The proposal is for a cycle path on the footway on the south side of Spaniards Road between Spaniards End and the top of the cycleway that runs up the west side of the Heath.
Pedestrians will have a 2 m wide path on the inside separated by a 150 mm wide white line from the two-way cycle path which will also be 2 m wide.
We’re worried about the proposed lay by for Highgate bound cyclists to cross to the path
Camden Cycling Campaign had been asking for this path for many years and were very pleased to hear last spring that LB Camden had obtained Greenway funding to carry it out.
Therefore we are pleased to see the consultation and look forward to the project being implemented.
The main purpose of this path is to provide a link between the Hampstead Heath Cycleway and Spaniards End for leisure cycling, particularly by families at weekends. It will also provide an alternative to the sometimes congested Spaniards Road for cyclists riding between Hampstead and Highgate.
For usability of the leisure route, it is essential that the path should extend the full length between the entry to the Heath Cycleway and the existing zebra crossing by Spaniards End. It would be inappropriate to curtail the route at either end or to narrow the shared path below 4m.
It would be best to provide Toucan crossings at both ends of the route and we would hope that this might be achieved with future funding. In the mean time the zebra crossing can be used at the eastern end. At the western end, the zebra would need to be moved or the track extended, but there is insufficient space for the latter solution.
The proposal suggests a lay-by for eastbound cyclists wishing to cross on to the cycle track instead of riding on the road. We believe that this would be dangerous, as it puts cyclists in the wrong position for a right turn – they will be hidden from other vehicles and also need to cross two lanes of traffic in a situation where there are 600-700 vehicles per hour in each direction.
Although, ideally we would like to have a Toucan crossing at this point, a second best would be a central refuge island to protect right-turning cyclists. This could be achieved by joining up the existing bus bay and proposed lay-by and using them to increase the road width. It would have an additional benefit of a lateral traffic-calming effect and would prevent vehicles from passing stationary buses. The central refuge would need to be at least 2.5 m wide and better 3m so that cycles with trailers could wait facing across the road.
The footway and cycle track crosses several driveways near to Columbas Drive. Cyclists should have priority at these locations, enforced by a raised entry treatment.