Six months after installing the controversial, unpopular and ill-planned one-way system on residents without warning, Bromley Council has partly reversed it. Albemarle Road has become two way again, the cycle lane towards Beckenham has gone to make space for the 2nd lane of traffic, leaving cyclists with a cycle lane on one side going towards Shortlands. The most controversial part of the system - making Westgate Road Bridge one-way (which pushes extra traffic to Beckenham Junction) - remains in place. An alternative solution - introducing traffic lights to control traffic on the bridge which had funding from TfL - has been rejected by the local Conservative Ward Councillors despite receiving majority support in the Council Consultation.
The Albemarle Rd Cycle Scheme was a golden opportunity to use TfL funds to make cycling in Beckenham safer but was sadly implemented badly by our Conservative-led council. There was barely any consultation before it was installed, making Westgate Road Bridge one-way without taking the time to engage local people, to assess the immediate impact of the displaced traffic, or to recognise the wider impact of the scheme on residents living and travelling through this part of Beckenham. The failure to consult was a fundamental mistake. Conservative Bromley Council have done a disservice to the benefits of active travel and cycling schemes.
We have tabled two questions about the scheme to the Council Meeting next Monday (12th July) asking what road use data, if any, persuaded the council to make this change and what level of consultation with local residents was carried out. We'll report back when we get a response.
There are lots of opportunities to make road improvements in Beckenham and local people have made many suggestions in our road safety survey (you can complete it here). We look forward to be sharing the results with the Council and hopefully working with officers to implement some of them.