Work on the A21 aiming to improve cycle safety and bus times from Lewisham to Catford has been postponed over “concerns” about the impact it could have.

Part of the Mayor of London’s Streetspace programme, which aims to aid social distancing and promote active travel in the wake of Covid-19, the 2km stretch of road was due to have 24/7 bus and cycle lanes and expected to cost a quarter of a million pounds. 

Work on the temporary changes was set to start today (August 24), but Lewisham announced that the date will be delayed while discussions are held “urgently to consider alternative temporary proposals and develop a scheme agreeable to both organisations”. 

TfL says around half of the journeys on the stretch of road are under 10km, “meaning there is significant potential for switching some of these journeys by car to journeys by bike”.   

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As the plans stand, cyclists would have a completely segregated section between Molesworth Street and Ladywell Road, but would have to share with buses for much of the way. 

The cycleway was due to run from just outside the Broadway Theatre in Catford Road to Molesworth Street in Lewisham. 

The corridor would have a new speed limit of 20mph, while side roads would be made exit only.   

Bus lanes would be extended along the corridor, while there would be a bus stop bypass so cyclist don’t have to overtake dangerously.   

A left turn ban from Ladywell Road to A21 was planned, along with a right turn ban from Courthill Road to A21 except for buses, cyclists, and taxis, as well as a southbound right turn ban into Wildfell Road.   

Rosenthal Road, Feldlay Road, Roxley Road, and Mount Pleasant Road would all be made exit only except for cyclists.   

Parking and loading bays would be removed from the corridor to side roads “where possible”.    

However, since the start date for works has been delayed, the plans could be subject to change.  

A Lewisham Council spokesperson said: “We support the principle of improving conditions for pedestrians and cyclists along the A21 corridors, but have some concerns regarding the potential impacts of some of the specific proposals.

“The starting date for work that was originally proposed – August 24 – has been postponed, whilst we and TfL work together urgently to consider alternative temporary proposals and develop a scheme agreeable to both organisations.

“Our joint aim is to improve safety on the A21 for pedestrians and cyclists as soon as possible, without significantly impacting on Lewisham’s resident and road network.” 

Councillor Sophie McGeevor, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “We’ve had some really constructive conversations with TfL over the last few days.  

“They have listened to concerns we have raised about some aspects of their proposals for cycling improvements on A21.  

“We are now working together on some alternative options. Hope to share soon.”