Downing Street footway

This article was published in 2008, in Newsletter 81.

Footway works adjacent to contraflow cycle lane in Downing Street.

Over the past few years the footway on the south side of Downing Street has been trashed by innumerable heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) from the Grand Arcade work site. They’ve driven over it and parked on it until hardly a paving stone was still in one piece. Now that the works are finally complete the pavements have been restored, and I hope the Grand Arcade has paid!

Doing the work has been complicated by the adjacent contraflow cycle lane, and it seems a shame that it wasn’t done out of university term when both pedestrian and cycle flows would have been significantly lower. The first part was chaos for a few days, as a narrow route supposedly for cyclists was hi-jacked by pedestrians who preferred not to cross the road, despite the notices.

The Campaign had some friendly email exchanges with the officer concerned and we almost managed to meet on site.

The barrier arrangement that the County Council put in place is an exemplar of how this kind of situation should be managed

In the wider section an arrangement was made with both a temporary footway in the cycle lane, and a temporary cycle lane well fenced off from the main traffic lane. The only real losers are those using a narrowed lane towards St Andrews Street.

The County had special signs made to direct both pedestrians and cyclists under these difficult conditions, but they were stolen. Even the replacements were stolen. If you are a student. and you’ve taken one of these notices following a drunken binge in the Revolution, I hope you feel very guilty.

Thank you

Thanks to the County for attempting to regulate the safe flows of pedestrians and cycles in this area (after a difficult start).

I’m sure the many pedestrians, like me, find a very welcome improvement on this stretch. I’m waiting with my camera to photograph the first HGV to break one of the new paving stones.

Jim Chisholm