Sunday, 5 July 2015

Wick Road consultation

Wick Road used to have terraced housing along the entire length of the road until it was almost entirely demolished in the late 1960's to build the A102(M) at the very eastern end with all the terraced housing west of Cassland Road replaced by blocks of flats. It was also turned into a wide one way road in order to ferry as much motor traffic away from what was then a motorway in the quickest time possible. Needless to say this makes it an unpleasant road to travel on using any form of transport. As part of their commitment to remove the Victoria Park one way system Hackney council are currently consulting on spending £700,000 on turning Wick Road back to a two way road. This is a great opportunity to create conditions on this road where children feel safe enough to cycle to school, where elderly residents cycle to the shops, or to quote Hackney Council's 2014-2024 cycling plan "A place where it is second nature for everyone, no matter what their age, background or ethnicity to cycle". Being a very local resident and someone who travels along Wick Road often I thought I would look at the consultation in more detail.

At the western end of Wick Road the already very large paved area on the northern side is to be made even larger with the road narrowed and moved onto where the pavement currently is to the south of Wick Road

Both eastbound and westbound lanes of Wick Road are to be moved onto the area of pavement to the left of the current road here. No cycle lanes and no ASL means people cycling will be stuck behind a queue of traffic at the traffic lights; Currently that queue can easily extend the whole length of Wick Road during the morning peak. Can you seriously see "anyone, no matter what their age" cycling along here where they have to queue up at the lights sandwiched between lorries and buses? 

The entire road in this area is set to be an underused large pavement so the pigeons have a much larger area to defecate on and creates a nasty left hook from Morning Lane into Wick Road for people cycling East onto Wick Road

It is senseless to devote such a large amount of space to a pointlessly large pavement that no one is going to use. This is something that Hackney Council seem very keen on in recent road schemes; "improved public realm" they call it; whereas in reality it is just a waste of space (and probably leads to more cycling on the pavement). I'm not against creating more space for people walking and it is obviously beneficial when it is implemented in areas with large numbers of pedestrians but Wick Road is not the place for it, especially when such poor conditions remain for people cycling on the road alongside. This space would be much better used to build protected cycle infrastructure at this junction in order to keep people on bikes separate from left turning vehicles (especially lorries) whilst also creating a handy "red light bypass" for people cycling. Literally an improved version of the cycle tracks that existed at the other end of this very road before the council removed them in 2012.

The old left turn cycle track at the Wick Road / Eastway junction. The council spent money ripping it out to create yet more  wide unused pavement space rather than upgrading it to become a wider and more accessible track or even extending it

A well designed left turn cycle track means people can bypass red lights legally and helps prevent the common cause of cycling fatalities; being crushed by a left turning lorry (the cause of death of both cyclists killed in Hackney this year)

You may also have noticed in the plans above how despite Hackney's supposed opposition to one way streets that within this consultation Well Street is to remain a one way street, in order to preserve car parking on both sides of the road.

Well Street

Well Street used to have a thriving market and a certain Jack Cohen was one of the stallholders nearly a century ago until he left his pitch to open a shop; he named it Tesco. These days there is barely a market left here at all having ironically been killed off by the Tesco store located on it. It is sad to see this market dying whilst other markets in the borough, such as Broadway Market and Chatsworth Road, are both flourishing and expanding. Well Street could be closed to traffic which would no doubt help to return it to a bustling street market, perhaps with Broadway Market style restaurants and bars with pavement tables (although ideally without the cars speeding on the pavement, but more on that another day). If the council were to build cycle tracks along Wick Road linking Well Street to Hackney Wick and Homerton then perhaps families would feel safe enough to cycle to Well Street for a bit of market shopping rather than park their car on it to nip into Tesco instead. It could be a very different street to the one way car park surrounded by takeaways, launderettes and derelict pubs that it is now.

