A complete cycle network for Hammersmith and Fulham

As part of our campaign for Space for Cycling in Hammersmith and Fulham we are calling for a complete cycle network in Hammersmith and Fulham, here’s what that means and why we’re asking for it.

The early 80s cycle map of Hammersmith and Fulham
The early 80s cycle map of Hammersmith and Fulham

Hammersmith and Fulham was one of many London boroughs to see  the potential of cycling in the 80s, and has since benefited from a greater growth in cycling than other nearby boroughs. Unfortunately the network that was delivered in that era was piecemeal and sought only to provide space for cycling at particular junctions or easier to change roads and ducked dealing with many major challenges.

GIF Animation of crossing under Hammersmith Flyover
80s animation of crossing under Hammersmith Flyover

This period provided many of the major interventions that continue to provide for cycling today such as the contraflows on Crisp Road and King Street, crossing under the Hammersmith Flyover at Bridge Road and the original form of the cycle lanes over Addison Bridge and cycle facilities on Shepherds Bush Green.

During the 90s and 00s little further progress has really been made. The greatest increase in facilities has arguably been the provision of further bus lanes, but that has since been reduced with bus lanes removed on Fulham Palace Road for example in recent years.

What we are left with is a network that even the council hasn’t seen fit to produced an up to date map for since 2006:

Hammersmith and Fulham Walking and Cycling Map 2006
Hammersmith and Fulham Walking and Cycling Map 2006

The network as it stands has many major holes and is unlikely to impress any continental visitor with quality, speed, directness or comfort.

East-West routes on central section of 2006 LBHF cycling map

Compare the east-west route for motor vehicles on the map of the A4 and Hammersmith Flyover with the series of convoluted directions to avoid the Hammersmith Broadway Gyratory. Note that presently Holland Park roundabout is not considered a recommended route, we support protected space being used to make this and the accompanying Shepherds Bush Green no barrier to safe cycling.

It currently seems that we are set to get segregated lanes for cycles at the Broadway after a TfL review of major junctions. We are not aware of much push from local councillors to make this happen but it surely will need good local scrutiny to achieve the best outcome. Should the Broadway see protected space delivered to a strong standard it will make the poor quality of other junctions, crossings and main roads in the borough even more obvious and important to resolve. We will only have a network once a complete, connected and coherent set of routes are there for anyone to use.

Here’s an idea of what that might a complete network might look like for comparison drawn over the current borough map:

The 2006 map with some speculative amendments, click for full size

It’s notable that this map also highlights ways in which current council decisions both in the borough and beyond are frustrating the development of such a network. Look at the two superhighways in blue. The more northerly is the ‘cycle crossrail’ of the Mayor’s Cycle Vision, this seems reasonably likely to happen but will involve some highly expensive and complicated infrastructure works to reach the A40 which it uses to cross Kensington and Chelsea. Why would you do that, you ask?

Walking_and_Cycling_leaflet_2006_map_for_web_tcm21-69549-marked

Well, look at the other Superhighway, CS9. It was to go from Hounslow into Hammersmith, along King Street/A4, over the broadway, then past olympia and onto Kensington High Street. It is almost certainly cancelled due to objections to any form of improvement for cycling proposed by TfL from Kensington and Chelsea. The only consolation is that cancellation has seemingly led to the decision to use TfL junction money to rework Hammersmith Broadway to make it safer for cycling with protected space.

Abandon all hope ye who enter here? Which links into Central London will we get?
Abandon all hope ye who enter here? Which links into Central London will we get?

Links into the centre of London are a major problem for cyclists now, and therefore we have highlighted other options for east-west routes on the edge of the borough as optional routes. It beggars belief that TfL and boroughs aren’t as yet able to devise a safe, protected route for cycling from Hammersmith and Fulham into London. By contrast, Hounslow have completely designed their section of CS9 and Ealing are continuing to push for a route along the Uxbridge Road.

Support us in calling for Space For Cycling and help us work towards a complete cycling network in the near future, and call on your councillor to stand up for the rights of those who want to cycle but are put off by conditions as they are.

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The Hammersmith and Fulham branch of the London Cycling Campaign