FOBP calling for the new developments around the park to contribute to better cycling infrastructure. NO to Southwark Spine route across the park, instead improve Wells Way for fast lit cycle route. FOBP met with Cllr Rose (Dec 2021) to discuss cycling and a walkabout is planned for the spring.

Read FOBP presentation about cycling Dec 2021

Southwark Streetspace MapHave you had your say on the Southwark Council
Streetspace plan yet?

Some ideas are already being implemented and Friends of Burgess Park were out looking at opportunities to improve active travel around the park.

FOBP park orbital teamBurgess Park Orbital
We are promoting the Burgess Park Orbital, a protected route, to take cyclists who want to travel securely and efficiently around the park through the neighbourhood so they don’t have to cross the park. The park is very busy at the moment with people socialising and exercising. Some cyclists simply want a straightforward way to get to the other side without interfering in park activities. Some want another place to exercise. Some want an alternative to cycling through the park in the dark winter months.

Using routes around the perimeter means that there will be adequate street lighting rather than trying to light the park and contributing to light pollution which must be controlled according to the National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF).

Click the links below and give each a thumbs up, bottom right.
Let’s show support to get these improvements.

Burgess Park Orbital
1. Cycle lanes around Burgess Park using street lighting.

Albany Road
2. Cycle lanes at Albany Road and the Old Kent Road.
3. 2-way protected cycle route the full length of Albany Road.

Albany Road and Portland Street
4. Adapt the cycle crossing from Portland Street into Albany Road to 2-way and on to Wells Way.

New Church Road/Southampton Way
5. Reinstate the existing cycle route by the new playground from Kitson Rd and continue it down Southampton Way.

Wells Way
6. Wells Way cycle lane and widen pavements.
7. Wells Way underpass for pedestrians and St George’s Way junction.
8. Provide cycle parking at the Old Library instead of car parking.
9. Pavements too narrow at junction of Wells Way and St George’s Way

Parkhouse Street/Wells Way
10. 2-way cycle routes on Parkhouse Street.

Burgess Park West
11. Burgess Park West.

St. George’s Way
12. Remove cars on St George’s Way and green route for cycling.
13. Provide cycle lanes which use street lighting for safe winter cycling.

Surrey Canal
14. Surrey Canal too narrow; promote Sumner Road cycle lane alternative
15. Peckham Square for pedestrians; promote Sumner Road cycle lane alternative

Southwark Cycle Spine route

The route of the original Southwark Spine route cuts across Burgess Park. Despite a campaign and assurances in 2015 to have the route via Wells Way, the council’s Southwark Plan maps 2021 continue to show the route across the park, although the spine map shows the Wells Way alternative.

FOBP wants to see the alternative Wells Way route made cycle friendly, an orbital route around the park joining up planned cycle routes. This would mean the park is more for leisure and family cycling, the external park routes are lit, less cyclist including electric bikes and scooters through the park at speed.

Cycling Quietway 83

Drop-in session about the Bermondsey to Peckham route through Burgess Park
Visualisation of Sumner Road looking towards Trafalgar Avenue

Tuesday 27 February 2018 6-8pm
Burgess Park Community Sports Centre,
106 Cobourg Road SE5 0JB

This Quietway section is along Glengall Road, Trafalgar Avenue and Sumner Road as a safe alternative cycling route to the Surrey Canal Path.

Cycling Quietway routes 7 and 8 

Map of Burgess Park West cycle routes

Map showing proposed routes for QWs 7 and 8 and the Southwark Spine

A new QW route (QW8) is planned from Addington Sq through the park (joining QW7) then along St George’s Way. The revised Southwark Spine route is from Portland St through the park joining QW7 then across Wells Way to St George’s Way.

Unfortunately, Wells Way is not considered suitable for a quiet cycle route by Southwark Council (SC). SC project manager Albert Ang will be at the FOBP meeting Tuesday 6 June 2017 with a further update, 7pm, Sports Centre. The council will do more consultation on the QWs in June/July.

Quietway 7

The section of the Quietway 7 running through Burgess Park was approved at a Southwark Council planning meeting which approved the Burgess Park West plans.

Current delivery plans:
Albany Road / Portland Street Junction — Winter/Spring 2017
New Church Road — Spring/Summer 2017
Edmund Street/Lettsom Street — Spring/Summer 2017
Pdf on Southwark Council website

Southwark Study 1:
Area wide traffic modelling study to gain an initial understanding of the impact of various traffic management changes  along the proposed Southwark Spine cycle route and Quietway route, and their likely impact on other roads in the area.
Aim -To explore potential options that could reduce traffic volume along the Southwark Spine cycle route and Quietway alignment and adjacent areas

map showing possible alignments
Study area of possible routes: green = QW7, red = spine route, blue = QW83

Burgess Park Orbital

The Friends of Burgess Park support commuter cycle routes around the perimeter of the park — the Burgess Park Orbital — and the improvement of the commuter cycle lanes on the roads which already run through the park, e.g. Wells Way. This is a principle also supported by Tfl in its design guidelines for cycle routes.

