Lambeth becomes seventh borough council to sign 'Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling' pledge
Lambeth has become the latest council to sign our Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling pledge, bringing the number of boroughs boosting lorry safety to seven (see the map).
The news comes just days after the death of a cyclist in Westminster earlier this week, struck by a left-turning lorry in Victoria Street.
Lambeth has committed to giving all its lorry drivers on-bike cyclist-awareness training (pictured above), to using the latest safety equipment on all its lorries, and to building these conditions into all future contracts with private sector haulage providers.
Council leader Lib Peck said, "Lambeth Council is delighted to have signed the London Cycling Campaign Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling pledge, committing to only using the safest drivers and best-equipped lorries.
"Back in 2008, Lambeth was the first borough in London to introduce on-bike cyclist-awareness training for our lorry drivers, and we're pleased to maintain our position as one of the leading boroughs for lorry safety in the capital."
LCC lorry expert Charlie Lloyd said, "We're thrilled that another council is taking significant steps to reduce the risk to cyclists from its lorries.
"Contractors, vehicles and drivers who work for councils also work for other clients, so councils that make safety a priority are helping to create a culture of safety throughout the whole haulage industry.
"We urge other councils to follow suit, and all our supporters to write to their council, calling on them to take our pledge."
read full article
Berlin bike strategy reaches for the sky
Berlin has set an ambitious target of growing cycle journeys from 13% of current trips to 25% of journeys by 2025. The target to double growth mirrors London’s, except that in London currently only 2% of journeys are made by bike with a 5% target by 2020.
The German capital plans a 500-mile cycling network by 2020, including 12 Superhighway-style circular routes and eight Superhighway-style routes going in and out of the city.
The Berlin planners are working with neighbouring authorities to create cycling links to the suburbs. These fast, wide cycle routes are designed to attract long-distance cycle commuters using electric-bikes, replacing journeys currently taken by car and public transport. Germany is one of the largest e-bike markets in Europe with over one million units already sold. The city wants to reduce city parking needs and congestion by encouraging more city-wide e-bike and bicycle journeys.
Berlin already has a network of off-carriageway cycle tracks, which have helped make cycling in the city an everyday activity. They combine with cycle-specific traffic lights to reduce conflicts at major junctions. Berlin public transport is cycle-friendly too and visitors report that drivers accept cyclists on the road. Red light jumping by cyclists is very rare.
The city strategy is also encouraging central area deliveries to switch from van to bike delivery. Seeing postmen delivering parcels on cargo bikes isn’t unusual, in sharp contrast to the Royal Mail which has been phasing out bike deliveries in favour of motorised transport.
LCC chair of trustees Ann Kenrick, who visited Berlin recently said: “Their cycle facilities may not be Dutch but the powers that be make life delightfully easy for the everyday cyclist. Many of the London Mayor’s proposals in his Vision for Cycling are already in place there and the results speak for themselves. Of course, Berlin is not London — but cycling through the fabulous central park called the Tiergarten, and thinking about the City Hall announcements, I felt more optimistic than I have for a long time about the future of cycling in London.”
photo credit: Cian Ginty
Become a supporter of London Cycling Campaign - to help make London a more livable city for cyclists and pedestrians (like Berlin).
read full article
LCC trustee and Westminster University academic Rachel Aldred highlights the Policy Forum Seminar series
The London Cycling Campaign Policy Forum launched its regular seminar series this week with a packed event attended by around 120 people at Westminster University.
Participants flocked to hear Andrew Gilligan, London's new Cycling Commissioner, who spoke for half an hour about the Mayor's new Vision for Cycling.
After his presentation, Cyclist in the City blogger Danny Williams (LCC City of London) chaired a lively Q&A session.
Danny has blogged about Gilligan's speech and the event here.
The debate covered cycling infrastructure, HGVs, cycling to school, car parking, mini-Hollands in outer London, and a host of other topics.
An audio recording of the event is available here.
More seminars soon
The Policy Forum seminar series continues monthly, with four more public seminars taking place between now and July (read more here)
The second seminar is a workshop on 'Modelling transformation in cycling in London', and registration is now open
Later seminars cover cycling in Copenhagen and Stockholm, local election campaigning, and cycling and land use planning.
