads and streets where before there was only bad air and road traffic noise, now there was the sound of kids playing out. Street football was a daily occurrence, children were using the road to cycle to school and there was even the occasional lemonade stand. It wasn’t just children who were joining in with being more active. Adults across this large area realised they didn’t really need the car for their shorter journeys – walking was nearly as fast and made them feel pretty good now the air was cleaner. Cycling to Finsbury Park to pick up the tube was quicker than the bus and nicer than cramming onto the packed trains, and getting there on a bike suddenly seemed easy now the journey could be done mostly without having to ride with speeding traffic.

Surely this was all the work of a council fully committed to the health of their residents, the sort that would make bold claims about making their borough the most liveable in London? Sadly this utopia did not last. While other boroughs nearby were permanently closing roads to through traffic to entrench a new, healthier lifestyle in their boroughs, Wightman Road and its adjoining roads were reopened as through routes for motor traffic. The weekend bike rides to the park had to stop.

‘I’m sorry. There’s no safe way to cycle there now’.

As a cycle campaign we are of course primarily interested in high quality provision for cycling that allows anyone to feel confident using a bike to get around. This has been the focus of our continuing engagement in the Green Lanes Area Transport Study. There are many ways to achieve this but many options that improve conditions for people on bikes also have much wider benefits for those in the area – even if they never cycle. For example making areas more healthy and liveable, reducing air pollution and even reducing journey times for drivers by lowering overall traffic levels and simplifying routes. If you live in or travel through Harringay or the Green Lanes area, you have until Sunday to complete the council survey on future options for Wightman Road and the surrounding area. We believe this is an issue primarily for local people to decide, so please take a look at Living Wightman’s advice on how to complete the survey. While some of the options presented can deliver a suitable cycle route (in particular we recommend you support the proposal for a northbound cycle track on Green Lanes, desperately needed in an area with no safe north/south routes), the option to ‘filter’ Wightman Road will deliver multiple health and air quality benefits as well as a safe route suitable for all-ages cycling. Many parts of this borough are already ‘filtered’ to through traffic. Other boroughs which are right next to Haringey are showing how such schemes, if well managed, can reduce traffic over a wide area. The use of Wightman Road as a conduit for through traffic has negative consequences for the areas to the north and south that also have long-standing issues with excessive through traffic.

The council’s response to the issues encountered on Wightman Road is a real test for them – are they serious about tackling pollution and unlocking the massive potential for active travel in this borough? Or, as suggested by the recent consultation on the Wood Green AAP, is the future of our borough just as polluted, congested and unhealthy as our present? This is your chance to tell the council what sort of place you want this borough to evolve into. Don’t miss the chance to have your voice heard.

 

consultations

Wood Green Area Action Plan – respond by 31 March

Haringey Cycling Campaign have met with Haringey Council and provided a detailed response to the Wood Green Area Action Plan consultation, based on discussions with members at our last monthly meeting. But we know that many of our members and supporters will want to add their own voices to this consultation. Remember, you have until this Friday 31 March to have your say!

 
We’ve outlined our thoughts below, and highlighted in bold some of the main points we feel really need to be made. Please feel free to cut and paste into your own response, or write your own response if you’d prefer. As we are a cycling campaign, our comments relate only to proposed cycling provision and related traffic management in the area. We do not feel it is within our remit to comment on any of the other elements of the plan, but as individual responders, you are of course welcome to do so yourselves.

 
While we accept that plans are at an early stage, we welcome the stated intention to encourage walking and cycling and to improve the local cycle network. However the routes shown in the plans are mainly existing cycle routes which are of a poor quality. The new connections proposed do not suggest cycling is being planned for as a serious mode of transport. Although the proposed cycle routes are welcome additions as leisure routes or connectors to a proper cycle network, they cannot form the backbone of a comprehensive provision for cycling. Overall, the network shown does not seem central to the transport element of the regeneration plan, and does not deal with the key issues currently limiting the take-up of cycling for transport in this area. Significant modal shift towards more sustainable methods of transport will come about principally by a reduction of through traffic in residential areas and the provision of protected space for cycling on the main north/south and east/west main road routes. The AAP should include at its core a high quality cycle network if it wants to reflect a truly modern approach to traffic management that enables anyone to choose to cycle to work, shops, school or to leisure facilities.

