Category Archives: Local Issues

Collected here are campaigns, consultations and local issues we seek progress with.

response to Shepherds Bush Town Centre West consultation

This is a response on behalf of hfcyclists as a group. Members and other interested parties have been made welcome to respond similarly and with their own concerns.

Our headline comments are:

  • Provision for cycling in this scheme is not compatible with the Mayor’s Cycling Vision, your own aims for casualty reduction or a twenty-year design life. On the design life in particular we believe that the lack of coherent cycle planning in this design means if built as planned it would not last twenty years without significant and costly alterations.
  • Two metre wide cycle lanes are welcome but not if they are discontinuous and disappear at junctions and bus-stops where they are most needed.
  • Protected lanes should be provided given the levels of traffic on these roads and you need to make use of bus stop bypasses as seen on the Superhighway 2 extension and trialled at the Transport Research Laboratory for TfL.
  • Off-street parking and loading bays may help remove these uses from the carriageway but placing them on the inside of a cycle lane creates conflict. Design should be developed that places cycle lanes inside of the bays instead.
  • Two-way cycling on one-way streets is welcome but entry and exit alignments not good enough quality for Lime Grove or Pennard Road and Richford Street in particular is ignored and left no-entry despite regular use. As we stated a year ago, we want to see two-way cycling on many more streets in the borough, and support further examination of suggestions that may come in during this consultation.
  • There also remain levels of pavement cycling by both children accessing local schools and adults that show provision on these major roads is not subjectively safe. Like with two-way cycling we see providing safe space on streets as an intervention that helps reduce this behaviour.
  • The junction of Goldhawk Road and Hammersmith Grove has several failings chief of which is the removal of a cycle lane heading Westbound whilst widening both Westbound lanes.
  • There is potential in this area to trial cyclist phases and low-level lights.
  • Where innovations necessary are yet to be approved please arrange this within your existing phased delivery plan.
  • Should it be necessary we would support a further consultation if it helps enable improvements to be delivered. Perhaps a forum such as that held annually by the City of London to help engage those who cycle in their area could help your plans come closer to the expectations of cyclists in your borough. More open and regular discussions ahead of consultations would be of benefit to us all.
  • Additionally we note that should Ealing Council’s mini-holland bid prove successful their proposed use of Uxbridge Road for a commuter route would combine with your scheme perhaps as part of wider plans for WestTrans cycle corridors 
  • As it is unclear where cycle parking is to be provided we would suggest the following priorities
    • Goldhawk Road Station and associated bus garage
    • Shepherds Bush Market itself
    • Shepherds Bush Station
    • Residents on affected streets, especially Lime Grove and the fashion college
    • Cyclehoop facilities could be used on posts throughout the scheme
    • Bush Theatre

Continue reading response to Shepherds Bush Town Centre West consultation

Shepherd’s Bush Town Centre West Regeneration Scheme

Note: we have now posted and sent our final comments on this scheme.


A consultation opened on 9th September 2013 and will close on 6th October 2013 for regeneration scheme for an area the council terms Shepherd’s Bush Town Centre West. This is a project to regenerate the public realm focussing on part of two main roads (Goldhawk Road and Uxbridge Road) and one residential street (Lime Grove) in an area to the west of Shepherd’s Bush Green. These main roads are to some degree paralleled by the A4 and the A40 so traffic is by far local rather than long distance.

As a public realm project most of the changes are focussed on pavement space and pedestrian experience, especially around Shepherd’s Bush Market. There is currently a public inquiry into plans to redevelop the market itself. There are gains for cyclists here as well, but they are not all that they could be, and they do not seem to plan for the future envisaged in the Mayor’s Cycling Vision. It’s worth noting that a priority for the council is partly for this to be a project to utilise SuDs (Sustainable Urban Drainage Solution) and also from council papers it appears that TfL (Transport for London) have selected it to be showcased in their Public Realm improvements website. Cost is £3.5m which is £2.5m from TfL Major Schemes budget, £500k from Section 106 (local developer contributions), £200k council flood risk management and £300k from TfL LIP (Local Implementation Plan) funding for the coming financial year. The Council hopes to begin the works in early November 2013 and it is expected that the scheme will be carried out in phases and completed by March 2015.

Continue reading Shepherd’s Bush Town Centre West Regeneration Scheme

Hammersmith Flyunder – The Story So Far

In the winter of 2011/12 the Hammersmith Flyover on the A4 road heading from Central London towards Heathrow had restrictions placed on it as an emergency measure due to unforeseen deterioration in the structure. Around £10m was spent on the emergency work to keep the flyover usable for some years.

A group of local architects proposed that the best way to deal with the Hammersmith Flyover was to replace it with a ‘flyunder’, a tunnel running through Hammersmith for the A4 road. This scheme got some traction with the media and council, as this BBC report from May 2013 shows.

