Cycle routes should be safe for all to use. The plans for this one are not good enough.
What is it?
Southwark council are consulting on a new cycle route on Harper Road (as part of the Southwark Spine route)
The deadline for the consultation is Sunday 21 May 2023
30 second summary
Southwark’s proposed new scheme is inadequate as it doesn’t address the excessively high volumes of traffic in the area. They must install modal filters instead.
We urge everyone to respond to the consultation to oppose the proposals and call for measures that cut traffic instead.
You can find the consultation here.
Our recommended response and a more detailed assessment is below.
Proposed consultation response
- Question 2: Answer No. Add “the council should install modal filters to reduce traffic on Harper Road and the surrounding area.”
- Question 3: Answer: No. Add “the council should install modal filters to reduce traffic on Harper Road and the surrounding area.”
- Question 4: Answer No. Add “the council should install modal filters to reduce traffic on Harper Road and the surrounding area.”
- Question 5: Add “modal filters on Harper Road, Falmouth Road and Meadow Row are needed to create adequate walking and cycling conditions in this area”
The Council is consulting on a proposed cycle scheme for Harper Road. It is intended to form part of the “Southwark Spine” route.
The Southwark Spine is supposed to be the flagship cycle route which Southwark Council said would be “safe, attractive, comfortable and easy to navigate for all ages and abilities. It will be physically segregated in areas of heavy traffic or large vehicles, with different signals to prioritise cyclists at junctions. On streets with moderate traffic, and fewer large vehicles, the road layout, including parking, will be redesigned to provide for cycling and walking. On residential streets, traffic will be heavily calmed or designed out.”
This is an important area, being a key alignment for many people who currently do, or would want to cycle in the future.
Overall review of the proposals
This is a very poor scheme and should be opposed in its current form.
Harper Road has over 4000 motor vehicles per day, and over 300 at peak times. This is too high for a cycle route that is supposed to be “safe, attractive, comfortable and easy to navigate for all ages and abilities”.
Despite allegedly being a cycling route, the designs offer no meaningful improvement for cycling. It would allow Harper Road to be a cut through for rat running traffic.
What we want to see instead
The council should “design out the traffic” as they promised to. They can do this very simply and cheaply by two modal filters on Harper Road and Falmouth Road. They should then add a third filter on Meadow Row to prevent that becoming an alternative cut through.
This is the perfect opportunity for creating a new Low Traffic Neighbourhood, bounded by New Kent Road, Great Dover Street and Newington Causeway/Borough High St.
We would also like to see a filter on Bartholomew St to complete this LTN and form another walking/cycling route just to the east. This would mean just four new filters (red in map below) are needed to complement the four existing ones (orange in map below).