Today at the London Assembly the Transport Committee was talking to Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner along with Ben Plowden of Transport for London and representatives of the LCC, British Cycling and Serco (London bike hire contractor).
Much of the discussion focussed on superhighways, HGV safety and other issues well aired in the media but saw some progress. There was particular questioning on junctions from Darren Johnson which focussed on the number of junctions and the ability of Transport for London to effect changes. Transport for London first committed to review 500 junctions (375 on superhighways) then refined that to a list of 100. Neither of these lists featured Hammersmith Broadway, which given the dangers and block it presents was a surprise. However, we are particularly drawn to statements made by Gilligan and Plowden after a query raised by Murad Qureshi about the gyratory or one-way systems at Hammersmith Broadway and Earl’s Court.
Murad Qureshi: There are a number of junctions that haven’t been mentioned particularly in West London that I am concerned about and some of them are huge gyratories, like the Hammersmith gyratory, Earl’s court gyratory. I’m sure there are cyclist concerns with those, so I would like an update of what you’re proposing there.
Andrew Gilligan: Hammersmith is on the list. It’s one of the 33. It’s a huge junction. It’s going to be a lot of money to make it genuinely unthreatening for cyclists. But it is necessary because there is no way around it.
On Earl’s Court, Ben Plowden stated that the rebuilding of the area would have to take cycling into account from the very beginning.
Pressed for time the committee moved on but Gilligan made a final comment that “[fixing] Hammersmith Broadway is the key to the whole borough”.
We were aware of conversations to discuss this, but this sounds like a firm commitment that change is finally coming and which recognises the problem this junction poses. We look forward to seeing a proposal and hope to see a comprehensive change to the junction to make it truly cycle friendly. We note the concerns of the wider campaign that earlier junction reviews have been compromised by modelling and hope that genuinely safe space is also advantageous and beneficial to people cycling and walking through or accross this dangerous junction.