Last chance to have your say on superhighway plans in the Royal Parks
Transport for London's consultation on further proposals for the East-West cycle superhighway in Hyde Park, Green Park, St James's Park and at Northumberland Avenue closes on Sunday 29th March.
We've welcomed the East-West superhighway overall as a major step forward in creating streets that are safe and inviting for cycling - but we're seriously concerned by the absence of safe space for cycling outside Buckingham Palace under the current plans. Cyclists will be expected to use the existing shared-use area – mixing with thousands of pedestrians at one of London's most popular tourist destinations. If cyclists choose to use the carriageway instead, they will have to mix with six lanes of motor traffic on the unacceptably dangerous Spur Rd gyratory. The lack of space for cycling in this area represents a critical failure for the whole East-West Cyclesuperhighway plan.
We're urging LCC supporters to write to the Royal Parks to urge them to give permission for the East-West cycle superhighway to continue, on dedicated, segregated cycle track, in front of the Queen Victoria Memorial. Otherwise there will be high risk of collision between all road users in the area of the Memorial, including the millions of tourists who visit Green Park each year.
We strongly recommend that the Royal Parks and Transport for London revisit the designs for Spur Rd gyratory and agree to Cycle Superhighway standard segregated cycle facilities for all possible movements on Spur Road in a safe, direct, attractive and coherent manner.
Some of the other key points that we'll be raising in our response to the consultation are summarised below.
We've welcomed the proposal to turn Bayswater Road back to two-way traffic. Eastbound cyclists currently have to go round two sides of the intimidating gyratory system. However, we are concerned at the lack of cycling provision on Bayswater Rd between Lancaster Terrace and Westbourne Street where cyclists would be required to overtake buses at the bus stop in heavy traffic. Those moving straight ahead or joining the cycle superhighway further along on Bayswater Rd are presented with the challenging task of merging across a very wide inside lane and into the right-hand lane. A bus stop bypass would enable cyclists to continue straight ahead and safely into the cycle track.
We welcome the introduction of segregated cycle lanes on Bayswater Road east of Westbourne Street.
At the eastbound approach to the junction of Bayswater Road with Lancaster Terrace, there is potential conflict between cyclists proceeding straight ahead and left-turning traffic. The use of an 'Early Start' junction design on Bayswater Road is unacceptable where there is a high demand for motor traffic including buses to turn left into Lancaster Terrace. On Bayswater Road and Westbourne Terrace the early start junctions are likely to be blocked with queuing motor traffic in peak hour, eliminating any safety benefit. At Westbourne Terrace the long distance between the cyclists’ stop line and the actual left turn lets fast motor traffic catch up with slow cyclists – all the motor traffic is turning left, almost all the cyclists will be going straight on.
There needs to be a protected route for cyclists using Bayswater Road, with separate signal phasing for cyclists and motor vehicles, to eliminate the risk of left turn collisions for eastbound cyclists at Lancaster Terrace and Stanhope Terrace.
We've also highlighted concerns about the width of the cycle track on Westbourne St - three metres isn't wide enough for a two way cycle track to accommodate current levels of cycling, let alone a growth in demand. The two way track must be four metres at a minimum. We're also concerned by the many unnecessary width restrictions caused by bollards on the separating island which create a real hazard blocking cyclists where they are most vulnerable to motor traffic. The bollard should be omitted as on the Stratford High Street Superhighway and many other cycle routes in London. It could be replaced by a wand without increasing the width of the island.
Connectivity with other routes is key. The current proposals do not provide access for northbound cyclists going to Sussex Gardens which is an obvious desire line leading to Marylebone, Camden and Islington. A Zoucan (Zebra-Toucan parallel crossing)should be provided at Sussex Gardens to get cyclists north. There must also be provision for cyclists to turn right at the Westbourne Crescent junction.
(Section B) At North Carriage Drive and West Carriage Drive, it's essential that southbound cyclists are protected from left-turning traffic by the signal timing on Bayswater Road: this must be guaranteed. The corner of North Carriage drive should be built out to slow drivers and prevent conflict.
At Victoria Gate northbound cyclists will share an unsignalised toucan with pedestrians. This is a cause for concern due to numbers and will lead to conflict. A Zoucan (Zebra-Toucan) would be a preferable solution.
(Section C) The current cycle tracks along West Carriage Drive are unsuitable for large volumes of cyclists or for use in both directions, so an upgrade is welcome. However, the cycle track should not reduce below 4 metres. We note that the cycle track reduces down at Serpentine Road and to 3m over the Serpentine, and past the car park south of the bridge. The design should ensure that traffic emerging from Serpentine Road and other access roads does not block the cycle track.
