Cycling News

The case of the missing space for cycling: Cycling Commissioner says he is not supportive of the Baker Street scheme

Westminster City Council’s consultation on returning Baker Street and Gloucester Place to two-way motor traffic comes to a close this week. Not much has been said about the plans during the consultation. It’s possible that Westminster hoped they’d be able to push them through without anyone noticing how poor they are. But the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan has now spoken out, and said he is not supportive of the Baker Street scheme and wants to work with Westminster City Council to make it work for cycling.

Have your say on the plans. The deadline for responses is this Friday, 31st July. Read our suggested responses for each question.

Artist’s impression from bakerstreettwoway.co.uk

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The reality of two-way traffic (on Edgware Rd)

Despite the desperate need for safe space for cycling in Westminster, this scheme is yet another that simply isn’t safe enough. The plans include painted cycle lanes along Gloucester Place which not only wouldn’t offer sufficient protection from the fast and heavy motor traffic on this busy road, but wouldn’t even be in operation 24 hours a day – Westminster say they couldn’t operate 24 hours a day, because of the need to allow loading and parking at certain times. So when cyclists are forced to use the carriageway because parking is permitted, not only will they have to share with heavy motor traffic in the lane, but they’ll also be at risk from opening doors.

The plans also fail to offer safe space for cycling at junctions. Cyclists continuing straight ahead will be at risk of collision with left-turning vehicles at many junctions, and it’ll be tough for cyclists to turn right, especially from the left-hand cycle lanes along Gloucester Place. 

Dominic Fee from LCC’s Westminster local group explains that "This is a once in a generation opportunity to improve Baker Street and Gloucester Place, and we’ve met with the Council’s cabinet member to express our concerns. But we know from experience how the Council will evaluate the results of the public consultation: they will simply use the results of their online questionnaire. We need cyclists to take 2 minutes to complete the multiple choice questionnaire, or their voice won’t be heard!"

London Cycling Campaign believes that good quality cycling provision that’s suitable for all ages and abilities can and should be provided along both Baker Street and Gloucester Place. This could be achieved either through filtering Baker Street to reduce through traffic, whilst also reducing carriageway space to create space for segregated cycle tracks; or by retaining one-way operation for motor vehicles and using the additional carriageway space to create bi-directional segregated tracks on both streets. And it sounds like the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner thinks so too.

Have your say on the plans. The deadline for responses is this Friday, 31st July.

What to say in the consultation response?

We've written some suggested responses and answers to the 8 main questions that feature in the consultation survey. Anyone can take part, not only localy residents, so please do take a moment to respond and call for safe space for cycling.

Want to help locally? 

Our local group in Westminster is taking its campaign on-street this Wednesday 29 July 2015 3.30-7.30pm, giving out fliers to local businesses, shops, residents and road users to try and show why the plans aren't good enough.

If you can help, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 07811 553010. Food and drink will be provided.

 

 

 

 


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TAKE ACTION to ensure safe space for cycling on Baker Street

Westminster City Council is consulting on its biggest ever project to remove a one-way system on Baker Street and Gloucester Place. Whilst the plans, in principle, sound good, we have major concerns about the lack of safe space for cycling.

Please take 5 minutes to fill in the Consultation Questionnaire and tell Westminster City Council that the plans aren't good enough.

 

We've included some suggested answers to the main 8 questions below:

QUESTION 1:  "Overall, to what extent do you support or oppose the proposed scheme?" 

Click "Strongly oppose"

QUESTION 2: "Please explain in summary why you support or oppose the proposed scheme."

Answer: Making Baker Street two-way won’t reduce the dominance, noise, pollution or danger of motor traffic. Please make Baker Street a better place to live, work and shop by restricting it to buses and cycles only.

QUESTIONS 3 & 4

Please check the cycling related options in your answers

QUESTION 5"How much do you support or oppose each of the following elements of the proposed scheme?" 

We suggest you click "Strongly support" for all items.

QUESTION  6: "Do you have any comments about any of these elements?"

Answer: Cyclists need safe Space for Cycling on Gloucester Place. It is unacceptable to propose to sacrificing the northbound mandatory cycle lane between George Street and York Street in favour of car parking, forcing cyclists out into the dooring zone and busy carriageway. A two-way cycle track on the east side of the road is an option for resolving this failure. At junctions cyclists should be protected from left turning vehicles. Cyclists should also be able to turn right more safely and easily, particularly from Gloucester Place towards Regent’s Park, and from Baker Street onto Outer Circle.

