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Safety for Cyclists: Improvements to Cycleway 4 in London

3 min

c. Nick Corcoran, Flickr

Transport for London (TfL) has set out plans to make a series of trial changes to Tooley Street and Duke Street Hill in central London. This will extend the new Cycleway 4 route to enable safer essential journeys between London Bridge, Rotherhithe and beyond.

Cycleway 4 is the first major protected cycle route in southeast London. It is currently running as two sections between Tower Bridge Road and Rotherhithe, and Greenwich and Angerstein Roundabout.

Playing a vital part of TfL’s emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic these changes will help make London safer for all. TfL is asking people for their initial feedback on the plans ahead of construction work starting in early March.

TfL will use this engagement to help it decide whether it is necessary to make any changes to the trial scheme once it is in place and whether it should stay in place permanently.

Construction work on Cycleway 4 started in July 2019 and the first section of the route was completed in September 2020. The route is already connecting neighbourhoods in southeast London to central London via a fully protected cycle route between Tower Bridge Road and Rotherhithe.

Through these trial schemes, TfL hopes to encourage people to walk and cycle to help maintain space on public transport for those who need it.

Keeping cyclists safe

Trail changes planned for Tooley Street and Duke Street Hill as part of this emergency response include:

  • Sections of light cycle segregation with wands in both directions, along Tooley Street and Duke Street Hill, as well as extended advanced stop lines for people cycling.
  • The eastbound arm of Tooley Street will be closed near the London Bridge Hospital and will become a new pedestrian space. It will mean the large numbers of people walking who exit from London Bridge station and cross Duke Street Hill will have more room and fewer roads to cross when travelling east.
  • Some changes for general traffic including a new left-turn ban into Queen Elizabeth Street (except for local buses, taxis and cycles) which will reduce the risk of road danger and protect people cycling from the potential of being injured by vehicles turning left.

Making sure the changes work for people living in, working in and travelling through the area is vital.

Several people have been seriously injured cycling along the busy route in recent years. The new infrastructure, which separates people on bikes from motor traffic, will give people confidence that they can cycle safely without having to mix with vehicles.

Will Norman, London’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner, said concerning the trial: ”Recent TfL data shows that many Londoners have turned to cycling during the pandemic as a way to exercise and make essential journeys, so it is vital that they are able to do so safely.”

These proposed changes will not only aid social distancing on public transport during the pandemic, but they will also encourage active travel in London.

The need for safe walking and cycling infrastructure is more important than ever,

“The need for safe walking and cycling infrastructure is more important than ever,” explained Helen Cansick, TfL’s Head of Healthy Streets Delivery. Hopefully, these changes will make cyclists, walkers and public transport users feel safer as they navigate the city.