Changes aim to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists
A major project by Transport for London (TfL) to reconfigure the Hammersmith Gyratory to encourage walking and cycling in the area commenced this Monday (29 November).
TfL is advising people to check their journeys before they travel, as the construction work will mean that there will be disruption in the area.
A new interim two-way segregated cycle track on the northern side of King Street will be created to connect with the Safer Cycle Pathway scheme at Lyric Square.
This will continue across the northern side of the gyratory to Hammersmith Road. The works also include new separate traffic signals at junctions for cyclists and a new single traffic lane on the northbound of the Shepherd’s Bush Road exit.
The changes aim to improve pedestrian safety at all junctions with side roads and introduce additional pavement space for pedestrians at the Black’s Road junction, while retaining the existing parking spaces.
A new parallel crossing at the Butterwick junction will allow westbound cyclists to join the two-way cycle track, while the pedestrian crossing over Queen Caroline Street will be extended.
The council have asked TfL to optimise traffic light timings so people can safely cross surrounding roads in a single stage.
This ‘semi-permanent scheme’ forms the third phase of works to create a full east-west Safer Cycle Pathway route in Hammersmith. These changes are being undertaken and paid for by TfL under a trial traffic order and should be completed by Spring 2022.
Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for the Environment, said, “The Hammersmith Gyratory is a busy section for all cyclists, pedestrians and motorists and we’re committed to a final scheme to replace this trial. We will look at the data and listen to residents to develop the best Safer Cycle Pathway that we can.”
Casey Abaraonye, Chair of Hammersmith and Fulham Cyclists, said, “We are pleased that work is finally starting on this section of the cycleway. The gyratory is complex but it has long been a dangerous place and a major discouragement to cycling in the area. The upgrades will improve it both for those cycling and the many people walk across the roads there, including students and school children. It is a vital step in our aim for High Streets not Highways.”
Recent cycle counts from the Hammersmith Gyratory on 12 October counted 2,844 people cycling between 7am-7pm, which TfL says shows that thousands of people stand to benefit from this new infrastructure.
The full, permanent east-west scheme through Hammersmith is still being developed. The council says It will only be introduced once has consulted with residents, analysed traffic and usage data and fixed any issues or problems with this latest interim scheme. There were 30 collisions on the gyratory in the three-year period to December 2020 of which five involved a cyclist.
Meanwhile, works continue in the second phase of works to upgrade the interim Safer Cycle Pathway in King Street.
The Safer Cycle Pathway takes shape on King Street in Hammersmith. Picture: Leo Murray
The new bi-directional cycle lane will run on the northern side of King Street running from Lyric Square to Macbeth Street. It will then change to the southern side of King Street passing the new Civic Campus development until Goldhawk Road. At this point Hounslow Council will also be making changes to the temporary Cycleway 9 along Chiswick High Road.
The route will also feature new pedestrian crossings designed to allow for better access for Disabled residents. The council says it has worked closely with our local Disabled Residents Team (DRT) and Disabled Residents Working Group (DRWG) to design these changes, and recently visited similar schemes in Hounslow to discuss what would work best in Hammersmith.
Jane Wilmot OBE, co-chair of the Disabled Residents Working Group for the Safer Cycle Pathway, said, “We’re delighted to be working together with H&F in trying to provide a positive experience for blind, visually impaired and Disabled residents who face barriers in using the Safer Cycle Pathway.”
The council have also negotiated with TfL to fund a complementary scheme of improvements for a cycle highway along the A4 more suited for faster and experienced commuting riders.
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner said: “The Hammersmith gyratory is of London’s most intimidating junctions, and these changes will have huge benefits for both pedestrians and cyclists travelling around the area. Protecting vulnerable road users and making London’s junctions safer for all is a key part of our Vision Zero commitment to eliminate death and serious injuries on London’s roads, and these improvements will offer more space and make it easier to navigate local roads, as well as providing a vital link in the growing network of cycle routes in west London.”
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November 30, 2021