Policy Forum projects
LCC's elected Policy Forum also continues to work on a range of topics, developing and clarifying LCC's policy positions.
Our work on infrastructure includes the Love London, Go Dutch Matrix (a way of assessing new infrastructure schemes against LCC's Go Dutch principles) and a draft paper on cycle lanes and tracks.
We are developing work on topics including enforcement of traffic offences, cycling for all, and campaign themes for LCC in 2014.
Find out more about our current projects here.
Take part in the Policy Forum
We encourage LCC members to get involved in our work, either through attending our regular meetings, participating in seminars, or helping contribute to different policy projects.
read full article
Ashok Sinha: Is London the 'best big city in the world'?
London Cycling Campaign chief executive Ashok Sinha asks if the capital’s standing is improving against other big cities.
Is London the ‘best big city in the world’? Much depends on how you define ‘best’ and ‘big’. Nevertheless, that pinnacle is the goal Mayor Boris Johnson has set for the capital, which tends to suggest he doesn’t think London is the best just yet. (Trivia alert: London is around the 25th largest city in the world, depending on how you measure it; Birmingham, the UK’s second largest, ranks about 150th).
But if London isn’t the best big city in the world, then why not? Boris will have his own criteria (which quite normally for politicians of all stripes he has kept vague), so maybe we should posit our own. Even if you don’t buy into all this political machismo (my skyscrapers are taller than your skyscrapers) there are good reasons to ask what it is that we can do to make London the best it can be for everyone who lives and works here, and for everyone who passes through it. (Or indeed for anybody, anywhere, who is affected by London’s international reach — from the financial markets to our carbon emissions.)
Latest indicators for London
One set of candidate benchmarks was published last month by the London Sustainable Development Commission (not to be confused with its UK namesake, set up in the early Blair years and sacrificed in the coalition government’s bonfire of the quangos). Most readers will probably never have heard of it or will be hazy as to what it does, but for over a decade the LSDC has been beavering away in City Hall, establishing indicators for London’s ‘sustainability’ and assessing progress in relation to them.
And for the wonks: the LSDC uses a reworking of the UN’s classical definition of Sustainable Development, namely “ensuring we have a better quality of life now and for the future, whilst protecting and enhancing the Earth’s resources”. Just in case you were wondering.
The latest issuing from the Commissioners — who are a mix of folk from public agencies, business, the NGO world and politics — is entitled London’s Quality of Life Indicators 2012. It spans (take a deep breath, which you should because, apparently, our air quality is getting better — but more of that later) no fewer than 33 environmental, social and economic indicators, including politically charged issues such as crime and housing affordability. Each indicator has one or more numerical measures attached (eg traffic volume is quantified in billions of vehicle-kms per annum) with a traffic light system to indicate trends to the good or ill.
If so inclined, I’d recommend you have a look at it for yourselves. Cycling itself isn’t an indicator (I’ll come back to that), but there are indicators that are relevant to the experiences and concerns of cyclists: it may not feel like it when sat in a cloud of diesel fumes but our air quality has improved (if still woefully short of what Londoners deserve and what EU regulations require); travel to school by bike is up (but the proportion walking to school has declined) and motor traffic volumes are falling (although a quick delve into TfL data shows substantial regional variation, with central London experiencing the greatest falls compared to virtually unchanged volumes in outer London).
The good news headline is that 17 of the 33 indicators are on a positive trend (ignoring any weighting conundrums: are income inequality and volunteering rate equally important, for example?), although areas of deterioration such as increasing voter apathy, decreasing business survival rates and increasing fuel poverty are of serious concern.
