Why We Are Consulting
The proposals follow safety improvements at the junction in 2012. Those improvements for cyclists included advanced stop lines, cycle blind-spot safety mirrors and the banning of the left turn for vehicles except cyclists from Tower Bridge Road into Abbey Street. We have continued to find improvements to the junction and are now proposing new pedestrian crossing facilities and helping cyclists to avoid the junction.
What we are proposing and why
New signalised pedestrian crossing
We propose to introduce a controlled pedestrian crossing at the junction. Local people asked for the crossing in the previous consultation.
We considered two options:
Option 1: a signalised crossing on the northern and western arms of the junction with an uncontrolled crossing on the southern and eastern arms of the junction.
This option allows pedestrians to cross without having to wait too long and has negligible impact on traffic on this strategically important Inner Ring Road.
Option 2: an all-round pedestrian phase, or green figure, for pedestrians to cross while traffic is held at red on all four arms of the junction.
This option means traffic would build-up along Tower Bridge Road blocking access further down the road and the junction and pedestrians would have to wait a long time to cross.
We are proposing Option 1 as that would minimise the wait time for pedestrians to cross and has least impact on local roads. Please click here to view map.
New banned turns and new cycle facilities
A new off-road cycle route to avoid the junction is proposed along with a banned left turn from Abbey Street into Tower Bridge Road northbound. 41 vehicles use this turn in the morning peak. This is essential for Option 1 to work. Motorists will need to take a different route to avoid the banned left turn, giving cyclists more room to use the junction safely and pedestrians more crossing time.
Cyclists will be able to avoid this banned turn and the junction by using the proposed off-road cycle route through St Marys churchyard with pedestrians having priority, see the drawing. Cycling through the churchyard would be permitted but if cyclists are seen to cause pedestrians harassment, alarm or distress the Park Liaison Officer, Community Wardens or Police have the power to stop the cyclist and issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.
In the previous consultation cyclists told us they preferred to avoid the junction by using Bermondsey Street so we are proposing to ban the left turn from Tower Bridge Road into Abbey Street for all vehicles (currently cyclists can make the turn). This is essential for Option 1 to work. New dropped kerb paving is proposed on the corner so cyclists not using Bermondsey Street can dismount and avoid the junction turning left from Tower Bridge Road into Abbey Street.
New right hand turn lane northbound and widened cycle lane southbound
We are proposing to alter the traffic island in Tower Bridge Road south of the junction to create a dedicated right-turn lane into Abbey Street. This would help stop vehicles waiting to turn right from blocking other traffic using the junction. A new yellow box is proposed too.
On the southbound approach we are proposing to give cyclists more room by narrowing Tower Bridge Road at the junction to one lane for motorists, see the drawing The cycle lane would be widened to 1.5m and there will be new traffic islands to keep motorists to one lane.
Please see the drawing for further information on our proposals. We intend to begin work in Summer 2014.
Have your say
Please give us your views by completing the online consultation form below by Friday 14 February 2014.