Landscape

TfL starts work on Hammersmith gyratory to improve cycle safety

TfL has started work to transform the Hammersmith gyratory for walking and cycling, including a protected two-way cycle track on the north side and new signals for cyclists at junctions.

The aim is to reduce danger to vulnerable road users on the junction as part of TfL’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating death and serious injury on the road network. There were 30 collisions on the gyratory in the three-year period to December 2020 – five of which involved a cyclist.

The work is the next stage of improvements along Cycleway 9 (C9) and will provide a link in the growing network of routes in west London. TfL says this new infrastructure will give people walking and cycling more space and give people confidence to travel safely.

In September this year, an average of 2,354 people a day were counted cycling on a newly installed section of C9 on Chiswick High Road. Recent cycle counts from the Hammersmith gyratory on 12th October counted 2,844 people cycling between 0700-1900.

In 2017, local people fed into the plans for walking and cycling improvements to Hammersmith gyratory. The changes will include:

– A protected two-way cycle track on the north side of Hammersmith gyratory
– Cyclist-specific signals at junctions to separate cyclists and motor vehicles
– Improvements for pedestrian safety at all junctions with side roads, including raised level crossings and more footway space
– New pedestrian crossing signals with ‘countdowns’ at the crossings of King Street, Beadon Road, Shepherd’s Bush Road, Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith Road and Butterwick
– A new parallel crossing at the Butterwick junction to allow westbound cyclists to join the two-way cycle track

Work is set to be completed by spring 2022 and TfL is advising people in the area to check their journeys before they travel, as construction work will mean that there will be some disruption in the area.

The changes are part of a series of infrastructure upgrades by TfL, Hammersmith & Fulham Council and Hounslow Council along the busy Cycleway 9 corridor, which are enabling thousands of residents, visitors and families to cycle safely. Work on Chiswick High Road has created a protected route for cycling using light segregation wands, while Hammersmith & Fulham Council is constructing a Safer Cycling Pathway between Goldhawk Road and Hammersmith gyratory.

A protected space for cycling has been constructed on the South Circular Road by Kew Bridge, with work on further measures west towards Brentford dependent on TfL’s ongoing discussions with the Government for long-term sustained investment in London, which is required to avoid a ‘Managed Decline’ scenario.

Hounslow Council will be upgrading the current trial cycleway on Chiswick High Road, with new bus lanes and improvements to the existing scheme to improve cycle safety and accessibility. Once complete, the new cycle lane will remain in place under an experimental traffic order to allow TfL to gather data and feedback about how it is working.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “The Hammersmith gyratory is of London’s most intimidating junctions, and these changes will have huge benefits for both pedestrians and cyclists travelling around the area. Protecting vulnerable road users and making London’s junctions safer for all is a key part of our Vision Zero commitment to eliminate death and serious injuries on London’s roads, and these improvements will offer more space and make it easier to navigate local roads, as well as providing a vital link in the growing network of cycle routes in west London.”

Julie Lewington, head of projects and programmes at TfL, said: “Walking and cycling are vital to the capital’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, which is why we’re continuing to work closely with local councils to ensure people can have access to high-quality infrastructure that keeps them safe.

“The changes at Hammersmith gyratory and Chiswick High Road will enable thousands of easier and safer journeys on foot and by bike each week and reduce danger at one of the area’s most intimidating junctions. We’d like to thank people in the area for their patience while construction work takes places and would advise people to check their journeys before they travel.”

Councillor Hanif Khan, cabinet member for transport at Hounslow Council, said: “We want to make sure that cycling in Hounslow is as safe and easy as possible because it supports our environmental ambitions and enables healthier lifestyles; our aim is for the temporary Cycleway 9 to meet the needs of all users in our community.”

Read more: HumanForest launches loyalty programme to reward Londoners for each mile cycled

Casey Abaraonye, chair of Hammersmith and Fulham Cyclists, said: “We are pleased that work is finally starting on this section of the cycleway. The gyratory is complex but it has long been a dangerous place and a major discouragement to cycling in the area. The upgrades will improve it both for those cycling and the many people walk across the roads there, including students and school children. It is a vital step in our aim for High Streets not Highways.”

Rebecca Morley

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