Camden's West End is changing. For better or worse, if you want safe space4cycling you have to get involved


New plans by Camden Council to transform Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street have got everyone talking.  Their "West End Project" has been devised to accommodate thousands of extra pedestrians who will pour in to the area after Crossrail opens in 2018, but there are very valid concerns about the effect this will have on cyclists on these key north / south routes.
 Is this the Tottenham Court Road of the future?
On Thursday I signed an open letter - along with a number of other campaigners - praising the principles of the West End Project and agreeing to engage with the proposals as productively as possible.  When plans that can effect cyclist's safety are under scrutiny it is understandable that emotions can run high, but in this instance I do believe a positive attitude with an informed, constructive and cooperative approach will procure a much better result for us.


There are plenty of cycle design horror stories in London where boisterously pointing out their inherent daftness is, frankly, the only scrutiny they deserve (Elephant and Castle, Bow roundabout, Vauxhall Cross, anyone?)  In the past I've been the first to call on people to stamp their feet, badger their politicians and take to the streets in protest.  

But in this instance I truly believe that Camden's heart is in the right place, even if I don't agree with all of their proposal.  Their stated objectives for the scheme are to "make streets safe, attractive and easy to cross, to create new public space for the whole community to enjoy, to improve the experience for pedestrians and cyclists, to reduce congestion, pollution and casualties and to provide a public realm to cope with more pedestrians for Crossrail".  

Gower Street at present: three lanes of fast moving traffic with no safe space for cycling.  Horrible for pedestrians too.  A traffic sewer.

You don't have to look far from Camden's borders to see just how far ahead of other boroughs the ambition of the Council is, and that's something to be applauded, not scorned.  Putting this kind of proposal on the table risks raising the fury of the taxi trade and the freight transport lobby, not to mention the irk of local residents and Councillor's vote-wielding electorate.  Standing on the sidelines throwing our toys out of the pram will not get the result we want; the Council will either withdraw from discussion completely or simply comply with those they perceive to be reasonable whilst we rant and rave from the unreasonable margins.  It is the job of cycle campaigners over the next few months to ensure our voices are more reasonable and more compelling than those who will respond (like the cab trade) who'd like to see all the benefits of this scheme undone.

The West End Project has been conceived in good faith; removing the Tottenham Court Road / Gower Street one-way system has been in Camden's transport strategy and under discussion with local stakeholders since 2007.  Their proposal is not perfect for cyclists, but is considered by the Council to be the best of some 30 different scenarios they have drawn up and chewed over.  If only all streets in London were created with such care!

My interpretation of the plans has very much been whilst wearing two hats; as a Londoner who often uses the space on foot for shopping and entertainment, arriving by train; and as a cyclist who often cycles through the area and sometimes stops and shops there whilst using a bicycle, too.


As a pedestrian and public transport user the current proposal to make Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street two-way are good.  Speeds on both streets are currently very high (certainly considerably higher than the area's new 20mph zone limit) due to the straightness and width of the road.  You have to go to two different streets to catch a bus, depending on which direction you're going in.  The pavements - most especially around the Dominion Theatre and TCR station - are narrow, cluttered and unable to cope at peak times.  Gower Street - despite the host of historic buildings and cultural institutions that line it - is nothing better than a traffic sewer.  

The plan to return to two-way will deliver slower speeds, easier bus interchange with TCR station, more pavement space, the ability to cross narrower streets more informally, not to mention significant new public space including a very large plaza at the foot of the Centre Point Tower, a "pocket park" half way up Tottenham Court Road itself and a completely new park on Alfred Place turning what is presently acres of half empty asphalt in to the first new public park to be built in the West End in over a century.  All good stuff.  But despite traffic levels falling across the district for a number of years, bus numbers remain steadfastly high, and there will still be a very significant number of noisy, dirty buses transiting the area in the future.

As a cyclist, the plans for the area are not quite so fantastic.  Existing confident cyclists will certainly benefit from decreased speeds if the streets revert to two-way (both in terms of a limit and speeds restrained by the physical environment) and there are promises of more bike parking space which is currently scarce indeed in the West End.