I'm not really for or against one way streets. I do believe that large multi-lane gyratories such as Stoke Newington do not belong in a city such as London and I support turning them back into two way roads but not if they are just replaced with nasty multi lane roads going in both directions, as has occurred in Shoreditch, Tottenham and Brixton. I also believe, unlike the Hackney cycling campaign, that one way streets (with two-way for people cycling and walking) are needed in our cities as a way to discourage through motor traffic, something which is pretty standard in Dutch cities. Camden Council are about to embark on a fantastic scheme; they're going  to turn Tavistock Place from a two way road to one way for motor traffic. What was the westbound traffic lane will then become a cycle track, with the current hugely popular but narrow and overcrowded two-way cycle track on the northern side of the street becoming a one way track, doubling the capacity for cycling. Also because of the way the one way system is laid out it will discourage through traffic and should therefore lead to more pleasant conditions for pedestrians in the area as well. Hackney Council take note!

Wick Road, however,  is very wide and therefore can be returned to two way and still have space remaining for protected cycle tracks

The very wide western end of Wick Road, probably enough space to fit a motorway in here.

The eastern end of the one way section of Wick Road. No changes planned except two way traffic and a bus stop in the opposite direction. The pavement is to remain needlessly wide despite the very low numbers of people walking here

No real changes to the layout planned here except money is to be spent converting the parking on the pavement to the left into proper inset parking bays. Note the amount of space the father and his son are taking up cycling on the pavement, there is easily enough room for a cycle track with plenty of room left for people walking too. The parking could remain and form a barrier for a cycle track where the trees currently are. There is clearly enough room here for all.

A picture I took whilst cycling in the same spot as the picture I took whilst on a bus above it. There is not enough room for vehicles to overtake in this location if it becomes a two way road and vehicles are also travelling in the opposite direction, therefore you'll have to 'take the lane' in front of lorries and buses to avoid being 'doored'. These are the type of conditions that put people off cycling and makes others give up when they get to a certain age

I do not agree that just making Wick Road two way suddenly makes it better for everyone. The people who gain the most out of this consultation are private motorists and commercial motor traffic, especially the lorries who serve the Hackney and Dalston areas who will have a much quicker and shorter route back to the A12. Any benefits for people walking are negligible; two "informal crossings" are to be built but without signals or zebras. Crossing Wick Road is fairly easy to do now as vehicles tend to travel along here in short bursts due to the traffic lights at the eastern end of the road, leaving lengthy gaps in the traffic flow. During the morning peak traffic is often heavily congested so you can normally cross safely through stationary traffic. It'll probably be more difficult to cross the road most of the time if this road is made two way with no pedestrian priority

A typical queue of traffic during the morning peak stretching along the entire length of Wick Road. Good luck getting past this lot safely on a bike if the road becomes two way

As for bus users the proposed changes may be better if you live on or North of Wick Road and want to alight on the number 30 as it'll drop you off 200 metres closer to home. However should you live south of Cassland Road then it'll mean a slightly longer walk home from the bus stop. Either way this does very little to change things for bus users in the area. When the A12 gets clogged up you'll still be stuck in traffic and it'll take an age to move several miles through Hackney, just like now.

Not all of Wick Road is one way; the Eastern section of it is a two way dual carriageway which links the A12 to the one way section of Wick Road, Homerton High Street or Victoria Park Road. Here is some old footage from Thames News from 1984 illustrating that this section of Wick Road has barely changed in over 30 years.

Wick Road in 1984 and the same view today (note the girl riding her bike on the pavement in the modern view)

What was once a pleasant riverbank must now be one of the worst roads in the borough for people on foot or bike, where you have to cross motorway style slip roads along both sides of the road. I try to avoid it as much as possible despite living on one of the roads that connects to it. The most recent traffic count carried out here revealed that less the 1% of vehicles here are bicycles. A very unpleasant two way road.