QUESTION 7: "Which ONE of the following scheme options listed below do you prefer?"

Click "No preference"

QUESTION 8: "Which ONE of the options listed below do you prefer for the provision of cycle lanes along Gloucester Place?"

Click "Other" and add: 7am to 7pm Monday to Sunday and ideally 24 hours a day – shift workers who cycle deserve protection too

QUESTIONS 9, 10 & 11

Click "No"

More information

The proposals would widen footways and put most bus services on a two-way Baker Street, which is the main shopping street. The proposals would provide mandatory cycle lanes on a two-way Gloucester Place. In principle it sounds good, but London Cycling Campaign has two major concerns:

  • Westminster City Council has required that its project causes no reduction in motor traffic capacity – hence the artist’s impression of shoppers on a lightly-trafficked Baker Street is false. We want Westminster City Council to restrict traffic on Baker Street to buses and cycles only, making it a better place to live, work, shop and cycle along. Camden Council is doing this on Tottenham Court Road, locking in the motor traffic reductions caused by Crossrail.
  • The mandatory cycle lanes on Gloucester Place are a token effort and give up at junctions when cyclists need them most. We are asking for increased protection from left-turning vehicles, and easier right turns for cyclists, particularly from Gloucester Place towards Regent’s Park.

Dominic Fee from LCC’s Westminster local group explains that "This is a once in a generation opportunity to improve Baker Street and Gloucester Place, and we’ve met with the Council’s cabinet member to express our concerns. But we know from experience how the Council will evaluate the results of the public consultation: they will simply use the results of their online questionnaire. We need cyclists to take 2 minutes to complete the multiple choice questionnaire, or their voice won’t be heard!"

The public consultation ends this Friday 31 July 2015. Please take 5 minutes to fill in the Consultation Questionnaire and tell Westminster City Council that the plans aren't good enough.

Want to do more?

LCC's local Westminster group is taking its campaign on-street this Wednesday 29 July, 15:30-19:30, giving out fliers to local businesses, shops, residents and road users.

If you can help hand out flyers, email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call 07811 553010. Food and drink will be provided.



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Baker Street– take action to ensure safe space for cycling

Westminster City Council is consulting on its biggest ever project to remove a one-way system, and it’s on roads that we’re probably all familiar with: Baker Street and Gloucester Place. Whilst the plans, in principle, sound good, we have major concerns about the lack of safe space for cycling.

Please click here to have your say – our suggested responses are shown below.

Artist’s impression from bakerstreettwoway.co.uk

The proposals would widen footways and put most bus services on a two-way Baker Street, which is the main shopping street. The proposals would provide mandatory cycle lanes on a two-way Gloucester Place. In principle it sounds good, but London Cycling Campaign has two major concerns:

  • Westminster City Council has required that its project causes no reduction in motor traffic capacity – hence the artist’s impression of shoppers on a lightly-trafficked Baker Street is false. We want Westminster City Council to restrict traffic on Baker Street to buses and cycles only, making it a better place to live, work, shop and cycle along. Camden Council is doing this on Tottenham Court Road, locking in the motor traffic reductions caused by Crossrail.
  • The mandatory cycle lanes on Gloucester Place are a token effort and give up at junctions when cyclists need them most. We are asking for increased protection from left-turning vehicles, and easier right turns for cyclists, particularly from Gloucester Place towards Regent’s Park.

Dominic Fee from LCC’s Westminster local group explains that "This is a once in a generation opportunity to improve Baker Street and Gloucester Place, and we’ve met with the Council’s cabinet member to express our concerns. But we know from experience how the Council will evaluate the results of the public consultation: they will simply use the results of their online questionnaire. We need cyclists to take 2 minutes to complete the multiple choice questionnaire, or their voice won’t be heard!"

The public consultation ends this Friday 31 July 2015. 

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO HAVE YOUR SAY – our suggested responses are shown in bold below.

SUGGESTED CONSULTATION RESPONSES


  • QUESTION 1:  "Overall, to what extent do you support or oppose the proposed scheme?" 

Click "Strongly oppose"

  • QUESTION 2: "Please explain in summary why you support or oppose the proposed scheme."

Making Baker Street two-way won’t reduce the dominance, noise, pollution or danger of motor traffic. Please make Baker Street a better place to live, work and shop by restricting it to buses and cycles only.

  • QUESTIONS 3 & 4

Please check the cycling related options in your answers

  •  QUESTION 5: "How much do you support or oppose each of the following elements of the proposed scheme?" 

We suggest you click "Strongly support" for all items.

  • QUESTION  6: "Do you have any comments about any of these elements?"

Cyclists need safe Space for Cycling on Gloucester Place. The cycle lanes should go all the way to the junctions. Cyclists should be protected from left turning vehicles. Cyclists should be able to turn right more safely and easily, particularly from Gloucester Place towards Regent’s Park.

  • QUESTION 7: "Which ONE of the following scheme options listed below do you prefer?"

Click "No preference"

  • QUESTION 8: "Which ONE of the options listed below do you prefer for the provision of cycle lanes along Gloucester Place?" click "Other":

7am to 7pm Monday to Sunday and ideally longer – shift workers who cycle deserve protection too

  • QUESTIONS 9, 10 & 11 

Click "No"

 

P1060094

The reality of two-way traffic (on Edgware Rd)


LCC's local Westminster group is taking its campaign on-street this Wednesday 29 July 2015 15:30-19:30, giving out fliers to local businesses, shops, residents and road users.

If you can help, email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call 07811 553010. Food and drink will be provided.



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Thousands join LCC's call to End Lorry Danger

Thousands of people have joined LCC's call to End Lorry Danger, with over 1200 leaving passionate comments on the petition to the Mayor of London in the hours after the petition launched, demonstrating clearly how passionately people feel that urgent action is needed. A selection of comments is below.

Sign the petition and add your voice

Neverending construction

The safer people feel, the more people who cycle. The more people who cycle, the more human-friendly our cities become."

Only benefits

I'm signing because I feel really scared when I hear a lorry approaching from behind and this makes me want to go by bus instead. This is why so many people are in cars and on public transport. Why is it taking this Capital so long to catch up with the rest of Europe. Come on - keep us moving in a healthy way. Everybody wins with safe cycling."

Edgware Rd

I'm signing because I have been the victim of a motor on cycle collision and was lucky to survive being struck by a car going at 40mph. If it had been an HGV I would not have survived." 

Too many people drive

I'm signing because it's terrifying being in such close proximity to them even if they are trying to be careful, but I've also experienced one too many of them nipping across a cycle lane in front of me in a hurry to turn left. (Hello CS7 junction with Marshalsea Rd, you know I'm talking about you.)"

Too many cyclists

I've been cycling in London for 11 years and I still find HGVs frightening. If Paris can ban them during rush hour, so can we. Stop killing people that are making healthy choices by cycling and taking pressure away from the NHS."

Lorry call

I'm signing because London's streets are not safe for cyclists. My whole family cycles, but I am too scared to let my children go on the roads."

Find out more about our campaign.


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LCC calls on mayor to save lives by ending lorry danger

End Lorry Danger

One month after 26-year-old Ying Tao was run over and killed by a lorry at Bank junction, London Cycling Campaign is calling for urgent action from the Mayor of London to end lorry danger. The organisation is asking for urgent action in three areas: a rush hour lorry ban; ‘direct vision’ lorries; and stronger enforcement against operators who allow unsafe drivers or vehicles to operate on London’s roads.

The campaign comes six weeks before the implementation of the Mayor’s Safer Lorry scheme, which LCC believes will not be enough to address the issue. It will only require lorries to have basic safety equipment, which most lorries on London’s roads already do.

Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive of LCC, said: “It is unacceptable that seven cyclists have lost their lives after being involved in collisions with lorries on London’s roads in the first half of 2015. 40% of cycling fatalities involving lorries occur in the morning rush hour. Almost all of these fatalities involve the construction and waste industry lorries that flood onto our roads at the same time thousands of people are cycling to work. The Safer Lorry scheme will do nothing to prevent this from happening, nor will it protect cyclists from lorries with restricted vision or unlicensed, untrained lorry drivers on London’s roads. Unless more is done, more people will lose their lives. We’re calling on the Mayor to end lorry danger now.”

To date, eight cyclists have been killed on London’s roads in 2015. Seven of the fatalities have involved a lorry. Following the death of Ying Tao on 22 June, hundreds of cyclists gathered for an LCC action at Bank junction to pay tribute and call for the removal of lethal lorries.

London Cycling Campaign is calling for action in three areas:

A rush hour lorry ban

40% of cycling fatalities involving lorries occur in the morning rush hour. A ban on all lorries over 7.5 tonnes between 8am and 9.30am would enable the majority of people to cycle to work without having to share space with lorries. It would also remove a barrier for the people who would like to cycle to work but are put off by lorry danger in London.