Tottenham Court Road itself will be made bus and cycle only from 8AM to 7PM, Monday to Friday, travelling from north to south - certainly an improvement on the current wide-laned free-for-all that exists.  But there are no plans for any segregated cycling infrastructure here at all; the best we can hope for are a few Advanced Stop Lines and carriageways that are just wide enough to allow you to filter or play leap frog with the 90 or so buses which will travel through in each direction each hour.  Other traffic - including taxis - can still traverse TCR east / west and no passenger would be more than 60metres from a store entrance doing this, putting paid to the myth that the cab trade will be cut off, even if they won't have direct north / south access.


Proposals for Gower Street

Camden envisage that if you are just general traffic passing through (whether in a car or on a bike) you take a slight detour via Gower Street to go north or south.  That's okay - I have no problem with minor detours so long as the quality and comfort of that detour outweighs the most direct route.  On Gower Street, Camden propose "lightly segregated" lanes of a maximum 1.5 metres width in each direction.  The light segregation will be similar to the "armadillos" currently used on Royal College Street, which has much lower traffic volumes and wider bike lanes.  Can sporadic implementation of rubber bumps provide adequate segregation against the high volumes of motor traffic expected here? And with such high traffic levels - and throughput of cyclists - will 1.5m wide lanes give sufficient space for cycles to offer sufficient protection?  In recent years levels of all types of other private traffic have been falling in the area whereas cycling is growing - will these narrow lanes be sufficient enough to cope with future cycling growth?



Royal College Street (above) and a dense application of armadillos on a centre-of-carriageway cycle track in Barcelona, Spain (below).

I've seen armadillos used to good effect in Barcelona when placed at an angle and at closer intervals (indeed, this particular route was full of kids cycling to school and other "indicator species" for a successful cycling scheme) but doing this on Gower Street would also need more space.  Can enough space be found here for safe cycling of all levels? (Dr Rachel Aldred does a superb job on her blog analysing the impacts of the proposed scheme on inclusive cycling in the future, and comes up with interesting proposals)

So if the proposed cycle tracks on Gower Street aren't good enough, why not keep the one way system and put in a segregated cycle track alongside it?  Fellow bike blogger David Arditti, aka the Vole O'Speed - in a well researched and considered proposal on his blog here - comes to a similar conclusion, but I have reservations about this approach too.

One of the key purposes of the West End Project is to think about how the streets in the area will operate in the future, and what seems to be lacking from much of cycle campaigner's consideration is an awareness of just how significant an impact the opening of Crossrail will have in the area.  London's new high-frequency underground train route is breath-taking in scale: this single line will add 10% capacity to the entire London Underground network alone.  By 2018 (when the new line opens) Tottenham Court Road train station will be used by 200,000 passengers a day, rising to 306,000 a day by 2026 according to latest predictions.  Some 38,000 people an hour will use the station during week day peaks.

The problematic point on Tottenham Court Road lies just north of the station where a pinch between two buildings leaves just 9 metres of space to play with.  If you maintain the one-way system you will need to put any segregated cycling infrastructure on the "wrong" side of the carriageway in order to avoid buses pulling over in to your path continually, despite there being many side roads and this being a shopping precinct where cyclists may wish to make stops.

Tottenham Court Road at its narrowest point.

I've been a strident cheerleader for more segregated cycling infrastructure in London for many years, but at this 9 metre pinch point I just don't think an off-side cycle track with buses on one side and so many thousands of pedestrians coming out of the station on the other is going to work.  I can't help but feel that campaigning for that would be akin to cutting off your nose to spite your face. We'd get the safe space for cycling we've all been calling for, but it would likely be full of some of the thousands and thousands of pedestrians Crossrail will bring to the area.  As a Londoner (and public transport user) I also can't bring myself to push for this solution when taken in to consideration against the disbenefits for pedestrians, including likely higher traffic speeds if the one way system is retained and having to catch buses in different directions from two different streets.

 New Oxford Street today

New Oxford Street, to the east of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street (the road that runs between the Dominion Theatre and the Centre Point Tower) is presently a terrifying melange of buses, bordered by the Holborn / Shaftesbury Avenue gyratory to the south.  Yet despite this it is the beginning of what I like to call the "Hipster spice route", the insanely popular cycling route from the West End to East London following New Oxford Street, Theobald's Road and Old Street where London's highest cycling rates have been recorded (51% of AM peak traffic) and it is not uncommon to see 50+ cyclists at every junction during rush hour.  But despite this, the West End Project's only concession to cycling on New Oxford Street are raised tables to keep speeds down.  See the desperately scant proposals here - it's almost like they ran out of steam.