There are people cycling on both sides of the pavement in this picture despite both travelling the correct way along this one way road. Most people are scared of cycling among heavy or fast moving traffic whether it is one way or two way

A father cycling towards Well Street with his child illegally using the pavement, just as I do if I cycle along here with my daughter (and will continue to do so if this scheme goes ahead). People shouldn't have to "skill up" just to ride a bike here, in the same way people walking do not have to due to the dedicated provision built for them

The two main roads that carry motor traffic to the East of the borough are currently Cassland Road and Homerton High Street to the south and north of Wick Road respectively. Both often suffer from severe congestion during the afternoon and evening peak 

Cassland Road and the usual congestion here most weekdays as vehicles head for the A12

Much of this traffic will instead choose to use Wick Road leading to unpleasant conditions on all three roads and a much greater volume of motor vehicles using Wick Road than currently do

It is a regular occurrence for Cassland Road to have two lanes of stop-start traffic along it's entire length in the afternoon peak. Any collisions leading to congestion on the A12 and it has a huge knock on effect to many roads in the surrounding area. A glimpse of how much motor traffic may take to using Wick Road eastbound in the future

The section of Wick Road under consultation carries about 9,000 PCUs (passenger car units) per day at the present time and this can surely only increase with two way working. Either way it'll be far higher than the 2,000 PCU limit that the London cycling campaign say is needed if we are to have people of all ages and abilities able to cycle along here on the road with no dedicated cycle provision

Homerton High Street, the other main road traffic uses along with Cassland Road to head east to the A12 at the spot where Akis Kollaros was killed whilst cycling earlier this year. A busy two way road and the scene of many serious cycle collisions including two fatalities within the past five years. Wick Road will have a similar layout

The council need to decide what kind of road Wick Road is going to be. If, as this consultation implies, they want it to be a main road taking through traffic to and from the A12 to Hackney Central or onto Islington and beyond, along with being one of the main bus routes for services to the East of the borough with double decker buses passing through every couple of minutes then it needs protected cycle tracks. If it is going to be a quiet residential road where traffic tootles along at 20mph, pedestrians cross the road at will and people of any age and ability mix it with traffic whilst cycling then it needs through traffic removed, buses re routed elsewhere and some traffic calming measures.

It is also very frustrating to see Hackney Council ripping out yet another cycle track in the borough, one that provides a safe link for people cycling from Homerton towards Well Street Common and Victoria Park on a 'quietway' route

The cycle track on Wick Road that Hackney Council want to spend money converting into yet another huge pavement. Picture via Rachel Aldred

Rachel Aldred has written about this cycle track here so little point in me repeating what she says. Hackney Councillor Vincent Stops claims that “The cycle lane on the pavement was installed to facilitate two-way cycling and so now becomes redundant for most cyclists.” which is true if accounting for people who currently cycle in Hackney who are, on the whole, a small minority of the population and mostly young men. You'll need the highest level of 'bikeability' training to travel along here on a bike .

Hackney Council on the limitations of cycle training, from their 2014-2024 cycling plan

A two-way Wick Road with no cycle tracks means only the kind of people who currently cycle on the main roads will be willing to use it should this consultation go ahead with virtually no children cycling along here at all. To quote the Hackney cycling plan we need "safe and comfortable routes for experienced and less experienced cyclists alike" and "in order to increase the borough's cycling levels the borough will need to target currently non-cycling residents that view cycling to be less appealing than other modes of transport." Hackney council need to be much more ambitious if they are to more than double the rates of cycling in the borough by 2024.

What you can do to help

Hackney Council have a poor history when it comes to listening to residents views on their consultations; for example only providing cycle training when people have asked for safer conditions for cycling on the boroughs roads. Recently Feryal Demirci was "delighted by the outpouring of support for the route" of CS1 despite the consultation stating that 41 people commented on the route with 95% of them, including The London Cycling Campaign and Hackney People on bikes, not supporting the route. Only the London branch of the Cyclists' Touring Club and the  Licensed Taxi Drivers Association supported CS1 being diverted away from the A10, with the Taxi Association saying that the route would have "a lower impact on general traffic"

Please respond to the consultation before this Friday 10th July stating clearly that you do not support this scheme in order to get a clear majority of local residents opposed to this scheme

Please say no!

