|Dutch cycle road. Want one at Elephant? |
One minute email this week is all it takes.
Courtesy AsEasyAsRidingABike blog
Back in the summer I wrote about Elephant & Castle. It seems that Transport for London has decided the flow of motor vehicles here is far more important than a development plan to remove the northern roundabout, create a public square and regeneration scheme, improving the tube so people can get in and out with an escalator. The list goes on. Traffic above all else, whether that's regeneration or a tube station.
No less than two of TfL's top 10 most dangerous junctions for cycling are on the Elephant & Castle roundabouts. It's in the interests of everyone who cycles and walks here that the northern roundabout gets a makeover. Personally, I don't think much of the new southern roundabout. It's slower, yes, but you're often stuck on your bicycle in queues of motor traffic with literally nowhere to go.
Meanwhile over at the southern roundabout, the whole landscape is about to change with the new street layout and completely new buildings of the Heygate Estate.
Given the entire street layout is starting from scratch you'd have thought the developers would want people to get here safely by bicycle. And to their credit, they've done a lot to involve cycling in the plan and listened closely to Southwark Cyclists and Southwark Living Streets groups. But there is one massively glaring omission. The much-flaunted Elephant & Castle cycle bypass, that allows people to cycle around the two roundabouts - a kind of orbital M25 of the Elephant - ought to continue straight through the new streets of the Heygate Estate.
But it won't.
|Elephant - the missing link. Credit to cyclestreets.net|
The orbital route around the Elephant will only be 3/4 finished. There's a missing link on the eastern side. And the developers - full of warm words about cycling aren't going to complete the missing link. Two cycle super highways are going to pass through here. But instead of giving cyclists a way to avoid the double roundabouts, Lendlease (the developer) is going to plonk a 30-storey building over the route of the missing orbital cycle link.
This is an opportunity to put in place a proper cycle road avoiding traffic dangers and pollution - an opportunity that will be missed if Lendlease can not be convinced to amend their current building layout.
Some local residents have formed a new campaign - Finish the Elephant & Castle Cycle Bypass. Its message:
"Direct, fast, safe and segregated cycling route to complete the eastern side of the E&C Cycle Bypass.
Will draw visitors into the commercial heart of the Lendlease development, supporting aspirations for retail and leisure services.
Will connect to Cycle Super Highways 6 and 7, London Cycle Network routes 23 and 2
Requires one new junction crossing New Kent Rd and one crossing Walworth Rd
There's an opportunity to put a real cycle road through this route that will let people avoid the horrors of the two roundabouts and completely open up this new development to people who want to get there, to live there, to spend their money there. Because I don't think they'll be coming by car.
If you want a cycle road here, please help the people pushing for it. Have a look at their presentation and then email Heygate@soundingsoffice.com and ask them to ensure that they build a cycle road here and finish the bypass by the most direct route.