‘Direct vision’ lorries

One of the key reasons for the overrepresentation of lorries in cycling fatalities is the severely restricted driver vision on most lorries, which makes safe working very difficult even for careful drivers. In around 80% of cycling fatalities involving lorries, the cyclist was initially hit when in the area to the front left of the vehicle. It is difficult for the driver to see what is in this area from a conventional lorry. From a ‘direct vision’ lorry, this area would be clearly visible. LCC is calling for a commitment from the mayor to ensure only direct vision lorries are used on projects receiving funding from the GLA or Transport for London.

Stronger enforcement

London needs much stronger enforcement against operators who put profits before lives by allowing unlicensed, untrained lorry drivers, or unsafe vehicles, to operate on our roads. In its first month of enforcement the City of London Police Commercial Vehicle Unit found that in its first month of operation, 95 of the suspect 136 lorries they stopped had to be taken off the road for non-compliance or safety reasons, including lack of insurance, driving without the appropriate licence, with an unsafe load, or not accurately recording driver hours.

Lorry driver Barry Meyer was unlicensed and uninsured when he ran over and killed Alan Neve in Holborn in July 2013, and had been banned from driving several times previously. While Mr Meyer was sentenced to three and a half years in jail, the police took no action to prosecute the operator that allowed Mr Meyer to drive without checking that he had a valid licence. The law must protect cyclists from the risk of death or serious injury by ensuring dangerous drivers are never allowed to drive a heavy goods vehicle on London’s roads.

LCC’s petition is live at http://bit.ly/endlorrydanger. Further information on LCC’s demands can be found at www.lcc.org.uk/what-are-we-calling-for.

 


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Rediscovering cycling: a Dutch experience of cycling in London

Helena grew up in Amsterdam and is currently interning with London Cycling Campaign. Having lived in London for almost a year, she has written a blog post about her experience of cycling in London (compared to Amsterdam). We love what she has to say!

 

"When I was planning to live abroad for my master’s at King’s College London, I immediately intended to buy a bike, and get around the city cycling. This is what I had done when I lived in Montréal, Canada for half a year, and this is what I had been doing for my whole life in my home town, Amsterdam. However, when I shared this idea with my uncle during one of my farewell dinners, his reply was shocked: “Helena, are you insane? In London a cyclist dies every week! You cannot cycle there!”

Once I arrived in London I had to agree with my uncle that cycling seemed quite dangerous and unpleasant: the city smelt like gas, cars drove insanely fast, and what was up with all those people wearing sports clothes on their bikes? Therefore, my first few months in London I did not cycle, but adapted myself to the usual way of getting around in London.

I got stuck in hundreds of traffic jams by bus, getting sick from the driver suddenly braking or stepping gas all the time. I took the tube during rush hour, feeling claustrophobic and accidentally crushing people with my backpack and my 6 foot height. Also, I walked more than ever, managing to speed-walk at the same pace as all the men in suits on a Monday morning in central London.

I did not like this feeling of dependence, it made me feel miserable and lazy. And I missed my bike, cycling directly from my point of departure to my destination, not having to wait for anyone or anything, and working out during my daily commute. 

Cycling along regent's canal with Dutch friends

So, I decided to buy a bike after all, and face London’s traffic. My mom told me I could only cycle in London if I would wear a helmet, and so I bought a silly helmet with my bike, adapting to the London cycling culture. Also, I had to buy a men’s bike, as I couldn't find a ‘normal’, female bike of my size in London. Nevertheless, I still love my sporty-looking, men’s bike, although I will not submit to wearing those sports clothes or fluorescent colours.

But what a relief it is to cycle around again! I found out that once you have discovered a good route to university or the city centre, cycling in London is not that bad at all, and many benefits come with it. I no longer lose £100 per month just for transport, I engage in more regular exercise, and most importantly I do no longer have to face the crammed, hot tube. In addition, cycling has shown me some amazing parts of London, and has allowed me to discover London in a way I couldn't do on public transport. 

I rediscovered cycling, in London, and I now realise how privileged we are in Amsterdam: just cycling around with your headphones, not paying attention to traffic… I would not do that very quickly in London. However, I do think people overemphasize the danger of cycling in London; it needs planning, caution, and sometimes a bit of a fight with taxi drivers (especially if you are used to having a high status in Amsterdam, and cannot understand why they would cut you off!). In addition, the occasional comments can be a bit disturbing, for example that time when a drunkard told me it was so nice to see a woman on a bike, and that “it would be even better if you were naked!”

