After many years of planning, TfL and Hackney Council have come up with a plan to remove the gyratory road system around Stoke Newington on the A10
– We welcome the desire to improve the gyratory, but we think that these proposals do not deliver the best possible scheme for people walking and cycling. More could be done to follow Healthy Streets principles.
– We believe the best outcome for people walking and cycling in the area would be the removal of through motor traffic from Stoke Newington High Street south of Church Street / north of Manse Road, with the maintenance of bus access and loading during restricted hours.
– Within the current scheme, we welcome the proposed 20mph speed limit, the northbound cycle track, the modal filtering and associated pocket parks and improvements to the streetscene.
– We believe the current scheme could be improved by the removal of the central median on Rectory Road, which would create space for a southbound cycle track, (or, better still, with a slight widening of the carriageway, a bidirectional cycle track), and a commitment from TfL to prioritise adoption of Intelligent Speed Assistance on buses in the area.
Transport for London impression of the new layout
Hackney Cycling Campaign
Hackney Cycling Campaign, the Hackney branch of London Cycling Campaign, welcomes this opportunity to respond to the proposed two-way operation of Stoke Newington Gyratory. We have long-standing concerns about the gyratory’s effect on people walking and cycling, and wish to ensure the final scheme follows Healthy Streets principles and promotes the Mayor’s Transport Strategy objectives of increasing active travel and achieving Visions Zero aims of road danger reduction.
Removal of the gyratory
We welcome the desire to improve Stoke Newington High Street, which, in its current form, is dangerous and forbidding for people cycling and those wishing to cycle and is also problematic for those on foot and for bus users. We recognise the multiple conflicting demands on road use and the difficulty in reconciling these: we have sought to balance the needs of all street users by raising the level of service given to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users and reducing the current dominance of private motor vehicles. Our suggestions fall below what we believe would be a perfect solution for people cycling, but would offer an incremental improvement on the current situation.
A recent study published by TfL shows the economic gains to high streets from investing in healthy streets and active travel https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/economic-benefits-of-walking-and-cycling. We believe this approach should be central to the final scheme.
This proposal is a step forward in creating an improved and safer space for some cycling journeys. The lower speed limit, northbound cycle track and modal filtering will substantially improve the area for people walking and cycling. However, we believe that there is significant scope for making further improvements that will enhance the street’s performance against Healthy Streets criteria.
Hackney Cycling Campaign’s preferred solution
We believe the best outcome for people walking, cycling and using public transport, would be the removal of all private motor traffic from Stoke Newington High Street, except for access and loading within restricted hours. A limited number of buses could use the high street, while private motor traffic could be routed via Rectory Road. This would dramatically increase comfort and safety for people walking and cycling, while improving air quality. While this would lead to an increase in the number of drivers using Rectory Road, we believe that the benefits to all those visiting and working on Stoke Newington High Street, in terms of safety, comfort and air quality, must be the priority.
The current scheme
Manor Road to Northwold Road
We believe that the opportunity exists to introduce a stepped cycle track at least northbound on this section. The Manor Road junction should be designed to allow cyclists to cross with pedestrians during the all-green pedestrian phase.
At the junction with Northwold Road, we would like to see a two-way cycle track running east along Northwold Road to join a two-way track running along the eastern side of Rectory Road.
Northwold Road to Church Street
We believe the northbound cycle track should continue to the north of Church Street, with a bus-stop bypass, rather than retaining the current design, in which people must cycle around buses.
At the very least, early-release signals for people cycling should be introduced to allow some separation from drivers of cars and buses at the junction.
On Church Street we recommend the relocation of bus stops further to the west to accommodate time-limited loading bays and reduce air pollution adjacent to the school entrance. This will provide clear space for traffic movements including cycles. In the longer-term, we would hope to see the reduction and, ultimately, removal of private motor traffic along Stoke Newington Church Street, except for buses and access.
A modal filter created by ‘pocket parks’
Stoke Newington Church Street to Manse Road
The proposed part-time inset parking bays on the cycle track are an inadequate solution as cyclists will be using the track at all times of day. The proposed loading periods coincide with school travel times – there is potential for the arrangement to exclude younger children and parents travelling to school. We would like to see loading restricted to 10am-12pm, with strict enforcement outside these hours.
At the junction with Brooke Road, we appreciate the need for bus clearance when turning into the High Street from Brooke Road, but would like to see visual continuity for people cycling indicated from one track to another, using paint.
South of Brooke Road, we fully support the filtering of the side streets and implementation of ‘Copenhagen’ entry treatments.
We would prefer to see all loading bays on the carriageway side of the cycle track, rather than inviting drivers to cross the cycle track – we would ask that the loading bay south of Victorian Grove be changed accordingly.
Rectory Road, with median strip
Rectory Road south of Northwold Road
We do not believe that the current design on Rectory Road is an appropriate ‘Healthy Streets’ approach, as it expects people cycling to share the carriageway with thousands of drivers and hundreds of HGV drivers per day. Nor do we believe that the median would make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road. Our preference would be to see the removal of the median, and the creation of a bidirectional cycle track along Northwold, Rectory and Manse Roads.
At the junction with Evering Road, we do not believe ASLs are an adequate solution for cyclists.
We would like to see a modal filter at the junction of Rectory Road and Manse Road, to prevent rat-running drivers continuing southbound (or rat-running northbound) from Amhurst Road or Hackney Downs.