TfL Reject Plan To Let Cars Use Cycle Superhighway During Off-Peak Hours

23 October 2018, 09:37

Nick Ferrari took the director of Transport for London to task after they rejected a proposal to allow motorists to drive in the cycle superhighway that runs along the Embankment.

LBC can reveal that TfL looked into introducing dynamic lane management - meaning vehicles could drive in the lanes during off-peak hours in the middle of the day and at night when the cycle lanes are all-but-empty.

It is a similar system used along major routes in the US, such as San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

But when Lilli Matson, the Director of Transport Strategy, told Nick that they had decided not to go ahead with the plan, he demanded to know why they were causing congestion while cycle lanes lie empty.

Boris Johnson on the cycle superhighway
Boris Johnson on the cycle superhighway. Picture: PA

Ms Matson insisted: "A lot of people want cycling in London. A lot of people are put off because they are scared of traffic.

"We know from looking at other cities who have succeeded with cycling is that the only way you can provide for people safely is by putting in resources which are high-quality and trusted.

"If they are there one minute and not the next, they will not be trusted."

But Nick told her: "There are other road users."

Ms Matson insisted there was congestion because of "excess demand", but Nick insisted: "Excess demand because there aren't enough carriageways, because you took it away."

Nick Ferrari in the LBC studio
Nick Ferrari in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

Opened just two years ago at a staggering cost of £47m, the cycle superhighway has infuriated motorists by increasing congestion on an already busy route through London.

Logistics businesses told LBC the traffic is so bad that they are putting more vehicles on the road just to fulfil their orders.

Martin Lawler works for Royal Jersey Laundry in Dagenham, which launders bed linen for more than 50 five star hotels. He is now spending an extra £100,000 on two new HGVs just to meet delivery times.

"The Embankment is a car park. It's at a standstill," he told LBC.

There was some good news for motorists. Back in June, LBC reported it was likely the Embankment would be closed next year to allow for work on the new super-sewer.

But can report today that the work will still go ahead, but the Embankment will stay open to traffic, not just cyclists.