Nevertheless, in return there is a lot of independence, joy, and discovering of London to be found. And sometimes, if you learn how to deal with them, those taxi drivers can actually be quite nice, like today when one of them gave me way when he totally did not have to – although that also might have been because I looked like a sad, drowning monkey in the rain, wearing a silly helmet."

 


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Cycle Superhighway 5 - Where next?

 

Video by Westminster Cycling Campaign

A four-metre cycle track has now been completed across Vauxhall Bridge. As the video shows, it can already be used by cyclists in the outbound direction. It cannot yet be used in the inbound direction because it is on the 'wrong' side of the road and the links to and from it at each end have not been completed.

Safe, segregated cycling on Vauxhall Bridge: let's have much more of this! #cycling #London pic.twitter.com/cWsTc5QWRA

— Martin Cullingford (@MrPhoebus) July 8, 2015

Last night, 1st time ever, convinced my partner to cycle home from Soho. Thanks to @TfL Vauxhall Bridge bike track. London's getting better

— cyclistsinthecity (@citycyclists) July 3, 2015

The question remains where the route will go after entering Westminster. Although it is convenient for a right turn onto Millbank or into John Islip Street, we have still not heard how cyclists continuing towards Victoria will be catered for.


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Top Ten Tips for Safer Riding

Much of riding safely in London is about road positioning. As cyclists we have as much right to use the road as other users, but can often be seen as ‘something to get around’. A few tips will help avoid those tricky moments as Anna Hughes explains 

STAY WIDE OF THE DOOR ZONE
One of the highest causes of injury to cyclists on London’s roads is being ‘doored’ (being clipped by an inattentively opened door). It’s painful, potentially fatal but something you can protect yourself from. Ride at least an arm’s length away from parked cars, giving you more reaction time and space if that door does open. This may mean you are towards the centre of a narrow road, leaving little room for traffic to pass, which can be daunting if there is a car behind you. Stick to your position and make eye contact with the driver; this should encourage them to give you more time and space. If you feel the driver is being impatient or putting you at risk and you’d rather they overtake, by all means pull over and let them pass, but not by going into the door zone.

TAKE THE LANE AT JUNCTIONS
Having someone squeeze around you at a junction is potentially dangerous — and keeping to the left or right of the lane gives space for someone to do just that. Be bold at junctions by ‘taking the lane’ (riding in the middle). This central position will encourage the person behind you to wait behind until you have completed your manoeuvre. This applies whether you are turning left or right or going
straight on, and applies to all junctions including T-junctions, crossroads, traffic lights and roundabouts. Keep the central position until you have cleared the junction, then return to your normal riding position. 

EXCERCISE CAUTION WHEN USING THE ASL (ADVANCED STOP LINE)
At many traffic-light controlled junctions there is an Advanced Stop Line for cyclists, or ‘bike box’ as it’s more commonly known. These can be advantageous to cyclists for several reasons: you have a clear view of the junction; everyone can see you; if you are in a suitable (low) gear, you will be able to clear the junction quickly and safely once the light changes; you don’t have to sit in the exhaust fumes of other traffic. However, the bike box shouldn’t be seen as a safe refuge to reach at all costs. There are many circumstances in which it might not be the safest place: there is a motor vehicle in it (this is an offence which can cost £100 and three points on the licence — not many drivers know this!); there is not space to safely filter through the traffic; you can’t guarantee that the light will remain red while you are filtering; there is a large vehicle or a left-turning vehicle close to the bike box; or the box is full of cyclists. In these situations, it may be safer to join the queue in a central position.

GIVE YOURSELF TIME AND SPACE TO OVERTAKE, ESPECIALLY WITH BUSES
It’s best to prepare manoeuvres early, especially when overtaking. As you approach that parked vehicle/other cyclist/bus, check behind you and pull out if it’s safe to do so. The sooner you move into your overtaking position, the better it is for other road users as it’s clear what you’re doing and it smoothes the flow of traffic. If it’s not safe to overtake, wait in line with the outside edge of the vehicle you are trying to overtake. Always check behind you before overtaking. Exercise caution when overtaking a bus — if the driver can’t see you and signals to pull out, you should move back into your normal riding position and allow the bus to pull away in front of you. If you are already overtaking, keep going until you’ve passed the bus, making eye contact with the driver if possible, before returning to your normal riding position

DON'T HUG THE KERB
Many cyclists ride close to the kerb, either to stay out of the way, or because that’s where the cycle lane is, or because we were once taught to ‘stay on the left’. However, hugging the kerb is one of the worst places to ride. Not only are you at risk from riding in broken glass, gravel or down drains, you don’t have any wobble space or room to manoeuvre if someone passes too close. Riding wide from the kerb (at least an arm’s length) makes you more visible and asserts your right to use the road — ride boldly, not apologetically. 