As Rachel Aldred points out it is worrying that such an extensive scheme has got to this stage with little consultation. Residents are given no options to choose from, just this one design and asked to vote yes or no. There is a severe lack of supporting documents; how much busier will Wick Road be under these plans? How many buses and lorries are expected to travel along here per day? What will the impact be on air quality in an area already blighted by very high usage of motor vehicles? What are they going to do to tackle rat running on roads surrounding Wick Road?

Rat running on residential roads between Mare Street and the A12

The council claimed in the cycling plan that they are "open and willing to examine proposals for segregated and semi‐ segregated cycle lanes on principal roads" yet we're not given this option despite the layout of Wick Road. If Hackney Council won't build protected cycle tracks here on a wide road in a deprived area containing a high volume of traffic yet with only a couple of side roads and somewhere where hardly any on street activity takes place then I'm not convinced they'll build them anywhere. How is opening up a road that leads to a former motorway to motor traffic in both directions going to help active travel within Hackney?

It is a shame that any criticism I make of cycling provision in Hackney is often followed by claims of "Hackney bashing". However the statistics are quite clear: 7% of all journeys in Hackney are by bike with three times that amount (21%) by car, almost as many trips as by bus (23%). For children cycling to school the figure is just 2% and has not seen any significant increase for many years yet more than one in ten children travel to school in Hackney by car. Why are more than one in five journeys in Hackney by car when 65% of households are car free? Why is Hackney's mode share of trips by private motor car 21% yet in the nearby boroughs of Camden and Islington it is 15% and 18% in Tower Hamlets?

Hackney still has the highest levels of cycling for people who commute to work and it does some things very well, in particular making some residential roads safe, comfortable and attractive for cycling by filtering out motor traffic. However other boroughs are about to embark on some truly fantastic schemes and radical plans from Waltham Forest Council will make cycling on the main roads in Hackney seem horrendous compared to our neighbours. The Lea Bridge Road cycle tracks will revolutionize cycling to the East of the borough but will embarrassingly more than likely to give up as soon as you cross the border into Hackney.

I'm not suggesting that Hackney Council does not make Wick Road two-way but this design needs to be rejected with the plans for Wick Road taken back to the drawing board. We need to be more ambitious and should not be spending £700,000 creating even more routes for motor traffic to use whilst also removing well used, dedicated safe space for cycling. Rather than Wick Road remaining a busy and hostile road we need to consider other options and trial other ideas to create a road where it is safe and inviting for all road users and benefits local residents. A scheme which is as bold and progressive as the plans and visions coming from some of the other London boroughs.

The consultation is open until Friday 10th July. Please respond here and feel free to borrow any of what I have written, if you agree.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Cycle Superhighway 1

In 2008 TFL first announced they planned to build cycle superhighways and the original map (below) shows that almost all of them were planned to be built on the main roads leading into and out of Greater London. This was following a 12-month study of the most popular roads already used by cyclists.

These were expensive routes despite just being some bright blue paint on the road which offered no protection whatsoever and had cars parked on top of them in many places. After several people died cycling along CS2 on the A11 TFL are now upgrading most of the superhighways that have already been built and making the majority of the routes properly segregated.

Despite the original study showing the A10 is a popular cycle route and therefore where the superhighway should run TFL, under pressure from Hackney Council, relented and agreed to build it on back routes instead. This is despite Hackney council stating in the recent cycling plan that:

"Creating a quality environment for cycling is generally recognised as being concerned with providing accessible, direct and convenient, attractive, safe and comfortable routes for experienced and less experienced cyclists alike to provide access to key destinations such as the borough’s town centres and other key destinations for employment, education and leisure.  Cycling routes need to legible and intuitive, continuous and uninterrupted by barriers or loss of priority.It is inevitable that cyclists will continue to use our busy high streets and strategic roads that carry high volumes of vehicular traffic because often they are the most direct and quickest routes."

