Lambeth Cyclists welcome Quietway 5 proposals for Clapham Common

Lambeth Cyclists today submitted a response to the Transport for London / Lambeth Borough Council consultation on Proposed changes to Quietway 5 cycle route part 2 which deals with changes in the Clapham Common area.

Overall we welcome the proposed changes, in particular the closure of Windmill Drive to through motor traffic, as we believe it will make cycling safer and encourage more people to cycle. We have made suggested improvements to certain sections of the route – see our response below.

Quietways are high quality, low traffic routes linking town centres and key destinations across London. They aim to offer a more leisurely route than the Cycle Superhighways and should be suitable for all cyclists from children through to older people.
Quietway 5 will run from Baylis Road, SE1 (near to Waterloo Station) along Vauxhall Walk , Larkhall Rise before travelling across Clapham Common and on to Cavendish Road, across Tooting Bec Common, Ellison Road, Norbury Avenue and on into Croydon (click on map, right to see route in Lambeth). The measures at Clapham Common form a key part of the route and are outlined on the Lambeth website: Proposed changes to Quietway 5 cycle route – Waterloo to Croydon – Part 2

Lambeth Cyclists’ response to the consultation on the Quietway 5 measures for Clapham Common (six schemes)

Overall Lambeth Cyclists, the 900 member strong borough group of London Cycling Campaign, support the proposals, in particular the closure of Windmill Drive to through traffic. 

Our detailed comments are below:

1.Bromell’s Road/Clapham Common between The Pavement and Long Road (see map)
Permit contraflow cycling on Bromell’s Road 
We support raising the carriageway level, so long as the carriageway remains defined – as drawn on the plan.

We wonder whether a parallel zebra/cycle crossing may be a bit better than the 1057 cycle logos opposite Bromells Road.

Widen the existing shared use tarmac paths on this section of the Common to create more space for people walking and people on bicycles 

Install cobbled rumble strips on the approach to the fountain to reduce speeds of people on bikes. 
We do not support installing rumble strips initially as they can be uncomfortable, particularly for some cyclists with disabilities. If it becomes apparent subsequently that there is a benefit in one or more places, then they should be no more prominent than those currently on LCN3 on the Common.

2. Clapham Common around Rookery Road  (map)
Widen the existing shared use tarmac paths on this section of the Common leading up to Rookery Road to create more space for people walking and people on bicycles
Cyclists and pedestrians prefer to have segregated space and the existing parallel cycle paths to pedestrian paths on Clapham Common work well. Given the growth in population and in the number of people cycling we are inclined to propose copying the system in place already on the Common for the new Quietway. If, however, cyclists and pedestrians are to share space then we would prefer 5 metres path width. The path should be machine laid.

Narrow the carriageway on Rookery Road   
We support narrowing the carriageway for motor traffic along Rookery Road. However we would prefer to see a layered cycle track in each direction (or a two-way track on one side) along Rookery Road – this could be a particular benefit for students as a link between the Quietway and Lambeth College main campus at the end of Rookery Road.

If a cycle lane, as shown, is installed it is important to ensure it continues  all the way from Clapham Road to Long Road, not disappearing at the busiest junctions as marked on plan. We are concerned the drawing shows a 1.5 metres wide cycle lane while the description is 1.7 metres. We consider 1.5 metres to be too narrow here and 2 metres+ to be preferable.

Install a raised double zebra crossing to make it easier for those walking and on bikes to cross the road. 
We support a raised crossing here.

Given that the paths either side of the zebra are intended to be shared by cyclists and pedestrians, why segregate at the crossing – instead of a parallel crossing, just have cyclists and pedestrians share the zebra crossing.

If a parallel crossing is used as a means of giving the cycle track priority over the road, we would like to see the colour surface of the crossing maintained on the cycle track across the pavement to give visual continuity to all road users.

The cycle lane along Rookery Road lacks continuity on the plan. The zigzag road markings after the zebra crossing should be offset in line with the cycle lane, as on the approach to the zebra. If access across the mandatory cycle lane is needed, it should be through a short section of advisory cycle lane at the junction mouth.

Realign and widen the existing shared used path by the pond to follow where people already walk and cycle 
YES – 3 metres width is too narrow for two-way pedestrian and cycle shared use, so greater width is sought, preferably 5 metres.

3. Clapham Common Playground area  (map)
Widen the existing shared use tarmac paths on this section of the Common  
YES. Given the number of families and small children here, it would be particularly useful to have 5 metres width in this section.

Move the existing playground access point from the west side of the playground to the north of the playground for safer access and install cycle parking at this new entrance. 
YES. New parking needs to be inclusive ie suitable for bakfiets, trikes, Christianas etc. The playground is surrounded by metal railings, easy for bikes to lock to and most existing playground users take their bikes into the playground. So new cycle parking should be of suitable design and position to accommodate wider/ longer cycles.

4. Windmill Drive (map)
Close the middle section of Windmill Drive so that it is no longer a through-road. Install bollards and landscaping to prevent motor vehicle access. 
YES. Sufficient width needs to be left between bollards to enable wider cycles including side-by-sides to pass through.

Remove 13 parking spaces in the closure area and designate two parking bays as disabled bays to the east of the closure. Provide ten resident bays (eight new and two converted) and two new shared used bays to the east of the closure
We support this

Widen existing footpaths into a three metre wide shared use path that will allow the creation of 350m2 of new green space 
We support widening the path, but would prefer greater width as outlined before.

5. Clapham Common Path southern section (map)
Widen the existing shared use tarmac paths on this section of the Common
YES, but again we consider greater width would benefit pedestrians and cyclists.

6. TfL – (A3) Long Road on Clapham Common (map)
A new shared use footway will be provided on both sides of Long Road so that cyclists can safely use the crossing without having to dismount 
YES but we would prefer the path to be realigned on one or other side to allow straight over crossing since the offset design as shown exacerbates pedestrian / cyclist conflict and is more difficult to negotiate with longer or wider cycle.

It is desirable to have cycle tracks along Long Road in due course. The buildouts would be an obstacle to this, another reason to have a straight over crossing.

A new signalised toucan crossing will be installed for users to cross Long Road; improving connections to Clapham Common 
YES although see comment above on alignment.

See our response in PDF

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