This case study is a bit experimental: it includes looking at the increase in scenario commuter cycling potential that might be generated by a new bridge link where a ferry is now. I was given the idea by a colleague in Sustrans London, who talked about the work they were doing on a potential bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf.
The image shows where the bridge would be, pretty close to where a ferry now runs. For around half the relevant local commuter routes that I identified, the Cyclestreets ‘quieter route’ goes via the ferry. In three-quarters of such cases the ferry route is actually shorter than the ‘fastest route’. However it’s slower, because it involves dismounting and waiting – and as you also have to pay, such commuters are unlikely to use the ferry. Instead they’ll divert over Tower Bridge or, more likely, through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel – in itself hardly ideal, given its limited capacity, sometimes broken lifts, and potential need to dismount (cycling has traditionally been banned, but under a trial is permitted at quieter times).
The lack of good crossings may well suppress cycling. A personal anecdote: but the experience of struggling up (or down) the Greenwich Foot Tunnel stairs with bike panniers full of PhD books, with my journey already lengthened due to a lack of crossings, certainly suppressed my cycling to Uni…
So I’ve been able – with help from Anna Goodman – to include the extra scenario cycling potential generated by replacing the ferry with a bridge for those commuters. Our model’s cycling potential depends on the ‘fastest route’ distance and hilliness, so if we instead plug the ‘quieter route’ distance and hilliness for those commuters into our scenario cycling equations, we effectively assume that a bridge exists.
It’s only a small part of the Rotherhithe case study but was an interesting addition. I’ve mainly used the Government Target scenario (being in line with London’s short-ish term targets), incorporated planned growth in the local area, and sense checked against other bridge counts and trends.
Here’s the Rotherhithe case study.
Interesting, as an interim I’d also be interested in modelling a part restored 395 ‘bus’ service using an 8 seater MPV with capacity to carry bikes, operating ‘on demand’ with 3 stops Limehouse Station, Jamaica Road roundabout, Rotherhithe Station. The vehicle would have ‘bus stands’/stops at Limehouse Station and Rotherhithe Station and the stop at Jamaica Road would be connected with bus stops for services towards Deptford/Bermondsey.
As an 8-seater there could be a relaxation which allowed for a Class B licence holder to drive the ‘bus’ possibly with MIDAS certificate.
Rotherhithe Tunnel is open for walking & cycling but the conditions present a major deterrent. The vehicle should be electric and recharge at each end of the route.
The other service I’d like to have a view on is North Greenwich/Maze Hill to Bromley by Bow/Stratford using the 108 24 hour bus service, to carry bikes through the Blackwall Tunnel. This is an existing service with high frequency at busy times, and a parallel tube route, outside high peak there is space to take on a bike or two per bus.