As well as being a very popular cycle route the A10 is also the worst road by far for cycling casualties within Hackney with 28% of all serious injuries sustained in a cycling collision in the last ten years occurring on the A10 and 50% of all cycling fatalties also occurring on the A10 within this period. Hackney council stated in their cycling plan that they "will continue to lobby TfL and work with them to resolve the cyclist accident problems along the A10 corridor in Hackney" but the way they plan to do this is take people off a useful, direct main road and push them onto back roads instead, something which is itself a major barrier to mainstream cycling. It also means that the proposed route is not actually a "superhighway" at all, at least according to the Mayor's vision for cycling:

"We will offer two clear kinds of branded route: high capacity Superhighways, mostly on main roads, for fast commuters, and slightly slower but still direct Quietways on pleasant, low-traffic side streets for those wanting a more relaxed journey." 

Therefore CS1 should instead be referred to as a quietway as, certainly on the section within Hackney, it runs almost entirely on side streets and not on the main roads. It also isn't a new cycle route either but instead  improvements to the existing parallel LCN+ route. TFL dress it up in the consultation by describing it as an "A10 bypass" forgetting to point out that this also bypasses the town centres, shops, homes and businesses that people need to access in the area. TFL would never propose to amend the bus services from Central London to Tottenham to run along side roads for the simple reason that unless you live on these back roads you generally won't want to visit them. Likewise Hackney Council are not intending to make the pavements along the A10 narrower to try and force pedestrians to use back roads in an attempt to stop them being exposed to pollution or whatever other excuse they're drumming up for moving CS1 off the A10.

Despite the fact that CS1 should run in its entirety along the A10 this, mistakenly, is not an option out for consultation by TFL. Therefore I shall review the consultation for the section of CS1 which is proposed to run through Hackney.

Section 1

It starts off with a sign which highlights this is the start of CS1, which is just as well as without that it would just look like any other car dominated street. It continues north  with car parking remaining on both sides of the road. The cycle lane into Finsbury Square, which is actually part of the ring of steel, needs widening. The route should take priority over Worship Street.

Section 2

The very poor contraflow cycle lane remains and continues to run outside of the parking spaces so cars need to cross the cycle lane to park with the threat of 'dooring' remaining. A lot of car parking remains although this is restricted between 7am-9am and 4pm-7pm which doesn't help people like me as I tend to cycle to work after 9am. Also people park on double yellow lines here all the time (forcing cars to drive into the contraflow cycle lane) as there is no enforcement so I can't see the new parking times being enforced either 

Leonard Circus could be a nice public space but it is dominated by motor vehicles. Some do slow down and move through quietly whilst others speed through the area, indeed one of the fences around the trees has had to be replaced already as a vehicle crashed into it at high speed. A lot of lorries and vans travel through here as it's a very busy rat run, especially for people trying to avoid the Old Street Roundabout - only expect this to get worse when works start on improving the roundabout. Many of the streets in the area here bounded by Great Eastern Street / City Road / London Wall / Bishopsgate need filtering.

Section 3

The road that links Tabernacle Street to Paul Street is to be turned into "shared space for motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians". Sounds lovely.

This should be closed to motor vehicles and returned to a motor free Square. There should be a clearly marked cycle path from both Tabernacle Street and Paul Street to the crossing at Apex Corner, ideally a different colour from the rest of the street surface and at a different level, even by an inch or so to avoid any cycle / pedestrian collisions. The planned 7-9am and 4-7pm restrictions on parking will be probably be as enforced as the double yellow lines in front of the current cycle track entrance are at the moment