Cycling’s wider impact
So, even if only from a cycling perspective, we should be pleased, right? Well yes we should, insofar as cyclists are breathing (slightly) cleaner air and jostling with (a modicum) less motor traffic. But should we be satisfied? Of course not. We know road danger — real or perceived — is the main barrier to people cycling more or at all, and this is suppressing the huge latent demand there is for cycling and hence all benefits cycling brings. Which leads to a broader point. It may sound parochial but I’d argue that the proportion of journeys made by bike should be identified as a key sustainable development indicator by itself. Here at LCC we genuinely believe, as we said in last year’s Love London, Go Dutch campaign, that our city will be made “more liveable for everyone” by making our streets as “safe and inviting for cycling” as they are in the Netherlands.
On that basis, action to promote cycling then becomes a means for achieving other sustainable development outcomes (eg lower ecological footprint and higher employment rates) not just a goal in itself. As Boris himself said not so long ago, cycling is “arguably the single most important tool for making London the best big city in the world”.
We wholeheartedly agree.
This article first appeared in the April / May 2013 issue of London Cyclist magazine, delivered free to LCC members every two months.
read full article
Mechanic, cycle tourer and author Anna Hughes talks about the ethics of free Dr Bike sessions and how they can affect bike shop trade
Freelance LCC mechanic
and cycle trainer Anna Hughes is currently writing an account of her around Britain by bike journey, and is soon to set sail on another around Britain adventure.
A sunny day in mid September. I’m riding down a street I’ve never ridden down before, and I see a man I’ve never met before, and then I notice his finger outstretched towards me, and I hear him say, “You’re famous!”
This is one of my favourite moments of my life.
The man is Ben Brangwyn, co-founder of the Transition Network, one of the charities I raised money for as I was cycling round the coast of Britain. My picture is all over my blog so it’s no surprise he recognises me, but his unusual greeting makes my face crack into a huge smile. I had spotted him fixing bikes by the side of the market square, which is why I’d caught his eye - such a typical thing for a cyclist to home in on another cyclist and want to strike up a conversation.
This is Totnes, the final calling point of my Otesha tour; for the past six weeks I’ve been cycling around the South West with eight other young women, performing and running workshops in schools and city farms, trying to inspire change and promote sustainable living. The tour has been intense but good fun, and we’re relaxing in the nation’s first Transition Town while we wait for a train back home. It’s pure coincidence that Ben sees me - it has been a full year since I completed my round-Britain tour, where we first made cyber contact, and he had no idea I’d be here in Totnes, just as I had no idea this is where he lived.
Every weekend you’ll see Ben with his bike stand offering a free Dr Bike service to passers-by - it’s completely unfunded and he does it purely for the love. I understand his desire to fix people’s bikes for nothing save their thanks (which is often emphatic and overwhelming, accompanied by gifts) - I volunteer at the Hackney Bike Workshop, a free fix-it evening where people can come and get their bikes checked, and fixed, and learn basic maintenance skills by having a go under the watchful eye of their mechanic.
The Hackney Bike Workshop runs in two locations: Frampton Park hall in Hackney on the first and third Tuesday of the month, and St Michael’s Church hall in Stoke Newington on the second Tuesday. The Stokie version was initiated by Transition Town Stoke Newington, and has been consistently popular since it started almost two years ago. Doors open at 7pm and there are always mechanics on hand to talk you through how your bike works and show you how to fix it. After 9pm you’ll find said mechanics at the Royal Sovereign on Northwold Road enjoying the sustainable beer.
Ben says that while his free servicing is welcomed by the punters, he is treated with a little more caution by the local bike shops, some resentful that he is taking trade away from them. I can see their point, but I disagree. Teaching someone how to fix their own bike won’t make them need a bike shop less, but it might well make them need it more. No one is going to become an expert on bike maintenance in the twenty minutes it takes to tune brakes, but they will catch a breath of intrigue. People crave knowledge. And as soon as you empower someone a little, they will instantly want to know more. Someone who never quite got round to riding their bike because it didn’t quite work will suddenly be taking it out every day because of their free bike check, popping into the bike shop on their way home for some gloves or a puncture repair kit or simply to look.
Anna in action at a TfL Cycling Event Day
I’m the same. Since learning how to fix bikes I spend more time in the bike shops, forever looking at all the stuff I need, or more to the point, don’t need but want. I won’t pay for a service, preferring to buy the parts and replace them myself, but I’ll buy replacements more regularly, or invest in the higher quality stuff - now I know what to look out for, I have the desire to keep my bike in top condition.
