Back on two

The running gag of being a cross-borough cycle campaigner for Croydon and Sutton is that I don’t have a bike or cycle. The last time I cycled was over 6 years ago at Carsington Water in the Peak District. To be frank, the current road conditions around the two boroughs would not make me return to cycling straight away.

But then the perfect moment arrived.


I haven’t used these in a long while! 20 Oct 2016 (C Martin)

It was the day of the LCC AGM, and Charles, Ben and myself decided to ride along some of the cycling infrastructure along the way. We began at the docking station at Elephant and Castle, and after getting adjusted, we were ready to set off.

We crossed over the toucan crossings at the southern end to reach the cycle track opposite the station. We were well-separated from bus passengers thanks to a bypass with a spacious waiting area. However, there is a nasty blind spot as it curves round the London College of Communications.

We then reached a parallel signalised crossing to make our way onto CS6. The bidirectional track replaces a traffic lane on St George’s Road. It was a gentle and pleasant ride – not having to feel rushed, and a wide track that is well-separated from one way motor traffic. We did unfortunately have a van driver block the crossing at the traffic lights. It could perhaps do with some form of keep clear markings, however, the current setup is a significantly safer improvement upon its previous layout, where there wasn’t any cycling facilities or protection at the junction.


Some teething problems, but we’re at least protected from the mistakes by others unlike the previous layout. 20 Oct 2016 (M To)

The track briefly ends at Lambeth Road. While it would have been nice to continue the track to the next section, the road is relatively safe, as motor access is limited to terminating buses that do not come through here regularly.


Through route only for cycles and terminating buses (southbound). 20 Oct 2016 (M To)

The track returns at St George’s Circus with parallel cycle crossings. Continuing along Blackfriars Road up the bidirectional track, we pass more bus stop bypasses. There is a also a significant buffer between the track and road, and at uncontrolled junctions, there is space for motor traffic to wait, as cycling gets priority.


No lanes from motor traffic taken. Just space redistributed. 20 Oct 2016 (C Martin)


Q1 / CS6 – Two stage right turn. 20 Oct 2016 (M To)

CS6 meets Q1 at Webber Street. The traffic lights have a two stage right turn, which feels rather inconvenient but thankfully, we were turning left instead. The road was slightly congested with construction traffic, forcing us to briefly dismount. There were also a lot of cars parked, and it would have been much better if residents / visitors parked them inside the estates, which were relatively empty.


Q1 fairly busy with parked cars. 20 Oct 2016 (C Martin)

Cycle routes aren’t only unravelled via segregation on main roads. A plug no entry at the Queen Vic Theatre end prevents motor traffic from entering southbound. Cromwell Road is even quieter, calmer and safer thanks to filtered permeability by the railway bridge. All motor traffic has to use Waterloo Bridge Road.


Filtered permeability on Cromwell Road. 20 Oct 2016 (M To)

Our journey ended at Coin Street Conference Centre, and it was an enjoyable ride because I was enabled to. If local authorities want to make cycling an attractive mode of transport and increase the modal share, they need to go beyond offering training and advertising slogans. They need to change the environment. Those who already cycle will cycle, but those who don’t won’t.

Croydon doesn’t offer much. It has a few NCN routes and Q5, which is currently curtailed at A23 at Norbury. But perhaps something better may come soon. An ambitious new London to Brighton cycling route idea has already caught the attention of Croydon Council and Coast To Capital.

How far will progress go?

Stay tuned.


Discussing with Val Shawcross the possibility of protected cycleways along A23. 20 Oct 2016 (C Martin)




Posted in Advocacy
2 comments on “Back on two
  1. Rob Yuille says:


    The Mayor of London had his question time in Sutton yesterday. I wasn’t there but there is a summary at the link below and the opportunity to ask further questions. Nothing on cycling so far… Any thoughts on what to ask: his views on forcing councils to work together on cycle routes? Or his plans to ensure councils follow London-wide cycling policy? Happy to submit something but thought you’d have a better idea of a pertinent question.

    Thanks Rob

    • Charles Martin says:

      Hi Rob,

      Thanks for getting in touch about the Mayor’s question time in Sutton. It would be good if you submitted a question. I wasn’t at the event either (although watched it online), and submitted the following question(s) using the link you provided:
      I’m very pleased that a Walking and Cycling Commissioner has been appointed, and that last month saw the publication of “Healthy Streets”.

      I have two questions relating to this.

      Firstly, are you able to confirm that funding for Liveable Neighbourhoods will only be provided to those boroughs that are able to prove that they are both willing and able to deliver?

      Secondly, what are the essential pre-requisites that boroughs need to establish in order for these Liveable Neighbourhood projects to be a success?

      Healthy Streets refers to this, and you can read about Liveable neighbourhoods as part of the cycling budget announcement in December:

      I think that it would be good for boroughs to collaborate on cycle routes, but I am sure that the Mayor would say he cannot force boroughs to do so. (I can recommend reading what former cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan had to say about this at the Hackney Cycling Conference in 2015:
      This is in part because local authorities control 95% of the streets (and TfL the other 5%, generally the main roads/red routes). However, I am hoping that TfL are able to put certain criteria on eligibility for funding, and that is why my question talks about the boroughs being “able and willing” to deliver. Hopefully, it will also cover your idea about ensuring councils follow cycling policy.

      Hope this helps. Thanks again Rob.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow us on Twitter
LCC Newsletters via email
Opt in to receive emails from either the Sutton local group list or the main LCC newsletter email list here or manage all your LCC subscriptions here.
%d bloggers like this: