London’s first Cycle Street in Vauxhall
Vauxhall Street, a residential road in Lambeth, seemed like the ideal location to develop London’s first Cycle Street. But to deliver, it required some innovative thinking to come up with a simple yet cost-effective solution for an urban street which couldn’t be segregated or closed.
We based the design on a Dutch street design technique that offers people cycling priority over motor vehicles. Motor vehicles are treated as ‘guests’ on the road, with their speed reduced to cycling speed. It requires a high number of cyclists which Vauxhall Street had, but unlike Holland, it had a worrying history of collisions. A comprehensive rethink of the street was needed to transform it into London’s first ‘Cycle Street’.
“ Drivers used to get impatient that they couldn’t get past people cycling. Sustrans’ new design has created a sense of equality on the street. Cars can now travel at the same speed as bikes. It’s freed up the road to become a place where all road users can co-exist. ”
– Danny Williams, local resident and Cyclists in the City blogger
The project posed many design challenges due to the narrow width of the road, the need to retain vehicle access to properties and the existing oneway system. Working with the London Borough of Lambeth and TfL, our team knew that to make a real difference to the speed of traffic, a genuinely creative engineering solution would need to be found. These constraints led us to the concept of the ‘Cycle Street’.