Southall-Heathrow Cycle Ride
WestTrans took part in a group cycle ride yesterday from Southall to Heathrow Airport.
Organised by Transport for London and Berkeley Group, the ride aimed to explore the quality of cycle routes between Southall and Heathrow, and to report on ways of making it a more appealing journey for Heathrow employees living in Southall.
The group started at Southall Waterside, the 88-acre development site including Southall Gasworks. We then rode into Hillingdon and along the A4, including an underpass and through Cranford Park, to reach Heathrow Cycle Hub.
After arriving at Heathrow, the group discussed the good and not-so-good points along the route. These included:
- Provision of segregated cycle paths along some of the route. This was positive and gave a feeling of safety while cycling.
- Junctions without cycle or pedestrian signals, which had a big impact on perceptions of safety, and forced us to dismount in order to cross safely.
- Some traffic signals gave a green light for only 5 seconds to cyclists, followed by much longer for motor traffic. This made it difficult for the group to navigate junctions, especially multiple-stage junctions.
Transport for London will now compile a report of the route and explore options for improving it. The hope is that some of the 16,000 Heathrow employees living within 5km of the airport, including in Southall, may be persuaded to cycle to work if pleasant, safe and accessible routes are provided.