Take home message: the new layout with only west-bound motor traffic, but 2-way cycling will work. But there are certain to be teething problems. In particular there is a high chance that pedestrians will obstruct the contraflow cycle lane. Please use this lane with care and please, please do not collide with any pedestrians!
Francis Bernstein and myself met with TfL and contractors this afternoon (Monday 2nd May). The changes to the west half of Tooley St to enable the next stage of the London Bridge Station redevelopment are nearly complete.
The contraflow cycle lane is 1.4m wide, fractionally better than planned. It is separated from road traffic by wands (see photos), and from the pavement by a metal barrier. However at side roads the wands and the barrier stop. Also there is no metal barrier by the pavement on Duke St Hill. So it is almost certain that pedestrians will stray on to the cycle path at busy times. In particular, at the wide new crossing just east of the station entrance there is likely to be a big build up of pedestrians next to the cycle lane during the evening rush hour.
Going west on the carriageway it will be very tight for the east-most 100m (Bermondsey St to Hays Lane) where the width is only 3m. So overtaking will be impossible. If traffic gets queued back that far it may be hard for cyclists to get past. So be patient and exercise caution. Beyond Hays Lane the carriageway widens and up Duke St Hill there is a new mandatory 1.7m cycle lane. Another useful change is on London Bridge. Going south (so on the east side) the left lane will become a bus/taxi/cycle lane. This is possible because no general traffic can now turn left off the bridge.
At present there are very few warning signs to alert pedestrians and motor traffic to the presence of cyclists in the contraflow. We have asked TfL to get more signs erected at key points and hope this will happen.
As noted in Saturday’s post (link), TfL have consulted us regularly about the arrangements and have made efforts to accommodate cyclists. And TfL have promised to deal with problems quickly. So if you notice something that could be improved (e.g. where an extra sign might help, or where a sign is misleading) please e-mail email@example.com or contact me directly by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Photos taken 5.30pm Monday 2nd May