Transport for London (TfL) has announced plans to change the road layout on and around Westminster Bridge.
While the existing bus and general traffic lanes on the bridge would remain, the plans which are currently the subject of a public consultation, include an option for segregated lanes on the bridge, a new crossing for pedestrians and a new cycle and pedestrian-friendly junction at the southern end of the structure.
A new trial 20mph limit for all traffic is also proposed on the bridge, Addington Street and York Road.
Subject to the results of the public consultation, which is now open, work could begin as early as summer 2016.
Sue Reynolds, Director of Development and Administration for London Tourist Coach Operators Association (LTCOA) told CBW: “The LTCOA and everyone in the coaching industry will support all measures that make our roads safer for all road users.
“We would however hope that some recognition is given to the damage that our industry is sustaining as a result of the dramatic changes that are taking place on London’s road. Since the start of works on the Cycles Superhighway our industry has lost significant numbers of coach bays for pick up/set down, short term strategic and long term parking. Congestion throughout our capital has increased to levels that are causing tour operators and the operators of Commuter Services considerable difficulties.
“Many Commuter Services are now losing passengers because journey times are forcing travellers onto trains – one particular service that for years has taken one hour from last pick up into London is now taking at best 2 ½ hours. Not only are customers being lost but in addition drivers are working much longer hours with the obvious knock on effects for scheduling and costs.
“We are pleased to see the suggestion that the use of these proposed cycle lanes be mandatory – something we had hoped would be the case for all cycle lanes. But are concerned that this option is available for only one and not both of the proposed layouts.
“I would urge everyone to respond to the consultation and to make sure that their responses make their feelings blatantly clear. I say this because in a recent consultation there was no clear question asking if respondents were for or against the scheme instead answers were subjectively judged as to whether they were for/against or undecided. Surprisingly most responses were judged to be undecided.”
Reacting to the plans, CPT told CBW it is in the process of consulting with members in order to gain a firm understanding of the impacts the changes and will submit a formal response in due course.
Full details about the plans and how to respond to the consultation, which closes on December 22 can be found at: tfl.gov.uk/Westminster-bridge-south