Southwark Cyclists have just submitted our thoughts on the new Cycle Superhighway 5 designs to TfL, as follows:
Southwark Cyclists, RoadPeace and Southwark Living Streets would like to make the following submission about the design of the proposed Cycle Superhighway 5 which will run east-west through Southwark through four important town and local centres along the line of the A202.
We were closely involved in the consultation for CS5 and attended both the CRIMs that took place and other meetings which occurred when designs for CS5 were being prepared. We also responded extensively in writing.
We argued as did many other people who took part in the CRIMs that existing designs of Cycle Superhighways were particularly lacking in terms of encouraging new cyclists to make journeys owing to:
· high vehicle speeds along their routes.
· the lack of segregation of cyclists and motor vehicles.
· the lack of attention to making improvements at dangerous junctions.
Our arguments in relation to 20mph speed limits were accepted throughout the design process. We had argued that reducing vehicle speeds most especially in the four centres that the Cycle Superhighway passes through in Southwark namely Queens Road Peckham, Peckham town centre, Camberwell town centre and the local centre of West Camberwell on Camberwell New Road was particularly important owing to the high number of casualties that currently occur in those locations. The designs for CS5 retained the idea of 20mph speed limits right up until the final sign-off for the project at which time they were removed.
Since the project was signed off, we have seen clearly the shortcomings of the Cycle Superhighways in terms of their levels of safety. Most significant is the recent publications of the findings of an authoritative Department for Transport study TRL Report PPR 580 entitled Infrastructure and Cyclist Safety. At the heart of this report is the statement with which the main findings begin:
“Of all interventions to increase cycle safety, the greatest benefits come from reducing motor vehicle speeds. Interventions that achieve this are also likely to result in casualty reductions for all classes of road user. This may be achieved by a variety of methods, including physical traffic calming; urban design that changes the appearance and pedestrian use of a street; and, possibly, the wider use of 20 mph speed limits.”
Given the extremely high levels of casualties along the A202 and the express aims of the Cycle Superhighways of increasing safety for current cyclists and encouraging less confident cyclists onto the roads, we would strongly recommend that the CS5 route is made 20mph as it passes through Southwark.
We would also strongly recommend that where cyclists on CS5 will not be protected by being in a bus lane that wherever possible physically a segregated cycle route is created.
We would finally draw attention to need to make junctions far safer. We note that the Camberwell Green junction is the second most dangerous location in the whole of Southwark and at this location there is a preponderance of pedestrian and cycle casualties. We feel far more needs to be done throughout the length of CS5 to improve junction safety and once again we would urge that the recommendations of TRL Report PPR 580 are taken into account. The second main finding states:
“Most cyclist injuries in multi-vehicle collisions take place at junctions. Reducing the speed of traffic through junctions appears to be an effective approach to reducing cycle casualties, and physical calming methods are a reliable means of achieving such a reduction.”
We strongly recommend the design of CS5 is reviewed along these lines and that these principles are taken into account in reviewing the design of CS5 and other proposed Cycle Superhighways.