STEER CLEAR OF LORRIES AND LARGE VEHICLES
Tragically, the highest cause of fatalities for cyclists is becoming trapped on the left side of a left-turning lorry. Make sure you are NEVER in that zone. If a lorry is ahead of you, stay back. If you want to pass, the safest way is often on the right. Get way ahead so the driver can see you; make eye contact and give the driver some kind of acknowledgement. Be aware that a lorry might turn left at any time. It may move far to the right at first to get more space — the wider the gap the more likely it is the lorry is turning left. The more inviting it looks the more dangerous it is. Some lorries are fitted with all sorts of safety devices, including indicators, cameras, mirrors, alarms, voices that tell you when the vehicle is turning left or reversing, and warning stickers. If it’s confusing for you, imagine what it’s like for the driver. If in doubt, stay back.

ONLY USE THE CYCLE LANE IF IT WILL HELP YOUR JOURNEY
Contrary to popular belief, cyclists do not have to use the cycle lane. Ideally, all cycling provision would offer safe and direct passage for cyclists. We’re making progress towards that being the case, but currently many cycle lanes are positioned badly, with poor surfaces and confusing road markings. They often force cyclists into the kerb or the door zone, or put us on the left-hand side at junctions — all places we don’t want to be. Some of them lead nowhere at all. Cyclists are not required to use them according to the Highway Code, so don’t feel as if you have to stay within the green/marked lane if you don’t want to. 

FILTER SAFELY
Many drivers complain about cyclists ‘weaving’ — disappearing and reappearing while filtering up a queue of traffic. There is nothing wrong with filtering, in fact it’s one of the joys of cycling that we don’t have to wait in the queue and can use spaces that are too small for motor vehicles. The key here is to be slow and careful. You may filter on either side of a queue of traffic, as long as there is space: if the left, be aware of left-turning vehicles and vehicles turning into or out of side roads; if the right, be aware of oncoming traffic. You may change position from right to left, but check before you change to ensure no-one else is filtering. Keep an eye on the traffic lights — if the lights change to green as you are filtering, join the queue and take a central position in amongst the traffic as it moves off. 

RIDE WIDE ON NARROW ROADS OR AT PINCH POINTS
At pinch points or on narrow roads, there is often not room for another vehicle to pass you safely. However, if you stay to the left drivers may try to squeeze past. Each time you approach a pinch point (e.g traffic island or similar), check behind and, if it’s safe to do so, move into a central position to discourage dangerous overtaking (if there’s someone directly behind, wait for them to pass before moving into the central position).

BE VISIBLE AND PREDICTABLE
Most people know about SMIDSY (‘sorry mate, I didn’t see you’), a phrase often heard around near-misses. It’s very unlikely that a driver will hit you if they can see you. Positioning is more important than clothing in terms of visibility — even wearing full hi-vis, if you’re in the wrong position you won’t be seen. Be predictable with your riding: don’t disappear behind parked vehicles or dip into gaps. When passing side roads, keep a straight line. Accidents happen when people aren’t sure of what another road user is doing. 

  


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Westminster Quietway plans represent a 1% improvement for cycling

William Street in Westminster - a planned Quietway route, but no plans to reduce parking or through motor traffic

Westminster City Council is currently consulting on its Quietway plans – but disappointingly, the proposals don’t offer much of an improvement for cycling in the borough.

Wow @CityWestminster cycle quietway plans are even less ambitious than feared https://t.co/VOB5xr5Qd3 pic.twitter.com/SerOr0jDEl

— cyclistsinthecity (@citycyclists) June 30, 2015

W’minster’s Quietway proposals astonishingly weak: re-use GU Canal towpath, bit of surfacing, cycle logos, that’s it https://t.co/7iuXw63qqw

— David Arditti (@VoleOSpeed) July 6, 2015

Campaigners have done an evaluation of the Cycling Level of Service - Transport for London’s tool for assessing the quality of cycle provision - on one of the routes and found it represents an improvement of just 1% - from 38% to 39%. 

The route in question would run from Hyde Park to Belgravia, along William Street, Lowndes Square and Lowndes Street.

