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CS1: Hackney Council opens consultation about sorting out ‘missing link’ in cycle route along Balls Pond Road

PUBLISHED: 16:50 03 December 2018 | UPDATED: 18:03 03 December 2018

Cyclists on the 100-yard stretch of Balls Pond Road that connects the two segments of CS1. Picture: Ramzy Alwakeel

Cyclists on the 100-yard stretch of Balls Pond Road that connects the two segments of CS1. Picture: Ramzy Alwakeel

Archant

Transport chiefs are at last consulting on a “missing link” portion of Cycle Superhighway 1 that will connect Hackney to Islington along Balls Pond Road.

Detailed designs for the 100m stretch of Balls Pond Road where Hackney Council wants to build a two-way segregated cycle route - four years after first mooting the idea. Picture: Hackney CouncilDetailed designs for the 100m stretch of Balls Pond Road where Hackney Council wants to build a two-way segregated cycle route - four years after first mooting the idea. Picture: Hackney Council

As revealed by the Gazette in August, work to build a two-way protected bike lane along a 100m stretch of the road is finally set to begin in spring after a four-year standoff between the councils.

But first Hackney Council wants to know what users of the road – be they pedestrians, cyclists, drivers or anything else – think about the plans to link Kingsbury Road, in Islington, to Culford Road, in Hackney.

They appear to involve building both lanes of the cycle track along the northern (Islington) side of the road, with southbound cyclists joining it a few yards further north in Kingsbury Road.

Lights and a cycle box would then be installed where Balls Pond Road meets Culford Road.

Cyclists on the 100-yard stretch of Balls Pond Road that connects the two segments of CS1. Picture: Ramzy AlwakeelCyclists on the 100-yard stretch of Balls Pond Road that connects the two segments of CS1. Picture: Ramzy Alwakeel

Meanwhile, the existing pedestrian crossing immediately west of Kingsbury Road would be moved west of Culford Road, to avoid those on foot having to cross the cycle track.

There are a host of other small changes to optimise the route, including a kerb being extended into the road, another kerb being made smaller, a parking bay being reduced in size, and a the relocation of a motorcycle bay.

Hackney’s deputy mayor Cllr Feryal Demirci, who holds that council’s transport portfolio, said: “Like everyone, we want to make sure the link between Culford Road and Kingsbury Road is safe.

“TfL, Islington Council and Hackney Council are working on delivering the scheme that we consulted on, and we expect work to start in spring next year.”

The original CS1 plans that were put out to consultation in February 2015 - including two options for Balls Pond Road. Option B was favoured following the gathering of public opinion. Picture: TfLThe original CS1 plans that were put out to consultation in February 2015 - including two options for Balls Pond Road. Option B was favoured following the gathering of public opinion. Picture: TfL

Proposals were first drawn up in 2015 to link the two halves of CS1.

But although the rest of the route has been open for years, neither council had seemed willing or able to get work done in the short stretch along the border. All the while, cyclists have been left to navigate a pair of risky turnings in a busy A-road flanked by bus lanes.

That changed when the Gazette started asking questions and the authority in charge of the border road – Hackney – signed up to a 2019 start date for works in response.

The delay is thought to have been caused in part by the need to reinstate a banned right-turn into Southgate Road from Balls Pond Road, so the right-turn into Culford Road can be blocked off instead. Sure enough, that plan appears in the updated blueprint for the street.

Cyclists on the 100-yard stretch of Balls Pond Road that connects the two segments of CS1. Picture: Ramzy AlwakeelCyclists on the 100-yard stretch of Balls Pond Road that connects the two segments of CS1. Picture: Ramzy Alwakeel

Between 2008 and 2017, the 100 yards in question saw nine cyclists injured in collisions – three of them seriously.

View the full plan and have your say here.

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