(Section D) We've welomed the bypass of the junction at Coalbrookdale Gate, but the junction itself is as bad as previously. Extremely high flows of East-West cyclists will use the Coalbrookdale Gate junction due to the relocation of the main flow away from Rotten Row and it is the route of the now abandoned Cycle Superhighway 9. They need more space and separate phasing at traffic lights to get across to South Carriage Drive.
(Section E) This is a very busy area with high pedestrian and cycle flows. The cycle track should not reduce below 4 metres at Prince of Wales gate, especially where there will be cycles joining and leaving the flow. The Albert Gate crossing should be a Zoucan (Zebra/Toucan) to avoid conflict. It is currently confusing whether pedestrians and cyclists crossing at Albert Gate should keep respectively to the right or left sides.
(Section F) The shared use pinch point leading out of the park and through to Hyde Park Corner may cause conflict. Connectivity is vital at this location and connecting Quietway and Central London Grid routes, such as the Quietway route linked by Park Lane, should be prioritised so that they are delivered at the same time as the East-West Cycle Superhighway. The 1.5 metre width on this link is substandard. There is enough space to double that and still maintain the same 3.1 metre width for motor traffic as there is further west on South Carriage Drive.
(Section A, Section F) The two way track on Constitution Hill is welcome. However, all other proposals in this section are a major cause for concern. None of the cycle movements to and from Constitution Hill are catered for sufficiently. Proposals for cyclists to share space with pedestrians in such a busy environment, with high flows of pedestrians and cyclists moving across many conflicting desire lines, will create a major conflict point on an otherwise high quality route while also disrupting the pedestrian amenity of a major tourist hot spot and important public space. Safe and convenient protected cycle lanes must be provided at the Spur Road gyratory for all route choices.
The junction of The Mall and Spur Road is deeply concerning. None of the cycle movements to and from Constitution Hill are catered for sufficiently. Proposals for cyclists to share space with pedestrians in such a busy environment, with high flows of pedestrians and cyclists moving across many conflicting desire lines, will create a major conflict point on an otherwise high quality route while also disrupting the pedestrian amenity of a major tourist hot spot and important public space. The opportunity to design safe and convenient protected cycle lanes on the Spur Road gyratory should not be missed.
The proposals must include protected cycle provision on all arms of the junction between The Mall, Spur Road and Constitution Hill (entering and exiting the Cycle Superhighway).
The lack of capacity for cycling due to being directed to share extremely busy pedestrian areas will force many cyclists back onto the carriageway where the facilities will be worse than at present. It is highly likely that the result will be chaos and increased risk of casualties for cyclists and pedestrians.
Increased delay from additional signalised junction and extra phases at Buckingham Gate make the current situation unacceptable even before the point of cyclists being squeezed and cut up on Link Road and both sides of Queen Victoria memorial.
Our preferred solution is to remove the gyratory, filtering Link road so it is only access for Buckingham Palace deliveries. This would greatly simplify all the junctions and provide much more clear space for pedestrian movements.
The provision for westbound cyclists on Birdcage Walk heading for Hyde Park Corner is equally worrying. Having been delayed to negotiate a cross over to the south side of the road at the Spur Road junction these cyclists are then expected to cross back, leaving the protected track to join an ASL. On green they are then mixed with on-coming motor traffic turning left. The road width on Link Road is drastically reduced at the very point where most conflicts occur.
We're also concerned by the pinch points at the crossings on Birdcage Walk where the track goes down to 2.8 metres, which is unacceptably narrow.
(Section B) The primary direct route for the E-W Cycle Superhighway should go along Birdcage Walk and Spur Road. The Mall is an important link to the Superhighway and should provide a safe cycle route from Trafalgar Square to Constitution Hill and Buckingham Gate. The Mall should not be a through motor traffic route. With six carriageway lanes there is plenty of room for a protected cycle tracks which should be provided on this already popular route. Currently this is a dangerously sub-standard route – it will put pedestrians at risk from cyclists and cyclists will get the blame for the lack of provision. Conflict with coaches and parked cars when there are events is also a cause for concern.
(Section C) The junction at Horse Guards Rd is currently a difficult junction even for motor vehicles to navigate, especially when there is a queue of traffic back from Trafalgar Square. David Cameron was famously photographed cycling the wrong way around the existing bollard. The signal timings are critical at the junction: north bound from Horse Guards there should be a very short motor vehicle phase followed by a much longer cycle phase. There should be a strong dis-incentive to use of this road for rat running. There is plenty of space for stacking.
(Section D) Horse Guards Rd is a popular route with north-south cyclists. However it is also a busy rat-run, particularly for taxis. It should be closed to through motor traffic. The method of closure could be removable for ceremonies or emergencies.
(Section E) The junction of Horse Guards Road and Birdcage Walk is difficult for everyone at present - cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. Cyclists are involved in the majority of collisions at this junction. Recent modifications have only partly solved the problem. Horse Guards Rd must be closed to through motor traffic, with this a banned turn as per the existing proposal. Great George St should also be filtered.
We've welcomed the moving of the bus and coach stop. Existing delays to all traffic on this route is from coach parking, and moving the coach parking will help to solve this. While we welcome the connectivity provided for cyclists moving between Victoria Embankment and Northumberland Avenue, where cyclists are supposed to go might not be obvious in dark weather – there must be clear markings for the cycle tracks.
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London’s longest surviving frame-builder to close after 75 years in the trade
Roberts Cycles, which has been building bikes in South London under its own brand since the sixties, is to close down its Croydon workshop and showroom. Chas Roberts, son of Charlie Roberts who founded the business in the cellar of his South London home, is taking a ‘sabbatical’ after more than 35 years at the helm.
Afficionados of the exotic hand-built frames will have a chance to bid for bikes built for bike shows in a showroom closing sale that starts imminently. Included are road bikes, mountain bikes and bikes with couplings that make them collapsible for travel.
The Roberts family has been involved in bike-making continuously for more than 75 years and the firm’s history is intertwined with other great South London names like Claud Butler and Holdsworth, where Charlie Roberts was works manager before starting out on his own. Roberts built frames for world champion Tony Doyle and British mountain bike champions Tim Gould and Dave Baker.
The firm recently won a framebuilder’s award at the Bespoked bicycle show. Roberts frames were virtually all made to order for individual customers and included such curiosities as a bike for Britain’s biggest man, a bicycle operated by both hands and legs and Britain’s lightest collapsible racing bike.
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Bikeify raises nearly £1000 for LCC's campaigning work in just 3 months
Since Christmas last year our members and supporters have raised nearly £1000 simply by shopping online using the Bikeify app.
The app, which can be installed on pcs, macs, mobiles and tablets, shows stores that offer donations to LCC by highlighting them in red on google and other search engines. Make a purchase at any of these stores and they’ll make a donation to us — it doesn’t cost you a penny and it’s completely automatic, you just shop as usual at all your favourite stores.
Donations raised through Bikeify soon mount up. Just using the app for a weekly Sainsbury's shop can raise £40 in a year and one user raised nearly £50 in a single transaction by buying a new bike through the app.
So, if you ever shop online, please join our fundraisers and hit the download button today. By following the easy instructions you'll be ready to go with Bikeify in 10-20 seconds. It’s completely anonymous and you won't be asked for any personal details.
There are already 1000's of retailers taking part in the scheme and with stores such as John Lewis, Amazon, Sainsbury's, Wiggle and Evans Cycles on board it's easy to raise donations for LCC. So, if you're making the weekly food shop online or buying a bike please download the Bikeify app and become a fundraiser for Space for Cycling and LCC!
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Space for Cycling makes Space for Everyone?
This is a guest blog post by Alan Latham and Peter Wood, researchers from the Departments of Geography at University College London and The Open University. Here they write about what their recent publication called “Inhabiting Infrastructure” might mean for campaigners’ attempts to get Space for Cycling in London.
Londoners, their politicians and their business leaders are increasingly talking about cycling as good for the city; fast, green, healthy and money-saving. Against this background our research set out to investigate how commuter cyclists managed the act of cycling on London’s roads. Our plan was to video a number of volunteers as they cycled across London, in order to gain a more detailed understanding of how they actually use city’s streets.
In the first of what will be a series of published findings, we suggest that it can be a challenge for people to imagine how a cycle-friendly city might work in practice. This means that both cyclists and highway engineers can end up acting in ad hoc and seemingly-unpredictable ways. Of particular importance to the LCC’s campaigns, our findings suggest that building spaces for cycling could fundamentally change the way that people think about movement in the city.
The fieldwork involved one of our researchers going riding with a number of cyclists who had agreed to be followed on their journeys across London. With the academic wearing a head-mounted video camera and cycling behind our volunteer, we recorded multiple hours of footage across London. Whether they were relative novices or highly experienced, the films showed how people have practically adapted their riding to the different streets that they pass through. Our analysis developed detailed diagrams which show how people actually use infrastructure. This took in locations as varied as leafy Roehampton, the backstreets of Southwark, and Vauxhall Cross Gyratory at rush hour.
The peer-reviewed findings record how cyclists’ behaviour often disrupts many of the taken for granted ways in which roads are divided into space for motorists and space for pedestrians. The end result was a view of cycling as often quite simple, but repeatedly containing a number of confused or confusing elements. The diagrams are a way to convey how cyclists deal with different infrastructures, whether that is riding along a thin strip of on-pavement cycle track, sharing space with pedestrians, or running red lights to avoid the traffic following them. But it also investigated how many of our riders would get off their bikes for a shortcut, when surprised by blaring horns or if they felt safer to cross a busy road on foot. Some cyclists who seemed to behave erratically were able to give detailed explanations of what they did. Many others were trying to make the best of an imperfect situation.
