Comments by the London Cycling Campaign in Hackney to scheme proposed by London Borough of Hackney in 1997
1. An opportunity not to be missed
1.2. The present system of traffic management in Shoreditch was designed to promote the largest possible throughput of motor traffic. In doing so it discourages sustainable travel modes and creates an almost intolerable local environment.
1.3. The two major impacts of the present system on cycle-traffic are diverted journeys and excessive motor-traffic speeds. These negative effects should be addressed as far as possible in a revised system.
1.4. A proposal of this magnitude and cost should be guided by the long-term aims of motor traffic reduction and the promotion of sustainable modes of travel, especially walking and cycling. Satisfying these aims now will save the trouble and expense of putting things right later.
2.2. We do welcome the broad outline of the preferred option. We believe, though, that there was an important omission during the formulation of the brief for the feasibility study; it appears not to have included the aim of making cycling as convenient as possible by maximising contraflow cycle movement in and around the system. This omission would have been quickly corrected if cyclists had been consulted at that early stage.
3. Making cycling as convenient as possible
Feasibility of an Old Street cycle contraflow
3.3. There is room on Old Street for a contraflow cycle lane physically protected from oncoming traffic by a kerbed marginal strip. Parking and loading could continue to be permitted at appropriate points on both sides of the main carriageway, and gaps in the strip could allow access where necessary.
3.4. This type of contraflow provision has operated successfully for many years in comparable circumstances at King Street, Hammersmith. Details of this scheme can be found in the Department of Transport Traffic Advisory Leaflet 5/89.
3.5. With appropriate arrangements, a contraflow lane could potentially permit direct westbound cycle movements along Old Street from Hackney Road, Kingsland Road, Shoreditch High Street, Hoxton Street, Curtain Road, Charlotte Road, Rufus Street, Coronet Street and Bath Place.
3.6. The reduced motor traffic flows forecast on Old Street eastbound may allow more flexibility in traffic control phasing at its major junctions, permitting arrangements for convenient, protected cycle movements into and out of the contraflow lane.
The new Great Eastern Street/Old Street junction
3.8. Suitable two-way provision north-south across this junction would allow cycle traffic coming from the suggested Old Street contraflow to turn right into Pitfield Street, left into Tabernacle Street, or to make its way to the westbound carriageway of Great Eastern Street for points west.
Curtain Road contraflow
4. Positive effects for surrounding streets
5.2. That the aim of making cycling as convenient as possible be included in the brief of future transport feasibility studies.
Trevor Parsons, London Cycling Campaign in Hackney, November 1997
November 2002: Things have certainly moved on a bit since '97, with the main streets of Shoreditch about to be switched to two-way (with qualifications) in a few weeks' time. Read more about it here.