Tuesday 9 February 2016

Acton to Paddington Cycle Superhighway

This is the one we’ve been waiting for. TfL have finally published plans for the East-West Cycle superhighway extension that will run from North Acton to Paddington. If it gets built cyclists will be able to ride all the way from North Acton to the Tower of London on an off-road route.

Overall the scheme looks impressive. Between Wood Lane and Paddington, the route will take over a lane on the north side of the elevated A40. Cyclists will be separated from vehicles by a solid barrier, with plans for a transparent screen on top to protect them from wind and vehicle spray. 

Between North Acton and Wood Lane, the route doesn’t really live up to the billing of cycle superhighway. Most of it will be a shared cycle / pedestrian path, and no acoustic barrier is currently proposed between the shared path and the A40.  However a lot of work is planned to make this path a decent width for most of the route.

In some places, large hedges and trees will be cut down to significantly widen the path.

In others, the grass verge will go.

Near Wood Lane around 40 car parking spaces will be removed.

Elsewhere bus stops are being combined and relocated to free up space.

The grim pedestrian tunnel at Wood Lane will be closed and the path directed across part of the old BBC White City site. 

Without doubt, this will be a much better route for cyclists and pedestrians. But the main beneficiaries of this section of the scheme will be motorists. The A40 West of Savoy Circus will be widened to add another lane of motor traffic.

This wall will go and cars will drive where the pavement is now, while cyclists and pedestrians will use the space between the wall and the trees. The extra lane is predicted to knock 6-8 minutes off journey times for motorists heading west in the evenings.

The new Cycle Superhighway is the biggest cycling scheme to come to West London since the 1930s. It’s not perfect – there are quieter roads, and the air is not the cleanest you’ll find – but on balance it is well worth supporting.

The consultation is in two sections. It is important that you support both - the route will only join up with the rest of the Cycle Superhighway if both sections are built. Click on the links below then scroll down to the bottom to find the online survey.

Whether the route gets built or not depends on three things:
1. Whether the public support the scheme – so please respond to the consultation.
2. Whether the next Mayor supports it – we need to lobby the candidates to make sure they do.
3. Whether TfL can find a way to reduce motor vehicle journey times from Holland Park roundabout to Westbourne Bridge in the mornings. At present the Superhighway is predicted to add 8-10 minutes to this journey, and TfL say the scheme will not go ahead unless they find a way to reduce that journey time. They are investigating a number of options.

If the scheme goes ahead, Ealing Council is planning a new cycle link from the centre of Ealing that will join the Cycle Superhighway at Allan Way.  ECC have suggested that as part of the Superhighway scheme, the two local roads Allan Way and Court Way should be blocked off from the A40 and made residential cul-de-sacs.  TfL have said this is a matter for Ealing Council but we think it should be funded by TfL as part of the Superhighway, along with improvements at the Allan Way subway to make it more cycle-friendly.