Anything we do to get cyclists on the road is good, and the more people that promote cycling the better. Dr Bikes can co-exist happily with bike shops, both helping people get out and about on two wheels in their various ways, creating a positive effect on people’s health and on the environment. I think what Ben does is fantastic, and I hope to see it more.
read full article
UPDATED: Woman cyclist fatality on Victoria Street highlights urgent need for safer lorries
LCC has renewed its calls for lorries to be made safer after a woman was killed this morning by a construction lorry while cycling through a junction in central London.
The fatal crash took place in Westminster, where Palace Street meets Victoria Street at approximately 8.25am during the Monday morning rush hour.
The victim has been named as Dr Katharine Giles (pictured below), a lecturer in climate science at University College London.
A colleague described her as having "a bright future ahead of her" and said her department felt "a sense of outrageous unfairness" at her loss.
It's believed the cyclist and the lorry were turning left on to Victoria Street when the collision took place.
Some hours after the crash, a mangled red bicycle with a basket was still at the side of the road, with the tipper lorry parked some distance up the road.
Victoria Street was closed all morning between Palace Road and Artillery Road while police investigated the crash.
Each year, half the cyclist fatalities in the capital involve lorries, and about three-quarters of those involve vehicles from the construction industry.
LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said, "It's terrible to hear about yet another cyclist-lorry fatality, and our thoughts are with the victim's family and friends.
"While we don't know enough about this incident to comment on specifics, the large number of cyclist-lorry fatalities in London clearly shows that reducing the danger from lorries must be a major priority for the city.
"Separating bikes and lorries by building continental-style infrastructure, as called for by our Love London, Go Dutch campaign, is an essential part of the process, while action should also be taken now to make lorries safer.
"Every lorry on London’s streets should be driven by someone who’s had cyclist-awareness training, on a bike as well as in a classroom, and all lorries should have the latest safety equipment such as mirrors, cameras and sensors."
So far seven councils have taken our Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling pledge.
This week London bus company Stagecoach announced it will be giving all 1500 drivers on-bike cyclist-awareness training.
read full article
London Cycling Campaign member rides to Paris in memory of wife Hilary killed in Barnet lorry crash
London Cycling Campaign member Geoff Lee is taking part in a charity ride to Paris this summer in memory of his wife Hilary, who was killed by a lorry while cycling through Barnet town centre last year.
Hilary Lee, a retired social worker, was knocked down outside St John the Baptist Church in High Barnet as she cycled home in October 2012.
Geoff said, "I've been absolutely amazed and moved by the generous response to my appeal for the bike ride that I will be doing in July in memory of Hilary, raising money for the Noah's Ark Children's Hospice.
"My choice of charity, apart from it being a very worthy cause, is that they are in the process of establishing a hospice for children in Barnet on the site of the Barnet Countryside Centre, where Hilary worked for a number of years."
Asked about his training regime, Geoff said, "The only problem so far has been the weather: whenever I go out on my bike to clock up a few miles I get frozen, soaked, or both. Some spring sunshine would be welcome."
Geoff's London-to-Paris ride takes place from 17-21 July, which means he arrives in the French capital on the same day as the Tour de France.
"Hopefully Wiggins and co won't slow us down," Geoff said.
Geoff's hoping to raise as much money as possible for the hospice, so please donate via his Just Giving page.
You can also send cheques (payable to 'Noah's Ark Children's Hospice') to Geoff at:
69 Athenaeum Road
Please include your name and email to receive a receipt.
read full article
LCC launches new-look London Cycling Awards in association with London Evening Standard
The London Cycling Campaign has announced its new-look London Cycling Awards for 2013, which are a celebration of cycling in the capital, in association with the London Evening Standard.
You can nominate here now!
The awards will showcase ground-breaking new cycling initiatives, recognising the coolest cycling brands, and highlighting the best community and youth cycling projects.
For the first time, five London Cycling Awards will be voted for by our members, supporters and the public, with five other awards judged by a panel of LCC experts.
