Letter sent to Mayor re dangerous junctions following another serious accident

Cllr Martin Tiedemann has written to Sadiq Khan regarding dangerous junctions on the A23 Brixton Hill following another accident last month that has left a cyclist with serious injuries.

Three years ago, Cllr Tiedemann wrote to the previous Mayor, highlighting the junctions of Brixton Hill with Brixton Water Lane/Trent Road/Lambert Road/Josephine Avenue. These junctions, which comprise part of London Cycle Network Route 25, were originally prioritised for action but were subsequently dropped from Boris Johnson’s plans. Now, with a new Mayor and further accidents, Brixton Hill’s councillors are calling for urgent action.We are also calling for the planned works to Brixton Hill to improve bus flow to take greater recognition of cyclist and pedestrian safety. Unfortunately the response to the consultation that took place in 2016 has not sufficiently prioritised cyclist safety. 42 respondents to the consultation requested that there be protected cycling facilities along the A23 and at major junctions, the single biggest issue emerging from the consultation. The response is as follows:

“We have to consider all road users when developing proposals and providing protected cycling facilities is not considered a feasible use of the limited available road space on the A23. The current proposals provide benefits to cyclists with the improved continuity of bus lanes and consistency of lane widths. These changes will be an improvement on the current situation.”

The consultation also rejected 24-hour bus lanes pending a London-wide review, and the request to prevent motorcyclists using bus lanes.

The text of the councillor’s letter to Mayor Khan is below.

Dear Mr Khan,

Re: Junction improvements on Brixton Hill

Three years ago I wrote the enclosed letter to your predecessor regarding dangerous junctions on Brixton Hill in the ward I represent as a local councillor.

Last weekend a cyclist was seriously injured at this location after a crash with a motorcycle. While Mr Johnson responded positively regarding pedestrian crossings, no action has been taken to address cycle safety on the A23 or LCN route 25. I am writing to you in the hope that you can now address the safety for cyclists as well as pedestrians on Brixton Hill.

Mr Johnson originally named the two neighbouring junctions on Brixton Hill as part of the 100 most in need of review. They were dropped as the Better Junctions programme was reduced to 50, then 33 junctions.

In the meantime a TfL consultation of bus flow on Brixton Hill has led to no meaningful improvement for cyclists’ safety on the A23. The TfL response to consultation states “providing protected cycle facilities is not considered a feasible use of the limited available road space on the A23″. It appears that bus lanes are themselves seen as addressing cyclists’ safety but they do not currently run the length of Brixton Hill, are not 24-hour and are used by motorcycles, and the large number of buses are themselves part of the threat to cyclist safety. The proposals do not address junctions with east-west routes such as LCN25 at all.

We have been surveying residents of Brixton Hill and key concerns repeatedly arising in the responses include these junctions as well as the junction with Acre Lane, space of cycling and pedestrian crossings across Brixton Hill.

We intend to contact TfL and our Assembly Member in due course with issues arising from our survey relevant to them that they might address. However, in the meantime I would ask that there be an urgent response to last week’s incident and a review of cyclist safety at this location.

Specifically, I ask:

  • Can the plans for bus flow on Brixton Hill be reconsidered to ensure that every opportunity to make this road safer for cyclists and pedestrians is taken?
  • Can bus lanes on Brixton Hill be made 24-hour?
  • Can consideration now be given to motorcycles being prevented from using bus lanes again to ensure cyclists’ safety?

Should any member of your team wish to come down to view the area in question my fellow councillors and I would be pleased to welcome them.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Martin Tiedemann

Cc. Valerie Shawcross CBE, Deputy Mayor for Transport
Florence Eshalomi AM, Assembly Member for Lambeth & Southwark
Will Norman, Walking & Cycling Commissioner

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