Colin Wing, coordinator of Westminster Cycling Campaign, has identified a number of reasons that the route doesn’t offer a higher Cycling Level of Service, including:

  • a failure to offer safe space for cycling at the junctions of Lowndes Square with Harriet Street and William Street; 
  • no specific cycle lane for northbound cyclists along most of William Street; 
  • the risk of collision with vehicles entering or leaving the echelon parking bays in Lowndes Square, and with vehicles parking on the east side of William Street and with opening doors. 

Other problems include the uneven surface on the east side of Lowndes Street and the capacity for cyclists at the crossing of Knightsbridge and the entry to the park at Albert Gate. The consultation does not include any proposals by TfL or the Royal Parks to increase capacity.

Westminster City Council propose to widen the substandard contraflow cycle lane in William Street from 1 metre to 1.5 metres. This would be an improvement on current conditions - leaving the contraflow cycle lane at its current width would constitute a critical failure for the Cycling Level of Service – but in order to increase the cycle lane and retain parking bays, Westminster Council proposes to narrow the west footway. Removing parking bays would mean space for cycling could be created without impacting pedestrians. 

The plans represent yet another cause for concern on the London-wide Quietways scheme, where a failure to restrict rat running motor traffic or provide safe and inviting space for cycling is an issue throughout the plans. Campaigners in Islington are currently petitioning the council to restrict through motor traffic on the planned Finsbury Park to Clerkenwell quietway.

LCC has asked Transport for London to provide Cycling Level of Service evaluations for all the planned Quietway routes.

 


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Best-selling author Kathy Lette champions Space for Cycling T-shirt appeal

Best-selling author and Camden resident Kathy Lette has joined London Cycling Campaign’s call for safe and inviting space for cycling on our streets.

Kathy, who cycles regularly in London, signed up as a Space for Cycling ambassador after being run off the road and suffering a torn shoulder tendon. She’s now fronting London Cycling Campaign’s latest t-shirt appeal to raise funds to expand its campaign.

Kathy says:

Every time I mount my bike, it crosses my mind that I could end up in A&E. Obviously getting healthy is incredibly bad for you! But why should rubbish roads mean I have to curb my enthusiasm (literally) for cycling? Lack of safe cycling lanes and safe lorries means fatter, unhealthier people and more polluted air, giving new meaning to a vicious cycle. Don't let 'cyclist' become a euphemism for 'organ donor.

LCC’s Space for Cycling campaign aims to improve quality of life for all, by making streets safe and inviting for everyone to cycle. So far, the campaign has identified local improvements in all 629 of London’s electoral wards, ranging from making sure there are safe cycle routes to a local school to introducing 20mph on residential streets. LCC’s latest appeal is raising funds to expand the campaign to call for Space for Cycling on every road in London.

t-shirt

The charity has worked with illustrator Ned Joliffe to design a limited edition t-shirt, which can be ordered through their online shop. Only t-shirt orders placed by the deadline of 30th July will be produced – so when they’re gone, they’re gone!

LCC’s Campaigns Manager Rosie Downes said: “We’re delighted to have Kathy Lette supporting the campaign. Our Space for Cycling campaign is already starting to see  local streets being made safer and more inviting for cycling, but it’s time to go up a gear and call for Space for Cycling on every road in London. 

“This is an opportunity to transform our city so everyone can choose to cycle without the fear of being seriously injured or killed – and with the voices of Kathy and thousands of supporters behind us, we’re ready to do just that.”

The t-shirt appeal is now live, and will run until 30th July.


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Space for Cycling success! Camden to trial 'cycle street'

London Cycling Campaign, Camden Cycling Campaign and others have welcomed the news that Camden Council has signed off a trial which will double the space for cycling on Tavistock Place. Camden Cycling Campaign's article explains the plans in more detail. The news has also been welcomed by social media users.

Camden council's @philjones79 doubling of cycling capacity thru Tavistock Place route is great news for business http://t.co/hbjXiE44yo"

— Cycling Works (@CyclingWorksLDN) July 1, 2015

The proposal applies to the corridor along Torrington Place to Tavistock Place between the junctions with Tottenham Court Road and Judd Street, and it's great news for the cyclists who use this currently congested route - and the many more who'll choose to use the improved provision.

