Embassy response to Hackney Council's Wick Road consultation

Hackney is London’s leading cycling borough, with the highest levels of cycling of any borough, both for all trips, and for commuting.

With this in mind, and with the increasing national attention on London for cycling best practice, Hackney’s Wick Road scheme is extremely disappointing from a cycling perspective.

Motor traffic levels are actually projected to increase on Wick Road with the proposed new two-way arrangement, from the current 9,000 PCU (passenger car units) per day, to around 12,000 PCU/day. This is well above comfortable levels for on-carriageway cycling - above the 2000 PCU/day limit that international evidence suggests is acceptable, a limit endorsed by both the London Cycling Campaign and CycleNation, the federation of national cycle campaign groups.

Indeed, motor traffic levels are likely to exceed 1,000 vehicles per hour at peak times, which is a 'critical fail' for a scheme that doesn't separate cycling from motor traffic, according to Transport for London's Cycling Level of Service.

The Wick Road scheme expects people to cycle with motor traffic on what will be in practice a busy road - effectively limiting cycling to the minority of the population willing and/or able to do so.

The scheme also proposed to remove a short stretch of two-way cycle track that forms an important local connection along LCN Route 8, with no replacement.

We urge Hackney Council to reconsider their scheme, and to examine alternative proposals, of which there are several. Among others -

  • A ‘Wick Walk’ scheme, involving the closure of Wick Road to through motor traffic, reducing motor traffic levels to an acceptable level for on carriageway cycling;

  • Retaining one-way flow for motor traffic, but building cycleways on each of the road, combined with traffic calming and good pedestrian crossing facilities;

  • Two-way flow for motor traffic, but again with some form of protected cycle provision, and good pedestrian crossings, coupled with a reduction in on-street parking