TfL urged to fix Tooting gap in south London bike superhighway
Cyclists peddling on the new cycling superhighway through Tooting Broadway could be put in danger because of patchy planning, it is claimed.
Labour councillors say the A24 through Tooting is not scheduled to be finished until after the rest of the highway, creating a dangerous gap in the route.
The route runs from Merton to the City through Tooting High Street, which has often been described as a “death trap” because it is so busy and narrow.
Billi Randall, Graveney councillor, said: “We know that stretch of the A24 is extremely congested. We know that there are cycling accidents there.
“I worry that creating a cycling superhighway is encouraging more cyclists on the road and leading them into thinking they’re in a safe situation.
“But on the most dangerous stretch, the work’s not going to be carried out.”
The issue was raised at the Wandsworth Council planning and transportation committee last week, when council officers said the stretch was likely to be finished later because of traffic difficulties.
Now Labour councillors are urging Transport for London (TfL) to either implement the superhighway in one go or to deal with the most difficult parts first.
Last week Councillor Randall wrote to local London Assembly member Richard Tracey highlighting her fears.
The cycling superhighway, which aims to create safer cycle routes around London, is due to be finished in May 2010.
Last year a 16-year-old cyclist was killed by a lorry in Tooting High Street.
Charlie Holland, a cycling instructor from Tooting said: “I would like to see a superhighway that 12-year-olds can use to cycle to school with safety and confidence. I don’t see the absolute commitment to making the kind of change that will allow that to happen.”
A spokesman for TfL said: “As the Merton to City route will be over 14kms in length, it will be implemented in sections with work such as surfacing the cycle lanes in blue and erecting Cycle Superhighways signage completed towards the end of the installation timetable.
“We do not anticipate large numbers of additional cyclists using the routes until they are fully complete and we start to publicise them.”