Consultation response - Shepherd’s Bush Town Centre (West) Regeneration Scheme

The Shepherd's Bush West public realm scheme represents a considerable missed opportunity to make cycling an attractive, safe and convenient mode of transport, in light of the amount of carriageway space that is proposed to be taken away from both buses and private motor traffic.

This year the Mayor has published a Cycling Vision for London, which has the stated intention of making cycling a mode of transport available and accessible to all in London - from young children to the elderly. It is very hard to see how this scheme fits with that ambition. 

Two-metre wide cycle lanes - which are, admittedly, rare in London - are frankly not sufficient or appropriate if the intention is to open up cycling to groups who are currently not minded to cycle on the roads in London, especially with the volume of motor traffic on the roads in the scheme. These cycle lanes are not even continuous. They give up at the places where they are most needed, particularly at the junction of Goldhawk Road and Hammersmith Grove; on the bends in and out of Shepherd's Bush Green; and at every single bus stop.

This lack of continuity lowers the attractiveness and utility of the cycle lanes considerably. A very small percentage of the population will be willing to negotiate their way out and around stopped buses, in heavy traffic. With the amount of space being gained - particularly on Goldhawk Road, where four vehicle lanes are being reduced to two - it would surely make sense to implement the bus stop bypass designs that are now being employed by Transport for London on Stratford High Street. These designs allow bicycle users to move past stopped buses without engaging with motor traffic. They also remove the need for buses to overtake those cycling between stops - conflict between the two modes is removed through separation. 

Indeed, the amount of space being taken away from motor traffic - and the removal of bus lanes - raises the question of why segregation (the physical separation of cycling from motor traffic) has not been employed along the sections of main road in this scheme - especially given the volume of motor traffic using these roads. The amount of parking available need not necessarily be sacrificed; it could simply be placed outside any cycle track or lane. The parked vehicles would then act as physical protection for anyone cycling. But as the scheme stands, the cycle lanes run directly along the outside of long stretches of parked vehicles, an arrangement which poses the risk of cyclists either running into opening car doors, or being flung into the path of overtaking traffic.

There are, admittedly, some good elements in this regeneration scheme. Particularly welcome are the contraflow cycling proposals on two side roads in the scheme area, that are currently one-way only - Pennard Road and Lime Grove (although curiously the 'no entry' on Richford Street will be retained, despite this junction falling within the scheme). The side road treatments - with raised tables for easier pedestrian movement, and for slower vehicle speeds, and with tighter geometry - are also an improvement. However, the proposals for the main roads - where the bulk of cycling will and should take place - are nowhere near good enough.

We urge you to look again at your proposals for cycling in this scheme, and to think about how it will look in twenty years time, when many other parts of London will have young children cycling about in comfort, physically protected from motor traffic. The amount of space available even under the current proposals could be used far more sensibly to create a safe and inviting cycling environment, for anyone who chooses to ride.


The consultation closes on Sunday 6th October - please have your say here. See also the LCC Hammersmith & Fulham summary