Our findings suggest that the actions of cyclists - actually on the road – are rarely given enough attention. This has arguably held back attempts to support cycling in the past. In a world where the street is divided between a space for motor vehicles and a narrow sidewalk, this leaves little room for cycling, not to mention wheelchairs, pushchairs, retail, relaxation and play. We call this status quo the existing “infrastructural settlement”. Our key argument is that previous attempts to support cycling have not radically challenged how people think about roads. As academics who have watched the Space for Cycling campaign with interest, we think that our research makes two essential points.
Firstly, it seems important to remain open-minded about what cycling in London is and might become. What seems eccentric now may well have a good reason behind it. This is perhaps especially true as the popularity and diversity of cycling increases. On the one hand, this finding reinforces the valuable work that LCC campaigners do to bring cyclists’ experiences to a wider attention.
One example could be the new junction designs that have been developed by volunteer designers. However, at the same time, our study’s riders often had very different understandings of how they expected a street to work, combined with very different abilities to use it. As more people start cycling it is entirely possible that cyclists’ expectations and behaviours will change, both because different people are cycling and because everyone will have to coexist with more cyclists. For example, riding on pavements may become less common as people feel safer on the roads. However, demand for so-called “harmless” actions to be made legal may rise: like turning left through a red-light. By blurring the lines between motorists and pedestrians, this is where the second possibility for radical change comes in.
London Cycling Campaign, Transport for London and the main political parties are now united in support of building high-quality space for cycling in London: Superhighways, secure cycle parking, Quietways and others. One implication of our research is that by building infrastructures which truly focus upon cycling, London may, potentially, be opening up a new space to think about two-wheeled transport. Putting cycling at the centre rather than the edge, so to speak, might disturb the overall division between motorists and pedestrians. In effect, space for cycling might bring the opportunity to build for a variety of social and economic needs which are not being served by the current situation.
As the Mayor puts it, cycling has the potential to make “better places for everyone”. Our hope is that our research can provide campaigners and public servants with the tools they need to do so.
Download the full publication, “Inhabiting Infrastructure" here.
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Michael Mason's family "let down at every stage" by Met Police
The family of Michael Mason, the 70 year old cyclist killed in a crash on Regent Street in 2014, have had further distress as reports from the Police that the driver would be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have been retracted.
24 hours before an anniversary remembrance vigil for Mr Mason the police press office reported that the case would go to the CPS. At the vigil organised by Stop Killing Cyclists Mr Mason's daughter Anna Tatton-Brown spoke movingly of his life. At that time everyone hoped that there could be a prosecution. Those hopes have now been dashed by the latest information from the Police.
Today Anna told us how distressed they now are:
"At every stage now we have been let down by the Met police; from an insultingly soft interview of the driver, to the original decision not to prosecute despite the convincing evidence of their own expert, to this shilly shallying over whether or not to refer the case to the CPS.
"The Met allowed us to hold a vigil on the anniversary of my father's death thinking that we had had some small victory and that justice might yet be done.
"That now appears to be totally wrong. None of this has been communicated to us first but played out in the media. I have heard nothing from my so-called family liaison officer since November. This is no way to treat anyone, let alone a family dealing with the recent traumatic death of a loved one.
"Now, to add insult to injury, they seem to blame my dad, with his lack of high viz and helmet, for his own death , rather than the woman who drove into him (who the police describe rather subjectively as a 'Careful and cautious driver'). It is a travesty of justice. What are the Met playing at here?"
On 25 February 2014 Mr Mason was hit from behind, by a car driven by Gale Purcell in Regent Street. He was immediately in front of the driver's seat yet Ms Purcell stated at the inquest that she was "totally unaware of the cyclist" before her car sent him crashing into the road. Mr Mason died in hospital 17 days later.
Ms Purcell has not been prosecuted for any driving offence. The police never referred her case to the Crown Prosecution Service. That led to a formal complaint from Mr. Mason's family about the Police inaction.
On Friday the Evening Standard reported that Michael's family had won a review of the decision not to prosecute. This week the police revised the information sent from their press office, removing the assurance that the matter had been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.
On 12th March the police press office sent the an email suggesting success, Evening Standard reporter @RossLydall posted it to twitter. This week the notice was re-issued with the last 11 words deleted. In effect the Police have refused the family's plea for a prosecution for careless driving.
