Westminster Cycling Campaign News - August 2014

Pimlico: bikes outnumber cars

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A recent count has shown that cycle movements far outnumber those of cars in the Pimlico 'grid' at peak times.

bar chart

The bar chart shows the hourly rates of cycles and motor vehicles using the SW end of Gloucester Street that were recorded at the junction with St George's Drive the morning of 12th August and the evening of 13th August.

Gloucester Street
The junction of Gloucester Street and St George's Drive

Many of the cycle movements, especially in the evening peak, contravened the 'no entry' restriction at this junction. In order to reduce illegal cycling, we would like to make legal cycling easier through junctions like this one by exempting cycles from the prohibition.

The guidance on contraflow cycling given in the Department for Transport's Local Transport Note 2/08 is:

7.6.6 Where the 85th percentile speed is less than 25 mph and traffic flows are below 1,000 vehicles a day, or where the street forms part of a 20 mph zone, it may be possible to dispense with any marked cycle lane.

These conditions are likely to be satisfied at the junctions around the Pimlico 'grid'. The guidance does not specify a minimum caarriageway width and there are some very narrow streets in the City of London that have contraflow cycling.

Unfortunately Westminster council is still unwilling to exempt cyclists from the 'no-entry' restrictions around the Pimilco 'grid'. In response to a Space for Cycling proposal, Councillor Ed Argar recently wrote to the LCC:

I would have safety concerns given the long-standing nature of the existing arrangements which could lead to confusion, and the narrowness of some of the junctions where there are build-outs with trees which could risk motorist/cyclist conflict. Where the road layout/ pavements etc are wide enough we do consider schemes to improve permeability for cyclists around the area and city, however for the above reason I am not convinced that a blanket exemption for cyclists from one way/ no entry restrictions in the Pimlico Grid area would be practical, or, most importantly, safe.