Bow Vision Interim – impact on road users

Closed 1 Apr 2015

Opened 17 Feb 2015


Bow Interchange is a key junction of the A12 Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach, A11 Bow Road and A118 Stratford High Street, which are all very busy roads. Therefore we need to ensure that general traffic, buses and cyclists can continue to move smoothly through the area.

However, Bow Interchange can often seem an intimidating environment for pedestrians. There are currently no facilities at the roundabout for pedestrians wishing to cross Bow Road or Stratford High Street. Pedestrians using the east-west unsignalised crossings on the A12 Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach slip roads must wait for gaps in the traffic flow to continue their journeys. The Bow Vision Interim scheme would provide signalised pedestrian crossings at the roundabout by mid-2016.

We expect some delays to general traffic and buses would occur during construction, and our analysis shows the proposals would result in changes, both positive and negative, to journey times for motorists, bus passengers and cyclists once complete.

This note explains the impacts we expect our proposals to have and is accompanied by a more detailed table of data. This table shows the predicted changes to journey times calculated from our traffic models.


Our proposals would enable pedestrians to cross Bow Interchange, both north-south and east-west, while traffic is held at a red light. However, the addition of signalised pedestrian crossings will have an impact on the traffic movements through the junction.


With the introduction of new signals, the journey times for cyclists using Cycle Superhighway Route 2 (CS2) are expected to increase by one minute. However, westbound journeys in the evening peak are likely to be unaffected.

Bus passengers

For bus passengers travelling through Bow Interchange, our latest analysis shows that the some journeys would be longer by around two minutes at peak times. Other bus journeys are likely to be unaffected or slightly quicker.


For some motorists travelling through Bow Interchange, our latest analysis shows longer peak journey times of around two minutes.

The greatest journey time increases are likely to be for motorists leaving the northbound A12 Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach in the morning peak and for motorists joining the A12 Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach, from Stratford High Street, in the evening peak.

However, journey times for motorists joining the A12 Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach from Bow Road are likely to improve slightly. 

Explanatory note on accompanying traffic modelling data table

TfL has used traffic modelling techniques to calculate the expected journey time changes through the area at the busiest hour in both the morning and evening peak. The model includes two other local development schemes, which collectively would impact road users: the upgrade of CS2 between Bow Interchange and Fairfield Road, and the Sugar House Lane development scheme.

This table of data outlines the expected journey times through two modelled stages:

  • Base model – Current situation on street. Journey times for general traffic, buses and cyclists are taken from VISSIM computer traffic models.
  • Future journey times with scheme – Expected journey times in June 2016 if the interim scheme at Bow is built. These journey times also take account of the following schemes in the wider Bow area:
  • Cycle Superhighway Route 2 Upgrade – major improvements to CS2 on Bow Road between Bow Interchange and Fairfield Road
  • Sugar House Lane – work on this residential development requires a new signalised junction to be built on Stratford High Street, with an eastbound right turn into Sugar House Lane. This junction will include new signalised pedestrian facilities

The data table includes information for general traffic, buses and cyclists through the area. As there are currently no signalised pedestrian facilities at this junction, the table does not include comparative wait times for pedestrians.

If you have any further questions concerning the traffic modelling for this scheme email your requirements and contact details to

Complementary measures

The impacts calculated through the traffic models do not take account of a range of additional complementary measures that would have beneficial impacts on journey times for buses and general traffic:

  • Where there are negative impacts on journey times for bus routes shown in the table, a programme of work is being developed to save time elsewhere along the affected route by addressing delays and giving priority to buses at certain pinch-points
  • We will invest in more advanced traffic signal technology and will use the signals to more effectively regulate the flow of traffic at certain locations to keep London moving
  • Road users can expect more comprehensive and specific travel advice to help them to make informed journey choices to avoid busy times and locations
  • We will continue our work with freight and servicing companies to support them to plan their activity to avoid the busiest times and locations, evaluate quieter technology to enable more deliveries to take place out of hours and investigate the benefits of consolidation centres
  • Through the creation of the new Roads and Transport Policing Command, we will target enforcement at the busiest locations and known hot spots to reduce hold-ups and delays and keep traffic moving



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