In a letter to the family's lawyer, Martin Porter, the police have apologised for the fact that the information was reported to the press before he had been informed about the outcome of the formal complaint. They don't appear to have apologised for the fact that the first report was incorrect, raising hopes then dashing them.
No hi-vis or helmet
In the report on the investigation into Mr Mason's death the police make strong references to the fact that Mr Mason was not wearing a hi-vis jacket nor a helmet. Neither of these are required for cycling in London. The police appear to have made value judgements about the effectiveness of hi-vis and helmets without allowing the evidence to be examined and tested in court.
There is little definitive research on the effectiveness of hi-vis jackets in well lit urban environments. In the CCTV video of Mr Mason riding on Regent street before the crash he is immediately recognisable as a cyclist. There are bright lights on the front and back of his bike, his dark shape stands out starkly against the bright backround of one of the best lit streets in London.
Whether or not Mr Mason was wearing a helmet might conceivably have made a difference to the outcome of his injuries. On the rare occaisons when the effectiveness of helmets have been examined in courts, they have not been proven to prevent death. In this case the medical evidence of the type of injury suffered by the 70 year old Mr Mason has not been examined in court. Helmets offer little or no protection against some internal brain injuries which often feature in this type of trauma.
If the police view was that a helmet would have prevented Mr Mason's death then they may have had doubts about a charge of "causing death by careless driving". The medical outcome of the crash is not a factor in determining whether the standard of driving was dangerous, careless or of an acceptable standard.
The police summary of the evidence points out that there are contradictory witness statements and that there is no CCTV coverage of the actual collision or the few seconds before that. The summary concludes "There is no evidence available to say that Ms Purcell did a deliberate act or did anything that was negligent in relation her driving to casue this collision" (sic)
London Cycling Campaign has met with the officers concerned with this case. LCC Campaigns Officer Charlie Lloyd commented, "We made the point that in our view carelessness while driving or riding on the road is a crime and that a collision is sufficient evidence of carelessness.
"The police maintain that because they lack witness or CCTV evidence of the actual collision they cannot say whether or not Mr Mason was riding in a careless way. Our view is that the law requires a duty of care by all road users. In this case it is hard to understand that a driver who did not see a cyclist immediately in front of her before hitting him was driving in an acceptable way."
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New and improved plans for Kingston mini-Holland scheme
Kingston Council have produced revised proposals for the Portsmouth Road mini-Holland scheme which Kingston Cycling Campaign say are a "considerable improvement" on previous plans. LCC and others expressed concerns with the initial plans, which would not have provided the safe and inviting space for cycling which is badly needed on this busy main road. Councillor Richard Hudson, Chair of Infrastructure, Projects and Contracts Committee, and Lead Member for the Council’s mini-Holland Programme, said: “Over 700 people took part in the consultation on our first set of plans and we thank all of those who took the time to consider our original proposals and get involved. I believe that this second proposal shows we’ve listened. There was a clear desire for more segregation between cyclists and motor vehicles and the new plans have increased this segregation from 20 per cent originally, to 85 per cent now."
Kingston Cycling Campaign say they will be seeking further assurances about the design but thank RBK Councillors and Officers involved in the Mini Holland Project who listened to, and took account of, the views expressed in the consultation. The revised proposals include a two way cycle track on the river side of Portsmouth Road on the northern part of the route with protected space and floating bus stops, which represents a reversion to the original design in the bid document. The southern section of the route is light segregation by plastic ‘armadillos’, which Kingston Cycling Campaign say they are concerned to ensure they will be robust enough for use on Portsmouth Road and whether they represent a sufficient measure of segregation: a greater measure of protected space may be needed. The revised proposals are available on the Royal Borough of Kingston website. A presentation board showing the plans will be on display in the reception area of Guildhall 2, High Street, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1EU from Monday 23 March until Friday 10 April during office hours. The consultation report has also been published. Thanks to Kingston Cycling Campaign and to all who responded to the consultation.
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Ealing Council reverses decision on dangerous McDonalds plans
We’re pleased to hear that Ealing Council have reversed a planning decision which would have created danger to cyclists on the new East-West cycle superhighway.
Ealing Council’s planning committee granted permission to McDonalds for a drive-through restaurant on the A40 at Gipsy Corner eight weeks ago. As the diagram below shows, the plans included an access road that would have meant that instead of two cycle tracks and a separate pedestrian pavement, pedestrians and cyclists would have to share a single path. The new exit from the A40 would also present a hazard for cyclists from vehicles turning left into McDonalds.
Picture: Ealing Cycling Campaign
After Ealing Cycling Campaign raised concerns with the council and Transport for London about these dangers, the planning committee agreed to revisit the decision. At a meeting on Wednesday 18th March the committee refused permission by a 3-2 vote, the remaining 8 committee members abstaining. Pat Hayes, Director for Regeneration and Housing at Ealing Council, and responsible for planning and transport, acknowledged the current scheme would have considerable negative impacts on cyclists and promised to make sure that the design is changed and that the superhighway is not compromised. Thanks to Ealing Cycling Campaign for ensuring the East-West superhighway won’t be compromised by these plans.