London's "Hipster Spice Route" starts on New Oxford Street before joining Theobald's Road, above.

So what can we do?  As I stated at the start, stamping our feet on the sidelines will get us nowhere whilst other more effective lobbying groups erase whatever benefits may be on offer.

As I've outlined above, personally I don't think keeping the one way system and having segregated routes alongside it will work.  I'd go as far as to say that with such high pedestrian numbers we should effectively "give" Tottenham Court Road itself to them, and the buses and train station that will deliver and take them away.

Two way working on Gower Street will significantly improve what - as Londoners - we all deserve to enjoy as one of our most beautifully built streets, full of interesting institutions and seats of learning.  But the current space for cycling on offer is insufficient.  If light segregation is going to be used then it needs to be much more along the Barcelona model, and to do that we need to find more space.   Can enough space be squeezed from the existing carriageway to deliver this?  Perhaps.  Could even more space, better results for pedestrians and an improved public environment be delivered by making Gower Street pedestrians and cyclists only?  Undoubtedly.  But is this politically palatable, and will the taxi and freight transport lobby - not to mention local residents - stand for it?

The consultation for the West End Project closes on Friday the 18th of July.  My key responses will include asking for:
  • Extended operating hours of the "bus and cycle only" exclusion on Tottenham Court Road, including later at night and on Sunday.
  • More space for cycling for existing riders on TCR itself, including deep bike boxes at junctions, cycle-only advance lights, and more cycle parking at stages along the route if two-way running is introduced.
  • A return to the drawing board for New Oxford Street proposals, which desperately need to do more to keep existing riders safe, let alone those who will ride here in the future (including the young and elderly)
  • More safe space for cycling on Gower Street; either through wider and better separated cycle tracks, or via the complete exclusion of motor traffic on this route all together.
I would encourage you all to read up on the plans, to respond to the consultation, and to get involved.  People on bikes undoubtedly need to stand up and be counted if the scheme isn't going to be watered down by other responses, and we need to find common ground to push forward where we agree on what the next steps should be.  One thing is for certain, the West End's streets are going to change and it is up to us all to ensure there's a place for cycling on them.

What can you do?

The consultation to the West End Project is here whilst the plans are here.

Camden Cycling Campaign (the local branch of the London Cycling Campaign) are holding an engagement meeting with Camden's planner and local Councillors on the 30th June at the Indian YMCA at 7PM (Entry ticketed due to demand, register for yours here.)

Other blog posts on this subject worth your consideration:

Movement for Liveable London: An Open Letter to Camden's West End Project
Dr Rachel Aldred: Is there room for inclusive cycling?
Vole O Speed: To gyrate or not to gyrate?
Cyclists In The City: Londoners voted for space4cycling. Should people support these plans?
Cycling Embassy of Great Britain: Forum thoughts and facts
Cycle Scape: campaign space run by Camden Cyclists
London Cycling Campaign: Will West End deliver?

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19 comments:

Julian Bond said...

Given the bus-pedestrian-cyclist accidents on Oxford St, I worry about extending the same to TCR. That artist's impression looks like a pedestrian precinct with a small number of slow moving buses and cyclists. Reality won't be like that.

ibikelondon said...

Thanks Julian. The levels of buses on TCR won't be as high as on Oxford Street, mercifully.

Reflecting on all of the above I thought could the best option be to make TCR cyclists only north / south? But what about the disbenefits this would cause pedestrians, and the lack of improvement to the public realm on Gower Street? (With all the general traffic, and buses, on Gower Street it would become even more of a traffic sewer, and there'd be no space for cycling and narrower carriageways, too.

It's something I've been chewing over for a few weeks now, and I'm still not swayed as to what the very best solution will be. That's why I'll be going to the meting on June 30th to find out more.

Anonymous said...

I think one key point here is that no-where in the discussion of various options by the council do we see any accounting for the benefits of modal shift to cycling (only possible with the provision of high-quality infrastructure, or blocking through traffic on one route) - and the benefits of design that engineers a sharp reduction in taxis and private cars (sensible given that crossrail and good bike infrastructure will give new and better transport choices here, and because bus, cycling and walking are the most space-efficient transport choices in these congested streets).

