Wednesday, 26 April 2017
Last October Hackney Council consulted on improving a section of the Central London cycle grid along Whiston Road, and I wrote about it here whilst the consultation was still open. This section of road was historically known as LCN+ route 16 but is now referred to as the Central London Grid, which forms part of the ‘wider quietway route’.
The Central London Grid is a matrix of safe, connected quietway routes and is aimed at new cyclists and people who like to cycle away from heavily trafficked roads. The CLG network will provide continuous and connected routes for cyclists linking key destinations. The intention of the CLG quietway routes is that they will follow direct back-street routes, through parks, along waterways or tree-lined streets. The routes will overcome barriers to cycling, targeting less confident cyclists who want to use low-traffic routes, while also providing for existing cyclists who want to travel at a gentler pace.
However Whiston Road is also a busy road as there are no restrictions for motor traffic and so many drivers use it as it is the most direct and fastest route from Hackney Road or Broadway Market through to Pitfield Street (Cycle Superhighway 1) or New North Road and is also the preferred route for sat nav and mobile phone navigation apps for East-West drivers in the area.
These cycling improvements along Whiston Road were fully funded by TFL, at a cost of £640,000, as part of the Mayor of London’s vision for cycling in London programme but were designed and implemented by Hackney Council.
The first section of work to be carried out here was in January, when low level traffic lights were installed at the crossroads junction at Queensbridge Road, which included early release lights ‘giving cyclists extra time to clear the junction and making it safer for cyclists to cross the junction‘. Yet despite a complete replacement of lights on all four arms of the junction, with some very much welcome pedestrian countdown signals also added, no early release lights were installed on Queensbridge Road for cyclists travelling from North to South. In fact the whole junction was resurfaced and repainted without even an ASL installed to assist anyone wanting to get onto the cycle grid by bicycle from Queensbridge Road