 
The plans as they stand appear to represent outdated ideas about traffic management. Making more space for motor traffic is a sure way to attract more traffic to the area, a phenomenon known as ‘induced traffic’ that has been observed by transport professionals repeatedly since 1925. Allowing more through traffic on Mary Neuner Way with no restrictions to traffic on adjoining roads will only exacerbate the current unacceptable traffic levels in this area, Wightman Road to the south and the residential areas to the north. This project is an opportunity to sort out these problems once and for all and must not be missed. A coordinated policy for traffic reduction is essential and we suggest that all possible measures to achieve this be considered. Haringey’s neighbouring boroughs have shown that a reduction in road capacity for motor vehicles is a reliable way to reduce overall motor traffic volumes and enable active travel.

 
As part of measures to modernise roads in and around the area, the dangerous junction at Turnpike Lane/Wightman Road must be overhauled or it will remain a key barrier to north/south cycling to and from the Heartlands area. Suggestions that reductions in capacity at this junction will exacerbate traffic problems simply do not stand up to scrutiny.

 
One of the stated aims of the AAP is to bring more shoppers to Wood Green from the Palace Gates/Alexandra Park area and beyond. These efforts will be seriously undermined if principle routes into Wood Green, such as Station Road, remain hostile to active travel. To attract more visitors from north and south of the area, the creation of dedicated, protected space for cycling on Wood Green High Road must be a priority. Enfield Council are currently building cycle tracks on Green Lanes that will stop at the border. Hackney Council are considering doing the same on Green Lanes to the south of Haringey. Green Lanes will remain the principle north/south route for cycling in this part of the borough and should be modernised to form a continuous network with our neighbouring boroughs.

 
The AAP provides the opportunity to break with the past and begin to build the kind of inclusive, modern road environment that Haringey residents deserve. Cycling in Wood Green is currently mainly the preserve of the quick and the brave, meaning most residents do not feel safe enough to benefit from active travel due to a road environment that is heavily balanced towards the private car. The opportunity presented by the AAP to rectify this unfairness must not be missed.

events

Haringey Cyclists’ AGM and monthly meeting agenda

Haringey Cycling Campaign. AGM and monthly meeting agenda

19:15 – 21:15, 13 March 2017

First floor lounge bar, Crouch End Picturehouse, 165 Tottenham Lane, London N8 9BY

AGM

19:15 – 19:25 Officers’ reports – Coordinator, Treasurer.
19:25 – 19:35 Election of new officers: Coordinator, Secretary, Treasurer
19:35 – 19:40 Nominations for other roles including Rides and Social Coordinator, Membership Secretary, Newsletter Editor
19:40 – 19:45 Vote of thanks to outgoing officers

 

Monthly Meeting

19:45 – 19:50 Welcome and introductions
19:50 – 20:00 Minutes and actions of last meeting
20:00 – 20:30 Enfield Cycling Campaign talk about Mini Holland (10-15 mins), followed by Q&A http://enfieldcc.co.uk/cycle-enfield/
20:30 – 21:00 Campaigns and events update:

  • Hornsey community streets/railway bridge
  • Haringey’s Air Quality Strategy
  • Wood Green Area Action Plan
  • White Hart Lane proposals
  • Islington Family bike ride 8th April
 

http://www.haringeycyclists.org/2017/01/30/a-small-but-important-consultation-deadline-1-feb/

http://www.haringey.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning/planning-policy/local-plan/wood-green-area-action-plan

21:00 – 21:10 AOB
consultations

A small, but important, consultation (deadline 1 Feb)

Screenshot 2017-01-30 at 22.52.32

Haringey Council is currently consulting on a number of proposals for the Hornsey Park area, on Hornsey Park Road between Clarendon Road and Avenue Road. You can see detail of this consultation on the website of the Parkside Malvern Residents Association. We fully support PMRA’s ambition for a quieter Hornsey Park Road that is less dominated by motor traffic.