This, to me, looks (partly) like a campaigning failure. We clearly haven't yet made an effective case for mass cycling, and traffic reduction. But they're the only changes that will have the very significant health, environmental, road safety and congestion benefits that spending 26 million ought to have. As a first move, we should ask the council to go back to the rejected options, and assess their environmental, health and road safety benefits in comparison to the consultation design. We might end up with a very different preferred option.

Why would giving TCR over to cycling, pedestrians and local access have disbenefits for pedestrians? It seems to me that it would in fact hugely benefit pedestrians, by removing conflict with buses - and benefit businesses by making shopping/eating etc on tcr much easier and more pleasant. People don't mind having to walk a few yards to the bus at Westfield, and they would't here. It's true that doing this, you'd need to reduce taxis and private cars to a minimum on Gower St to make a significant improvement there. (even with just 2 traffic lanes instead of three) (Incidentally, won't the main station entrance be next to Centrepoint, not at the narrow point of TCR? So this might make seg lanes easier than you're suggesting?)

I honestly don't think there's much risk of losing the consultation design if we decide to ask for something much better. Something needs to be done to sort out pedestrian numbers around the bottom of TCR - so something will happen. The consultation scheme offends no-one (not even taxis if they look at it carefully) - it just rearranges things a little. This is why it also does very little real good..

anon1

ibikelondon said...

@anon1 Thanks for your considered comments, I agree with much of what you say, most especially that somewhere along the lines there has been a "campaigning failure" as to why introducing a bold pedestrians and cyclists is the perfect option - I just don't think Camden's Councillors believe it and that it would be politically viable. A shame. Going forwards, our messaging around cycling and it's place at the centre of London is something which will need to be improved if we are not going to see this issue repeated over and over.

Giving TCR over to pedestrians and cyclists only wouldn't have a disbenefit there (I think we are at cross purposes there) but what about on Gower Street? Even if we can make the case for private motor traffic reduction we're not going to be able to reduce the volume of buses in the area and I would argue that Gower St is even less able to cope with the volume of them than TCR. There'd be room for segregated cycling on Gower St if it was bus only but how could we convince politicians to do this, and effectively ban all north <> south private traffic movements on TCR and Gower Street?

Regarding the Crossrail station it will have a number of entrances, the primary ones being beneath the Centre Point Tower - my point about the pinch point on TCR is not that all these new pedestrians will exit directly on to the pinch point, but that once they are up on street level they need to disperse - a significant number of them will head north up TCR and certainly more than make that journey at present.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mark.

I think this consultation may be a very good moment to remedy the campaigning failure. If we want something better here, for sure we're going to have to make a great case for it. That case should be a key part of any response we give, as well as any technical suggestions.

How important is it to have high-quality cycling on both TCR and Gower? Perhaps it's worth more or less giving up on one road in order to get great mass cycling conditions on the other, since they're parallel routes?

In terms of buses - If we build a great cycle route between Camden and the West End - which would include some work on Hampstead Rd and re-thinking of Euston Circus - it's not unimaginable that this would take, two-way maybe 20,000 bikes a day (up from 3,000 on gower/tcr now). That might, in turn, allow some re-thinking of bus services.. (people choosing to move from bus to bike improves environment, road safety. and is cheaper..)

anon1

Grant said...

Hi Mark

Nice post, thanks. My understanding of the proposals is that taxis, delivery vehicles etc. will still be able to drive on TCR if entering from east/west, they just won't be able to drive all the way along it. So it won't actually be 'bus and cycle only', non-bus traffic will be able to drive along, rather than just traverse TCR. Is this correct?

I love the term 'indicator species' by the way!

Cheers

Grant

ibikelondon said...

@anon1 You're absolutely right, and I will push at the meeting on the 30th June that all our responses should include an initial argument for this - certainly, we have nothing to lose by doing so. One or the other (TCR or Gower) would be sufficient, I think.

ibikelondon said...

@Grant

Thanks for your comment! If you like the term "indicator species" you'll like this post about Hackney's indicator species and early adopters:
http://ibikelondon.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/from-early-adopters-to-everyday-and.html

Regarding taxis and private motor cars it is best to imagine TCR split in to segments stacked on top of each other going south to north (divided by the roads that traverse TCR east <> west) As I understand it taxis and motor cars would be able to access each of these segments (for example, to drop off a passenger) but not travel north <> south to get from one to the other. Therefore, any traffic would be local access traffic only and likely to be very limited. To get in to the next segment, cars would have to exit either east or west, go up and along the back streets and re-enter TCR inside the next segment - not something I can imagine anyone doing? With no proposed cab ranks in the plans there would be no reason for taxis to do this either. This is a clever way of filtering vehicles out I think. So yes, a cab driver might be able to drive, say 50 metres up TCR for example to drop off a disabled passenger at the cinema, but they wouldn't be able to drive up the road in one go in its entirety.

