The Ranty Highwayman)
Transport for London is currently consulting on its plans, apparently working with the London Borough of Hackney, to “transform Stoke Newington gyratory into a place for people.” Except it won’t be a place for people because the objectives are muddled and fudged.
OK, it’s easy for me to be an armchair pundit without the traffic data and an army of experts sitting behind me, but in fact that doesn’t matter because no vision has been set for the scheme.
The project objective is essentially to remove the gyratory on which I have no strong view to deliver the following aims;
- Transforming the town centre by creating a single unified retail location with an enhanced environment for pedestrians and cyclists
- Improving the public transport interchange, achieved through two-way bus operation, reducing congestion, and simplifying bus stops
- Improving cycling facilities and access through the A10
- Encouraging more journeys by walking, cycling or public transport to/from the High Street
- Reducing rat-running in residential streets
I’ve no issue with the aims; at the moment, buses and cycling are routed around the gyratory and so for people travelling south, they travel on a diversion of nearly 1.2km where the direct route would be 500m. This means that if a person is cycling to the shops on Stoke Newington High Street, one of their legs will be round the long way (depending where they are coming from and probably even more complicated if they are coming from the residential areas either side.
For bus passengers, those travel through the area have their southbound journey times increased because of the gyratory and many wanting to get to the shops will have to walk much further than if buses could take the direct route.
You can read the proposals for yourself, but from a cycling point of view, they are disjointed, full of gaps and have critical fails which will not enable anyone who wants to cycle. Protection ends at the large junctions, people cycling have to share bus lanes with multiple bus routes and they are not even 4.5m wide (which is still awful for cycling), so the brave people cycling will hold up buses. There are also advanced stop lines which have no place in modern layouts and quite a few of the right turns will be difficult (below).