Thanks are also due to the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan, who intervened and called the plans “well below cycle superhighway standards and potentially unsuitable for both pedestrians and cyclists”, and West Acton Residents’ Association who opposed the decision – and packed out the public gallery at the meeting.
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Major increase in cycle parking standards for new developments
Major increase in cycle parking standards for new developments
Do you have insufficient space for you bike at home or in the office? – you are not alone. The Mayor has, following strong representations from LCC and others, recognised that new developments must have higher levels of cycle parking to meet growing demand.
The new cycle parking standards (page 232) , contained in an update to the London Plan released in March 2015, double the cycle parking requirement for new offices and raise the standard significantly for new homes. While the new standards are officially approved by the Mayor they are yet to be adopted by all London boroughs which enforce planning regulations on all but the largest developments , which are referred to the Mayor for approval.
The key changes in the standards are for new offices, where one cycle parking space has to be provided for every 90 sq. m. of gross floor area in Inner London and one space per 150 sq.m. in Outer London (up from one space for every 250 sq.m. in all of London) and for new homes where one space has to be provided for every studio or one bed flat and two spaces provided for all two bed or bigger homes (up from one space for one or two bed flats and two spaces for bigger flats). The new office standard allows for about 8 -15% of the workforce to travel to work by bike.
The case for higher standards was supported by detailed evidence gathered by an independent consultant for Transport for London who recommended even higher standards than those adopted. LCC, which also submitted evidence to the London Plan public enquiry similarly advised higher standards. While the new standards may satisfy current demand the expected growth in cycling associated with better infrastructure must not be stymied by a lack of parking spaces.
Everyone with an interest in improved cycle parking conditions should engage with their local council to ensure that the new London plan standards are adopted or exceeded by local planning regulations.
It is also worth reminding your council that the ammendements to the London Plan also state that any new cycling infrstructure should adhere to the guidelines in the new London Cycle Design Standards.
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Transport for London to trial 20mph on main roads
London Cycling Campaign welcomes Transport for London (TfL)'s announcement that it will be trialling 20mph speed limits on key roads in central London. LCC has long campaigned for 20mph speed limits in London: 20mph saves lives, and these trials are a welcome step forward towards reducing road danger to cyclists and pedestrians.
TfL have announced an initial set of eight locations on its road network (the TLRN), starting with Commercial Street to coincide with the introduction of Tower Hamlets' borough wide 20mph speed limit in April.
The new plans are part of the Mayor's Road Safety plan to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on London's roads by 40%. TfL say that further 20mph limits along the TfL road network are to be explored, while boroughs will continue to be supported to implement 20mph speed limits on their roads.
Once the 20mph limit is implemented on Commercial Street, the route could be extended to cover the wider “Shoreditch Triangle” and sections of the A10, in line with Hackney’s 20mph borough wide aspirations.
TfL will be working with boroughs to look at implementing 20mph at another seven locations:
- Upper Street and Holloway Road (between Pentonville Road and Seven Sisters Road);
- Westminster Bridge, Stamford Street and Southwark St (between Victoria Embankment and Borough High Street - this trial would also incorporate the previous 20mph trial at Waterloo Roundabout);
- Brixton Town Centre (between St Matthews Road and Stockwell Park Walk);
- Clapham High Street (between Clapham Park Road and Bedford Road, which forms part of Cycle Superhighway 7);
- Earls Court Road and Redcliffe Gardens (between A4 Cromwell Road and Fulham Road);
- Kings Cross Road and Farringdon Road (between Pentonville Road and Charterhouse Road, linking up with the previous 20mph trial along Farringdon St and Blackfriars Bridge);
- Camden Street (between Camden Road and Crowndale Road).
These new 20mph routes would build on a growing 20mph network. TfL are piloting 20mph at Waterloo IMAX roundabout and on two key routes through the City of London. A 20mph speed limit has already been introduced along Camberwell New Road and at New Cross Gate and is being considered at Elephant & Castle Northern roundabout. Almost 25 per cent of all London roads are now 20mph and London boroughs such as Islington, Camden and the City of London are leading the way with borough-wide 20mph limits on their roads. Hackney is also seeking to introduce 20mph next year.
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Refer a friend to LCC and receive a free gift!
This spring, we’re offering you the chance to boost London Cycling Campaign’s numbers, strengthen our campaigning power, get your friends cycling and receive a free gift – all in one go!