Section 4

The artists impressions of the plans above for Apex Junction is what TFL use first in the various press releases about this scheme for a good reason - this is where it actually looks like a proper cycle route!  
I strongly welcome the closing of Pitfield street although worth noting that traffic that can't currently access Pitfield Street from Old Street westbound mostly uses Boot Street and therefore both Boot Street and Coronet Street should also be filtered to stop this from happening.
I like the segregated track eastbound on Old Street approaching Pitfield Street and it is great to finally see the mistakes that were made of providing no cycle tracks when the Shoreditch one way system was returned to two way in 2002 are now being corrected. I'm pleased the large amount of cyclists travelling from the Old Street Roundabout towards Hackney Road or the A10 now get some dedicated space but disapointed to see nothing for people cycling westbound towards the Old Street Roundabout. Brian Jones came up with a decent rough sketch so I'm sure TFLs engneers can do better. The Loading bay on the eastbound carriageway should be outside the cycle lane, ideally with a "loading bay bypass".

Section 5 

Pitfield Street is to be restored for two way traffic but I can't see how that is an improvement for people cycling at all. Simply turning a one way street into two way does not automatically make it an improvement for people cycling and I've never understood why the Hackney cycling campaign say that they want ALL roads in Hackney to be returned to two way. Keeping roads one way for motor vehicles can help to reduce the amount of motor traffic in the area whilst leaving more room for cycling infrastructure. Mark Treasure has covered this in a very good blog post and the image below is just one example that we could use to base similar treatment of Pitfield Street on.

The side roads along here get "raised tables" and below is an example of a side road off Queensbridge Road that has recently been upgraded by Hackney Council

Whilst this is a definite improvement it is still designed to appear that the pedestrian gives way to the car so I  would much prefer continuous pavements on these side roads instead.

A recent example of this in London, via The Ranty Highwayman
A Dutch example, via The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain

Section 6

Well this is just insane. The entire area below is to be ripped up, turned into two way for all vehicles yet to be rebuilt as a narrow road with no space whatsoever for people cycling; you're just expected to man up and take the lane 

How is this in any way a proposed cycle superhighway when with such a large amount of space available to reallocate and don't give an inch of it to people cycling? Expect motor vehicles to continue with close passes as the car is doing in the picture below

Whilst the removal of the roundabout will make cycling through here a lot safer keeping roads such as Bevenden Street and Fanshaw Street open is only going to either keep traffic levels high in this area or perhaps even increase them, due to making Pitfield Street two way.

Section 7

This section of Pitfield Street and Whitmore Road is currently an unpleasant road to cycle along and it is such a disappointment to see hardly any measures whatsoever to change this. Motor traffic, and white vans in particular, dominate this street and race through it at high speeds; this is a road where we should be concentrating our efforts on getting enforcement of the current 30mph speed limit before pushing for 20mph. 

Is it any wonder only 2% of children cycle to school in Hackney when you look at the picture above, this is cycle superhighway 1 right outside St John the Baptist primary school (where nearly 10% of children arrive at school by car). There are no plans for this stretch of road in the consultation beyond resurfacing. 

This whole area needs a lot of road closures, not just on Pitfield Street but also on the side roads so it can no longer be used as a through route between New North Road, Hoxton Street and the A10. This also includes the re-routing of bus route 394; you can't promote a road as a "cycle superhighway" run it along back streets and then continue to run bus services along these back routes and keep them open to the large amount of rat running traffic that already uses it. It is ludicrous.

Just look at the amount of space available below as it turns into Whitmore Road yet the consultation here calls for nothing more than "carriageway resurfacing, "cycling wayfinding" and "speed bumps rebuilt with smoother shape" with not an inch of car parking removed as far as the eye can see, and way beyond

This is about as far from 8 to 80 cycling as you can get, and keeps cycling in Hackney firmly in the 18 to 38 category. Absolutely no chance of children or the elderly cycling here in comfort and safety and not a place where it is, to quote from the Hackney Council Cycling plan, "second nature for everyone, no matter what their age, background or ethnicity to cycle"

As I took these pictures the bully in the van below revved his engine and beeped his horn as he overtook two people cycling obscured from view.

A horrendous place to ride a bike and the type of road which makes people give up cycling once they get to a certain age, or after a certain number of close passes. It is nothing short of a scandal that no dedicated cycling provision or removal of motor traffic is being offered here, on what is meant to be a "cycling superhighway"

As we cross the Regents Canal over the Georgian Whitmore Bridge the road narrows so you have to take the lane. An option of painted cycle lanes on either side of the road with cars giving way to each other through the centre would be a good addition here

Meanwhile the next bridge along on the canal, the Georgian Kingsland Road Bridge which carries the A10 over the canal also narrows meaning no room for bus lanes. Even though this fails the Hackney test it does just mean the bus lanes stop for a short section but then continue immediately after, rather than using that as an excuse to not build any bus lanes on the A10 whatsoever

As Whitmore Road turns into De Beauvoir Road it continues to be dominated by car parking along both sides of the carriageway and is an unpleasant place to cycle. It also doesn't feel like the safest place to be after dark so best follow the advice of the Hackney cycling campaign here as "busy main roads are the safest bet for personal security after dark". The A10 runs parallel to the cycle superhighway here so just a short diversion is needed after 4pm in the winter, it is just a shame that the A10 is narrow here so just does not have the space for cycle tracks

Section 8

As we turn into Northchurch Terrace we're round the corner from my old flat. I've written about De Beauvoir town and how much I like it before so I won't repeat myself again. Interesting to note there is some 'filtered permeability' here on Northchurch Terrace (installed 40 years ago), the first road closure we've encountered on the superhighway since at Old Street, over a mile away. Culford Road should take priority over Englefield Road as this could cause a lengthy delay for people cycling the route at peak times; Englefield Road is not a quiet road by any stretch of the imagination. The closure of Ardleigh Road outside my old local is a positive proposal however as it is a busy road for rat runners and with no closures planned for Culford Road I worry that this will just push even more motor traffic onto the cycle superhighway. Another four way closure should happen at the crossroads just north of the Scolts Head but the only improvement at where I took the photo below is to remove the traffic island I'm stood on and extend car parking on both sides of the road

Section 9

Balls Pond Road is a busy road used by approximately 100 buses an hour at peak times (including bus route 38 which is London's busiest bus route by frequency with 35 buses heading this way from 7am to 8am on weekdays), as well as many other motor vehicles and is clearly no place for someone to share the road whilst on a bike. It is three lanes wide with one of these lanes an eastbound bus lane, TFL state that 90% of buses do not use it; not a single vehicle bar bicycles used it for the ten minutes I was stood here.  

It therefore makes sense for this space to be reallocated to bikes instead. Option A offers no protection whatsover and therefore Option B should be installed but with a feeder lane for people already cycling eastbound to access the cycle track at the crossing instead of the enlarged pavement.

Section 10

Boleyn road is far too busy to be used as a cycle route unless you install cycle tracks on it or close it to through motor traffic. I used to use this road a lot when I lived in Dalston to travel towards Newington Green and it is a busy road, there is easily space here to add provision for people cycling

Section 11

Wordsworth road is a busy rat run and whilst the closure of the southern end of the road may help reduce this, traffic can still use it as a through route from the A10. Therefore Bennett Road should also be closed to ensure this can no longer be used as a through route. The roundabout should also be removed

Nevill road is far too busy to be classed as a cycle route and needs many road closures due to the high volume of motor traffic using this as a through route

Section 12

Defoe Road and Nevill Road are lined with cars on both sides of the carriageway so there is only just enough room for a car and cycle to pass with little room for error.

