Leyton & Leytonstone town centres – WFCC official response

Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign’s responses to the recent consultations on Leyton and Leytonstone town centres are published below. These schemes form part of the mini-Holland programme and were sent to the council on 28/01/2016:

Leyton Town Centre consultation – WFCC response

Overall we support these proposals and are especially pleased to see the proposals feature a substantial number of modal filters, pedestrian crossings and pocket parks, which would deliver a much more pleasant environment and encourage more active travel.

However we do have several areas of concern.

Modal filters

  • Based on feedback from supporters local to Francis Road, we propose additional modal filters at the Murchison Road/Frances Road junction to join up the 2 filtered sections of Frances Road. We believe this will deliver a huge improvement to the attractiveness of this section of Francis Road, and further boost the local economy.
  • And we strongly recommend an additional filter in Norlington Road outside the boys school to stop the remaining rat run through the area.
  • We are very concerned that failure to implement these additional filters will lead to rat running traffic being funnelled down a handful of residential streets and creating substantial severance for active travel modes including people on cycles.
  • We also recommend considering Dawlish Rd for filtering somewhere to the north of Murchison Rd, due to the risk of motor traffic using it to bypass Leyton High Road.
  • Park Rd will be the key route into Leyton Jubilee Park & the Cycle Centre for people on foot and cycle, thus needs to be a high quality corridor – currently this is a challenging road due to high traffic volumes, which we are concerned will be able to continue to rat run through the area via the Beaumont Estate and Sophie Rd. Our recommendation is for an additional modal filter in Park Road either between Grange Road and Goldsmith Road, or Lea Hall and Goldsmith Rd. Alternatively we propose the introduction of a CPZ for the area which will free up sufficient space for the removal of vehicle parking on one side of Park Road, and permit the widening of footways whilst still leaving sufficient space for cars and cyclists to pass each other in safety and comfort.
  • We particularly appreciate the proposed modal filter for Capworth Street, which is essential due to the current high traffic flows which acts as a major deterrent to people who want to cycle.

Grove Green Road

  • Grove Green Rd remains our single biggest concern due to the lack of consistent high quality protected provision for people on cycles.
  • We note that the current sections featuring an advisory lane are simply not fit for purpose, especially as it runs adjacent to and outside car parking bays.
  • A huge deficiency is the absence of an adequate cycle facility or alternative route for northbound cyclists travelling from Leyton High Rd & Francis Rd. We understand that it may be possible to introduce some sort of protection in the Grove Green Rd sections between Langthorne Road & Colville Rd (in previous correspondence WFC stated it would run to ‘Cleveland Road’, which does not exist), and we would like to explore options with the council.
  • The Warren Rd/Francis Rd/Grove Green Rd junctions need substantial redesign to make them safer for cycles. In particular Francis Rd/Grove Green Rd is dangerous due to left hooks from traffic exiting Francis Rd. In our view this junction needs to be signalled.
  • We support the planned ‘raised junction, extended footway and tighter corner radius to calm traffic’ for traffic leaving Grove Green Rd onto Hampton Rd. However we believe the same treatment should be applied for Rhodesia Road where traffic will enter Grove Green Rd.
  • Pinch points around the pedestrian islands at the junction with Cathall Rd need to be addressed. We propose a single stage all green pedestrian and cycle crossings on all three arms of the junction along with Dutch-style cycle provision.
  • In summary, as the proposals stand we do not believe that they will attract new people on bikes to travel between Leytonstone & Leyton town centre. Hence we welcome the opportunity to work with officers to identify suitable measures for this route, or to find an alternative alignment which avoids Grove Green Rd.

Further observations

  • We recommend that cycle contraflows are incorporated into all 1 way streets.
  • The junction of Park Rd and Lea Hall would benefit from a redesign as it is constructed to cater for cars coming down Park Rd and does not work well for cyclists going from Goldsmiths to Lea Hall.
  • We are delighted that the council is considering the removal of the roundabout in Grove Green Road so that Ashville Road becomes a side road with give way markings.
  • We recommend that the cycle lane in Warren Rd is relocated so that it runs inside the car parking bays.

