Uncertainty Over Continued Access to A4 from King Street

Council report recommends changes on Weltje Road and Rivercourt Road

Council survey showed majority of respondents thought Safer Cycle Pathway was positive


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March 21, 2023

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has published the results of the recent consultation on its Safer Cycle Pathway (SCP).

It shows that the majority of respondents were in favour of the cycle lane and the decision has been made to issue a new traffic order to supersede the temporary one that currently enables the section between Goldhawk Road and Lyric Theatre.

The council is now moving towards implementing the original permanent design that was drawn up before the pandemic. Kerbs are to replace wands to separate cyclists from traffic and improvements are to be made at the junctions with side roads with some money available to start work immediately.

The report to the council cabinet which contains the results of the consultation, acknowledges the issue with collisions that have occurred on the cycleway in Hammersmith. Data presented with report showed that three cyclists had been seriously injured on the cycleway since it was opened in December 2021 and since that time there have been another three incidents up to September of last year.

There have been double the number of serious injuries to cyclists in nine months than in the previous five years combined on the same route.

The report also included an analysis of the collision data for the SCP since implementation and concluded, “While there is insufficient data to solely attribute any of the changes observed in the profile of collisions along King Street with the introduction of the scheme, the council has identified specific characteristics at the junctions of Weltje Road and Rivercourt Road with King Street and is preparing to implement measures to reduce conflict between different road user groups at these locations.”

Vehicles can currently turn left of the A4 into Rivercourt Road. Picture: Google Streetview

As well as improving the junctions where these collisions have been occurring, the council appears to be considering restricting access to the A4 at Weltje Road and Rivercourt Road. Both roads would be made two-way to allow continued resident access from King Street. Three of the serious collisions that took place in 2022 were at the Weltje Road junction as cyclists were hit by traffic turning to get to the A4. A press release issued by Hammersmith & Fulham Council about the upgrade of the Safer Cycle Highway does not mention this proposal. We asked the council whether it was its intention to shut access from Weltje Road to the A4 and from the A4 to Rivercourt Road. A spokesperson said, "we will be making adjustments – big and small – to the scheme. The bigger ones will take more time and we will be working with TfL on those".

Weltje Road junction has seen six cyclists seriously injured in nine months.

The report submitted to the council cabinet states that it is planned to, “Progress measures in conjunction with local stakeholders to improve traffic management on Rivercourt Road and Weltje Road, including traffic reduction measures to improve safety in the area, traffic access restrictions and changes from one-way to two-way traffic flow whilst maintaining access and servicing for properties.”

A range of measures that the report says are subject to further investigation, road safety audits and discussion with TfL and other key stakeholders include a narrowing the junctions of Rivercourt Road and Weltje Road and implementation of crossing changes, reducing traffic volumes by introducing access restrictions on Rivercourt and Weltje Road and enabling two way traffic to maintain access, possible changes to bus stop near to the junction of Rivercourt Road to improve sight lines and surveys to consider the impact of trees on visibility and sight lines.

In a press release the council says only that it plans include, “improving visibility for motorists and cyclists at the junctions of Weltje Road and Rivercourt Road junctions. We also want to reduce the speed of vehicles on these roads to reduce the chance of collisions.”

The closure of access at these points would mean increased pressure on remaining routes between the A4 and A315 including Chiswick Lane, Dukes Avenue and Sutton Court Road.

The council will also be looking at working with TfL to upgrade the current pedestrian refuge outside the West London Free School into a zebra crossing as it is likely that the existing pedestrian refuge would need to be removed due to the junction changes at Weltje Road. It will also be looking to improve disabled parking options in the area and facilities for loading and unloading for businesses in the area. Responses from both the disabled and local businesses showed that the Safer Cycle Pathway had created issues for both groups.

Consideration is also to be given to how emergency vehicles could be given better access along the narrow section of King Street where there have been a number of instances of them being delayed in static queues of traffic.

The council’s statement says that the interim SCP becomes permanent on 22 March although the report submitted to the cabinet suggests that a new Traffic Order will have to be issued which will require a statutory consultation before it becomes effective. The existing temporary traffic order expires on 28 March.

The report to cabinet states that most of the money for the interim scheme has come from TfL and £150,000 was given in the current financial year for improvements to crossing points and junctions. We asked the council if this meant that work would be starting on junction improvements this month before the end of the council’s financial year, but they did not respond. Additional funding is to be sought from TfL for further upgrades.

The interim SCP was based on a permanent scheme consulted on by TfL in 2017 but with several key differences due to its semi-permanent nature. Bus stop bypasses were introduced within the carriageway with limited opportunities for general traffic to pass whilst a bus is stopped. This allowed pavements to be maintained at close to previous widths to maximise space for pedestrians and required less pavement works than previously planned with the original SCP layout. The cycle track is separated by wands with only short sections of kerb separation which allowed the temporary changes to be introduced quicker and at lower cost than kerb separation throughout; as planned with the original SCP layout. The side road junctions included minimal changes to gradients, road width or cycle track position to allow the temporary changes to be introduced quickly and cheaply.

The survey held by the council on the SCP consisted of eight questions where the views and comments of residents and businesses were collected. 798 responses were received in total with 52% saying that they believed the scheme had had a positive impact on the area and 45% believing it to be negative.

68% of disabled respondents said they believed the impact of the scheme to be negative. Concerns were raised about bus stops bypasses. Some respondents said it is now confusing and dangerous to navigate to the pavement for those with disabilities and mobility issues. In addition, some respondents felt unsafe when crossing because cyclists sometimes do not stop at crossings.

Disabled residents had an overwhelmingly negative view of the Safer Cycle Pathway
Disabled residents had an overwhelmingly negative view of the Safer Cycle Pathway

Just over a quarter of those responding were from the Hammersmith postcode area (W6) with nearly as many from Chiswick (W4).

45% of respondents said their preferred mode of transport was by bike with only 22% saying public transport 19% walking and 11% by car. For disabled respondents, 36% said they preferred public transport and 29% cars with 22% saying they cycle.

Overall, 89% of people who cycled said it was positive and 92% of drivers said it was negative

The report also states that since the introduction of the interim SCP, the parking policy team has received correspondence from residents and businesses raising concerns about the lack of available loading space for businesses. Businesses were previously able to load and unload during off peak times on yellow lines but now share limited places for loading at adjoining junctions which often results in inconsiderate parking and congestion at these junctions. Previously, yellow line and loading restrictions extended from the kerb-line to the centre line of the carriageway, however the cycle lane segregates the vehicle from the kerb and the associated waiting and loading restrictions which could lead to PCNs being challenged. The council says that it would carry out a full review of loading and unloading provision on the scheme being made permanent.

According to the report provided to cabinet, both traffic and bus journey times have not been ‘severely impacted’ by the implementation of the cycleway although TfL has observed some delays. However, most of the most serious congestion during the period was a result of roadworks taking place on the A4 and on King Street which has been ‘exacerbated due to the use of apps aimed at sending traffic away from congested sections of the network.’

Cllr Sharon Holder, H&F Cabinet Member for Public Realm, “We are listening to residents and making changes to improve the safety of the Safer Cycle Pathway.

“It’s been hugely popular so far and we’ve seen a huge leap in the number of riders using it – especially families. We’re now looking at how we can further improve its junctions and make them safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.”


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