Decision Maker Response

Sadiq Khan’s response

Jun 14, 2018 — Dear Petitioner,

Thank you for the petition submitted on the change.org website about the introduction of the permanent right turn restrictions from Mile End Road into Burdett Road, and vice versa.

The Mayor is committed to doing all he can to reduce road danger and make London’s streets safer and more welcoming for all road users, especially vulnerable road users such as those walking or cycling. There are high cyclist collision rates at Burdett Road junction. At this junction there were 17 collisions involving cyclists between July 2011 and February 2014. This is nearly twice the average for Tower Hamlets, which is why it was important to address the risk to cyclists at this location.

Transport for London (TfL) thoroughly investigated and evaluated other infrastructure design options before banning the turn. It found that all alternative solutions at this junction would either leave unacceptable risks for cyclists or create significantly longer delays for traffic using the A11. TfL’s modelling and research showed that installing the new junction without banning turns would cause queues of approximately 800 metres back to Cambridge Heath junction. The permanent no right turn at the junction was therefore required to physically accommodate the segregated cycle track in this location. By banning the right turn from Mile End Road into Burdett Road and vice versa, TfL was able to retain capacity for straight-ahead traffic, which is the busiest movement, significantly reducing the level of congestion that would otherwise have resulted.

Throughout the designing and planning of the upgrade to CS2, TfL sought to provide a balance between all road users while delivering cycle safety improvements. TfL consulted on these proposals as part of a consultation on upgrading the Cycle Superhighway Route 2 (CS2) between September and November 2014. As part of the consultation, TfL wrote to nearly 60,000 addresses and emailed a further 78,000 people. There were also drop-in sessions for people interested in the scheme. Details of the consultation can be found on the TfL website at: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/cs2-upgrade/results/cs2-upgrade-consultation-report-tfl.pdf. From over 2,200 responses, TfL received 89 per cent support or partial support for their proposals. A total of 12 per cent of all respondents opposed the proposed ban of right turns from Mile End Road onto Burdett Road and Burdett Road onto Mile End Road.

TfL is required to ensure that road users comply with formal Traffic Regulation Orders, and issues Penalty Charge Notices to those contravening these orders. Enforcement at this junction was introduced gradually, with a Warning Notice campaign carried out before tickets were issued.

The Mayor was sorry to read that you have concerns about the impact of this scheme on air quality. Improving London’s dangerously polluted air is one of the Mayor’s top priorities, and he has already taken a series of bold steps to achieve this. As part of his Transport Strategy, TfL is encouraging a shift away from private cars and towards more sustainable transport. Evidence shows that cycling reduces emissions and noise pollution, and improves air quality, thereby creating better places for everyone. As noted, the final scheme design looks to minimise delays for traffic and restrict traffic queuing and therefore the impact of engine idling.

Since implementation, TfL has refined the operation of the junction as traffic flows change. For example, vehicle sensors have been installed on each approach to the junction which allow the lights to adjust their green light phase to best balance the performance of each traffic, bus or cycle movement. The Mayor knows that there are a number of ongoing concerns regarding the no right turn restriction. The north-south alignment through this junction forms part of a new proposed cycle route between Hackney and the Isle of Dogs. As part of the development of this new route, TfL will review this junction in detail, and consider whether any changes are required as part of this process.

Yours sincerely,

Public Liaison Unit
Greater London Authority