Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Wick Road two-way

Anyone who knows the Victoria Park and Hackney Wick area to the east of Hackney knows that there are transport and access issues. Many of these issues are down to the installation of a one-way system in the 60s, one of many introduced at that time which were introduced to increase the motor vehicle capacity. The following is a summary of the problems for sustainable transport and road safety created by the numerous one-way streets. None of these problems are trivial given the scale of this mega-one-way system.

  • It's really difficult to understand the bus services. No one who is not a daily passenger could easily figure out the bus routes as they crisis-cross the area on one-way streets. Bus passengers will often not be able to get to their transport objectives.
  • It's really difficult to get to where you want to get to on your cycle without taking to the pavement to travel the wrong way up the one-way streets. The council has even permitted cycling on the Victoria Park Road pavement, a footway which is not even wide enough for pedestrians let alone cycles as well.
  • One-way streets encourage drivers to put their foot down because it's assumed nothing is coming the other way. We know that one-way streets have higher crash histories because of this increased speed and because pedestrians mistake the direction of travel and look the wrong way. Wick Road is so hostile to pedestrians they avoid the area.
  • To avoid the one-ways motor traffic rat runs through numerous unsuitable streets.
These issues have to be resolved for the benefit of local journeys and also because there is a  strategic need to regenerate Hackney Wick and the Olympic Park but it is important to prevent regeneration and development in those areas translating into car-dependent development. 

For more than a decade councillors have been pressing Hackney Council to revert the roads in the Victoria Park area to two-way operation. Local councillors and many others have recognised that the Victoria area one-way system blights a wide area. Transport for London has an historic aspiration to run buses two-way, at least on some of the streets and the Hackney Cycling Campaign campaigned at the last local elections for a plan to revert the one-way roads to two-way.

Hackney council has now, finally, proposed the reversion of Wick Road to two-way operation. This is fantastic after years of effort because it starts to unravel the one-way system and deal with many of the access issues mentioned above. It won't give everyone exactly what they want, but it will give many bus passengers a more direct service and a better prospect of extension of services to Stratford. It doesn't sort out all the one-way roads but it does make a start at sorting out the system and will allow many more direct cycle trips avoiding pavement cycling or a long detour. It slows the traffic and provides better crossing points for pedestrians. It improves access to Hackney Wick and the Olympic Park and will mean less car-dependent development in the future.  This scheme should be seen as a multi-modal, area-wide proposal. Its not just a single-mode scheme. I would urge everyone to support the principle of the proposals and comment on the detail at:


No comments:

Post a Comment