Thursday, 10 March 2011

Blackfriars - TfL might actually be listening. Update from Val Shawcross just received. Some positive news.

A response from Val Shawcross last night.

It's an interesting response. I do worry that Val may have slightly misunderstood what a lot of people are saying, though, namely that no-one wants to take away space from pedestrians.

From the many copies of emails I've seen to TfL, people actually want to encourage TfL to keep one of the existing pedestrian crossings that it plans to remove (ie it seems to think of the junction primarily in terms of pedestrians exiting and entering the station, not in terms of the many people heading in other directions) and secondly that the addition of an extra vehicle lane in each direction will make it perilously difficult to manoeuvre across this junction on a bicycle. Those are the key points.

The fact that the few existing bicycle lanes are either removed or remain at a paltry 150cm is a further issue given the sheer volume and relative share of bicycles on this junction. I very much hope TfL can be made to realise that motor traffic should be not be getting more space here but that the additional space it is proposing to add to the current scheme should be allocated to pedestrians and people using bicycles rather than private motor cars.

After all, bicycles and pedestrians are also 'traffic' but we need space to manoeuvre that is not threatened by three lanes of fast-moving, dangerous motor traffic.

"Dear Danny,

Blackfriars Bridge scheme

I am writing on behalf of Val Shawcross AM regarding your concerns about the Blackfriars Bridge scheme. Val and John Biggs AM met with Andrew Miles, Nigel Hardy and Toyin Odinusa who are three key officers from TfL, yesterday (9 March 2011).

TfL would like you to know that the current layout is an interim scheme and they are working towards a new scheme, which is reasonably urgent as it needs to be open in time for the end of this year. This scheme is being conducted by Network Rail and Colin Buchanan (CB) in communication with TfL. In yesterday’s meeting TfL promised Val and John that there would be a TfL web page which will contain all the information about the Blackfriars Bridge scheme in the next few days. Also, TfL have stated further that they will open up a public consultation for the month following the web page being publicly activated. Val will be making a response on the consultation on your behalf, but also encourages you to make comments directly to TfL’s web page. We will also email you the TfL’s web page about the consultation, when it is activated.

Val would like you to know, that she and John went over the complaints you sent and looked in detail at the issues you raised. Val understands TfL’s need for more pedestrian crossings, but would like you to know that she and John challenged TfL about the loss of cycling facilities and have asked them to consider reducing the speed limit of the cars around Blackfriars Bridge. They have also asked TfL to see if they could look into the potential reworking of the teardrop shape island. TfL have confirmed that they will look into this and that they are investigating the costs involved.

Jenny Jones AM has been actively looking into this issue as well and has informed Val she is going to be doing a site visit with TfL and Val is hoping to go.

I hope you find this update helpful and we will continue to keep you updated with further information Val receives from TfL on this.

Please do not hesitate to contact me using my details below if you require further information.

(Please note I will be away on annual leave from 21-25 March, so it may take me longer than normal to respond).

Kind Regards "

5 comments:

  1. I'm not convinced they really "get it" yet. The issue with pedestrian crossings is not their number - there is a natural community of interest between cyclists and pedestrians so crossings shouldn't be an issue for cyclists - but their location. They want to take pedestrians across a sterile traffic island to the station instead of permitting them to cross New Bridge St overground and access it from the eastern side, a route which would also serve pedestrians who, don't want the station but just want to pop over to El Vinos or the Black Friar for a drink!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have received a reply from TfL, after emailing my concern about the changes. This makes it clear they REALLY DON'T GET IT! A

    Am having to post this in 2 halves at it is too big for one post.

    Our Ref: 1008440615/AJ
    Date: 16.03.2011

    Thank you for your e-mail, dated 2 March 2011, regarding the planned changes to the cycle lanes at Blackfriars Bridge. As I am certain you will appreciate, we have been receiving a lot of correspondence on this subject recently so please accept our sincerest apologies for the delay in responding to your query. In order to respond to your concerns satisfactorily please permit me to give an overview of the situation before responding to specific points of contention.

    The drawing of the proposed changes which was circulated on the internet amongst cyclists’ groups was recently issued for stakeholder consultation by Transport for London (TfL). This plan proposed a cycle right turn facility from Victoria Embankment onto Blackfriars Bridge. This element is yet to be approved and subject to change following consultation. In order to put this scheme in context it has been superimposed onto the proposed Network Rail station works in this drawing.

    The Network Rail proposal has been approved internally by TfL and City of London, as required under Network Rail’s Traffic and Works Obligation. The drawing for this wider scheme was used for initial engagement with key stakeholders in February 2010. At this initial engagement the City of London consulted the local cycle group Cyclists in the City.

    A drawing has now been provided to outline the key features of both schemes and how they differ from the original highway layout prior to any station works.
    TfL is acutely aware of the dangers to cyclists which this location has posed in the past. A safety audit has been conducted on both the Network Rail proposal and TfL’s cycle right turn element. Within these audits the safety of the proposals were assessed from the perspective of all road users including cyclists. These audits were carried out in line with TfL’s Road Safety Audit procedure.

    In 2004 TfL redesigned the road layout on the bridge to better accommodate cyclists. It is important to note that whilst proposals are in place to alter the junction due to the upgraded Network Rail station, the road layout on the bridge will not be changed.

    When considering the proposed changes at the location various modelling programmes were used to assess the effects on all road users. Design development was carried out in the TRANSYT traffic modelling programme to establish the traffic impact of various options. This was supported by LEGION modelling which is a modelling software specifically designed to model the impact on pedestrian movements through and around a proposed junction. This software was used to define the location of the proposed crossings. VISSIM (a more detailed traffic modelling) was carried out in support of the TRANSYT modelling, which included the modelling of cyclists to establish the overall impact of the scheme.

