The diagram of the consultation plans starts in the West where Whiston Road meets the A10. No changes are planned at all here; no restrictions to motor traffic, no protected space for cycling and the awful speed cushions remain. Once under the railway bridge this part of Whiston Road has changed dramatically over the past few years. Or at least the buildings either side have but nothing much has changed on the road itself.
|Whiston Road as it was four years ago and today, via Google maps streetview|
Clearly easier to cross for pedestrians but a nasty pinch point for people cycling.
|A road I used in the Dutch village of 's-gravendeel where the pinch point was in place for drivers, not for people cycling. Also note the road surface here which slows traffic down as cyclists share with drivers in this 30kph (18mph) street|
This road is mainly used as car parking for the replacement flats (and presumably deliveries as well) but it is not filtered and links Whiston Road with How's Street, two streets that it was not possible to directly drive between before the regeneration. What does not exist on the plans in this consultation (or even on open street map) is two more new roads that are also not filtered on the north side of Whiston Road that now make it possible to drive directly between Whiston Road and Laburnum Street north of it, something that again could not happen before the regeneration began
|Thanks to the historical feature on Google streetview we can see exactly how peoples homes have been turned into roads for through motor traffic|
|A residential "access only" road that is also a main cycling route and filtered to motor traffic in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.|
It can be a handy cut through if you want to avoid cycling on the A10 or Queensbridge Road, although I'd personally prefer a wider Dutch style red tarmac cycle track with a slight height difference. It is also used heavily as a cut through by local moped delivery drivers so I'm not always keen on letting my daughter walk through there ahead of me. I also wish they'd install motorcycle parking on the carriageway nearby as the cycle stands are currently often used by motorbikes
They'll be a raised table here making it easier to access but I suspect any children using it will continue to use the pavement once they get to Whiston Road, something I see often and don't blame them!
At the Queensbridge Road junction the proposal is for "low level signals with early release for cyclists" assuming you're willing to ignore the Department for Transport's advice and are eager to continue onto the ASL
East of Queensbridge Road and the plan is for another set of early release low level cycle signals for those cycling West along with another raised table by the entrance / exit to Haggerston Park. Between the Park and the very busy Goldsmith's Row cycle route there are actually some decent proposals; a removal of all on street car parking (a total of 17 spaces, with some moving to minor side streets). Assuming the new double yellow lines are enforced this should be an improvement, it is just a shame that no car parking is planned to be removed from the western section in this consultation. Another improvement is low level early release signals on all arms of the Goldsmith's Row / Pritchard's Row junction, hopefully putting an end to the regular occurrence of drivers turning right into Whiston Road in front of people cycling ahead towards Broadway Market
So, some minor improvements along the eastern section of Whiston Road but virtually nothing for the rest of it and overall a very poor consultation which offers little to people cycling. Compare it to Camden Council's Central London cycle grid, recently consulted onWhy's the van on the wrongside of the rd‽ @Hackneycyclist @hackneycouncil @MPSHackney @VincentStops @StopKillingCycl pic.twitter.com/2VFT5W4NQi— RossiBike (@RossiTheBossi) August 16, 2016
|Actual dedicated safe cycle tracks, so no sharing with the buses or speeding cement mixers planned here|
|Car parking along both sides of the carriageway, two wide traffic lanes and a child cycling on a narrow pavement earlier today|
|A one way street in Haarlem with ample space for two way cycling. Could a similar layout work on The Central London Cycle Grid in Hackney?|
In their 2015-2025 cycling plan Hackney Council state that they want to make Hackney's roads the safest for cycling in the UK and somewhere where it is second nature for everyone, no matter what their age to cycle. Unfortunately these plans will do little to achieve those aims. If Hackney is, as also stated in this plan, still serious about achieving 5% of primary school children and 15% of secondary school children cycling to school within a little over 8 years time then they seriously need to go back to the drawing board. Unless they want scores of children cycling on the pavement every morning then Hackney Council need to realise that riding in primary position outside of the door zone along Whiston Road, with motor traffic behind you will not appeal to most school children, never mind their parents. If this is what Hackney Council truly believes is a cycle grid then those targets will likely never be met. In the Netherlands 49% of primary school children go to school by bike and more than 90% of children aged over 12 do so, it is surely sensible for Hackney Council to look abroad (but beyond Jen Gehl) if their cycling targets are to be met and children in the borough are to remain safe on bikes.
The consultation closes this Friday 21st October, please respond here.