Plans for the sections of the “Jubilee” Line Quietway from Nicholson St to Tanner St have been out to consultation, with this closing on Nov 9th 2015 (see https://consultations.southwark.gov.uk/)
There are some excellent features – notably 2 new filters to stop though motor traffic while allowing pedestrian and cycle movements. These are on Newcomen St at Borough High St and Union St at Southwark Bridge Rd. If you have not already done so, then please go to the consultation web pages and indicate “Yes” for these (Section B; Section C). There are a few problems such as the lack of safe right turn at the Union St/Gt Suffolk St junction and the dangerous “chicane” on Tanner St. But overall, Southwark Cyclists are supporting the plans and also nearly all the specific “asks” on the consultation.
We have also made some general points that are relevant to some other routes as well. First, we have asked that cycling routes be integrated more fully into area plans to create better street environments. For example, there needs to be an overall plan for the “cell” bounded by Tower Bridge Rd, Long Lane, Borough High St and the railway. This is an area of residences, small businesses and a major hospital. There should be no through traffic. The roads should serve local needs and be quiet and safe. The Jubilee Quietway runs through this area and some of the changes being implemented (filtering Newcomen, one-way on Tanner and Leathermarket) will contribute to a quieter public realm. However more needs to be done, and to achieve the best results, the whole area requires a plan. For example, discussions are going on now about St Thomas St and how this should be used after the London Bridge Station work is complete in 2019. (see earlier post about some of the many ideas related to this).
Secondly, we somehow have to persuade people that they do not need so much “on street” parking. In the area covered by this consultation most estates and commercial premises have “on site”, i.e. off -street, parking. There is excellent public transport. Why are so many vehicles on the streets? Are they necessary? Are they contributing to the local economy in a significant way? We suspect they are not. But it is very difficult to persuade the Council to grasp this one.
Finally, we need to keep stressing that to really quieten the traffic and improve the street environment for pedestrians and cyclists we need filtered 2-way streets. If there are one-way streets, then contraflows are required. BUT, a one-way street with a contraflow is NOT a solution that will encourage more cycling and walking. As has been demonstrated in Hackney, in Cambridge, filtering will deliver this result.
Southwark Council’s response to the consultation should appear in December and hopefully implementation will start early in 2016.
The full Southwark Cyclists responses are consolidated in document here: JUB_QW_final_A_D.