Cycle lane praised by Jeremy Vine causes congestion, TfL admits
Cycle lane praised by Jeremy Vine causes more traffic and congestion, TfL officials admit
- Transport for London engineers reviewed route on King Street, Hammersmith
The creation of a £1.6million London cycle lane praised by Jeremy Vine has caused ‘congestion and queuing’, an official report has revealed.
Transport for London (TfL) engineers reviewed the route on King Street in Hammersmith, where one of two lanes for vehicles was reserved for cyclists instead.
The report revealed going down to only one lane meant vehicles are forced to come to a halt when buses pull in at a stop to pick up passengers.
The segregated two-way lane was put in place after a series of accidents on the Hammersmith Gyratory roundabout, which was considered one of London’s most dangerous.
It provides cyclists with a direct route between Hammersmith Road and King Street, where Cycleway 9 to Chiswick and Kew Bridge begins.
Transport for London (TfL) engineers reviewed the route on King Street in Hammersmith, west London, where one of two lanes for vehicles was reserved for cyclists instead
Jeremy Vine praised the project, saying: ‘This is great. For years people said you have to accept that Hammersmith Broadway is like a scene from Ben Hur. But now vulnerable road users can use it confidently’
Mr Vine, a broadcaster and cycle campaigner, had praised the project, saying: ‘This is great. For years people said you have to accept that Hammersmith Broadway is like a scene from Ben Hur. But now vulnerable road users can use it confidently.’
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In order to make way for the cycle route, a two-lane section of westbound carriageway just off the Hammersmith gyratory was reduced to one.
In December, TfL carried out a ‘full timing review’ of traffic lights to adjust timings to cope with changes in ‘traffic flow’ after some buses were found to be slower.
Engineers carried out a ‘network performance report’ which was obtained by the Telegraph after a Freedom of Information request.
It revealed how the new layout could cause gridlock because cars moving on the single lane have to come to a half when buses pull up at a stop near the roundabout.
The engineers wrote: ‘As part of the cycleway scheme, a general traffic lane was removed from King Street and replaced with the two-way cycle lane.
‘This has contributed to congestion and queuing on King Street reaching the western side of the gyratory.
‘This couldn’t be fixed as most of the time the queue was caused by buses stopping at the bus stop and general traffic unable to pass because it’s now a single lane.’
Conservative Councillor Jose Afonso, Hammersmith’s opposition spokesman for the environment, said: ‘The King Street Cycle Lane – or C9 – continues to fail by every metric.
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‘It is less safe than the cycle lane it replaced, both for cyclists and pedestrians and has caused traffic mayhem every time a bus stops.’
A TfL spokesman said bus journey times had been ‘broadly’ similar after the changes, with some were slightly slower and some slightly quicker.
Helen Cansick, TfL’s Head of Healthy Streets Investment said: ‘We are in climate emergency and need to take action to help people travel more sustainably.
‘Our work with Hounslow and Hammersmith and Fulham Councils along the Cycleway 9 route has enabled thousands of local people and families to get around safely by bike, which helps to reduce the number of private cars on our roads.
‘We have been closely monitoring the changes and have made adjustments to ensure our bus services remain reliable, given the large numbers of passengers who rely on them.
‘Air Quality data shows reductions in levels of pollutants and cycling numbers are growing, both of which indicate that this is a positive change for London.’
A Hammersmith council spokesman said: ‘The newly upgraded Safer Cycle Pathway in Hammersmith remains hugely popular and we will continue to work with TfL to monitor the route and make further improvements for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists.’
A view down King Street in Hammersmith showing the segregated cycle lane on the left
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