Monday, 31 October 2011

New junction at Stamford Street - Pedestrian & cycle crossings only if it doesn't impact motor traffic

Blackfriars / Stamford St junction. New crossings
subject to motor vehicle requirements
Here's the scene at the south side of Blackfriars Bridge. Six lanes of motor traffic in total.

If you are one of the thousands of people who cycle over this bridge to Waterloo, you have to get into the fourth lane to turn right. Not pleasant.

There's a cycle track in the middle of the road. No one uses it because it doesn't really go anywhere you'd want to go.

Plenty of people do cycle across the shared crossing to turn into Upper Ground and head west along the river, though. That means crossing the road twice, waiting in a caged traffic island, along with dozens of pedestrians, also rammed on to the narrow island. It's narrow, inconvenient and thoroughly awkward for everyone who uses it.  You often see people cycle over the bridge, get off their bikes in the middle of the road and walk over the other side just to avoid the ridiculous pedestrian crossing.

Try walking from the bridge further south? You have to cross four lanes of motor traffic on Stamford Street without a pedestrian crossing and traffic is ALWAYS on green from one direction going across that junction.

There's a massive amount of space here. But cyclists and pedestrians are crammed into tiny, inconvenient crossings (where they exist at all) so that as many motor vehicles as possible can get through the junction without being inconvenienced.

Everything about this junction screams priority for the motorist. Even though the motorist is in the minority here and is outnumbered by pedestrians and cyclists.

One Blackfriars - TfL won't build pedestrian crossings until private
developer pays. How wrong is that?
So, here's some news that is the usual Transport for London rubbish. TfL is going to sort out the junction. Hooray.

But only when someone builds One Blackfriars -the shiny tower block pictured left. Because TfL can't spend money on pedestrians and cyclists, can it? No, it has to wait for private developers to give it some cash instead. The problem is that the development is going through various legal dingdongs at the moment. So, no pedestrian or cycle crossings for some time to come.

Here's what TfL has to say about the junction and what it's proposing, part of a letter to Labour Assembly Member John Biggs.

"Unfortunately TfL is not able to provide a formal pedestrian crossing at the Stamford Street/Blackfriars Road junction without significant re-working of the junction layout.  Whilst it is understood that there is support for improvements at the Stamford St junction the costs are significant.  The number and severity of collisions at this junctions are below the Borough average and TfL’s limited funding is directed to the highest priority locations.  Once the developer S106 money becomes available  (subject to a traffic impact assessment) a new pedestrian facility at the Stamford Street junction arm with Blackfriars Road, the provision of a straight across crossing to replace the staggered facility and also the removal of the barriered cycle track in the middle of the carriageway south of Blackfriars Bridge will take place.  "

Notice the words: "subject to a traffic impact assessment".


So, here you have it. Yet again. Under Boris Johnson at the moment, Transport for London's policy means that pedestrians and cyclists come second to motor vehicles, only get safe pedestrian crossings when a private developer pays and this happens even when they are in the majority. Hardly encouraging Londoners to walk and cycle and to reduce road congestion is it?

5 comments:

  1. It's not just the 'traffic impact assessment' that keeps these junctions lethal

    It's also what they call a 'data-led' approach to safety. This is a policy of ignoring warnings from professionals, near-misses, accidents on similar stretches of road, or clearly dangerous infrastructure, and waiting for cyclists to be injured or killed before considering improving safety. It's both stupid, and immoral.

    Imagine, on the tube, if TFL had a policy of ignoring warnings of defective signalling until a train crashes, and only then repairing it. Insane. Yet this is the stated policy of their road engineers - and it regularly leads to cyclists deaths and injuries - most recently at Bow, King's Cross, Camden Rd, and Clapham South.

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  2. "Unfortunately TfL is not able to provide a formal pedestrian crossing at the Stamford Street/Blackfriars Road junction without significant re-working of the junction layout. Whilst it is understood that there is support for improvements at the Stamford St junction the costs are significant."

    So basically what they're saying is that as they ignored everyone but motor cars and didn't do their job properly the first time it is now more expensive to correct the botched job? Well, duh!

    Now, why is that an acceptable excuse? If a subcontractor makes a botched job they have to correct it at their own expense.

    "The number and severity of collisions at this junctions are below the Borough average and TfL’s limited funding is directed to the highest priority locations."

    I believe it's already established that TfL does absolute nothing before someone gets killed or several get seriously injured, but here I'm curious what are the highest priority locations at the moment?

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  3. I thought that a few years ago there used to be a short feeder cycle lane and only 3 lanes of traffic southbound when you hit the traffic lights from Blackfriars Bridge at the junction with Stamford Street. Or maybe I'm just imagining things?

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  4. Well, there's nothing wrong as such in being "data-led" but warnings, near-misses, accidents, complaints, observations, suggestions, etc. are all data. If you keep ignoring those and wait for fatalities, isn't that corporate murder?

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  5. Westminster Bridge north side has has just been turned into a cycling and pedestrian killing junction by TFL. The whole of parliament square is totally inhospitable to everyday cycling and a disgrace for pedestrians.


    Time for regime change at TFL!

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