The Broad Walk Junction Treatment Works
The Royal Parks attract visitors on foot, bike and horse for peace and relaxation, but also daily commuter cyclists who pass through the parks on their way to work. The Royal Parks need to balance the needs of all park users, with the safety of visitors the highest priority. Cyclists need to adjust their behaviour and speeds when moving from a busy road to a park path, and similarly pedestrians need to be aware of the variety of other users they have to watch out for whilst visiting the park.
The Broad Walk in Hyde Park experiences high volumes of both cyclists and pedestrians, with increasing congestion leading to conflict between users. The high speed of some cyclists is causing concerns for more vulnerable users regarding safety and risk of accidents within the park.
Why are works happening on this route?
The Broadwalk is a very important route for cyclists and is a part of the Central London Cycle Grid. Peak flows along Broad Walk are extremely high even for London standards, with over 1200 cyclists per hour in the morning.
Prior to any works being considered, a monitoring study of the route was undertaken by Atkins in June 2016, to observe cyclists speeds and conflict between users. The study found that more than half of all cyclists travel above the recommended 10mph, considered by The Royal Parks to be the ideal considerate cycling speed in its parks (top speed of 32 mph was recorded at 18:58 on a Wednesday). The interaction between those on foot and those on bike led to over 2 near misses each week.
The series of light physical interventions being installed at path junctions aim to provide a tactile and visual reinforcement of the concept of shared space and promote considerate use of the pathway. Through these surface treatments, it is expected that cyclist speeds will decrease, a higher level of pedestrian comfort will be achieved and access to the park made easier.
What do the works include?
As a part of the TfL Central London Grid programme junctions along the Broad Walk are being improved.
The Royal Parks are installing cycle calming measures at key crossings, similar to those in the nearby Mount Walk shared use path in Kensington Gardens, which has seen some of the highest cycle speeds (above 20mph) reduce by up to 75% since new surfaces were introduced in March 2016.
The treatments include:
- A granite strip will be installed across the width of all pathways at the junction. On the cycle route the granite setts will be slightly raised in profile in the middle of the strip to create a soft ramp effect
- A golden gravel surface layer will be added to the centre of the junctions to highlight the space through change in colour and texture
- ‘Pedestrian Priority’ signs will be installed in the pathways approaching the junctions
The proposed interventions have been designed by TRP landscape architects in consultation with Park Management, the Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, Westminster Council, TfL, Metropolitan Police, Cycle Touring Club and London Cycling Campaign to ensure that an appropriate level of intervention is achieved. The proposals meet all required Health & Safety and Disability Access Requirements. The overall design and choice of materials takes into account the historic landscape and adheres to the TRP’s own Walking and Cycling Design guide as well as the London Cycle Design Standards.