London Cyclist

Subscribe to London Cyclist feed
Latest news from the LCC
Updated: 2 hours 59 min ago

Local Group News: December 2018

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 13:01

London Cycling Campaign has a network of over 30 Local Groups across London, one per borough.

Find out what they've been up to in their latest Newsletters.

If you're an LCC member, you'll receive your borough Newsletter in your latest edition of the London Cyclist  Magazine. 

If your borough hasn't produced a newsletter this time, you can always find out what they are up to by checking their website and social media pages. Or sign up to receive email updates direct from your local group.

Want to do more? Find out how to get involved with your local group: getinvolved@lcc.org.uk

 

Categories: London

Police target your close-passing hot spots

Thu, 11/22/2018 - 13:30

In a London-wide enforcement campaign the Metropolitan Police are targeting locations where dangerous close passing has been experienced by London bike riders and marked on LCC’s Stay Wider of the Rider map.

A humorous video below the map illustrates the problem of close passing and you can also sign a petition on close passing that will be sent to Minister Jesse Norman.  

Following an initial close passing enforcement programme based on police reports, the Met is now looking at locations where cyclists have reported close passes. You can add more locations here  – don’t hesitate to mark roads where others have already put in pins – it helps the police to prioritise locations.

We accompanied officers on a close pass operation in South London. A plain clothes officer rides along a route that is heavily used by both people on bike and others in cars. When the officer judges that a motor vehicle passes too closely for comfort there is radio contact with uniformed officers further down the road and a police motorbike rider ensures the vehicle and driver are pulled over.

In the space of 90 minutes, along one short stretch of road, police had to stop 5 vehicles for passing their plain clothes officer in a dangerous manner. Offenders who had not committed additional offences were given a presentation on the dangers of close passing, and sent on their way.  But in several cases there were other offences such as use of a mobile phone while driving and failure to show evidence of holding a driving licence – which incur charges and penalties.

The police also bring a speed camera to close passing operations - at a similar operation in Croydon they noted vehicle speeds of 58 mph in a 30 mph zone.

In the course of recent months the Met police have run more than 15 close passing operations in London and pulled over a significant number of drivers.

LCC would like to see all drivers understand the need to allow a safe distance (1.5 meters or more) when passing people on bikes. Close passing is both dangerous and intimidating but many drivers are simply unaware of what a safe distance should be, which is why we are calling on the government to make that clear to all road users.

Waiting until it is safe to pass a bike rider shows common courtesy as well as reducing the danger of a collision.  Until the day when safe passing is as natural for UK drivers as stopping at a zebra crossing, we need both police enforcement and public messaging.

Which is why we are asking that alongside dropping a pin on our close pass map, that you also sign the petition to Minister Jesse Norman. We are asking him to reinforce the good work of the Met police and other police forces in the UK by providing better guidance on safe passing distances to drivers and to run a public education campaign to spread the word.

Add your name to our petition here.

Categories: London

Government to appoint cycling champion and crack down on parking in bike lanes

Thu, 11/22/2018 - 11:40

Government promises improvements in enforcement against parking in bike lanes 

Reacting to  more than 14,000 responses to its review of the national cycling and walking stategy Transport Minister Jesse Norman is to step up enforcement against parking in bike lanes and will also appoint a new Cycling and Walking Champion.

Councils are advised to spend 15% of infrastructure budgets on cycling and walking schemes. The Department of Transport (DfT) says it will work with cycling and walking organisations to develop a behaviour change action plan.

LCC reponsed to both the original Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy and the CWIS Review. In our response to the Review we noted the doubling of cycle use in London and said:

It is LCC’s view that the case for promoting cycling – for its congestion-busting, environmental and public health benefits – has been overwhelmingly and repeatedly proven. The methodologies for doing this effectively have been demonstrated many times and are readily available to government. Repeated consultations and advisory bodies have provided government with all the essential knowledge it needs to deliver. Fundamentally, the only thing now needed for the CWIS to be successful is the political determination to act. We look forward to supporting Ministers in showing that determination."

The Government press release lists the following actions emerging from the CWIS review: 

  • a review of guidance in the Highway Code to improve safety for vulnerable road users
  • new investment to support the police to improve enforcement by developing a national back office function to handle footage provided through dash-cam evidence
  • enforcement against parking in mandatory cycle lanes
  • the appointment of a new Cycling and Walking Champion to raise the profile of Active Travel
  • encouragement for local authorities to increase investment in cycling and walking infrastructure to 15 per cent of total transport infrastructure spending
  • work with key cycling and walking organisations to develop a behaviour change campaign alongside the action plan
Categories: London

Healthy streets make for healthy businesses – new data hub launched

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 12:40

Healthy streets make for healthy businesses – new data hub launched

A new Transport for London 'data hub' reveals the scale of benefits for the local economy of schemes that improve conditions for walking and cycling.

