Cycling conditions on the Westway
Question No: 1373 / 2013
A constituent who was once diverted to cycle along the Westway during a bomb scare reports that high winds and traffic noise made cycling on it an unpleasant experience. Will TfL therefore be mitigating these problems by erecting sound barriers and wind shields when the proposed Westway cycle way is implemented?
Written response from the Mayor
The issues you raise are being considered as part of the engineering and design studies into this route. Further information will be available in due course.
This is a good question, and I am so glad that I am not the first person to ask it. I am probably not the ideal person to pronounce on the proposed two-way, segregated cycle path that is to be built on the elevated section of the M40 motorway between White City and central London, otherwise known as the Westway. I suffer from acoraphobia, which is an irrational fear of falling off things, and it becomes especially pronounced when cycling across bridges. Even allowing for this irrational fear, I don’t find the prospect of using this proposed lane appealing at all, and that’s not only my inbred prejudice against west London.
I’m sure the lane will be objectively safe, as it will be separated from the motorway by a substantial lump of concrete, but I’ll be surprised if it’s pleasant. One will, after all, be riding along a concrete gulley, exposed to the elements, with motor-traffic rumbling past at 40+ mph. Ok, there will be times when the traffic will be stationary, but row upon row of stationary cars, engines idling, is little more appealing for reasons that I won’t need to spell out for anyone that has ridden along Euston Road in rush hour. Is it just Darren’s constituent and me that find the proposed lane to be not altogether enticing?