Lennie Dale said...

'The problematic point on Tottenham Court Road lies just north of the station where a pinch between two buildings leaves just 9 metres of space to play with. '

I am not sure this is correct, the carriageway at that point looks to be the width of 3 bus lanes, ie 9m. Do you have a source for this measurement? I dont believe it is 9m between the buildings. Space to work around in terms of a bike lane still.
regards
Anthony

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, here, LCC's Mustafa Arif suggests that segregated cycling on TCR would be better for pedestrians than Camden's scheme.

Anonymous said...

sorry, link failed

https://twitter.com/ma499/status/480126968567193600

Jono said...

Hi Mark,

Good write up as usual, and I totally agree that we should support the ambition of the scheme. When I first saw the video I thought great, now lets see the detail. However, like you I have real problems with what is on the table. You mention that bus numbers won't be as high as Oxford street, but at 90 an hour my understanding is that is only just less than Oxford street at peak. If Oxford street is the most polluted road in Europe, why are we spending £26m creating another one? It will be deeply unpleasant as a destination as well as trying to navigate through. Whether on foot or bike. I too will be there next Monday, and will be looking forward to a lively debate!

Anonymous said...

Hi, not wishing to seem obsessive on a point of detail, but I think this is important as the pinch point at the southern end of TCR is being used to reject various decent bike friendly suggestions. On the basis of the quote below from David Arditti's blog, I believe that the statement that the width is 9m from building to building is wrong and ought to be corrected; The carriageway width itself is 9.8m:

'The figures and plans I have (which I expect you also have, Jean – if not, I can forward them) give the narrowest part of TCR as being "Point 2" just south of Great Russell Street, with a carriageway width 9.8m, western pavement 3m, eastern pavement 4.1m. So even without taking anything from the pavements (which could be done) you've got 1.4m spare on your calculated total of 8.4m that you can can add to the normal width of the segregation island, which I take to be 0.7m, giving a 2.3m wide bus boarder. In practice if you wanted more you could shave a bit off a pavement or go down to 1.5m width for a cycle track for a little way. I'm absolutely sure all this can be fitted in.'
regards
Anthony

Ollyver said...

I agree we should support Camden Council's intentions to improve conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, even if this disadvantages motorists. I agree that it's not enough to focus on bikes.
But I disagree that you would be "throwing your toys out of the pram" to ask for better.
I am not a cyclist. I essentially don't cycle in London because it is unpleasant to the point of life-threatening. And I'm not going to start cycling on TCR with more than a bus a minute trying to overtake me. That is not an invitation to cycle for anyone not already doing it. What about Gower Street? I have to agree with Rachel Aldred: "even with armadillos between us, I don’t much fancy riding in a 1.5m lane close to several HGVs a minute at peak".
I think we should be asking for cycling infrastructure good enough for children to use too. Anything less only benefits existing cyclists - and that's harder to justify in public debate!

ibikelondon said...

@Anthony Thanks - I'm waiting for clarification from Camden on the 9m measurement, on reflection it does seem clear to me this must be carriageway and not building to building at this pinchpoint. That said, and even so, with the projected volumes of pedestrians who are due to use this space post Xrail I'm not sure we should be looking to shave off any pavement space here.

@Ollyver I can't say I blame you for not wanting to cycle in London at present, and you're most certainly not alone in feeling this! You (and indeed Dr Aldred) are of course right that the most complelling case of for space for cycling suitable and safe for riders of all backgrounds, age and ability. I would like to see this space on Gower Street. The question is, how do we get it? Perhaps pushing for the closure of Gower Street to all but feet and bikes? Great! Like I said in my original post, we can make radical proposals but in order to achieve them we must make them sufficiently more compelling than other's radical proposals (such as doing away with segregated space for cycling all together)

Anonymous said...

Is it too late to ask what the Dutch would do?

Existing cyclists will use any new facility that is put in, but will it attract new folk on to their bikes? I doubt it.