This might be adequate if both streets had several closures to ensure they could only ever be used by residents of the properties here but as these streets are currently used as through routes for traffic I fear the road will only be used by the type of people who already cycle in Hackney. We need to make roads like this feel safe for people of all ages if we want to see an increase in cycling

Stoke Newington Church Street is a very busy street carrying a lot of fast motor traffic, including about 70 buses an hour at peak times with several cycle KSI collisions occurring here in recent years. The road is wide enough for cycle tracks and these are needed, just as they are on Balls Pond Road

Without them people will either continue to cycle along the pavement here or not cycle at all

Section 13 onwards

More of the same really, car lined residential streets mixed with main roads with no proposals for cycle infrastructure

None of these roads should be in the consultation as he A10 is more than wide enough north of Stoke Newington station for cycle tracks

The A10 before it became one way in the 1970s via @HistoryOfStokey
So that's the "not very super highway that has very little cycling provision 1". In a way it is almost a shame that TFL didn't stick some blue paint down on the A10 a few years ago as we now might be getting money spent on upgrading cycling facilities on the A10, just as they are currently doing along the A11 in Tower Hamlets.

CS1 might be a decent cycle route for you if you live on or just off the route, you've generally confident cycling among motor traffic and want a route from somewhere like Stoke Newington Church Street to De Beauvoir Town (as long as it is before nightfall). However it does nothing whatsoever for people who live and work to the east of the A10, such as in Haggerston or Clapton. Likewise if you're a driver then you shouldn't be inconvenienced too much as you can still access the vast majority of it and I'm sure the clever cabbie will still be recommending people to use the majority of route, as he or she already does with other sections of LCN+.

There should really be no need to have this consultation; improvements such as the closures of Pitfield Street and Wordsworth Street should be standard highway improvements that local councils carry out continually. Large investments and lengthy consultations should consist of schemes such as the East-West Superhighway; High Quality cycle tracks on main roads. Any other city in the world planning CS1 would reallocate space on the A10 for it; either do it properly or not at all.

Hackney Council needs to stop ignoring the main roads and move away from using the hierarchy of provision on all of the boroughs roads. Reducing the impact of motor traffic on the back roads is always welcome and Hackney Council can be applauded for some of their schemes to close roads to through motor traffic, although there is nowhere near enough of it in this consultation for my liking. However lorries, buses, vans and cars all need to use the main roads in the borough to access shops, business and homes just as people on bikes do. Hackney  Council and TFL need to allocate proper protected space for people cycling here (which does not mean 4.5m wide roads, such as in Dalston Kingsland). The reason CS1 is no longer planned to run down the A10 is due to a political decision, not one based on technical reasons. In the last ten years 65% of all serious injuries and 80% of deaths in cycle collisions within Hackney happened on the main roads and these are the roads that need to be improved to make them safe for cycling for all. The Council themselves even committed to this in the 2014-2024 cycling plan:

The Council recognises that cyclists use a combination of routes depending upon their levels of confidence and the fact that is often difficult to avoid busier principal roads to reach your destination. Busier principal roads with heavier traffic flows also tend to be faster and more direct than quieter routes and are often used by more confident commuter cyclists.   The previous chapter established that the majority of cyclist accidents in the borough occur on the busier principal roads. Therefore in addition to completing our network of Quietway routes on quieter roads that are ideal for less confident cyclists we will also look to develop and improve conditions for cyclists on our principal routes.

The A10 is a busy route for all types of motor traffic but that is because it is a place where people live, work and want to visit and is the most direct route both connecting and leading directly through the centre of Tottenham, Stamford Hill, Stoke Newington, Dalston, Haggerston, Hoxton, Shoreditch and the City. This is the same reason that the A10 is a popular cycle routeThe one thing we don't need is even more buses ploughing down the A10, we need a reduction in bus journeys and active travel promoted as a safe and serious alternative. Improvements to back roads and filtered permeability are great improvements for the local community as a whole and are vital if we want people to cycle from their homes to their school or place of work. Improvements such as this are needed throughout London but only if it is in addition to clear, safe and direct cycle routes on the main roads so people can ride wherever they like, just as they do in the Netherlands. If Hackney is to continue to deliver cycling improvements yet none of these include clear protected space on the main roads then I fear the 93% will stick to using alternative methods of transport and roads such as the A10 will continue to be the biggest graveyards for people on bikes in Hackney. 

The CS1 consultation is open until Sunday 29th March. Please respond here.