In the wake of the Mayor’s Road Task Force report, which had some focus on the A4 corridor, Hammersmith and Fulham council have appointed a champion, created a webpage for comments, organised a summit and created some groups to discuss the flyover of which we are involved in one. The plan is to come up with a proposal before the local elections in 2014 to pass to TfL to develop the fuller plan.

Meanwhile, the Hammersmith Flyover sits being repaired at great expense by TfL, and they tell the construction press it will be “open for traffic for decades to come” after a combined repair cost of around £70m

Hammersmith Bridge – The Story So Far

How a family cycles over Hammersmith Bridge, in oppressive traffic.
How a family cycles over Hammersmith Bridge, in oppressive traffic.

Hammersmith Bridge was built in 1887 and has since 2008 been a Grade II* Listed Structure. It forms a crucial link in the local cycle network but also presents a unavoidable barrier to many potential cycle trips. We have long been demanding that the council take responsibility for both the condition of the surface and the experience of cycling over it which we believe is a deterrent to many.

when Hammersmith Bridge was listed, the BBC depicted it as a cycling heaven
when Hammersmith Bridge was listed, the BBC depicted it as a cycling heaven

The road surface is currently made of thin layers of tarmac on top of plates. There is severe degradation to the continuity of the surface both on and between these plates. Which means the surface currently looks like this:

Severely degraded surface of Hammersmith Bridge
Severely degraded surface of Hammersmith Bridge

joins of sections of Hammersmith Bridge are in poor repair as well

The surface alone means that this section of road requires cyclists to alter their line constantly to avoid the worst of the surface. Places where the roadway has worn clear or where metal bolts are placed atop the surface to hold it on are innumerable and especially risky to cyclists in inclement weather.

In 2012 there was a terrifying accident on the bridge which saw an 18 year old woman on a bike pinned to a pillar by a car which overtook her through one of the narrowest parts of the bridge and failed to give her correct space. Her father Alexis describes this incident well:

I was maybe into 1/3 of the bridge on my way south when I heard a big bang. Turned around and heard my daughter screaming… Dropped my bike and ran to the scene. I could not see my daughter as I could only see a silver car smashed again the main pillar of the bridge and my wife running as fast as possible to get to my daughter out. Another red car was in the middle of the road… My daughter was squeezed between the pillar (the bridge), her bike and the car. She could not exit and get her hand off the pillar.

As you can read it was a truly shocking incident and it is fortunate that it did not have more severe consequences.

We held a flashride over the bridge to draw attention to the issues. As you can see from the video, turnout was strong. Incidentally at the time of the video, the roadway was in slightly better repair, as deterioration has continued to occur.

Not much later on we were able to have a ride with the Leader of the Council, Cllr Nick Botterill, and Cllr Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler on the bridge to discuss the issues with them in June 2012. Chris Bainbridge, Head of Transport Planning provided some figures at this ride which showed that in the morning between 8-9AM cyclists were 1/3rd of traffic over the bridge and about 10% over the day.

Whilst worried about the Thames Tideway Tunnel, our council leader was very keen to talk to the media about the poor condition of the bridge.

A father and son use the narrow footway
Though the council admit that there are a very high number of cyclists using the bridge, they insist that due to the low number of accidents that it is not unsafe. We would counter that given that cyclists are using the footways to avoid the roadway the bridge is clearly dangerous enough that cyclists are either disregarding the rules or choosing not to cycle. We would also invite any councillor who defends the current experience of cycling over this bridge to use it daily as many others do, without alternatives. In 2010, we carried out a survey of over 200 cyclists who use the bridge, 92% found crossing the bridge very scary or sometimes very scary.

There is agreement from the council to repaint the lines on the roadway, which would make the edges of the carriageway straight along the whole bridge and to place bike logos at prominent spots near to some bridge pillars. They believe this would reinforce that cyclists are allowed to hold position on the bridge.

A survey of speeds on the bridge was carried out.

85th percentile speed of northbound Hammersmith Bridge traffic
Volume and 85th percentile speed of northbound Hammersmith Bridge traffic
85th percentile speed of southbound Hammersmith Bridge traffic
Volume and 85th percentile speed of southbound Hammersmith Bridge traffic

The bridge currently has a speed limit of 30mph which is despite having prominent narrowing at the approaches which slow drivers down to below even 20mph. The above graphs from 2008 show that even the 85th percentile speeds (speeds which all but fastest 15% observe) were often over the existing speed limit of 30mph. Late at night drivers appear to be doing 40mph which won’t be helping the bridge surface. Such speeding is a London-wide problem.

We want to see the roadway made safer and less threatening for cyclists. We want a 20mph speed limit on the bridge and clear markings that indicate to drivers that no overtaking is permitted on the bridge. The surface of the bridge should be smooth and continuous, not full of potholes and lumps. Combined these make this bridge far more dangerous than it should or could be. A much calmer environment would enable this bridge to perform the function of a vital town centre link rather than being treated as a narrow expressway into South West London.


You can follow our earlier campaigning and investigation in the bridge in full on this page of our old site. As this is a shared problem, Richmond LCC also have a post on issues with the bridge.