Cycle Superhighway and Safety

MQT on 2010-09-15
Session date: 
September 15, 2010
Question By: 
John Biggs
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Local residents complain that the Cycle Superhighway, CSR3, makes a very unwelcome entry into Narrow Street on its way from Barking to Tower Hill. At Westferry DLR, the route makes an unsafe turn into Narrow Street where it continues before exiting in a one-way system AGAINST the flow of traffic at Horseferry Road. Narrow Street is narrow - the clue is in the name - and the route along this road is extremely unsafe in the best of times for pedestrians, motorists and, indeed, the cyclists themselves. At peak times, it can take up to 5 minutes for pedestrians to cross the road. Minor accidents are a daily occurrence and it is only a matter of time before a serious accident - or fatality - occurs. We understand from TFL and LBTH that the route was originally intended to go along the A13 and not enter Narrow Street and that a re-routing will be made at the end of the review period in one year's time. However, serious injuries could occur during this time - particularly as a 400% increase in usage is being targeted - a local group the Limehouse Community Forum has passed a Resolution to request an immediate re-routing onto the A13. Has the Mayor forgotten the events of the 22nd of May 2009 when he was involved in a serious road traffic accident along this very route, and with his personal knowledge of the inherent dangers on this street, why would he put other Londoner's into the same precarious situation?


Answer for Cycle Superhighway and Safety

Answer for Cycle Superhighway and Safety

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The alignment of Cycle Superhighway 3 (CS3) along Narrow Street was chosen as it is already a popular route for cyclists wishing to travel between outer London and the City. The implementation of the Cycle Superhighways follows a four stage safety audit, with the final stage once the routes are established and further data has been collected. All safety audits to date show the alignments of the pilot routes to be acceptable.

The contra-flow cycle lane along Horseferry Road was planned and built by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and was adopted by TfL as part of the Cycle Superhighway. Contra-flow cycle lanes have been installed satisfactorily along one way systems elsewhere in London, and make a valuable contribution to promoting cycling.

CS3 was not intended go along the A13 instead of Narrow Street. However at the request of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, TfL is conducting a feasibility study into improving conditions along that part of the A13 for cyclists. There are no proposals to implement any changes in this respect in the near future; as this would be subject to the outcome of the study and a funding source being identified.

TfL has met local residents, council officers and a ward councillor on site to listen to their concerns, and is assessing whether extra signage at Horseferry Road could assist motorists and cyclists. TfL expect to be in a position to confirm whether additional signage can be provided by early November.

While I witnessed an accident on 22 May 2009, it was not serious. I was not involved in it and no personal injuries were sustained. This type of accident could have occurred anywhere in London and has no bearing on the use of Narrow Street as a cycle route.