Waltham Forest Council to bid to become one of Boris Johnson's 'mini-Holland' cycling havens

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Boris Johnson Boris Johnson

Waltham Forest Council is working on a bid to become one of Boris Johnson’s ‘mini-Holland’ cycling havens.

The authority confirmed its officers are currently preparing the bid to become one of up to three cycle-friendly boroughs, benefitting from a share of £100 million made available by the Mayor of London for the scheme.

Andrew Gilligan, the mayor’s cycling commissioner, visited the borough earlier this week to talk about the process of bidding for the cash, after Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign members earlier urged the council to apply based on its recent schemes to improve cyclist safety.

The council unveiled a three-year plan last April to adopt a 20mph speed limit on all residential roads as well as allowing cyclists to travel both ways on one-way streets and tackling dangerous roads.

The funding offer is just one part of Mr Johnson’s plans for London over the next seven years.

A ‘Crossrail for cyclists’ reaching from the western suburbs to Canary Wharf and Barking will be at the heart of the mayor’s proposals to make London a city to rival Amsterdam in terms of cycling's popularity, and he also plans to establish a new series of bike routes throughout London to mirror the Tube and road networks.

They will be a mix of direct superhighways for experienced cyclists and quietways using pleasant, less busy side streets.

The ‘Crossrail’ bike project would be the longest urban cycle route in Europe, TfL claims, and would follow existing tracks along the A40 before crossing a new bike and pedestrian bridge at White City over the West Cross route and railway line.

It would then join a two-way cycle track along the Westway flyover before crossing Hyde Park and linking into a bike ‘superhighway’ from Tower Gateway to Canary Wharf and Barking.

The mayor and TfL claim the journey would often be as quick or quicker than taking the train or going by car.

TfL also wants to get more ethnic minorities, women and older people cycling by 2020, when they hope the two different kinds of routes will be well used.

The east to west cycle superhighway will be built by 2016, according to the Mayor.

Comments (8)

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11:57am Thu 2 May 13

stickmanny says...

Make it a good bid WFBC - this could transform the borough
Make it a good bid WFBC - this could transform the borough stickmanny
  • Score: 0

12:13pm Thu 2 May 13

Leytonstonia says...

Well, I hope it's properly successful and not a bodge job like the current cycling 'infrastructure' in Waltham Forest - a prime example being the new(ish) Ruckholt Road bridge where the cycle/ped bridge dumps you straight onto the road bridge at exactly the position where Westbound motorists are least likely to see you. Who came up with that gem?

The most obvious thing is proper cycle lanes linking up with the segregated lane about to be built from Stratford to Bow, and a serious rethink of Ruckholt and Lea Bridge roads (which link to Hackney where 10% of residents travel by bicycle daily).
Well, I hope it's properly successful and not a bodge job like the current cycling 'infrastructure' in Waltham Forest - a prime example being the new(ish) Ruckholt Road bridge where the cycle/ped bridge dumps you straight onto the road bridge at exactly the position where Westbound motorists are least likely to see you. Who came up with that gem? The most obvious thing is proper cycle lanes linking up with the segregated lane about to be built from Stratford to Bow, and a serious rethink of Ruckholt and Lea Bridge roads (which link to Hackney where 10% of residents travel by bicycle daily). Leytonstonia
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Thu 2 May 13

stickmanny says...

Seconded.

What we need is properly implemented shared space, along the lines of Exhibition Road. It should be possible to walk across a road, eyes closed, without fear of collision.

Sadly good shared space costs a fortune and while I'm encouraged by the philosophy on Leytonstone High Rd and Cann Hall Rd it just doesn't do enough to calm traffic speed or disorient drivers enough to slow down.

The result is pedestrians and cyclists have less right to space rather than more.
Seconded. What we need is properly implemented shared space, along the lines of Exhibition Road. It should be possible to walk across a road, eyes closed, without fear of collision. Sadly good shared space costs a fortune and while I'm encouraged by the philosophy on Leytonstone High Rd and Cann Hall Rd it just doesn't do enough to calm traffic speed or disorient drivers enough to slow down. The result is pedestrians and cyclists have less right to space rather than more. stickmanny
  • Score: 0

12:46pm Thu 2 May 13

Cornbeefur says...

Leytonstonia wrote:
Well, I hope it's properly successful and not a bodge job like the current cycling 'infrastructure' in Waltham Forest - a prime example being the new(ish) Ruckholt Road bridge where the cycle/ped bridge dumps you straight onto the road bridge at exactly the position where Westbound motorists are least likely to see you. Who came up with that gem?

