CS6 North-South Cycle Superhighway – review of first section

The first section of CS6, the North-South Cycle Superhighway, opened in October 2015. It is an 800m section and it is not yet open at both ends so it is not getting much use – yet. The video review is by two landscape architects (Tom Turner and Robert Holden) who, between them, have 80+ years experience of cycling in London. The main points are:

  • Thank you very much to whoever was responsible: the cycling campaigners, Boris Johnson, Andrew Gilligan and everyone who helped give Londoners such a welcome 2015 Christmas present. We have had a few crumbs in the past 78 years but for the most part London cyclists have been starved, injured and killed. Things got off to a great start with Hore Beleisha’s 1934 cycle track (from Hanger Lane to Greenford) but after that we had years of decline followed by years of broken promises.
  • Though fantastic, brilliant and wonderful compared to everything else London cyclists have been given since 1934, London’s first real cycle superhighway also has some disappointments.
  • The first big disappointment is the design standards. They are below Dutch and Danish cycle design standards. Since the Dutch CROW design manual is available in English there is no excuse for this. By far the most sensible course of action would have been to give the design and planning job to experienced Dutch experts in cycle infrastructure planning and design. TfL are amateurs in this specialism.
  • The second big disappointment is the single-purpose design for the CS6 Cycle Superhighway. It is being treated as an exercise in traffic engineering. Cycle lane design should be fully integrated with other aspects of multi-user, multi-objective street design. Other professionals (eg landscape architects) should have been involved.

Tom Turner

Posted in cycleways

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