    In response to fears that TfL are prioritising drivers’ concerns over those of cyclists, the proposals are giving no more carriageway space to motor traffic, indeed on New Bridge Street the width available for general traffic reduces from 10.6m to between 9.6 and 9.2m wide. Where additional white lining is being provided on New Bridge Street southbound to define an additional lane, this is within the original carriageway width. In the original scheme the traffic behaved in a three lane flow (although this was not officially marked) and by marking in this way lane discipline will be improved, reducing the risk of collisions caused by weaving and side swipes. The organisation of traffic within the junction in this manner will also prevent very significant queuing.

    SEE NEXT COMMENT

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have received the following reply from TfL

    1 part of 3

    Our Ref: 1008440615/AJ
    Date: 16.03.2011

    Thank you for your e-mail, dated 2 March 2011, regarding the planned changes to the cycle lanes at Blackfriars Bridge. As I am certain you will appreciate, we have been receiving a lot of correspondence on this subject recently so please accept our sincerest apologies for the delay in responding to your query. In order to respond to your concerns satisfactorily please permit me to give an overview of the situation before responding to specific points of contention.

    The drawing of the proposed changes which was circulated on the internet amongst cyclists’ groups was recently issued for stakeholder consultation by Transport for London (TfL). This plan proposed a cycle right turn facility from Victoria Embankment onto Blackfriars Bridge. This element is yet to be approved and subject to change following consultation. In order to put this scheme in context it has been superimposed onto the proposed Network Rail station works in this drawing.

    The Network Rail proposal has been approved internally by TfL and City of London, as required under Network Rail’s Traffic and Works Obligation. The drawing for this wider scheme was used for initial engagement with key stakeholders in February 2010. At this initial engagement the City of London consulted the local cycle group Cyclists in the City.

    A drawing has now been provided to outline the key features of both schemes and how they differ from the original highway layout prior to any station works.
    TfL is acutely aware of the dangers to cyclists which this location has posed in the past. A safety audit has been conducted on both the Network Rail proposal and TfL’s cycle right turn element. Within these audits the safety of the proposals were assessed from the perspective of all road users including cyclists. These audits were carried out in line with TfL’s Road Safety Audit procedure.

    In 2004 TfL redesigned the road layout on the bridge to better accommodate cyclists. It is important to note that whilst proposals are in place to alter the junction due to the upgraded Network Rail station, the road layout on the bridge will not be changed.

    When considering the proposed changes at the location various modelling programmes were used to assess the effects on all road users. Design development was carried out in the TRANSYT traffic modelling programme to establish the traffic impact of various options. This was supported by LEGION modelling which is a modelling software specifically designed to model the impact on pedestrian movements through and around a proposed junction. This software was used to define the location of the proposed crossings. VISSIM (a more detailed traffic modelling) was carried out in support of the TRANSYT modelling, which included the modelling of cyclists to establish the overall impact of the scheme.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have received the following email from TfL which shows they REALLY DON'T GET IT

    1st part of 3

    Our Ref: 1008440615/AJ
    Date: 16.03.2011

    Thank you for your e-mail, dated 2 March 2011, regarding the planned changes to the cycle lanes at Blackfriars Bridge. As I am certain you will appreciate, we have been receiving a lot of correspondence on this subject recently so please accept our sincerest apologies for the delay in responding to your query. In order to respond to your concerns satisfactorily please permit me to give an overview of the situation before responding to specific points of contention.

    The drawing of the proposed changes which was circulated on the internet amongst cyclists’ groups was recently issued for stakeholder consultation by Transport for London (TfL). This plan proposed a cycle right turn facility from Victoria Embankment onto Blackfriars Bridge. This element is yet to be approved and subject to change following consultation. In order to put this scheme in context it has been superimposed onto the proposed Network Rail station works in this drawing.

    The Network Rail proposal has been approved internally by TfL and City of London, as required under Network Rail’s Traffic and Works Obligation. The drawing for this wider scheme was used for initial engagement with key stakeholders in February 2010. At this initial engagement the City of London consulted the local cycle group Cyclists in the City.

    A drawing has now been provided to outline the key features of both schemes and how they differ from the original highway layout prior to any station works.
    TfL is acutely aware of the dangers to cyclists which this location has posed in the past. A safety audit has been conducted on both the Network Rail proposal and TfL’s cycle right turn element. Within these audits the safety of the proposals were assessed from the perspective of all road users including cyclists. These audits were carried out in line with TfL’s Road Safety Audit procedure.

    In 2004 TfL redesigned the road layout on the bridge to better accommodate cyclists. It is important to note that whilst proposals are in place to alter the junction due to the upgraded Network Rail station, the road layout on the bridge will not be changed.

    When considering the proposed changes at the location various modelling programmes were used to assess the effects on all road users. Design development was carried out in the TRANSYT traffic modelling programme to establish the traffic impact of various options. This was supported by LEGION modelling which is a modelling software specifically designed to model the impact on pedestrian movements through and around a proposed junction. This software was used to define the location of the proposed crossings. VISSIM (a more detailed traffic modelling) was carried out in support of the TRANSYT modelling, which included the modelling of cyclists to establish the overall impact of the scheme.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am trying to post a reply I have received from TfL but having real problems. The letter is too long for a single post and trying to post using my google account ID is just not working (hope this does!) Is there any way round this? Thanks

    ReplyDelete