TfL are just getting started on CSH#8 which takes you from Wandsworth to Lambeth Bridge in one continuous, Barclays-blue experience. I've taken a look at the state of the planned route as it is now. The whole thing would make a rather long post so I'm going to break it up into bite-sized chunks so you don't get indigestion. Let's start at the beginning, which I find is usually a good place to start:
Above: The junction of Ram St and Armoury Way. You've now got to get in the middle of the 4-lane Armoury Way to get in position for Old York Road. How easy this is depends on how you cath the lights, but it can be a pretty scary experience:
Above: We go straight on at these lights into Old York Road, following the red car.
Above: Old York Road has parking spaces which narrow the road considerably. You'll never get 2 decent cycle lanes plus a traffic lane along here without getting rid of the spaces. In the evening the westbound traffic can get quite backed-up. It would be advisable to reduce motor traffic along this road.
...so instead we end up at the junction of York Road, Swandon Way and Smuggler's Way (above). This is a huge, massively complex junction with more traffic lanes than you can shake a stick at. You can wait ages at these lights because there are multiple right-turn phases. As usual in the morning rush the traffic is stationary on Swandon Way.
That's enough for now. You might be thinking that TfL would have a hard time picking busier, more dangerous or less cycle-friendly roads. You'd be right. There's a quiet alternative that avoids most of this nonsense, that they've elected against for reasons best known to themselves. It is likely that they've chosen to use only TfL-maintained roads so they don't have to negotiate with the boroughs, but that's hardly a recipe for the best choice of cycle route given that all TfL roads are busy major routes. It's a bit like saying because you don't own a screwdriver you're going to use a lump hammer. In any case, they've had plenty of time to get agreements in place with the boroughs to use minor roads.
However, don't fret too much because the next section I'll cover in Part 2 is less like a horror movie.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
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