Cycle routes near roads will be much better lit at night. Many cyclists will feel uncomfortable cycling across the park at night even with extra lighting. FOBP do not support lighting in the park which will disrupt the wildlife areas.

Burgess Park West Planning Application

Planning Sub-Committee A  to approve or refuse the application will take place on Monday 28 November, starting at 19:00 at Southwark Council offices at 160 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QH

FOBP response to the Burgess Park West planning design details raises concerns about the plans for cycling.

The BPW proposal will bring more cyclists into the park and force them to share a narrower space than is currently available. This will cause problems for commuter cyclists who will be expecting better provision. QW7 will cut across areas used for games, walking and relaxation and is very likely to cause conflict.

Cycle counts were undertaken by FOBP (Oct/Nov 2016) which show up to 250 cyclists per hour at peak times sharing the central path with pedestrians also at about 250/hr. Statistics are shown on the map below. Different colours indicate different dates.

The Friends of Burgess Park support commuter cycle routes around the perimeter of the park — the Burgess Park Orbital — and the improvement of the commuter cycle lanes on the roads which already run through the park, e.g. Wells Way. Cycle routes near roads will be much better lit at night. Many cyclists will feel uncomfortable cycling across the park at night even with extra lighting. FOBP do not support lighting in the park which will disrupt the wildlife areas.

The planning application for the Burgess Park West project has been submitted by the Council. The statutory consultation period  closed in September and the planning committee is on 28 November at the Council offices at 7pm. The application includes plans for a new Quietway for cyclists shared with pedestrians across Burgess Park West. The new route will be lit and will have some changes of surface at key points. (Further details in No. 5 of 24 and No. 9 of 24 of the planning documents).

Cycling in Burgess Park

This presentation sets out the issues and concerns which FOBP has on cycling proposals for Burgess Park. It summarises issues which need to be addressed for pedestrians and cyclists. This was presented to Councillors at the July 2016 meeting between the Council and Southwark parks’ friends’ groups. Cycling in Burgess Park presentation (updated 20 Oct 2016).

Cycle Projects

Community CycleWorks

Runs build-a-bike courses, bikefix and road and mountain biking rideouts for young people in Southwark. Providing bike training in Southwark schools. Burgess Park workshop at 285 Albany Road. Find out more about Community Cycleworks.

Camberwell Subterranea

Bicycle recycling and bikefix workshops. During the winter the session will be run on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the winter months. Next drop-in sessions are 12:30-3:30pm. Find out more about Camberwell Subterranea, a BeeUrban project.

Congratulations CK on your MBE

CK Flash (Michael Pusey), has received an MBE for his services to youth work, which includes the Peckham BMX Club he started in 2003. He and his team based at the BMX track in Burgess Park are preparing riders for major tournaments, including the Olympics. South London Press, Guardian, BBC reports.

Quietway 7 and the Spine update 2016

Replies from Southwark Council  to questions asked by FOBP at the Borough, Bankside and Walworth Community Council, 21 Nov 2015

Question 1: In 2016 Southwark Council will consult on the Burgess Park section of the Elephant & Castle to Crystal Palace Quietway (QW7). In the consultation documents for the two adjoining sections of QW7 (Falmouth Road to Albany Road and New Church Road/Edmund Street junction to Peckham Road) it is stated that the Cabinet Member for Environment and the Public Realm will be making a formal decision on these two sections before the end of 2015.

How can a consultation on the Burgess Park section of QW7 be in line with Table 7 of Southwark Council’s Adopted Statement of Community Involvement and allow for a fair consultation with communities when a decision on the two sections either side will already have been made? If these two sections are indeed approved then how can the consultation possibly address where QW7 enters the park?

Answer: The council intends to make a decision on the entire Quietway 7 route (excluding section in the Burgess Park) once consultation is completed for the entire route. This is likely to be around end of March / April 2016.

Consultation for the detailed design of the Burgess Park section the route is scheduled to commence late February 2016 and a decision made around May 2016.

The overall route alignment, including through Burgess Park, has previously been agreed as part of the masterplan and cycle strategy consultations.

Due to different funding source and delivery programme decisions will have to be made at different times for section of the route via Burgess Park and the highway. However, the council will ensure the proposals on the highways and park are joined up and complement each other.

