Two-way cycling in Hackney

Prompted by an article in the LCC magazine, I emailed the mayor asking that more one-way streets in hackney allow two-way cycling, and got this response:Re: Two-Way CyclingThank you for your email regarding the above matter, which was received in my office on 17th October 2011.I can confirm the Council’s aspiration to allow two-way cycling on all the borough’s streets, and the Streetscene department has confirmed that, wherever possible, any restrictions to cycle access are being removed. You may be aware that a few years ago the Council modified all gated closures on public highways to provide proper cycle access, and cycle accessibility was also a factor in the decision to initiate the removal of the Shoreditch triangle gyratory system.It should be noted that the Council does not have control of all public highways in Hackney. Roads that are designated part of London’s strategic road network (‘red routes’) are the responsibility of Transport for London, but the Council does liaise with them regarding road access and is pressing them to take similar action – particularly in relation to the Stoke Newington gyratory system.At the moment, many of Hackney’s one-way streets do allow two-way cycling, such as Greenwood / Navarino Roads, Gascoyne Road and the Windus Road zone, and Hackney Council is committed to making Hackney’s streets the most pedestrian- and cycle-friendly in London, with a range of measures from improving cycle parking facilities to removing unnecessary guard railing. Hackney also generally no longer make roads one-way, and would certainly not if that restricted two-way cycling.Streetscene have explained that implementing two-way cycling in existing one-way streets must be considered on a case-by-case basis, as in some cases the demands on the use of street space – car parking in residential roads, for example – can prevent the use of cycle lanes or segregated sections.The Council is, for example, currently in the process of implementing two-way cycling along the one-way section of Powerscroft Road, which is scheduled for completion by the end of this financial year. In this case, I have been advised that the design allocates specific space for cyclists and one-way motor vehicle traffic, along with improved facilities for bus passengers and incorporating the existing parking restrictions.In other cases, the alternative is to allow unsegregated two-way access for cyclists. I understand that changes recently proposed to the Traffic Signs Regulations will facilitate this, by minimising the signage requirements whilst ensuring that clear instructions and warnings can be conveyed to all vehicle drivers. Unfortunately, although these specific changes have now been agreed, they will not be operational until the new regulations have been agreed in full and confirmed by the national government, possibly in 2014.In the meantime, please be assured that Hackney will continue to work with the Department of Transport to try to obtain signs authority wherever necessary. For example, some sign changes authorised by the DfT have allowed legal access to be provided to cyclists through no entry signs on some roads off Upper Clapton Road.I have been advised that unfortunately there a number of locations, such as Victoria Park Road and Cassland Road, at which practical problems of the kind mentioned above are considered by the Streetscene department to be very difficult to overcome, and where safe two-way cycling does not currently appear to be a practical possibility.Nevertheless, please be assured that both I and the Council are committed to supporting and promoting cycling as a sustainable form of transport, via a range of improvements and changes throughout the borough. In addition to a number of signed and designated cycle routes through the borough, this also includes the recent launch of the Olympic walking and cycling route between Finsbury Park, Clissold Park, Hackney Downs and Victoria Park, along which the Council – with support from the Olympic Delivery Authority and TfL – has improved road crossings, added new dropped kerbs, improved access points and planted new trees.I hope that this information is useful. If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact Steve Walker, Traffic & Transportation Manager, at sincerelyJules PipeMayor of Hackney


  1. that’s awesome – looking forwrd to some legal two way cycling on Powerscroft rd

  2. Good one. It should also have the added benefit of calming car traffic on those streets.

  3. Awesome. Bit of a shame about Vicky Park Road – the one-way streets and banned right turns around there do make it hard to go east from Mare Street (and get to my flat!), but glad to hear about the council’s commitments.

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