Long-awaited plans for south-east London’s first cycle superhighway have been released – and show it stopping short of Greenwich town centre.
If built, Cycle Superhighway 4 (CS4) will run from Tower Bridge Road to Deptford Creek Bridge along Tooley Street, Jamaica Road, Lower Road, Evelyn Street and Creek Road, providing a segregated two-way route and a revamped roundabout at Rotherhithe Tunnel.
When the scheme was first mooted, the route was due to continue through Greenwich to Charlton and Woolwich, with some talk of the route running through the Old Royal Naval College grounds and along Old Woolwich Road before joining the A206 at Trafalgar Road.
But now CS4 will end just a few yards inside Greenwich, at the junction of Creek Road and Norway Street, connecting to the Thames Cycle Path outside the Waitrose superstore. The shelving of the route to Woolwich has also meant a halt to plans to rework the roundabout at Woolwich Road flyover, where cyclist Adrianna Skrzypiec was killed by a truck in 2009.
The truncated superhighway concentrates on a route that is already heavily used by cyclists. Creek Road sees the most cyclists of any road in the borough of Greenwich, with riders who have come from Greenwich Park joining those who have battled their way along the A206.
Along the route
The central reservation over Deptford Creek Bridge would be removed to provide a two-way segregated cycle lane all the way through Deptford to Lower Road, Rotherhithe.
One small niggle will come at Oxestalls Road, by the Pepys Estate, where a set of traffic lights is due to be replaced by a mini-roundabout, with the cycle superhighway diverted onto a “toucan” crossing for both pedestrians and bicycles.
Plans for the route along Lower Road have yet to be finalised, with Southwark Council working on a separate study on traffic needs in an area that is undergoing heavy redevelopment around Canada Water station.
The plans restart at Rotherhithe Tunnel roundabout, where the segregated lanes switch to the south of the road, bypassing an hazardous junction for cyclists. Westbound buses will also get their own lane.
The segregated lanes move back to the north side of Jamaica Road at the junction with Southwark Park Road, ending at Tower Bridge Road.
Some of the space for CS4 will come from the removal of bus lanes, which will spark concerns about extending journey times on roads that are already notorious for heavy traffic, especially for users of the 47 and 188 services. TfL’s modelling depicts a mixed picture, with buses slower west of the Rotherhithe Tunnel but speeding up as they run through Deptford.
“Floating” bus stops – where the cycle route runs around bus shelters – will be used along the route, as they are on other cycle superhighways around London.
There are also no plans to extend the London Cycle Hire scheme along the route, despite regular calls in both Rotherhithe and Greenwich to see the scheme come further south-east.
Overall, though, the scheme will be warmly welcomed by cycle campaigners – particularly the changes at Rotherhithe roundabout.
But just as with Quietway 1, which opened last year from Greenwich station to Waterloo, for riders from Greenwich and points east of there, actually getting to CS4 – including navigating around Greenwich one-way system – will still remain a major issue.
A consultation is now open at tfl.gov.uk/cs4. There are also consultation events in Deptford and Greenwich at Deptford Lounge (Thu 5 Oct, 3-7pm; Sat 14 Oct, 11-3pm), St Alfege Church Hall (Tue 17 Oct, 4-7pm) and James Wolfe Primary School (Sat 21 Oct, 11-3pm).
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