Tavistock Pl cyc track will become 1-way EB; new cyc track WB will take a ln from traffic. Great work @philjones79! http://t.co/6FsMyNlX1q

— Nick Kocharhook (@k9) July 1, 2015

LCC's Space for Cycling ask for this ward is to 'Remove through motor traffic along Tavistock & Torrington Places between Gray's Inn Road & Tottenham Court Road'. While the proposed trial won't see motor traffic removed altogether, the plans will provide substantially more space for cycling - what is currently the westbound carriageway will be given over for exclusive use by westbound cycles. The current two-way cycle track on the north side of the road will be reserved for eastbound cycles.

Looking forward to trial of new layout for cycling along Torrington Place and Tavistock Place http://t.co/K85aZTgyR7 #cycling #UCL

— Eric S Fraga (@ericsfraga) July 1, 2015

Not only is this a Space for Cycling success, it's the result of an excellent campaign by Camden Cycling Campaign, who produced a video on the Tavistock Place cycle track in 2013 to illustrate why wider tracks are urgently needed. The video explains that the route is hugely popular but it's heavily overcrowded, confusing for pedestrians, and it's dangerous at junctions.

 

The trial will last for 12 months, starting in August or September. When it's been in place for a time, there will be a consultation as to whether to make the changes permanent. 

Big news! Camden piloting changes to Tavistock Place route. http://t.co/uOSeDOY9mr via @FitzroviaNews

— Liz Almond (@liz545) June 29, 2015

 Big thanks and well done to Camden Cycling Campaign and the council - we can't wait to ride it!


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Over 10 000 people support Space for Cycling petition

Our Space for Cycling petition is now closed. Thank you to the thousands of Londoners, 10 207 to be precise, who signed!

You joined us in calling for council leaders in 32 boroughs across Greater London to deliver on their promises to create safe and inviting space for cycling. 

 

PETITION HANDOVER

LCC staff, and our network of local groups have begun delivering the petition signatures to council leaders. 

The petition is asking leaders to deliver improvements for cycling in every local area in London. These are improvements which 862 councillors, across every borough, promised to implement in May 2014.

These commitments included installing protected cycle lanes; removing through motor traffic from key cycle routes and making town centres and high streets walking and cycling-friendly. You can find out more about what we're calling for in your local area on our Space for Cycling Map.

Many local LCC groups have organised their own handover meetings. In Kensington & Chelsea, local group coordinator, Martin Carr, from K&C Cyclists met with Leader of the Council, Cllr Nicholas Paget-Brown on the 17th June to put the case forward for cycling.

In Camden, local group representatives delivered the Space for Cycling petition to the Council at a full Council meeting on the 24th June. Angela Hobsbaum, coordinator of Camden Cycling Campaign said:

“I hope that this presentation had the effect of reminding all the councillors present of the ongoing need to prioritise cycling”.

The petition signatures have been delivered with a new guide, Creating Space for Cycling: A guide for councillors, which has been published by London Cycling Campaign to help councils deliver on their promises.

The guide is available to download and copies can be ordered by emailed This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Amy Summers, Activism Coordinator at London Cycling Campaign, said:

“Space for Cycling is great for everyone, but currently London’s councils have a long way to go before it’s safe and inviting for everybody to cycle. The specific improvements that councillors promised, if elected, to implement, would make a huge difference and open up cycling for the thousands of people in London who would like to cycle, but don’t currently feel that it’s safe enough for them to do so.

“We hope that council leaders will listen to the voices of local people calling for safe space for cycling and ensure these improvements are delivered as a priority.”

COUNCILLOR PROGRESS

London Cycling Campaign are tracking progress to deliver each of the 629 local cycling improvements on our Space for Cycling map. Local councillors can email any updates or progress news to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for inclusion on the map.

Sign up to our weekly Ezine to keep up to date with all the latest Space for Cycling campaigns actions and news

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

·         The specific cycling improvements identified locally are part of the London-wide Space for Cycling campaign. Local measures for cycling improvements in all of London’s 629 electoral wards were formulated after London Cycling Campaign surveyed 4500 local people in December 2013, and in coordination with LCC’s 32 local groups.

·         London Cycling Campaign’s online mapping tool contains maps, descriptions and location information for local demands for cycling improvements for all 629 wards, and updates on progress where councils have provided information.

·         Each local demand for cycling improvements falls into one of six categories, which are the key themes of the Space for Cycling campaign:

  1. Protected space on mains roads and at junctions
  2. Removal of through motor traffic
  3. 20mph speed limits
  4. Safe cycle routes to schools
  5. Cycle-friendly town centres
  6. Cycle routes through parks and green spaces

 

 

 

 

 

 


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