Published: 20th MARCH 2020

Our response to the A23 Streatham Hill improvements consultation

We welcome the proposed introduction of the two-way segregated cycle track on the A23 section between Streatham Hill Station and Holmewood Road. However, the real and perceived danger for cyclists does not end at the boundaries established by the scheme.

We support the overall aims of the scheme, which are listed in the consultation as:

  • Encouraging people to walk, cycle and use public transport
  • Making London greener, healthier and more pleasant
  • Contributing to the Vision Zero target of stopping people from dying and being seriously injured on London’s road network by 2041.

We support the specific aims of the scheme, listed in the Frequently Asked Questions as:

  • Improving cyclists’ safety
  • Reducing rat-running traffic through residential roads
  • Making it easier for pedestrians to cross the road
  • Protecting bus journey times
  • Reducing the dominance of traffic on Streatham Hill
  • Encouraging more people to walk and cycle.

A further aim of the scheme, however, should be to maintain and improve east-west cycle permeability across the A23 corridor.

Our overarching comments and thoughts on specific aspects of the design are outlined below.

Scheme design

Overarching comments

While we recognize that the A23 is a long road, insufficient information is provided on future plans for both sides of the scheme.

This means the scheme may not connect appropriately to future improvements on each side.

The consultation document states that high risk “zero scores” on the Healthy Streets Check is being eliminated by the scheme.

However, people cycling are directed back onto the carriageway at both ends of the scheme, meaning the risks remain.

We assume the reasons for the cycle track changing sides are also related to the scheme boundaries, as well as the position of the bus garage in the middle of the scheme.

The documents do not explain clearly enough why this is.

Key to the success of this proposal is east-west connectivity, particularly with existing local routes like Brockwell Park to Balham (Telford Avenue to Wavertree Road on the scheme) and the Lambeth Healthy Route along Morrish road (including Holmewood Road).

There are existing well-used cycle routes crossing the proposed scheme which need to be maintained – as the plans stand, without further detailed design to accommodate these movements, the convenience and safety of crossing Streatham Hill and Brixton Hill could actually be reduced.

In order to deliver this vital east-west connectivity, controlled crossings in the form of Toucans or Parallel, together with bespoke access from side roads onto the cycle track must be generally repurposed and proposed.

To improve pedestrian comfort and safety, we would also like to see continuous footways proposed across streets with low traffic flows. This should be coordinated with the Low Traffic Neighbourhood proposals east of the A23.

We support the replacement of staggered crossings with straight crossings, acknowledging general pedestrian behaviour and implementing an inclusive design.

We encourage the proposed floating bus stop zebra crossing locations are revised to follow the same principles, without the need for a stagger.

We welcome the choice of floating bus stops as a solution to the conflict between bus users and cyclists.

However, horizontal deflection on the approach to crossings will most likely be required to effectively slow down people cycling and increase compliance with the informal Zebras.

Also, sufficient shelter provision within the islands must be provided, especially at busy stops. Otherwise, people will wait for the bus underneath the closest building and cross the cycle track at once when the bus is coming, causing conflict with approaching cyclists. 

We include detailed recommendations on each junction below.

Sternhold Avenue across Streatham Hill to Amesbury Avenue

To enable people cycling from Sternhold Avenue to cross Streatham Hill and enter Amesbury Avenue, a Toucan crossing should be installed in place of the proposed pedestrian-only crossing across the A23, with shared cycle-pedestrian spaces to facilitate this journey.

Cyclists should be able to enter and cycle east along Amesbury Avenue, so entry for cyclists should be facilitated with an “Except Cycles” sign.

Barcombe Avenue and Streatham Hill

Also to enable movements between east and west, a short section of two-way cycle track should be installed on the east footway between Barcombe Avenue and the Ardwell Road crossing.

Crossing between Ardwell Road and Cricklade Avenue across Streatham Hill

The Toucan crossing should be aligned with the informal Zebra crossing across the cycle track to connect cyclists with Cricklade Avenue and make it easier to cross the whole section.

Downtown Avenue and Barhill Road

To enable movements between Downtown Avenue and the cycle track, Yellow Box Junction Markings should be installed between both roads. The signal crossing should be aligned with informal Zebra crossing.

Wyatt Park Road

The One Way proposal should be for motor traffic only, making use of “Except Cycles” sign(s).

A parallel crossing should be installed by the proposed signalised crossing to enable movements between Wyatt Park Road and the cycle track.

The informal Zebra crossing should be realigned with the proposed crossing across the main carriageway.

Wavertree Road across Streatham Hill to Telford Avenue

As highlighted in the summary above, the connection between Wavetree Road and Telford Avenue is key for cycling in the area and beyond – a well-used route local route linking Brockwell Park and Balham.

Safe movements between the Brockwell Park to Balham cycling route and the proposed cycle track must therefore be enabled.

Wavertree Road should be included in the Telford Avenue signal configuration.

It should include stop lines on the A23 both ways (both sides of the intersection with Wavertree Road), a yellow box, ASL on Wavertree Road and cycle gaps on the green barrier between carriageway and cycle track.

Alternatively, a short section of two-way cycle track could be installed on the east footway between Wavertree Road and the proposed pedestrian crossing, adding a parallel crossing.

Junction of Tierney Road and Streatham Hill

The informal Zebra crossings on Streatham Hill should be aligned with Tierney Road footways and the pedestrian and parallel crossings across the main carriageway.

Christchurch Road – Streatham Hill – Brixton Hill junction

Straight crossings should be installed. Consider introducing a pedestrian and cyclist all-green phase.

Keeping all 4 staggered crossings on Christchurch junction is a missed opportunity and does not achieve the scheme goal of encouraging more people to walk and cycle, especially the most vulnerable.

Morrish Road connection to Holmewood Road across Streatham Hill

This is a well-used east-west connection for people cycling across Streatham Hill. Safe connections with the LBL Healthy Route along Morrish Road must be enabled, including with a connection to Holmewood Road.

This link is key for people cycling from Holmewood Road to access New Park Road, including for cycling to Richard Atkins Primary School. 

Crossings should be aligned. A dropped curb should be placed for cyclists travelling west along Holmewood Road towards Brixton Hill – this could allow access (via share short section of shared space) to the cycle path and crossing to Morrish Road.

At the crossing on Brixton Hill between the cycle lane and Morrish Road, Yellow Box Junction Markings should be introduced to improve the safety of cyclists crossing Brixton Hill.

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