Clapham Road CS7 junction at Union Road

TFLhas a consultation on changes to the junction where CS7 on Clapham Road passes Union Road, with the Pheonix pub on the corner.

This junction has particular dangers with cars turning in to Union Road across people cycling and dashing across Clapham Road from Stirling Road into Union Road.

As TFL says:
In the last three years, there were 23 collisions at this junction, 18 of which were people cycling. (Data available up to 30 September 2018).

A number of issues have been identified with the current junction layout:
  • Difficult for road users to turn right from A3 Clapham Road into Union Road. People making this turn are allowed to proceed at the same time as the A3 northbound traffic is moving, leading to right-turning drivers seeking short gaps in the traffic and turning impatiently or without enough care. People cycling northbound nearer the kerb may be hidden by other vehicles, increasing the risk of them being struck.
  • Northbound cyclists vulnerable to left-turning traffic. There are a lot of cyclists heading north into central London in the morning peak. Drivers turning left into Union Road have to cross this flow of cyclists.
  • Advanced stop lines (ASL) for cyclists at the junction are too small. The number of cyclists using the junction at peak times means the ASL boxes can not safely protect everyone cycling, particularly people cycling northbound along Clapham Road in the morning peak.
  • Poor junction alignment with Stirling Road. Many vehicles turn right from Stirling Road onto the A3 and then turn left into Union Road, cutting across two lanes of traffic including cyclists.

These “safer junctions” schemes are clearly about collision reduction rather than enabling more, and a wider range of people, cycling. They do little to improve subjective safety with people cycling still sharing space with motor traffic on busy roads.

Our thoughts on this so far
Cycling in bus lanes is not the solution to mass cycling, but it does provide for cycling at a certain level of confidence. However, most of the bus lanes on the CS7 corridor are part time - outside operational hours cycling is dangerous and unpleasant due to fast motor traffic using bus lanes to undertake slower vehicles. This is a major factor in deterring non-commute utility cycling. The cheapest and most dramatic increase in subjective and objective safety on this route would be to make all bus lanes 24hours a day, 7 days a week

Specific comments on this junction

We support these changes with strong caveats - there is a high risk that new danger has been created here.

This scheme addresses two specific risks - motor traffic moving from Stirling Road to Union Road and Southbound vehicles on Clapham Road turning right into Union Road.

Our concerns with this proposal are set out below -

The separately controlled right turn to Union Road will exacerbate the issue of motor traffic merging into the left lane to continue straight on. This is precisely the situation at Kennington Park Road/Bragnanza Street where a separate ‘safer junctions’ scheme is creating a cycle bypass to avoid just this type of conflict.

Traffic currently using Stirling Road is likely to move Clitheroe Road leading to an increased volume of traffic turning right just at the point motor traffic is merging into the left lane in conflict with cycles. A very small ‘low traffic neighbourhood’ intervention would place a modal filter at the Kimberley Road/Grantham Road junction (this is on borough roads and would need Lambeth agreement)

There remains a left hook risk from Northbound traffic turning into Union Road. This risk occurs during the green phase - early release offers no safety benefit for cyclists here since any using the ASL would already be ahead of left turning vehicles and there is no merge on the far si

Read TFL's proposals and respond to the consultation today.

Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood - your first chance to have your say

Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood could be amazing for walking and cycling in Brixton and create safe, pleasant, links to Clapham, Herne Hill and Loughborough Junction. You can tell Lambeth where the current issues are and how to make it better.

What they say:
Lambeth Council need your help to make the Brixton area a healthier place, with a thriving town centre, less traffic, cleaner air, more space for people and great for walking and cycling. We want to involve the whole community and work together with you to achieve this.
Find out more and add your comments about what works and what could be improved on their map, also add your vote to comments you support.