Here at London Cycling Campaign, we need more members than ever to step up our work for Safe Space for cycling. We need your help – and the help of your friends – to increase our campaigning abilities and make sure all our members’ voices are heard.
Simply encourage your cycling friends to sign up as members, and you’ll not only strengthen our campaign but introduce your friends to a whole new world of social events, cycling advice and cycling safety as part of the LCC community.
After all, now that the spring sunshine has made its long-awaited appearance, it’s about time to get back in the saddle and shake off the winter cobwebs. Whether it’s commuting to work or uni or simply exploring the beautiful green spaces of London, cycling offers a unique perspective on the city, an escape from gridlock, traffic and the bedlam of rush hour.
If you’re a London Cycling Campaign member already, you receive great benefits like third party liability insurance and a London Cyclist magazine subscription, while helping to make the streets of London safer for cyclists. Now it’s time to share the love with your friends.
All you need to do is:
- Find a cyclist
- Tell them about the great benefits of LCC
- Send them this link so they can sign up: lcc.org.uk/referafriend
- Choose your gift - LCC buff, socks or Keep Cup!
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Mayor set to be quizzed on cycling underspend
The Mayor of London today broke ground on the new North-South cycle superhighway - but with so little cycling provision actually on the ground since Boris was elected on a cycling ticket, London Assembly members want to know what he's going to do about the underspend. As of October 2014, just £29 million of the initial £107 million allocation for improvements junctions and cycling infrastructure this financial year had been spent.
Caroline Pidgeon, Chair of the GLA Transport Committee, has put forward a motion to be debated by Assembly Members at Wednesday's plenary meeting. If that motion gets majority support, the Mayor will be asked to publish the revised budget for this financial year; details of the cycling investment allocated to each London Borough in 2014/15* and for 2015/16; and his plans to ensure that in 2015/16 the planned investment in cycling is fully spent. The motion to be debated would also state that Transport for London (TfL) should look to allocate greater funds to London Boroughs who have many cycling schemes that are ready to be delivered.
The motion also notes that TfL underspent its cycling budget in 2012/13 and 2013/14 - an underspend described by TfL's Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy as "frankly an embarrassment".
What's the problem?
London Cycling Campaign shares concerns that the allocated budget has not yet been spent and that many important elements of the Mayor's Vision for Cycling have yet to be delivered. The most recent issue of LCC's members' magazine, London Cyclist, explores what progress has been made towards the Mayor's commitments. We've outlined some of the findings from the issue below.
Progress on the Cycle Superhighways programme
Progress has undoubtedly been slow. While the new North-South and East-West cycle superhighways are welcome, such bold moves haven't been seen across the rest of the superhighways programme:
- CS1, which will run from the City to Tottenham, is not yet on the ground; it's due for completion by April 2016, but its status as a superhighway has been questioned;
- CS2, running from Aldgate to Stratford, exists, but is so poor it's being upgraded to provide protected space for cycling along its busy main road route - though despite 95% of respondents to the consultation expressing support for segregation, there will be no protection by Whitechapel Market;
- CS3, running from Barking to Tower Gateway, is again open but also in need of radical improvements, particularly on Cable Street which doesn’t have the capacity needed. At a number of points the two-way cycle track on one side of the road squeezes the pavement down to the width of a buggy or wheelchair;
- CS4 is planned to run from London Bridge to Woolwich, via Deptford - but not until September 2018;
- CS5, which is eventually due to run from Lewisham to Central London, includes the Vauxhall gyratory, which is due for improvement by October 2015 - but it's not due to be extended to Lewisham until after 2016;
- CS6, which was due to run from Penge to the City has been dumped from the programme. This is also the case for CS12, which was due to run from East Finchley to Angel;
- CS7, which runs from Merton to the City, is open but in urgent need of upgrades, including at Oval, by March 2016;
- CS8, which runs from Wandsworth to Westminster, is also in urgent need of improvement. It's due for an upgrade at Queens Circus roundabout, at the corner of Battersea Park, by May 2016, but we’ve expressed serious concerns about this design.
- CS9, which was due to run from Hyde Park to Hounslow, is to go ahead on the Hounslow and Hammersmith & Fulham sections of the route, but not before May 2016;
- CS10, which was due to run from Cricklewood to Marble Arch, has been replaced by the East-West cycle superhighway;
- CS11 is due to run from West Hampstead to Hyde Park Corner and include removal of the notorious Swiss Cottage gyratory (subject to consultation) - but it's not due for completion until December 2016.