As well as the Evening Standard, a host of sponsors - including Brompton Bicycles, Cycle Surgery, Cyclehoop, EMCF, Levenes Solicitors, Madison, Royal Haskoning DHV - are supporting the awards.
LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said:
"We’re calling on Londoners to nominate their favourite retailers, products, projects and initiatives, to celebrate the champions of cycling in the capital. There's never been so much excitement around cycling in our great city, and these promise to be the best London Cycling Awards ever."
Online nominations for all 10 awards are now open and run until 16 April, with public voting in five award categories from 19 April to 1 May.
Winners will be announced by the face of ITV's Tour de France coverage Ned Boulting at a glitzy ceremony at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, on 8 May.
Because places at the event are limited, tickets will be for award-nominees, media sponsors and public figures.
Don't worry though, there will be plenty of opportunity for you to be part of the awards, because anyone can nominate and vote for the winners.
The London Cycling Campaign has presented the London Cycling Awards for over 10 years, rewarding the best in London cycling. 2013 sees a new-look awards, including more recognition for the cycling industry through our Best Bike Brand, Best Retailer and Best Product awards, as well as new awards for Best Cycling Champion and Best Cycling Communication.
Previous London Cycling Award winners include the TfL Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme, Lambeth and Hammersmith & Fulham Councils for providing cyclist-awareness training for lorry drivers, and the Skyride one-day festival of cycling.
London Cycling Awards 2013
Best Bike Brand The brand of bicycles, products or accessories that's done most to popularise cycling
Best Cycling Champion The award for outstanding efforts to champion cycling
Best Cycling Communication The best publication, campaign, article, graphic or online tool that helped promote cycling in London
Best Product The best quality or most innovative cycling product, clothing or accessory
Best Retailer The independent, chain or on-line retailer offering the best shopping experience either through service, atmosphere, location, value for money or range of products
Best Borough Cycling Project The award for a London borough cycling programme that has engaged with a diverse number of local residents and has delivered real change
Best Community Cycling Project The community project that has successfully inspired people to cycle.
Best Schools Cycling Project The best project run in a London school aimed at getting children of any age cycling
Best Workplace Initiative The award to recognise a business or organisation that has engaged with employees to promote and encourage cycling
Best London Cycling Initiative The project that has most enhanced the experience of cycling in the capital
read full article
LCC thanks supporters as Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham become latest to sign our 'Safer Lorries' pledge
LCC has thanked its supporters for sending nearly 3000 messages to councils, calling on them to take our 'Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling' pledge, and is urging anyone who hasn't written to do so today.
The call comes as Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham announce they're the latest two councils to sign the 'Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling' pledge.
Seven councils have now signed LCC's pledge to only use the best-trained lorry drivers and the lorries with the best safety equipment available.
Last week LCC local groups protested outside borough town halls, calling on councils to take the pledge.
LCC's chief executive Ashok Sinha said:
"We thank the thousands of our supporters who've put pressure on their councils to take our 'Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling' pledge.
"And we're delighted Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham councillors have committed to only using the safest lorries and drivers in future.
"We hope their actions spur on other London boroughs that consider themselves cycle-friendly – Camden, Hackney, Lambeth and many others – to also take our pledge, helping to prevent cyclist deaths on our streets."
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, Ealing Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said:
"Road safety is a priority for us and we want to do what we can to avoid any more cyclists losing their lives in accidents involving lorries in this borough.
"By signing up to the campaign we are demonstrating our commitment to making cycling safer for everyone in Ealing.”
Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler, H&F Council Cabinet Member for Transport & Technical Services, said:
"Around a half of all cyclist deaths on our roads are caused by heavy lorries – which only make up about 5% of the traffic in the borough.
"Given this stark reality, the council is delighted to commit to only using the best-trained drivers and safest lorries in order to reduce road danger for anyone cycling or walking in the borough.
"As the recipient of a London Cycling Award for our previous efforts on lorry driver training, we are determined to remain one of the leading boroughs for cycle safety."
