TfL has published the results of their two consultations on whether to add a two-way cycle lane to the north side of the Hammersmith gyratory ( Full PDF ). The main conclusion is that the scheme will go ahead with construction commencing this Autumn and finishing “in 2018”. The main change to the scheme from that consulted on is that the pedestrian crossing from the middle of Shepherds Bush Road into the middle of the gyratory (where the shopping centre/tube station is) will be retained at the cost of reducing space for cyclists to wait at the lights there.
This scheme is a prep-step for CS9, we hope. I use this route on my commute. For me individually I expect it will significantly increase journey time Eastbound – given the highly aggressive nature of some drivers when you choose not to use cycle lanes (cf East West Superhighway) it is dangerous not to use them. But there are more traffic lights and these will be cyclist-only so designed for slow progress again as with EWCSH. Further we will expected to use the extended contra traffic cycle lane on Kings Street. This will require slow progress (the pedestrians and motorist simply don’t look in the “wrong” direction, so you have to proceed on the basis that something will move into your path at any time). So slower and perhaps more dangerous – not a great combination eastbound. Westbound I am more positive. Yes the average speed will again be slower, but on the other hand I won’t have to go round the gyratory itself so I’m hopeful the increase journey time will be at worst small. Better, this westbound journey should be safer than the current situation. The only possible way round the gyratory at the moment is to take the middle of the appropriate lane all the way round . This saves you from much of the extreme late and unsignalled lane changes from motorist but at the cost of the occasionally irate person behind you (not that cars ever make faster progress than a bike as a whole round the island) The segregation will remove these stresses.
All in all the schemes are not for cyclists who’ve already chosen to cycle in the existing conditions, but to encourage others who want more segregation. For this reason I am supportive of the scheme even though, overall, it impacts me personally slightly negatively.