TfL asks people to have their say on future of landmark scheme on Bishopsgate
Transport for London (TfL) has launched a six-month public consultation into the future of a major walking and cycling scheme on the A10 Bishopsgate. New data suggests that the scheme has led to an improvement in bus journey times and is supporting thousands of safer cycle journeys each day.
In August 2020, TfL introduced a series of temporary changes along the road as a response to the pandemic, which were designed to make it safer and easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport. The changes implemented included new restrictions on vehicles using the road on weekdays between 0700 and 1900 to ensure that there was enough room for people to cycle on the road safely. Wider footways were also constructed along the corridor to ensure social distancing and a number of banned turns were introduced along the road.
New data suggests that the changes have played a vital role in supporting sustainable travel along the corridor. Enabling more people to walk, cycle and use public transport will be an essential part the capital's successful recovery from the pandemic. TfL data shows that the performance of buses on the Bishopsgate corridor has significantly improved since the changes were introduced. Northbound bus journey times along Bishopsgate are 38 per cent lower now than they were before the pandemic, with southbound journey times 26 per cent lower.
TfL data also demonstrates that very high numbers of people are using the Bishopsgate scheme to cycle, with monitoring so far showing that there have been up to 8,000 people cycling per day on Bishopsgate. These numbers are despite a drop in the number of people travelling in central London during the coronavirus lockdowns and Government advice for people to work from home.
In December 2021, TfL decided to retain the scheme with a new 'Experimental Traffic Order', which could last for an 18-month period. The consultation, which runs until 25 July, will supplement TfL's monitoring of the experimental scheme and help TfL to decide what the future of the Bishopsgate scheme should be beyond its 18-month experimental period.
Will Norman, London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner said: "These changes have made a huge difference to the way people travel along Bishopsgate. It has become safer and more comfortable for both pedestrians and cyclists, and bus journey times have also reduced thanks to the new vehicle restrictions on the road. As we aim to get more Londoners walking, cycling and using public transport, schemes like this are vital to ensure that people feel safe enough to do so. We want to hear what others think of this scheme, so please do have your say."
Sam Monck, TfL's Head of Healthy Streets Investment, said: "Ensuring that people can walk, cycle and use public transport will continue to be vital as the capital recovers from the pandemic. Our data suggests that the changes we've made along Bishopsgate are playing an important role in promoting healthy and sustainable ways of travelling in London and feedback from Londoners will be hugely valuable as we assess the next steps for the scheme. I'd encourage everybody to have their say during the six month consultation period."
TfL is currently assessing the next steps for a number of walking and cycling schemes delivered during the pandemic. Getting feedback from Londoners will be hugely important when making decisions about the future of schemes and TfL is planning a series of public consultations to ensure that people can have their say.
In December 2021, TfL released data that outlined the vital role played by walking and cycling during the coronavirus pandemic. While the total number of trips made in 2020 decreased dramatically as a result of the pandemic, the number of journeys cycled increased by 6.4 per cent, a remarkable change in the context of lower general activity and major reductions to workplace commuting. This meant that over the year, the proportion of journeys cycled accounted for 3.4 per cent of all journeys, up from 2.3 per cent in 2019 - a 48 per cent increase in the proportion of journeys made by bike.
Since the start of the pandemic, TfL has worked closely with boroughs across the capital to invest in the walking and cycling infrastructure needed to enable increases in active travel, including more than 100km of new or upgraded cycle lanes, 89 Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, 322 'School Streets' and 84 km of TfL Road Network bus lanes converted to operate 24/7 Monday - Sunday.
By autumn 2021, 19.4 per cent of Londoners lived within 400 metres of a cycle route, an increase of almost 8 percentage points since 2019 (when it was 11.5 per cent), or approximately 750,000 more Londoners living within 400 metres of the cycle network since 2019.
Notes to editors
The consultation is available on the TfL website here: haveyoursay.tfl.gov.uk/bishopsgate