We have two roads running parallel so plenty of room to put in a wide segregated north / south route. The council should stop fannying about and put one in. If necessary just turn over the whole of Gower Street to pedestrians and cyclists.

Bill G

Paul M said...

Hi Mark

Addressing Grant’s point, by way of minor example, Roupell St in Lambeth/Southwark used to be a rat-run for taxis accessing Waterloo Station from the City, until it was split into four short sections: a little two-way, then a little westbound only, then a little eastbound only, and finally a little more westbound. Every address in the street is accessible by car/van without undue difficulty, but nothing can pass all the way through. Traffic has almost totally evaporated (street parking is limited and off-street non-existent) and at commuter times the street functions as well as shared space, although not actually designed as such.

You make some excellent points. My personal contribution to the consultation focused mainly on improving the Gower St cycle tracks by beefing up the segregation hardware – how about using good concrete armadillos and planters instead of flimsy plastic ones: most truckers will laugh off the plastic jobs as they can squash them like bugs, indeed the armadillos won’t even do any real damage to a car. Concrete on the other hand should incentivise motorists to steer clear. I also commented on the fact that the loading bays demonstrated the lack of ambition – the track should be clear during commuter hours but what about the rest of the day? Are they not interested in promoting cycling as all-round utility transport, not just for an hour or so in the morning and evening?

Much as I want to see a serious paradigm shift in approach to cycle infrastructure, I do feel that some campaigners fail to see the bigger picture. Even if we achieve Dutch/Danish levels of cycling, in a space like TCR we are still going to be outnumbered by pedestrians emerging from buses/tubes by a fair margin, and the street has to work for them first of all. I know some people think that gyratory systems can still work, as long as they are correctly motivated (ie not by maximising motor traffic flows or speeds) but I still think that the likely result would be higher traffic speeds which are adverse to pedestrians and cyclists alike.

I do however, finally, have some reservations about catering for buses. Purely anecdotally, and perhaps there are statistics which say otherwise, but I observe that daytime buses are substantially empty. Yesterday I passed five on the Strand (in the back of a taxi) of which four had not even a single passenger on board, and the fifth had about 4 or 5. Today, around midday, four buses passed me as I walked past the One New Change development on Cheapside. None of them had more than a handful of passengers aboard. And they travel in convoys (which is perhaps the problem – you have a choice of several buses at the same time, all going to the same places) using up oceans of roadspace. I suppose the problem is that buses are heavily used at certain times of day so that the fleet has to be big enough to cope with that demand, and each vehicle costs several hundreds of £k to buy so you want to maximise their use, but wouldn’t road space be better used if more was given to bicycles and less to buses, at least outside rush hour, when the committed and nerveless commuter cyclists are off the road and more nervous, potential cyclists might be encouraged to go out for other reasons such as to meet friends, visit the library etc?. And before anyone ripostes it, yes, of course the first thing to go should be the space largely given to private motor cars!

Julian Bond said...

Re Armadillos and other traffic modes. An HGV hitting one will barely notice. A car or SUV will kick a bit but other wise ignore it. But a motorcycle or bicycle hitting one could easily crash as a result. Obviously the motorcyclist or bicyclist should have been able to see it but incidents like this still happen. As a result, MAG is working to stop the spread of Armadillos especially as lane markers on roundabouts (as has happened oop north).

But it's a tricky design problem to mark bicycle lanes in such a way that bicycles are safe and can enter and leave them, while not adding additional danger to other road users. Even on bicycle only paths, the designers have got a habit of putting black painted obstacles in them or obstacles that leave too narrow a gap for trikes and cargo bikes.

Tab said...

Great blog post, Mark, and I absolutely agree that Camden Council have their heart in the right place.
The problem is that, during the past few years, whilst CCC has been negotiating this scheme with the council, there has been a big shift in what we've been campaigning for, and what we hope to achieve for cycling. This scheme falls very far short of one which will promote a modal shift towards cycling (which, in my opinion, would beautifully complement the extra rail capacity thereby lessening the need for motorised surface transport, including buses and taxis). From a public health perspective, we need to see an attractive cycle route, segregated from motor traffic, on either TCR or Gower Street.
Prioritising increased accessibility by bus will surely promote a modal shift towards buses, and I can't agree that this serves pedestrians well.

Tab.