TFL has another consultation on plans for Brixton Hill, this time to speed up the traffic turning into both Dumbarton Road and Upper Tulse Hill. Brixton Hill is a major cycle artery with poor conditions for cycling.
Plans are described as a ‘vulnerable road users safety scheme’. However, it is clear that the scheme has been designed not to protect or improve conditions for vulnerable road users but to speed up the motor vehicle movements that are causing the danger. Motor vehicle on motor vehicle collisions may be reduced but conditions for people walking or on bikes will be worse.
Removing some bus lane
The new plans include the removal of some bus lane. This February TFL’s consultation response on changes to bus lanes on Brixton Hill rejected calls for protected cycling facilities arguing “proposals provide benefits to cyclists with the improved continuity of bus lanes”. By TFL’s own logic removing sections of bus lane will be a dis-benefit to cyclists.
On sections of Brixton Hill where bus lanes are not continuous and at times when lanes are not operating vehicles commonly undertake at speed causing significant danger and discomfort for people on bikes.
Volume of traffic turning at speed
The danger for pedestrians and cyclists comes from the volume of traffic and the speed at which it turns into and out of these side roads. The existing build-outs were installed with the aim of slowing turning traffic to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety. Widening the junction entrances will increase vehicle and worsen conditions for for people walking and cycling.
A recent survey of residents by Brixton Hill councillors identified both Dumbarton Road and Tulse Hill Road as having major problems with fast, aggressive, rat-running traffic. The scheme states as a “benefit” that removal of the kerb build out pinch point will ease congestion at the junction. This is likely to increase the volume of traffic using these roads as rat runs and exacerbate already poor conditions on these residential streets. Pinch points were added to nearby New Park Road in 2016 with the explicit aim of increasing congestion and discouraging use, albeit with very limited success.
Rat running on residential roads
The problem to be addressed is a rat run on residential roads that crosses an A-road causing danger to both motorised traffic and vulnerable road users.
The solution to that problem is not to make that rat run easier. The solution is to block it through modal filters either at the junctions or in the streets beyond. Lambeth Cyclists is strongly against the proposed changes which will have a negative impact for people riding bikes.