Question 2: It was mentioned at the Community Council meeting that there are plans to put two cycleways through Burgess Park — Quietway 7 and the Southwark Spine – and, as was pointed out by the Southwark Cyclists’ representative at the meeting, these will attract many commuter cyclists to the park. However –

1. A petition against the Southwark Spine running straight through the park was presented to Southwark Council, and had over 500 signatures.
2. There is already an acknowledged problem with speeding cyclists in the park. The quiet route running along the Surrey Canal Walk, for instance, has been taken over by commuter cyclists.
3. There are already roads through the park – Wells Way in particular – which could be improved to make the commuter links North and South without spoiling the peace, quiet and relaxation of other park users who wish to enjoy the vastly improved park environment.
4. Many if not most cyclists will expect that on a specified cycling route they can proceed at commuter pace. This will inconvenience if not endanger pedestrians.

One must ask, given the above: why Southwark Council is still wedded to these cycle routes? Secondly, and specifically, why – as a first step – couldn’t Wells Way be used to improve the link from QW7, rather than sending cyclists from a designated cycle lane into the park, where they will be sharing a path with all sorts of park users?

Answer: The routes affecting Burgess Park are currently under review and one update to the maps published will be made in spring next year.

Regarding the specific confirmed routes: The Quietway from Kennington Park to Trafalgar Avenue has a proposed alternative of St. Georges Way and this is currently subject to TfL accepting the cost of the route before any outline design can be looked at. There will be early engagement on this locally in the New Year.

The Southwark Spine route is going to commence with the section south of Burgess Park so that the Master Plan and Aylesbury re-development are further established before officers undertake a review of the ‘level of service’ needed and desired routes north of the park.

There is also going to be a high level study to establish a preferred link from this southern section of the Spine to Quietway 7 which does not involve a route through the park. This will include looking at the use of Wells Way.

Workshop on cycling Quietway 7

Borough, Bankside and Walworth community council, Green Spaces theme meeting will be held
on Sat, 21 November 2015, from 1 pm
at Amigo Hall, St George’s Cathedral, Lambeth Road SE1 7HY (intersection with St George’s Road).

There will be two pre-meeting workshops between 1pm – 1.25pm: Council budget consultation and Cycle Quietways – Blackfriars Road to Tower Bridge Road, and Elephant & Castle to Crystal Palace.

The main meeting will start at 1:30 pm. The agenda includes:
Burgess park improvements, Neighbourhoods fund 2015/16, New Southwark plan, Timed refuse collections from businesses, Community council highways capital investment 2014/15, Public question time.

Registration starts from 12.30pm for the pre-meeting, and 1 pm for the main meeting. More information.

AGM (3 Nov meeting) – Wells Way improvements

Both FOBP and Southwark Cyclists support improvements to Wells Way to green the route and improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. Read Joe Parker’s presentation on Southwark Cyclists’ Wells Way proposal. At the meeting, FOBP members proposed working together with Southwark Cyclists to lobby for these improvements including linking with Quietway 7 (QW7 Elephant and Castle to Crystal Palace).

Abigail Tripp of Wheels for Wellbeing advocated a better crossing on Wells Way linking Burgess Park East and West so that adapted cycles for disabled children and adults could travel across all of the park. At the moment, these cycles are unable to use the underpass which is too steep for them. A better crossing is also needed on Trafalgar Avenue to access the Community Garden and Surrey Canal Walk section of Burgess Park.

Wheels for Wellbeing provides cycling sessions for disabled children and adults in south London parks. Abigail also hoped to find a Burgess Park base for a fleet of the specially adapted cycles  for these sessions. She will be attending the cycling festival at the BMX track on Saturday, 14 Nov 2015.

Quietway link to Albany Road – consultation

Southwark Council are consulting online about a planned cycling quietway to Burgess Park. This is part of QW7 (Elephant and Castle to Crystal Palace). According to the SC website there will be a separate consultation about the ‘Albany Road to Edmund Street via Burgess Park – subject to separate Burgess Park consultation in 2016’.

FOBP meeting 1 Sep 2015 – Focus on cycling

We invited representatives from the Council to provide further details of Southwark’s plans for cycling paths in Burgess Park.

Wells Way: FOBP want the proposed Southwark Spine cycle route to go along Wells Way and for this route to be improved to benefit park users (pedestrians crossing from one side of the park to the other as well as cyclists who need a high quality cycle way). The FOBP view.

Councillor Darren Merrill (East Walworth and Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Realm) attended our meeting. He indicated that he wanted to promote safe cycling on the street for commuter cyclists along St George’s Way and Wells Way. He also wanted to encourage cyclists off the Surrey Canal Walk and onto the Sumner Road quiet route.

Photos of cyclists and pedestrians on the Surrey Canal Walk
Surrey Canal Walk: shared-use path?
Pedestrians on the edge or on the grass.

