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Quietway 2 Consultation – Lewisham Cyclists’ response

Overall we welcome and are very supportive of the Q2 developments outlined in the Consultation plans. We are very pleased to see that the project involves significant road closures, junction interventions and public realm improvements which should make the cycling environment much safer and calmer as appropriate to the somewhat more defensive types of cyclists that we hope to encourage to use the route.
As a minor criticism of the consultation itself we have found the drawings to be a bit difficult to interpret in some areas. This makes it difficult for us to comment on some of the specifics e.g. whether the tracks are an adequate width. We understand that is partly because the final engineering drawings are not being drawn up until after the consultation.
Comments on the route section by section
Connect 2 (Millwall Link) and Ilderton Road
The absence from this consultation of the Connect 2 extension from South Bermondsey station to Surrey Canal Road (apparently being taken forward by Sustrans as a separate project with unspecified timescales) makes it difficult to comment on some of the onward route connectivity into Southwark.
However, whatever happens with the Connect 2 route from South Bermondsey Station to Surrey Canal Road (to the East of Millwall Football Ground) there will need to be an alternative route for cyclists on match days and late at night when that somewhat isolated route may be intimidating for some cyclists. Ilderton Road is the obvious alternative and there is plenty of road/pavement width to either create a 2 way cycle lane on the East side (best option) or a shared use Northbound pavement on the West Side with a Southbound segregated cycle lane on the East side. We believe these Ilderton Road route options should be included in the Q2 development plans now.
Ilderton to Orion Business Centre
Generally looks good with humped entrances to Orion Business Centre and the road to the West of the London Overground bridge. However not really clear from the plans whether the cycle lane has priority at these intersections – vehicles should have Give Way signage at junctions with the cycle lane. I believe that Nick Harvey indicated at the LC AGM that this would be the case.
Surrey Canal road/Landmann Way
The treatment of the Landmann Way roundabout is a definite improvement, however we feel more could be done to improve safety here:
Tighten the geometry of the junction to reduce vehicle speeds.
Provide a ‘cycle zebra’ on the cycle route crossing to give cyclists enhanced priority.
Cut back the flower bed wall on the corner of the LBL Recycling Centre to enhance visibility into Landmann Way for Eastbound cyclists.
Surrey Canal Road/Trundleys Road
Trundleys junction proposed redesign is a dramatic improvement over the currently extremely hazardous and intimidating crossing. However the general view of LC members is still that a Toucan crossing would be the only ultimately safe configuration at this location.
It also appears that quite a lot of park area has had to be sacrificed to make the junction work and the easement of the bend Southbound into Trundleys Road seems to be excessive encouraging higher vehicle speeds.
Some further thought also needs to be given under ‘Safe Routes to Schools’ plans as to how parents and children could be encouraged to use Q2 to get to Sir Francis Drake school (on the North side of the railway bridge adjacent to Trundleys Road). As part of this, consideration should be given to providing some form of pedestrian crossing in Grinstead Road to the East of the railway bridge.
Surrey Canal Road generally
This road should have a 20MPH limit, not 30MPH as indicated on the plans. This is a Lewisham Mayoral policy commitment for the whole of LBL so should be included in these plans at this stage.
No thought seems to have been given to the linking of Q2 to the existing London Cycle Network (LCN) route in Mercury Way. Currently this is only accessible Southbound via a hazardous right-turning manoeuvre on Surrey Canal Road. A possible solution could be linking from the signalised crossing under the London Overground railway bridge via a segregated cycle path on the South side of Surrey Canal Road.
Folkestone Gardens
We’re generally happy with this section but feel that to give cyclists feeling of security at night there should be significant vegetation clearance around the route to make it more visible, particularly on corners.
Narrowish section from Folkestone Gardens into tunnel under railway should be widened further (splaying out) to give better visibility and feelings of security.
A number of members have indicated that they would be uncomfortable using the section from Folkestone Gardens through the railway tunnel late at night. Consideration should be given to providing a sign-posted alternative night-time road-based route e.g. via Rolt Street.
Childers St (Gosterwood to Abinger)
On the North side of the Railway Arches before exiting into Childers St there is a roadway allowing access to the railway arches. Vehicles should be shown Give Way signs, humps should be installed and, as the crossing is pretty much blind, mirrors should be installed.
The Streetscape treatment of Childers St is not very clear from the plans. The ‘build-out’ features seem to include secure cycle parking (good) but we are not clear why they are so substantial as Cyclehoop Bike Hanger units normally just take up one car parking space. Traffic levels in this part of Childers St will be very low so, apart from speed humps, we are not sure there is a need to create pseudo chicane features to reduce speeds.
We’re fully supportive of the road closure at the junction of Childers St with Rolt Street as this will eliminate the current high levels of rat-running traffic. The change of priority at this junction is also very good as cycle flows should be higher than vehicle flows once the road-closure is enacted.
Childers St road-closure streetscape – should Tegula Paving on cycle path extend all the way to the junction, rather than being interrupted by Artificial Stone Paving, for visibility of path to other road users.
Section of Childers St between Rolt St and Abinger Grove. Should replace speed cushions with full width speed humps. Otherwise, as section will now have low levels of traffic, no further changes needed.
The change of priority at the Abinger Grove and Childers St junction is good for giving cyclists priority and reducing traffic speeds.
Evelyn Green/Edward St
Evelyn Green park removal of horrible blue fencing and widening of path is an excellent development. We can’t comment on whether the proposed path is wide enough as dimensions are not provided.
Wotton Road resurfacing long overdue as it is very uneven at the moment.
Entry into the new 2 way cycle path on Edward St should be OK as there are very low levels of traffic into Evelyn Green.
We feel that there is a big missed opportunity here to close and pedestrianize the western arm of the Edward St ‘one way system’ under the railway lines and use that space to provide pleasant pedestrian and cycle links to Evelyn Green and Q2.
We are approving of the two way segregated cycle lane on the North side of Edward St and are OK with the planned ‘cycle zebra’ proving Westbound access to the 2-way lane. However we would very much prefer it if some way could be found to extend the lane all the way to the junction with Deptford High St, even if this involved some narrowing of the lane (minimum 3m).
As the Deptford High St plans are separate from this consultation, and have not yet been finalised, it is unfortunately impossible to comment at this stage on the Edward St and Deptford High St junction which is a critical and hazardous link in the Q2 route.
Very supportive of the Crossfield St road closure.
Not clear if there are any plans to improve Public Realm in Coffey Street and access to Toucan crossing across Deptford Church Street.
Very supportive of the Bronze St West end closure and improved public realm. This permanent closure would be a golden opportunity to integrate this section of Bronze St into the adjacent park area and remove the high brick wall on the South side separating it from the green space in the Crossfield Estate. Just retaining a minimum width 2 way cycle lane and footpath and grass the rest over.
Half Penny Hatch
For cyclists travelling West on Q2 this exit is virtually blind due to the immediately adjacent railway bridge arches and the high wall to the Deptford Creek Centre. Should be signage warning cars to watch out for cyclists and cyclist stop/give way signage on the cycle path itself. Also could be useful to install mirrors here. Not clear from drawing but may also need an extra speed hump on the road immediately to the North of the intersection to reduce traffic speeds.