Q: Why has Lea Bridge Road been selected to receive Mini-Holland funding?
A: Lea Bridge Road was central in the Council’s bid for Mini-Holland funding from Transport for London. The road is an important route through the borough and provides a strategic link into central London.
Over the last few years, Lea Bridge Road has seen a significant increase in cycling and now has the highest volume of people cycling in Waltham Forest at six per cent of all traffic in peak time, it was also highlighted by residents in our 2014 cycling survey as a priority route.
Over the past five years there have been 404 collisions on Lea Bridge Road, resulting in 2 fatal, 33 serious and 369 slight injury collisions and just under half of theses collisions have involved people who walk and cycle. Through Mini-Holland funding we are able to redesign the road to increase safety in the aim to reducing road collisions, as well as upgrade the road overall, which has suffered from under investment.
This funding offers a huge opportunity to upgrade junctions, signals that link together, crossings and public spaces along the road and completely transform and modernise the road to not only help improve the route for people on cycles but provide a safer and more attractive environment for everyone.
Q: How will local residents benefit from the changes to Lea Bridge Road?
A: With Lea Bridge Road Station due to open in 2016 the area is set to become a key transport hub for thousands of residents. This huge investment means there is a greater need to improve the road to manage the influx of people using this area, ensuring the road is safe, more accessible to pedestrians and people on cycles, and a more attractive place to spend time.
Lea Bridge Road will benefit from a huge investment in public realm to make the road more pleasant for the people who live in the area, as well as people who use the road, so that they feel proud of where they live. Improvements include new plants and trees, safer routes to local amenities and other key destinations, new public spaces to enjoy, improved lighting to make the area safer and improved public transport accessibility with new bus shelters.
The addition of modal filters (roads accessible to cycles and pedestrians only) in some sections also means that residential streets will become quieter and less polluted by reducing the number of vehicles using people’s streets as a cut through.
Q: How will parking and loading provision be affected?
A: We know how important it is that parking and loading improvements meet the needs of local businesses who are vital to the community and local economy. The proposals for parking and loading have been developed based on conversations with businesses, visitors and residents, and we will continue to work with local businesses to ensure that we meet their loading requirements.
Our plan is to introduce short stay parking bays along the road, limited to one hour maximum stay from Monday to Saturday between the hours of 8.30am to 6.30pm. Outside of these hours the bays will be available for anyone to use on an unrestricted basis. In addition, where possible, people will be able to park in bus lanes out of the hours of operation, providing spaces for those who have to visit by car outside of the times when people are using buses to get to and from work. Some sections of existing yellow lines are proposed to become double yellow lines which operate at any time, ensuring parked vehicles do not impact traffic flow (particularly buses).
Q: What is a modal filter?
A: Modal filters are roads that are open to cycles and pedestrians only. The filters will only affect motorised vehicles at one entry point to the road, and space will be provided to allow vehicles to turn around (on side streets), access for other vehicles such as for deliveries and bin collections will be maintained and residents will still have access to their street.
The introduction of modal filters will make residential streets safer, quieter, less polluted and more enjoyable for local people long term. We will also work with the local community to develop a design for the filters which fits with the look of the area and that will encourage people to spend time enjoying the new public space.
As with all road changes, we will continue to consult with the emergency services to ensure the proposals do not impact on access in an emergency.
Q: Are roads being closed?
A: A total of 118 cyclists and 60 pedestrians were injured on the road, including 20 serious collisions and one fatality in the past four years. A high number of these collisions involved people on cycles when vehicles turned into and out of minor side roads. To reduce collisions in the area and introduce safer places to cross, we are proposing permanent modal filters (referred to as road closures) at some locations. Three modal filters have been proposed in Section B (there are 21 side street junctions in this section) and two in Section C (there are 16 side street junctions in Section C).
These filters, which are open to cycles and pedestrians only, help to improve safety for the local community, in particular children and the elderly, whilst creating more attractive residential streets, providing a place suitable for people to play out, relax and spend time with neighbours.
Q: Will the changes cause congestion?
