Formal Objection to TfL Proposals for Abbey Street / Tower Bridge Road Junction

Donnachadh McCarthy writes…

The proposal by Transport for London for Tower Bridge Road at Abbey Street.
The proposal by Transport for London for Tower Bridge Road at Abbey Street.

A formal objection from the Stop Killing Cyclists group to Transport for London’s proposals for Abbey Street / Tower Bridge Road junction have now been submitted.

Additional objections from members very welcome – feel free to plagiarise as you see fit. The proposal from TfL; and contact details:

Here is the letter that has been sent in…

“Dear TfL

We wish to formally object to the proposals for Abbey Street Junction pedestrian cyclist safety.

Whilst welcoming your intention to make the Abbey Street/Tower Mill Road junction safer, we believe the proposals made do not adequately address the safety of pedestrians and cyclists adequately.

Whilst we welcome the left-hand ban for trucks at two corners as due to how Southwark Council designed the adjacent two new developments, these turns are too dangerous for cyclists and traffic to mix on.

But banning cyclists from using 50% of the left-hand turns at the junction is not acceptable as there are no safety reasons for doing do. The reason given by TfL for the ban is not cyclist safety but to facilitate speed for traffic through the junction.

Indeed the proposal to re-route cyclists through the adjacent graveyard increases the danger as it creates a new unregulated traffic interchange as cyclists re-emerge from the graveyard to re-join the traffic on Tower Bridge Road.

It also creates a new danger for pedestrian danger as the cyclists emerge unexpectedly from the graveyard to cross the pavement to re-join the traffic. Cyclists and pedestrians do not need such unnecessary conflict to be designed into these proposals.

Your proposal fails Go Dutch standards abysmally and leaves this junction almost as dangerous as it was when the cycling tragedy occurred.

TfL need to tear up this proposal and start from scratch with the Dutch standard layout for junctions, to address pedestrian and cyclists’ safety as the priority not speed of traffic.

This approach makes junctions safer for both pedestrians and cyclists, without banning left hand turns.

If the physical failure to design in safety by the two new building developments at the junction, means that this Dutch approach is not feasible, you should instead install dual function traffic light system, whereby the cyclists and pedestrians cross at the same time, rather than forcing cyclists to cross at same time as HGVs.

Such dual function pedestrian/cycling lights are already in place at a small number of junctions in the borough.

We strenuously also oppose Option 1 which prioritises traffic flow over pedestrian safety. It is not acceptable to have two sides of the junction to be uncontrolled for pedestrians.

The dual lane approach which fails to provide protected access to the advance stop lines on Tower Bridge Road should be deleted and replaced with a single lane approach with protected cycle-lane access to the advanced stop-lines.

Many thanks

pp Stop Killing Cyclists

Donnachadh McCarthy FRSA

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