Last week, LCC published designs for its new Safer Urban Lorry (see photo top), which it's calling on the construction industry to adopt in coming years.
read full article
London Cycling Campaign and NHS Greenwich bike loan scheme
Last year, London Cycling Campaign and On Your Bike teamed up with NHS Greenwich Greenwich Public Health and Wellbeing Team to deliver a new scheme aimed to help get more people cycling.
Read more about the scheme here.
The hugely succesful 'bike loan scheme' has seen scores of residents borrowing a bike for a test run, with support from LCC, cycle training and the option to buy a bike at the end of the month.
LCC's Juliet Elliott went to Greenwich to find out more for Urban Cyclist Magazine:
Fot the full article, have a look at the latest issue of Urban Cyclist.
read full article
Bike Week event organisers workshop at Cycle City Expo
Bike Week event organisers workshop at Cycle City Expo, Friday April 26th, Birmingham
Free passes for Cycle City Expo – For Bike Week event organisers!
(Bicycle Music Festival - Just one great event idea)
The workshop will help event organisers plan, market and deliver a successful event with tips on marketing and promotion from communication experts.
We can also offer free passes to the exhibition at the Cycle City event www.cyclecityexpo.com Cycle City is a ground breaking conference and exhibition for all those working to significantly raise levels of cycling in Britain.
Towns and cities with high levels of cycling are fit, fun and work for people. This event shows how we get from potential to reality. The event will feature presentations from high-profile individuals throughout the UK and beyond with expertise and influence in cycling policy, promotion and infrastructure. It is a chance to meet and network with the key individuals throughout the UK working on cycling projects.
The focus of Cycle City is utility cycling, and the aim is for the people in government, employers, third sector, consultancies, suppliers and public health bodies involved in designing infrastructure and promotion of cycling, to discuss and develop strategies to get more people cycling more safely in British cities.
There will be opportunities for attendees at the Bike Week workshop to attend other workshops free.
The deadline for applications is Monday 8th April
Full passes that include drinks reception, tea, coffee, lunch and access to main plenary are available online at www.cyclecityexpo.com
For queries regarding the Bike Week workshop please call Andre Curtis 07960 418459
read full article
Mayor pledges 20mph across Olympic Park amid calls for higher standards for cycling facilities
Mayor Boris Johnson says the Olympic Park, a future hub of leisure ands sports activity in East London, will have a 20mph speed limit on all roads.
Writing to London Assembly member Jenny Jones, Johnson states “there will be a 20mph speed limit for all roads in the Park, including primary roads.”
LCC’s CEO Ashok Sinha said:
“We welcome the adoption of a 20mph limit in the Olympic Park which will undoubtedly make it a more pleasant and attractive place to visit and enjoy.
To realise his vision of the Park as an international showpiece the Mayor must now ensure that all the cycle facilities in the Park meet the highest continental standards.”
In his letter to Jones, Johnson did not to commit to Dutch or Danish standards of cycling provision in the Park, saying only that the cycle lanes would “conform to [Transport for London’s] cycle design standards.”
LCC has examined planning applications for the Park and found that all the cycle lanes are set at the minimum 1.5m width in the TFL standards.
Off-road cycle tracks will be only on one side of Park roads, creating conflict at junctions and making crossing over more risky.
Cycle parking for large events such as music concerts won't be integrated into Park plans and the Mayor is relying on “Event Management Plans” to deliver a solution.
As concert-goers know all too well, that often meets hunting around for the nearest railing.
read full article
- LCC local groups highlight growing gap between best and worst councils' for lorry-cycling safety
- LCC challenges construction industry to adopt our Safer Urban Lorry to reduce lorry-cyclist deaths
- Rachel Aldred - Cycling: What Not To Wear?
- Blissful Biking in Berlin
- Mayor's new Vision for Cycling is "ground-breaking" says London Cycling Campaign
- Southwark Council meets London Cycling Campaign's 'Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling' pledge
- Mapping London's Cyclists - Where do they live?
- NICE ideas to make the UK a healthier place by encouraging cycling and walking
Page 1 of 18«StartPrev12345678910NextEnd»