A: Our current road network needs to be updated to cope with the flow of traffic through the borough. As London, and the local population increases, we anticipate that traffic congestion will increase. We, therefore, need to modernise the borough’s infrastructure, and offer improved options for those who wish to use alternative modes of transport such as walking and cycling.
As is usual with highway improvements, there can initially be some confusion as drivers adapt to new road layouts. However, we hope the improved safety in the area will encourage people to walk or cycle more for local journeys instead of driving, reducing the number of local journeys by car.
We want to help relieve traffic build up on Lea Bridge Road and so new traffic signals that are monitored and linked will be introduced to change the frequency of the lights when traffic build up occurs at junctions.
Q: Why are segregated cycle lanes needed?
A: Lea Bridge Road will benefit from new protected cycle lanes, called segregated cycle tracks, on either side of the road to transform this key route for people who cycle. It will provide a safe space for people to cycle on, separated from pedestrians and motorised traffic.
Segregated cycle tracks are designed so that they can be used by all ages and cycling abilities and is likely to change the local school run, which could significantly reduce car trips during peak times, making the road clearer for people that need to drive.
They also reduce confusion and conflict among all road users by creating the cycle track on a slightly lower level to the footway, making the cycle track a different colour and material to the footway and road, and by making drivers feel more at ease.
Q: Will the proposals affect buses?
A: We want to help improve the reliability of bus services and meet TfL’s accessibility standards better to support elderly and disabled passengers, as well as people with push chairs. To do this changes will be made to bus lanes and around 14 bus stops, and designed in conjunction with the new cycle tracks. Improvements include new and upgraded bus shelters and reduced bus lane length to accommodate parking and loading provision as well as cycle lanes. By improving public transport in the area we hope to encourage more local people to choose this mode of transport over personal vehicles to help reduce congestion on the road.
We appreciate that there is worry over changes to the bus lanes and the impact it will have on congestion on the road, however we have been working closely with TfL on these designs and have used traffic data and average bus journey times (peak and off peak) to understand how the road may be impacted. As the bus lane is only in operation during peak hours, the bus lanes have proven to have little impact on bus journey times and so it is anticipated that changing the bus lanes in some sections of the road will not impact on the overall bus journey times in the borough.
Q: During the road works how will you manage the levels of traffic build up?
A: We will try to minimise the impact in the local area as much as possible. Where appropriate we will put in place diversions or use temporary traffic signals to help traffic from building up. We will be communicating with all road users including freight and delivery services to provide information whilst we carry out the improvements.
Q: How will the scheme affect businesses?
A: There is a growing body of evidence from London and other cycling cities that shows people who cycle (along with public transport users and pedestrians) are more likely to use local shops and services. They tend to use local shops and services more frequently and spend more money per month than those travelling by car. Also in March, we conducted an early engagement perception survey on Lea Bridge Road to find out what people think about the area and the type of improvements they would like to see. Results from the survey showed that walking was the most popular mode of transport used by visitors and residents, and visitors felt that better crossings and less traffic would encourage them to visit the area more. View all survey results. By improving cycle provision, the look of the area and safety we hope to encourage more people to spend time on Lea Bridge Road and shop locally increasing footfall and business opportunities.
We know how important businesses on Lea Bridge Road are to its community and the local economy, therefore we want to make sure businesses understand the plans and have their say. During the consultation period we will have dedicated business representatives available to answer questions and talk businesses through the plans. To get in touch with your local business officer email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Will the improvements encourage people to use the area?
A: In our perception survey conducted with visitors in March 2015 traffic volume and safety were key concerns. To transform Lea Bridge Road into a destination and encourage local people to use the area the scheme proposes to deal with these concerns by improving crossings, junctions, bridges and slowing down vehicle speeds.
Q: Have you consulted with the emergency service?
A: A concern among the local community is access for emergency services and capturing the views of the local emergency services. Please note it is a statutory requirement that the Council consults with the emergency services to ensure they are aware of proposed changes. As per our standard process, we will continue to liaise in detail with the emergency services for all current and future schemes.