Transport for London has produced a report in response to the A24 consultation. It has decided to modify the scheme by not introducing the shared use pavements, only going ahead with the improvements to on-road cycle lanes.
The report briefly summarises the consultation responses, including my own brief contribution. Most were critical of the pavement conversion or ‘shared space’ element, while the responses to the on-road element were ‘mixed’ (for example, ‘36% objected to [mandatory cycle lanes] without completely segregated cycle lanes.’) It was difficult while responding to the consultation to know which box to tick. Although changing advisory to mandatory cycle lanes seems in itself a ‘good thing’, the change still leaves cyclists with poor infrastructure: lanes that are still often narrow, run right next to motor traffic on a busy through route, and are broken up with parking bays.
Given the low quality of the proposed shared pavement, it’s hard to be sorry that this is being lost. But it’s a shame that some variant of the obvious solution where there’s so much road space is not being pursued first time around.
TfL does promise to ‘also review considerations for a second phase of improvements at this location’ – I hope this will include the higher quality inclusive solutions put forward by consultees. It’s only really by implementing infrastructure of Dutch/Danish quality that we will be able to assess its impacts in London. Personally, I think it could have a major and ongoing impact, given our findings about social influence and social networking in the Cycling Cultures project. This suggests to me that are lots of people who would like to persuade their friends, partners, children, parents, and colleagues to cycle, and who would love to be able to tell them ‘It’s better than Amsterdam now’. But we’ll only know when we try…