Open Letter from Wandsworth Cycling Campaign to the Leader of Wandsworth Council
Dear Councillor Govindia,
Wandsworth Cycling Campaign is the local group of the London Cycling Campaign which has over 40,000 members across London of whom about 800 live within our borough.
Our aim is to support those who cycle or who would like to cycle and to help make Wandsworth a Borough in which cycling is a safe and pleasant choice of travel available to everyone.
We have previously expressed serious concerns with the plans that were put out for consultation for the Cycle Quietways funded by Transport for London passing through Wandsworth. We have now seen some of these implemented on the route of Quietway 4. It is clear that the final implementation on Magdalen Road departs from what was consulted on in significant and worrying ways that further reduces the safety and comfort of users.
We are now receiving reports that suggest that the Quietway works on Magdalen Road have made it more difficult for pedestrians to cross the road as well as more hazardous for cyclists, who report incidents of close passing at speed by drivers of motor vehicles. You may be aware that close passes are a significant source of fear and demonstrable danger to people cycling.
There are other locations on the proposed Quietways where we consider cyclists will be put at risk and we fear that the proposed shared-use area around Earlsfield Station will produce conflict between pedestrians and cyclists. This would be highly regrettable given the urgent need to increase active travel across our borough.
We are acutely aware that poorly-designed cycle facilities can result not just in an increased perception of danger, but in actual harm to people cycling.
You may recall that new cycle facilities at Bow Roundabout were directly implicated in contributing to cyclists’ deaths in 2013 and recently three cyclists have been killed in Deptford. Whilst the causes remain to be determined, this is an area in which cycle facilities appear to have been subject to late-stage design changes.
We are therefore asking you to halt any further implementation of Quietway works in Wandsworth while a thorough review of the safety of the completed and planned works is carried out. We feel this is the only prudent course of action in order to avoid both wasting public money and increasing the risk of tragedy on our streets.
We look forward to your response.
Mike Grahn, Co-ordinator, Wandsworth Cycling Campaign