He has not given up on linking the Southwark Spine across Burgess Park but not with a straight route and he said that he preferred to work on road routes first. The money for cycle improvements will come from TFL and when the money is made available then work will take place. Southwark Public Realm Traffic Team design cycling routes on the road and Southwark Parks team will design the routes through the park. Councillor Merrill has promised to send a Southwark officer to the next meeting (Tues, 6 Oct 2015) to answer questions regarding Southwark’s cycling programme and the logic of the routes.

Joe Parker from Southwark Cyclists  (SC) attended the meeting and presented a well-argued rationale for promoting the Sumner Road/Wells Way route for commuter cyclists. You can read his SC presentation here and see graphics explaining what needs to be done to create safe routes for cyclists. Safety is the most important factor for them according to a SC survey.

What is your experience in sharing paths in the park? Also at the meeting were Wei Du and Christopher Hambridge representing the LIving Streets charity which promotes everyday walking to school, work etc. They are conducting research into shared bicycle and pedestrian paths. Burgess Park is included in this research. If you would like to take part you can complete the pedestrian survey or the cyclist survey.

All the paths in Burgess Park are shared use. There have been suggestions that paths in the park should be segregated.  This usually requires that the paths are suitably wide. Experience and research conducted in other countries and in other urban settings suggests that separate paths are needed to remove commuter-cyclist and pedestrian conflict. See Making Space for Cycling.

Sustrans,  the campaigning group for cycling, walking and public transport has a code of conduct for cyclists on shared-use paths. They point out that “cyclists tend to be the fastest movers on these paths, but the paths aren’t suitable for high speeds so it’s important to keep cycling speed under control. Remember that they are for sharing, not for speeding. If you wish to travel quickly, … this is better done on quiet roads.”

Cyclists and Pedestrians on a park pathj
Segregated path in London Fields Park


Southwark Spine proposed route pdf (Southwark Council)

Southwark cycle routes committed and future pdf (Southwark Council)

TFL presentation pdf of transport/cycling routes (Old Kent Road community forum)

Southwark Council’s Cycling Strategy

Shared Use Paths for Pedestrians and Cycles (Department of Transport)

Sustrans Traffic Free Routes Design

Elephant and the Nun Festival Saturday 15 August

Thank you to the children who coloured in the Friends of Burgess Park posters promoting considerate cycling in the park.
Thanks to the children who coloured in the Friends of Burgess Park posters promoting considerate cycling in the park. Download your own copy.
Thanks to everyone who came along to see us at the Festival.  We talked about greening Wells Way and enhancing it as a cycle route as well as the proposed cycle spine route across the park.

Photo of children in Burgess Park colouring cycling posters

This is what some of you had to say about cycling in the park and adding the Southwark Spine route:
Why do we need another cycling route in the park — there are plenty already?

The roads should be safe for cyclists — it isn’t right to take space away from the park.

Roads feel safer — it is less confusing than dealing with pedestrians on park paths. Hyde Park cycle route is extremely problematic — large groups of pedestrians are in conflict with cyclists.

Branding a route as a cycling route will draw more cyclists and overwhelm the park.

Warn cyclists at park entrances to give way to pedestrians.

Find out what all users of the park feel about sharing space.

Cyclists should be off roads — park paths should be for cyclists and pedestrians.

Exits from the park should be improved for cyclists particularly at Albany Road and Wells Way.

NO to the Southwark Cycle Spine Route through Burgess Park — the FOBP view

Southwark Council have agreed the cycling strategy which includes the cycle spine route. A petition against the spine was presented by local residents at the cabinet meeting 2 June which approved the overall cycle strategy. The Leader agreed that a further report should be made to cabinet before the work commences with further details on the cycle spine route.

The petition against the spine route crossing Burgess Park is still open.  (The paper petition with 500 signatures has been presented to Southwark Council.) FOBP are focusing on one aspect of the spine route and cycling in green space. We are not against the cycling strategy aim to increase cycling and improve cycle routes.

1. FOBP do not support the proposed Southwark Council spine route cutting directly across Burgess Park. The preferred alternative is to direct cyclists through Wells Way – which FOBP propose as a greenway.
2. Commuter cyclists should be encouraged to use non-park routes, and these routes should be improved.
3. Greater numbers of cycling journeys are part of Southwark Council and Mayor of London’s strategy. However, the solution cannot be that Burgess Park is carved up into cycling routes to suit all cyclists’ needs or alternatively cycling and non-cycling paths to the detriment of other park users and the park environment itself
4. A pro-active approach to responsible cycling behaviour is needed which recognises that the park provides freedom of movement away from roads – an aspect which is essential to all park users. Back to the top
Photo of children colouring FOBP safe cycling poster

Photo of children colouring FOBP considerate cycling poster