Saturday, 3 October 2015

Failing to deliver for Balham Boulevard

Having seen this consultation go live (technically the bit adjacent to where the Balham Boulevard project is due to happen) it doesn't bode well.

Here are some thoughts/comments below. I'd welcome your comments before submitting my response to TfL.

Balham Boulevard:
- it isn't as it is the stretch basically from Ritherdon Road south.
- however, it doesn't bode well for Balham Boulevard as this would adjoin it, so if this isn't significantly improved then Balham Boulevard will just be the name of the current road with perhaps some more paint on it.

*It is not possible to provide a segregated cycle lane at this location due to access to residential properties being required
- Utter rubbish. The LCDS illustrate how this can be done, and Old Shoreham Road in Brighton is a UK example where this is in place. A road for motor vehicles doesn't pose a problem for access to residential properties, neither does a pavement. Consultations for the Mini-Holland projects in London also show that TfL can do this.

Floating Bus stops or lack thereof
- Again in Brighton, Lewes Road, has a series of floating bus stops that from all reports work very well.

Affecting traffic capacity:
28% drop in motor traffic volumes (2005-2013) along the A24 Clapham South to Tooting Bec (
Providing a real alternative to travelling short trips by building proper cycle lanes along a road this wide would not only give people real choice as to how they travel, but also make it easier for those who need to drive to get around too.

- The central reservation hasn't been touched. This is wasted space currently helping no-one.
- From Tooting Bec heading south there is effectively only a single lane for motor traffic in each direction, and the same goes northbound once you start going through Balham. Smoothing out the narrow points for motor traffic would provide a more consistent travel time for motor traffic and free up significant amount of space to improve the public realm for walking and cycling, as well as the local environment for businesses and residents.

These are some initial thoughts. Please feel free to chip in.

In case you are wondering how this can be put forward given the high quality of other schemes which have gone to consultation recently, the answer is the politics. It is self evident that TfL has the engineering capability &/or sourcing capability to brief consultants to come up with high quality schemes that will deliver significant improvements to all road users. 

In the absence of a strong political steer as to what is wanted, the engineers are being asked to please everyone which isn't possible. This is a huge opportunity to genuinely improve the local area for generations to come. What is currently on the table frankly just isn't good enough. 


  1. Completely agree. Reasons for lack of segregated track are absurd. Likewise floating bus stops.

    The plans as they currently stand would achieve nothing, and so would be a waste of money. TfL should either do it properly or not at all.

  2. Dear Jon,

    I've been following your petition. I'm also in the Stop Killing Cyclists group, which I think I've seen you posting in too?

    I'm contacting you because I've been running the Save Our Cyclists petition, also on 38degrees, for the last year and a bit - We also have a blog detailing recent developments

    Due to other commitments I've been looking to step back from Save Our Cyclists, but don't want to see all the energy dissipate to nothing. 38degrees doesn't allow campaigns to be passed to third parties (like LCC) as that's not what the supporters signed up to. Therefore I've been looking for campaigners who might be to take this up, but unfortunately it's a bit of a commitment so no one has stepped forward.

    However I was wondering whether we might be able to cross promote campaigns in some way?

    Let me know if this would be of interest.

    Kind regards,