Those of you who are local to, or cycle through this area may wish to respond to this consultation in detail. When doing so please include in your response an objection to the proposal to reduce carriageway lane widths to 3.2m. We have provided a detailed response to the wider aspects of the plans, but our overriding concern is that the proposed road widths be brought into line with London’s published standards for cycle design:

LCDS 4.4.2

The London Cycle Design Standards specifically warn against lanes of this width and instead offers the following guidance: ‘If the proportion of HGV and public service vehicle traffic is less than 10 per cent then, subject to the carriageway geometry and speed and volume of traffic, motor traffic lane widths may generally be reduced to between 2.5 and 2.9 metres.’ Reducing the road width from 3.2m to 2.5-2.9m would also enhance the desired speed reduction and ‘gateway’ effect. We are strongly opposed to the proposed 3.2m width as this is likely to leave room for doubt about whether sufficient room is available for overtaking, increasing the possibility that following vehicles will attempt to pass far too closely. There are roads very near to Hornsey Park Road that feel hostile to cycling due to close passes and dangerous tailgating, exacerbated by the road widths present alongside traffic islands. We are anxious that this situation is not replicated on Hornsey Park Road.

consultations, news

Bruce Grove Consultation – urgent action needed!

Transport for London are currently consulting on changes to the A10 at Bruce Grove (from the rail station south to Forster Road). The consultation is open until 7 December, please have your say via https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/bruce-grove/

These proposals were discussed at Haringey Cycling Campaign’s monthly meeting on the 14 November. Unfortunately, we found very little to recommend from a cycling perspective. The junction treatment outside Bruce Grove station is likely to benefit pedestrians and to a lesser extent those on bikes. However, in our view the remainder of the proposed work would decrease safety for people cycling, and as such we are requesting TfL go back to the drawing board and come back with something much better. Our reasoning is set out below – you may wish to raise these points in your response. Remember the consultation closes on 7 December!

The proposals include a dangerous and unnecessary pinch point
The new signalised pedestrian crossing proposes to narrow the existing carriageway width to 3m in each direction. We object to this creation of a pinch point, which seems unnecessary for pedestrian safety as the proposed crossing is signalised. We are concerned that the proposed narrowing will increase conflict between road users – in theory cycles should “take the lane” to prevent dangerous overtaking but this would only be a sensible approach on a road with light volumes of traffic travelling at low speeds. For what we think are obvious reasons, this approach is not applicable to this situation.

Proposals remove existing cycle provision
There is an existing cycle route (LCN 54) that crosses the High Rd at St Loys Rd. In 2003 and 2006 detailed proposals were made, but not implemented, to upgrade this crossing. There are presently cycle reservations to the north and south of the junction, which are at least some assistance in crossing the High Road. The present proposals include the removal of the south reservation and this is not an acceptable alteration as no replacement provision is shown.

Current proposals are incompatible with increasing cycle numbers
A 2007 Transport for London scheme for the A10 from Monument Way to St Loys Rd, consulted on but not implemented, included cycle lanes. There remains ample road space for comprehensive cycle provision. Indeed, as part of implementing Mini Holland, Enfield are currently consulting on a proposal for protected cycle tracks on the A1010 up to the Haringey border. Cycle Superhighway 1 does not provide a suitable alternative route, particularly with the decision not to filter through traffic on Broadwater Road. The A10 at Bruce Grove is and will remain heavily used by cycles: Planning policy for Tottenham regeneration seeks to reduce private car use and improving cycle provision in Enfield and Waltham Forest means that the ambition for the A10 should be as a main cycle route.

We therefore urge that these proposals are either redesigned or not taken forward as part of this scheme.

events

Bike Breakfast, Monday morning on Wightman Road!

wightmanPhoto care of @Living_Wightman

Current bridge replacement works on Wightman Road, N8, have shown how closing a road to through motor traffic can make a place where children can play in the street, neighbours stop for a chat and families can cycle together safely.

To celebrate the rebirth of this residential community, we have teamed up with ‘Living Wightman’, a local community movement working towards a better future for Wightman Road and the Harringay Ladder. For the morning commute on Monday 13 June (7:30 – 9:30) we will hold a Bike Week ‘bike breakfast’ on the north side of the bridge works on Wightman Road.

From 8:30 we will be joined by Joanne McCartney, London’s Deputy Mayor and Enfield and Haringey London Assembly member, Councillor Peray Ahmet, Haringey Council Cabinet Member for the Environment and Harringay ward Councillor Emine Ibrahim.

Look forward to seeing you all on Monday!