Friday, 25 November 2011

More streets going two-way for cycling in the City of London. Shame about the main routes, though

The City of London people confirmed today that a batch of new streets will be going two-way for cycling from late January. I've mapped them to give more of an idea where the are. You can scroll around the map above to see the locations of the new two-way streets.

Essentially, some of these will open up handy new routes to avoid a few nasty junctions.

  • Carter Lane will now be two-way for cycling along its entire length. This allows people to avoid a nasty and congested stretch along St Paul's Churchyard / Ludgate Hill and to get to and from Blackfriars Bridge avoiding Farringdon Street. 

  • Opening up Watergate means you can head towards the north west as soon as you get off the Blackfriars northern junction and slip through back roads up to Fleet Street.

  • Probably best of all is Stoney Lane near Aldgate which allows a (slightly convoluted) route through the back streets from Fenchurch Street up towards Spitalfields, avoiding Aldgate gyratory.

  • Also news (to me at least) is Bunhill Row. Not in the City of London itself but in Islington. This streets is an obvious north-south route for people coming from north of Old Street. According to people in the City, this will be going two-way for cycling some time in early 2012.

A further five City streets have been approved to become two-way, subject to funding.

That's all good news. But doesn't take away from the fact that several main routes have been made considerably worse for cycling in recent months. The newly-narrowed carriageway in Cheapside and along St Paul's Churchyard makes for fairly nasty and dangerous cycling conditions. During the day, these are rammed with motor traffic crawling along. And the only way to get through this on a bike is to either just sit there in the middle of the fumes or to overtake, essentially on the opposite side of the street.

I think Cheapside has been a disaster for cycling. It was billed as being all about improving conditions for pedestrians and cyclists. It has been a boon for pedestrians. It's considerably worse for cycling. More to follow.