|TfL's proposal is for safe space for cycling at Buckingham Palace. The Royal Parks have vetoed this plan|
That is exactly what is going to happen. Because for some reason, with no evidence I'm aware of, The Royal Parks, seems to have vetoed Transport for London's proposal to put safe space for cycling through the junction in front of Buckingham Palace.
In front of one of the world's most iconic landmarks, we will have one of the world's most laughable pieces of cycle infrastructure. The tourists who see it will compare with what's going on back at home and have to laugh at just how backwards Britain is. Or, rather, it would be laughable if it weren't so downright irresponsible of The Royal Parks and so dangerous for everyone forced to use it.
The picture above shows Transport for London's proposal and looks quite harmless to me. You can see that cyclists are given a safe space to cycle through the junction from left to right and are kept neatly away from the motor traffic. Pictured below is a map that shows what the Royal Parks wants you to do: Jump off the cycle track (in red) and into the stream of traffic through the junction. And then back off the road on to a track. As the Evening Standard put it, this create a genuine "giant gap" right in the middle of the Mayor's cycle super highway.
Proposed route courtesy of the Royal Parks. Highlighted in red: Off the cycle track, back on to the road.
Buckingham Palace is in the bottom of this map. Alternatively, wind through thousands of pedestrians
on the section in green.
|Tonight's Evening Standard. Thank you so much, Royal Parks|
I don't think The Royal Parks has much of a clue what they're doing with the cycle super highway. In November it wrote to the Mayor insisting that "the Cycle Superhighway routes must be entirely road based as they pass through Hyde Park".And yet it seems to be encouraging TfL to build a solution through the park that ISN'T road-based (the majority of the route will be on protected tracks) except in front of the Palace where it will be. The letter suggests that The Royal Parks is rather worried about 'more cycling' in the Park and its impact on other users. Fair enough. But nowhere does The Royal Parks seem worried about the massive volumes of motor traffic in the parks and the impact of that on other users. Bikes are the demon, it seems, but it's fine to route multiple lanes of through motor traffic through a park. Just bizarre.
Have a read of The Royal Parks's submission to the Mayor. It is truly brazen. It insists, for example, that that TfL should "indemnify The Royal Parks from any personal accident claims resulting from the use of any parts of the Superhighway route in the parks". You have to wonder whether The Royal Parks have demanded this in relation to cyclists alone or whether they also place similar demands on other roads users, car drivers for example?
|The problem section hightlighted in red. Between Birdcage Walk and Constitution Hill,|
thanks to the Royal Parks, you're on your own, mate.
I'd urge you to do two things.
1) Look at the new consultation and send your comments. The TfL consultation is online here.
2) But why not ping an email to the Chief Executive of The Royal Parks, Linda Lennon, The Old Police House, Hyde Park, W2 2UH - email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask her to reconsider her position to allow safe space for cycling in front of the Palace. The current plans simply don't stand up.
|Following the Evening Standard article, are The Royal Parks back tracking?|