Opportunities to improve pedestrian safety

We have some additional recommendations for pedestrian improvements:

  • We propose a junction table at Francis Rd/Newport Rd junction due to the school which has a very high number of pupils who walk to school, plus a footway build out of at least 1 metre in depth and 10 metres long in Newport Rd near the junction on the school side.
  • Grove Green Rd / Francis Rd junction has very poor sight lines for pedestrians – we propose the removal of parking bays in Francis Rd closest to the junction,  creating an opportunity for a footway buildout.
  • Francis Rd requires footway build outs on junction corners to improve crossing places for pedestrians and deter the plague of parking on double yellow lines.
  • We recommend the addition of a zebra pedestrian crossing in Grove Green Road where the row of shops and pub is located (ie between Rhodesia Rd &  Richmond Road). This will also benefit the large number of secondary school children who walk along this route to Connaught and Norlington schools.
  • The Farmer Rd to Skeleton Lane Park path offers an opportunity for improvements such as LED lighting.

School Travel Plans
Whilst perhaps outside of the scope of this consultation, there is considerable potential to work with several primary schools in the Leyton area on their travel plans.  Both the areas around St Joseph Jnr and Riverley School suffer form considerable school run congestion.
Although they are outside the Leyton Town Centre consultation area, both St Joseph Infants and Willow Brook schools need to work on their travel plans due  to the substantial school run impact on Marsh Lane. The current level of uncontrolled motor vehicle use greatly impacts the safety and attractiveness for people who want to walk or cycle to Leyton Jubillee Park, and undermines the viability of the proposed cycle centre.

Leytonstone Town Centre consultation – WFCC response

We support the broad thrust of these proposals. We appreciate the proposed modal filter for Browning Road, and are pleased to see proposals for contraflows for cycles in many one way streets.

We do have several substantial concerns, and below have outlined these and a number of opportunities to considerably improve conditions for people on bikes.

Grove Green Road

  • Our biggest single concern is a lack of clarity around the level of protection proposed for Grove Green Road (the cycle link between the Leytonstone & Leyton town centres). Without consistent high quality physical protection the route will not be suitable for less confident people on bikes.
  • If substantial improvements are not possible then we need an alternative route. A more attractive route (especially during daylight hours) runs from the east side of Leytonstone station down Church Lane & Vernon Rd over the A12 bridge, and then following the cycle track alongside the A12 to exit onto Grove Green Road near the Ashville Rd junction. If high quality protection could be provided from here along Grove Green Road to Colville Rd, then the route could detour via Colville Rd & Trelawn Rd.
  • We would like to see blended crossings for all of the Grove Green Road side roads.
  • We appreciate the inclusion of a tiger crossing to improve the link across the A12 to Grove Green Road (near the Dyers Hall Rd junction).

Gainsborough Road

  • We understand the plans for Gainsborough Rd entail semi – segregation measures, which we presume will be armadillos along the entire length of the road. This physical protect is very welcome given the cycle fatality there in recent years.
  • We believe improvements are required to the signalled junction at Lemna Road.
  • We would like to work with the council to identify improved measures for cyclists for the section between Leytonstone High Road & Lemma Road, as this represents an important desire line for people on bikes.
  • We recommend approaching TfL for additional funding for the footbridge  over the A12 at the opt of Gainsborough Rd, to allow it to be widened to accommodate cycles and support a high quality route to Walthamstow (see ‘other opportunities’, below).

Leytonstone High Road

  • We appreciate that funding constraints limit what can be done to improve conditions for cyclists along one of Waltham Forest’s most important shopping streets, but are disappointed not to see any physical protection measures for people on bikes.
  • The proposed Copenhagen crossings are welcome, and will particularly benefit pedestrians. We believe there is scope to experiment with a new design which offers additional protection to cyclists from left and right hooks, and we wish to explore this with officers.

Other Opportunities

  • We recommend a tiger crossing be implemented in Whipps Cross Road at its junction with Forest Glade (where the current zebra is located). This (especially an A12 cycle crossing above) will then deliver a very safe and direct route from Leytonstone to Walthamstow Central (via the shared track alongside Hollow Ponds and the new Whipps Cross/LBR junction, then Raglan Rd and through Walthamstow Village).
  • The cycle track in Bush Road (leading from the cycle tracks under the Green Man roundabout) would benefit from an improved design at its junction with Browning Road.
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