Clapton Cycleway set to open next spring but councillor calls for ‘change in approach’

An impression of what Lea Bridge Roundabout would look like with the Cycleway.
Image: TfL

A new bike route at the busy Lea Bridge roundabout could be open by next spring.

Transport for London (TfL) says the new Cycleway between Lea Bridge and Dalston will help thousands of cyclists travel safely.

The scheme was on the cards before the coronavirus pandemic when TfL and Hackney Council asked residents what they thought.

It includes protected bike lanes at Lea Bridge Roundabout, which separate bikes from motor vehicles and are designed to make crossing safer for pedestrians, new or upgraded signals at junctions, and some changes to entry and exit points at a few roads along the route.

Work will get underway this autumn at Millfields Park, where plans include a tree-lined boulevard for cyclists and pedestrians, and lighting.

TfL is hoping that the government will continue to provide funds so the work at Lea Bridge Roundabout and Lea Bridge Road can start next year.

The transport body has been hard hit by a loss of income due to the pandemic and has had to get several injections of cash from Whitehall.

However, councillor Vincent Stops (Hackney Central), who cycles and uses public transport, thinks there are problems with the scheme.

“They need to change their approach to all this,” he said. “There is no quick and easy response to junctions.”

He is concerned that the design for Lea Bridge Roundabout will see a loss of pavement and landscaping, and fears new bus stop bypasses for bikes could impact pedestrians and be “problematic for blind people”.

“I think the place will be less hospitable than it is now,” he added.

Hackney’s transport boss Cllr Mete Coban welcomed the next stage of the plans: “Lea Bridge Roundabout has long been hard to cross on foot and hard to cycle around, so we’re really pleased to see these confirmed plans for new crossings and protected cycle lanes along Lea Bridge Road, which were supported in consultation and will make the area safer for everyone.”

Hackney Cycling Campaign praised the extension of protected bike lanes to Waltham Forest.

According to the group, Hackney residents make nine per cent of their journeys by bike, with a quarter of them cycling at least once a week – twice the figure for London as a whole.