Fringe Box



Letter: London Road – Carriageway and Cycle Track Widths

Published on: 7 Oct, 2023
Updated on: 10 Oct, 2023

Location of the Emporia on the London Road, Burpham

From: Niels Laub

In response to letter from Cllr Matt Furniss: My Response to Niels Laub’s Letter on the London Road Scheme

At the Emporia, the width of the road including pavements, is 10 metres. I have checked this. If, as Cllr Furniss says, the shared pavements on either side are 1.9 metres, it follows that the carriageways in each direction can only be 3.1 metres. This means that HGVs and buses travelling in opposite directions will be separated by only 150 mm which is clearly very unsafe.

According to Table 6-3 of LTN1/20 [Department of Transport’s Cycle Infrastructure Design], the minimum width of shared pavements should be three metres and, according to Table 5-3, because they are next to walls exceeding 600 in height, this should be increased to 3.5 metres.

I would therefore suggest that 1.9 metre shared pavements are not compliant and are unsafe. According to the drawings, these shared pavements extend for 100 metres northbound and 120 metres southbound which is double the length you suggest.

Table 6-1 on page 54 recommends a minimum 500 mm separation between cycle paths and carriageways in a 30mph urban zone. No such separation has been provided anywhere throughout this scheme.

This is a highly significant safety issue, particularly bearing in mind the restricted carriageway widths. The Highway Code suggests a minimum overtaking gap of 1.5 metres between a vehicle and a cyclist which is unachievable with these proposals.

It is disappointing that such an important scheme has been designed to absolute minimum standards rather than optimum or even recommended standards. These proposals for Active Travel should be attempting to improve matters for all road users by making it safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

However, because there is insufficient space, the proposals are likely to make it more hazardous for all road users including cyclists and pedestrians and are likely to increase traffic congestion and air pollution in the area.

Traffic accidents

According to BBC News, the only other Dutch-style roundabout in Cambridge has seen an increase in accidents since its installation. There have been ten collisions since the roundabout opened in 2020, three of them serious, compared to six minor incidents 2017-2019. The ten collisions included eight involving cyclists, and the other two involved a pedestrian and a driver respectively.

Traffic modelling

Regarding traffic modelling at the Dutch-style roundabout, I was referring to the conclusions of SCC’s own traffic modelling which states that “the Dutch-style roundabout created poor performance on all arms. With an 11 per cent decrease in overall capacity, queue lengths and delay times increased to unsuitable levels. A 260.1 second delay was anticipated as the longest queue”. Surrey County Council are still refusing to release the data.

Cycle Embassy for Great Britain

Regarding the parallel crossings at New Inn Lane and Woodruff Avenue, The Cycle Embassy for Great Britain states that parallel crossings should never be used to link sections of shared pavement. Please refer to

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Responses to Letter: London Road – Carriageway and Cycle Track Widths

  1. Mark Percival Reply

    October 14, 2023 at 9:56 am

    I have read the numerous complaints from Mr Laub on the London Road scheme recently, and I must correct him.

    He states motorists must give 1.5m of space when passing. This is not true.

    The highway code rule Mr Laub refers to is for vehicles on the same carriageway (Rule 163), it is very misleading to state the rule applies to those not on the carriageway.

    Perhaps he should raise this concern with Surrey Police, as his version of the rules would mean giving 2m distance from pedestrians on all roads, if only this were the case.

    I read the rebuttal of the many earlier concerns by Matt Furniss, and now yet more “concerns” are shown as incorrect.

    This obsession with raising a large number of minutae points from various internet sources, is not advancing road safety and is a barely veiled attempt to prevent vulnerable road user from having safe travel options.

    On one hand we have Highway Engineers, Surrey Police and other professional agencies making detailed measurements and surveys.

    On the other we have the LRAG campaign group, making these exaggerated claims.

    Who are we to believe?

    • Paul Robinson Reply

      October 15, 2023 at 6:58 pm

      Whilst I take Mark Percival’s points on inaccurate information, can we really hold up Surrey Highway Engineers & SCC as bastions of integrity? They had already been seen to have made questionable drawings and measurements when they dropped the whole travel scheme on us last December.

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