We write in response to the consultation on safety improvements at the Battersea Park Road and Havelock Terrace junction, part of Transport for London’s process of junction reviews.
The proposals do have a degree of merit, particularly the entrance from Prince of Wales Drive, where a motor vehicle lane has been removed, and replaced with a cycle lane. A widening of the very narrow cycle lane northbound on Battersea Park Road was also desperately needed.
However we would argue that there is great potential for making both these cycle lanes substantially wider than curently proposed, and indeed for providing separation, not just here, but on all arms of the junction. There is particularly a need for kerb separation on the apex of the left turn from Prince of Wales Drive into Battersea Park Road.The other major aspect of the proposal is to replace the central lane of the three southbound vehicle lanes on Battersea Park Road with a cycle lane entry to an ASL. We have serious concerns about the safety of this design, particularly as it may leave southbound cyclists stranded on the outside of southbound vehicles. We also have reservations about the way the design will encourage cyclists to travel around the outside of vehicles making right turns into Prince of Wales Drive. The proposed design would still represent an intimidating and hostile place to cycle. We are further concerned about the widening of the pedestrian island to the south of the junction, creating a 'pinch point' forcing motor vehicles and bicycles together. This could in turn make more inexperienced cyclists take to the pavement, believing it to be safer. We would urge you to employ direct pedestrian crossings, which would make crossing the road simpler and easier, and do away with the need for pedestrian islands.
The proposed design amounts to optimistic splashes of paint that could in places compromise the comfort and safety of all users. Serious proposals for cycling safety at this junction - proposals which will encourage more people to cycle through it - must involve the employment of high-quality, separated infrastructure such as that seen in the Netherlands, which keeps cyclists protected at the most critical points, and makes riding a bicycle the pleasant, comfortable and safe experience it should be. It can be done here.