The most obvious thing is proper cycle lanes linking up with the segregated lane about to be built from Stratford to Bow, and a serious rethink of Ruckholt and Lea Bridge roads (which link to Hackney where 10% of residents travel by bicycle daily).
Waltham Forest's failure to maintain the free passage along the existing cycle lanes is a disgrace. The Lea Bridge Road for example is littered with broken glass, debris and pot holes along with illegal parking and obstructions. Hardly a good track record so far.
[quote][p][bold]Leytonstonia[/bold] wrote: Well, I hope it's properly successful and not a bodge job like the current cycling 'infrastructure' in Waltham Forest - a prime example being the new(ish) Ruckholt Road bridge where the cycle/ped bridge dumps you straight onto the road bridge at exactly the position where Westbound motorists are least likely to see you. Who came up with that gem? The most obvious thing is proper cycle lanes linking up with the segregated lane about to be built from Stratford to Bow, and a serious rethink of Ruckholt and Lea Bridge roads (which link to Hackney where 10% of residents travel by bicycle daily).[/p][/quote]Waltham Forest's failure to maintain the free passage along the existing cycle lanes is a disgrace. The Lea Bridge Road for example is littered with broken glass, debris and pot holes along with illegal parking and obstructions. Hardly a good track record so far. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

6:53pm Thu 2 May 13

techiebabe says...

No, Stickmanny, I'm afraid we do NOT want shared spaces. This is a nightmare for people with many different disabilities, for example guide dogs learn to cross the road at a kerb, as do children and people with learning impairments or neurodiversity. The idea with a shared space is that priority is "negotiated" between parties by eye contact etc. which a blind person cannot do, and many people with e.g. autism spectrum conditions would also find difficult. Personally, I also find shared spaces difficult, both when I use a wheelchair so find I am lower down and traffic does not necessarily spot that I am waiting to cross, or when I am walking down a shared pedestrian / cycle path, because I have a hearing impairment and do not hear a cyclist whizzing up behind me, nor can I physically move out of its way quickly, whereas many cyclists expect me to be aware they are there and to get out of their way. These are just a few examples of the problems shared spaces can create; need I continue?

Guide Dogs organisation and many other groups representing people with disabilities / impairments are strongly opposed to shared spaces, with good reason.

My view is that if you are a cyclist and you are not capable of cycling safely on the road, you should not cycle. I apply this rule to myself as well.
No, Stickmanny, I'm afraid we do NOT want shared spaces. This is a nightmare for people with many different disabilities, for example guide dogs learn to cross the road at a kerb, as do children and people with learning impairments or neurodiversity. The idea with a shared space is that priority is "negotiated" between parties by eye contact etc. which a blind person cannot do, and many people with e.g. autism spectrum conditions would also find difficult. Personally, I also find shared spaces difficult, both when I use a wheelchair so find I am lower down and traffic does not necessarily spot that I am waiting to cross, or when I am walking down a shared pedestrian / cycle path, because I have a hearing impairment and do not hear a cyclist whizzing up behind me, nor can I physically move out of its way quickly, whereas many cyclists expect me to be aware they are there and to get out of their way. These are just a few examples of the problems shared spaces can create; need I continue? Guide Dogs organisation and many other groups representing people with disabilities / impairments are strongly opposed to shared spaces, with good reason. My view is that if you are a cyclist and you are not capable of cycling safely on the road, you should not cycle. I apply this rule to myself as well. techiebabe
  • Score: 0

12:12pm Fri 3 May 13

mdj says...

' It should be possible to walk across a road, eyes closed, without fear of collision...'
Good luck with the M25.
A local resident ran a blog for several years, crapwalthamforest, which dwelt caustically on the failings of the public realm, with especial reference to cycling.
It was very well-informed and blisteringly funny, and is still well worth reading. He was all for separation in the interest of safety, and was very good at pointing out how the road space often exists to allow it, if the will is there. Sadly, I think he gave up the blog in despair at the lack of progress.
' It should be possible to walk across a road, eyes closed, without fear of collision...' Good luck with the M25. A local resident ran a blog for several years, crapwalthamforest, which dwelt caustically on the failings of the public realm, with especial reference to cycling. It was very well-informed and blisteringly funny, and is still well worth reading. He was all for separation in the interest of safety, and was very good at pointing out how the road space often exists to allow it, if the will is there. Sadly, I think he gave up the blog in despair at the lack of progress. mdj
  • Score: 0

10:32am Sat 4 May 13

stickmanny says...

The M25 isn't shared space is it. Anyway....

Shared space means fewer accidents. This is proven. But while road users adjust it can feel oppressive.

A case in point is outside Sloane Square tube. Drivers faced with this open area feel they have the right of way across any part of it.

It can take 20 years for driving / cycling habits to change but I think it worthwhile. SS forces all users of roads to consider each other.

There's only so much segregation you can do in London. It will never be a complete solution.

I can appreciate the concern re guide dogs. Is it possible to train them using surface cues?
The M25 isn't shared space is it. Anyway.... Shared space means fewer accidents. This is proven. But while road users adjust it can feel oppressive. A case in point is outside Sloane Square tube. Drivers faced with this open area feel they have the right of way across any part of it. It can take 20 years for driving / cycling habits to change but I think it worthwhile. SS forces all users of roads to consider each other. There's only so much segregation you can do in London. It will never be a complete solution. I can appreciate the concern re guide dogs. Is it possible to train them using surface cues? stickmanny
  • Score: 0

11:14am Fri 17 May 13

Gosport Road Rocks says...

Brilliant news, good luck WF Officers, I've got everything crossed. My Nan loves cycling and it would be great to all go out as a family when she visits.
Brilliant news, good luck WF Officers, I've got everything crossed. My Nan loves cycling and it would be great to all go out as a family when she visits. Gosport Road Rocks
  • Score: 0

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