Progress on Quietways
None of the 'Quietways' - promised in the Mayor's Vision for Cycling as a network of radial and orbital cycle routes throughout London that will follow direct back-street routes, go through parks, along waterways or tree-lined streets - have yet been delivered, though two routes - Quietway 1, from Waterloo to Greenwich, and Quietway 2, from Bloomsbury to Waltham Forest, are due for completion by Spring 2015. Other routes due to be consulted on in 2015 are:
- Regents Park to Dollis Hill – Nov 2015
- Elephant and Castel to Crystal Palace – Dec 2015
- Aldgate to Hainault – Feb 2016
- Waterloo – Clapham – March 2016
- Clapham Common to Wimbledon – June 2016.
Find out more about the Quietways.
Progress on the Central London Grid
The Central London Grid is due to be a set of “safe, connected routes across central London”, made up of Quietways and Cycle Superhighways in the City and West End. The routes are being developed by TfL, in partnership with the seven central London boroughs, the City of London, the Greater London Authority, the Canal & River Trust and Royal Parks.
However, TfL's initial planned Grid:
Looks a bit different from the routes planned for delivery by December 2016:
Progress on Better Junctions
The Better Junctions scheme is due to redesign 33 junctions that have been identified by Transport for London and the Mayor as particularly dangerous. However, so far work has not yet been completed on any of the junctions, although consultations have taken place on some. LCC believes only 9 of the 33 Better Junctions will be completed by May 2016, the end of the Mayor's term. Find out more about the Better Junctions programme.
Progress on mini-Hollands
Waltham Forest, Enfield and Kingston are each due to receive £30m to make their boroughs as cycle friendly as their Dutch counterparts. However, the boroughs won't receive their cash until the plans have been approved by Transport for London and the Mayor's Cycling Commissioner. Currently, Waltham Forest are making good progress with their plans - and while many local residents expressed concern at the beginning of the trials in Walthamstow Village, 60% of respondents said they were in support by the end. In Enfield, progress is slower, but there’s a huge opportunity for positive change in this borough, where currently just 0.7% of journeys are cycled. Kingston have just issued revised proposals for the busy Portsmouth Road, after concerns were raised that the initial plans weren't good enough. Find out more about the mini-Hollands programme.
So we hope London Assembly members will vote in favour of the motion to ask the Mayor to publish details about the planned cycling spend for 2015-16, and that the plans will show how the money will be spent to deliver the safe space for cycling London urgently needs - without further delays.
Papers for the plenary meeting on Wednesday 11th March can be found on the GLA website, where you can also watch a live webcast of the meeting. It's anticipated that the motion will be debated at about 12.30pm on Wednesday.
*Details of the cycling funding committed to boroughs for the 2014/2015 financial year has now been supplied to the Transport Committee, though information for the 2015/2016 period has not been made available.
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CS1: Superhighway or superquietway?
Transport for London is currently consulting on its plans for Cycle Superhighway 1 (CS1), which would run from White Hart Lane in Tottenham to Liverpool Street station, forming part of the London-wide network of Cycle Superhighways.
There's been much debate about whether or not the route should be called a 'Superhighway'. Rather than following main roads, as the majority of Cycle Superhighways do, Cycle Superhighway 1 is planned to run primarily on residential roads running to the west of the A10. Segregated cycle tracks would only be used on a few sections where the route passes along busy roads.
At the south end it would start at the Sun Street/Wilson Street junction, and follow Paul Street to Old Street (pictured above). Pitfield Street is to be closed to through motor traffic and the roundabout at New North Road and Pitfield Street removed. Under the current proposals route would follow De Beauvoir and Culford Rds north, then follow Balls Pond Rd for a short segment. Transport for London are consulting on two options for this busy stretch of road - Option A offering advisory cycle lanes in both directions, and option B offering segregated two-way cycle track. North of Balls Pond Rd the route would follow Kingsbury Rd, Boleyn Rd, Wordsworth Rd and Defoe Rd, parallel to Stoke Newington High Street.
The route would continue north on residential roads along Bouverie and Heathland Rd. Between here and the High Rd (the A10), Transport for London are reviewing different alignments and have said they welcome views. At South Tottenham segregated two way cycle track within the footway would follow the A10 until just north of Seven Sisters, when the track would return to the carriageway and follow Philip Lane, Napier Rd, Broadwater Rd and Church Lane/Church Rd, finishing at White Hart Lane.
Haringey Cycling Campaign have published their initial thoughts on this section of the route, highlighting concerns including the risk of conflict with pedestrians and the width of the track at places on the High Rd, and concerns with the alignment along the busy Philip Lane.
LCC is working on its response to the proposals in full, in collaboration with our Infrastructure Review Group and local groups in Hackney, Islington and Haringey and will publish our response on the website before the end of the consultation. The deadline is 29th March.
Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor's Cycling Commissioner, will be cycling the route with local campaigning group Hackney People on Bikes, starting at the junction of Sun Street and Wilson Street in the City at 17:00 hours, on Tuesday 17 March 2015.
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