Far from harming local businesses,  ‘healthy streets’ schemes help increase the number of visitors and passers-by on foot and on bike; encourage people to stay in the area and shop or stop off at a café; and help reduce the number of vacant shops and offices.

The data hub provides a wealth of statistics including the results of a University  College study which found that  in improved local streets (compared to un-improved ones) :

  • Footfall increased – the number of people standing, waiting and sitting nearly doubled and people walking in the streets increased by 93 per cent
  • People spent more time in the street, with a 216 per cent increase in activity such as going into a shop, stopping at a café or sitting on a bench
  • More retail space was filled by businesses, as there was a 17 per cent decline in retail vacancy·        

Other statitiscs recorded in the hub include:

  • Walking and cycling improvements can increase retail spend by up to 30%
  • Cycle parking delivers five times the retail spend per square metre than the same area of car parking
  • Over a month, people who walk to the high street spend up to 40% more than people who drive to the high street
  • Businesses using cycle freight save between 39 and 64% on delivery costs
  • 81% of Londoners say they can cycle including 3 in 4 of those over 65 and 76% of disabled people

Forward thinking business leaders welcome both the outocmes of healthy street schemes and the useful data provided in the hub:  Kay Buxton, Chief Executive of Marble Arch business improvement district said, “Our members tell us that their staff, customers, guests, students and pupils need safer spaces in which to operate. It not only helps the trading environment locally but it boosts health and wellbeing and fosters a greater sense of community.”

TfL says it will keep updating the data hub as new research becomes available.

 

Categories: London

What to look for in a borough Transport Strategy/LIP

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 14:35

 

Councils will be working hard now to make sure that their “Local Implementation Plans” (or LIPs) are up to scratch. They are the main way boroughs get funding from Transport for London (TfL) outside of specific funding pots (such as “Safer Junctions”, “Liveable Neighbourhoods” or “Cycle Superhighways”). All London boroughs need to submit draft “LIP3” documents to TfL this month (November 2018). Most boroughs are now doing a public consultation and final submissions will be made in February 2019.

As our guide on LIPs says, LIPs must set out how a borough will deliver against Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS) objectives, so a fair few boroughs are also consulting on a new Transport Strategy at the same time. The LIP is a short term delivery plan - it should include firm proposals rather than just allocations to general programmes of work, and it must demonstrably deliver on key MTS objectives. If it doesn’t, TfL can refuse it, and if the borough repeatedly refuses to play ball, withhold funding or take over the LIP themselves.

This blog has a handy round-up of most borough LIPs right now, and keep an eye out on any public consultation sites for them: https://lastnotlost.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/lip3drafts/  

Since there’s no standard format for these documents they can be fairly hard to get to grips with. Here’s what we think boroughs should (and shouldn’t) be saying in them: Proper targets

We think good borough targets should directly be in line with the MTS and specific - with clarity to how data is going to be collected, how regularly and should cover outputs such as mode share of cycling and/or percentage of pupil journeys to school cycled, not just less important inputs (number of Bikeability training sessions delivered). Targets should be ranged across three years (timeframe of the LIP), a medium-term target (2025-2030) and long-term targets (the MTS runs until 2041). As an example, Camden’s long-term objective is “every resident and visitor will have somewhere to keep their cycle”. A commitment to deliver 1,000 cycle parking spaces might sound impressive but how many spaces are needed to achieve Camden’s long-term objective? 

Think about how the borough should look in 2041 - there are seven LIPs before then, so about 15% of any target should be delivered by this first LIP. Good stuff for cycling

We would hope to see the following in most LIPs:

  • commitment to protected space for cycling on main roads including explicit support for any TfL Superhighway or strategic future route schemes in the borough
  • a plan for a cycle network based on TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis and a commitment to enough routes to fulfil the MTS commitment that 70% of residents live within 400m of a strategic, high-quality route
  • lots of cycle parking - secure on-street parking near people’s homes, visitor parking near shops and secure parking at stations;
Good stuff for everyone

Reducing motor-traffic and road danger is vital for everyone, and fulfilling the MTS. That should be:

  • a commitment to reducing traffic volumes and re-allocating space from motor vehicles to other modes; “low traffic neighbourhoods”, “modal filter (cells)”, area-based traffic reduction etc. Or, as they’re sometimes known “road closures” as well as “School Streets” (timed road closures around schools at drop-off/pickup times)
  • increased coverage of Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs, residents parking) and a reduction in the space allocated to car parking
  • 20mph borough-wide
  • redesigns of junctions in favour of walking, cycling and safety.
Good stuff for walking

Measures to improve walking are usually also good for cycling. Look for:

  • “continuous pavement” or “blended crossing” treatments on side streets
  • improvements to pedestrian crossings, including ensuring all arms of signalised junctions getting pedestrian phases, reduced wait times/increased crossing times etc.
How to spot a poor plan

If a good plan has lots of targets and specific schemes for implementation, then a plan that’s doomed to fail, or that is just playing lip service (pun intended) to the MTS will likely contain much vaguer commitments. It may also feature:

  • pushing Quietways above main road tracks (these have proved slow, difficult to deliver and often poor quality - they’re a sign the borough doesn’t want to tackle main roads or tough schemes)
  • caveats, evasions or even opposition to the MTS key targets - caveated phrases like “will seek to develop plans for”, “subject to resident and stakeholder consultation”, “subject to scheme justification”, “look for opportunities to incorporate cyclist early release stages and advance stop lines”
  • pedestrian crossing improvements limited to “countdown timers”
  • loose commitments without a specific proposal in the LIP - where is the first “low traffic neighbourhood” going to be? Which roads and junctions are going to be improved?
Categories: London

Bicycle Film Festival comes to London this November

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 15:42

Back with exciting line-up of shorts and feature films from around the world along with a host of supporting events and parties, the Bicycle Film Festival (BFF) returns to London 22-25 November. 

As the official charity sponsor of the festival, LCC is looking forward to a busy long weekend chock-full of cycling related fun and we hope to see many LCC members and supporters in attendance to celebrate the bicycle through music, art and, of course, film.

What's On? Thursday 22

LAUNCH PARTY
6PM - Look mum no hands!

Kick off the festivities with a preview of the film programme by the festival director Brendt Barbur, along with music from LMNH's very own Lewin Chalkley, visuals from the BFI and FREE BEER thanks to Vedett at Look mum no hands! from 6pm.

The launch party is free to attend.

Sign up

Friday 23

PROGRAMME 1: THE BIG LANDS

The Big Lands is the story of a 2,000 kilometre adventure on the Trans-Labrador Highway in Canada, which connects handfuls of communities struggling to survive, and stretches the sense of what is possible on a bike.

TICKETS ON SALE SOON

Saturday 24

PANEL DEBATE
12.30PM - Hackney Picturehouse (free event)

Join the discussion at the BFF’s panel discussion to explore how culture can affect policy changes in order to make the city truly cycling friendly. LCC Campaigns Coordinator Fran Graham will also be speaking on the panel.

Sign up

SCREENING PROGRAMME

From 4pm - Hackney Picturehouse

From a rich collection of animated films about the bike to short films documenting urban bike communities in cities around the world, join us at Hackney Picturehouse for a full afternoon of screenings.

Book tickets

AFTER PARTY

8PM till late! (free event)

Number 90, 90 Wallis Rd E9 5LN

Sunday 25

GRAVEL RIDE
8AM - London Velo, Deptford (free event)

Explore the country lanes and single track in Kent. Starting at London Velo in Deptford, riders will head south into the hills for a challenging gravel ride that takes in the picturesque countryside of Kent.

The ride is free to enter but the BFF asks that you make a £10 donation to London’s Air Ambulance, an important service that has helped many London cyclists.

Sign up

SCREENING PROGRAMME

From 2pm - West Norwood Picturehouse

Whether returning from the morning’s gravel ride or just about recovered from the after party, join us at the West Norwood Picturehouse for a series of screenings to wrap up the last day of the festival. Screenings include worldwide cycling and sport shorts, Moser’s Dare to Win and Vittoria De Sica’s masterpiece Bicycle Theives.

Book tickets


Categories: London

Westminster’s business as usual approach is failing Oxford Street, and the wider area

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 12:34

London Cycling Campaign is frustrated and disappointed that Westminster Council’s proposals for Oxford Street fail to demonstrate any conviction to truly transform the world famous shopping district for the better.

Commenting on the proposals LCC CEO Dr Ashok Sinha said:

“The council’s timid proposals will not decisively reduce motor traffic in the area as so urgently needed. As a result, Oxford Street will continue to be choked by traffic fumes, blighted by overcrowded pavements, and present unacceptable dangers to cycling. It’s as if the council actually want it to be an embarrassment among global, 21st century destinations.”

We have been working closely on Oxford Street with the charity for everyday walking, Living Streets. On the consultation, Joe Irvin, CEO of Living Streets, said:

"The problems of road safety, overcrowding and pollution in Oxford Street, together with the challenge to its retail offer, require a transformative plan and we are not convinced these proposals are enough to meet the challenges facing Oxford Street. We also remain concerned that traffic domination across the wider area is not being adequately addressed.”

To transform the iconic shopping district into a street that can be used and enjoyed by all, Westminster Council need to stop opposing the original plan to remove traffic from the whole route, provide high quality cycling routes east-west and north-south, and work with TfL to improve bus services for the area, as well as take decisive action to reduce motor traffic volumes across the entire area. Only then can Westminster deliver the Oxford Street residents, businesses and all of London deserves.

-        Read more of our thoughts on Oxford Street here: https://lcc.org.uk/articles/westminsters-oxford-street-district-plan-too-weak

Categories: London

Government hard on cycling offences, soft on dangerous driving

Fri, 11/02/2018 - 14:55

 

Motor vehicles account for almost all of the 1,700 road deaths in the UK each year. In London, hit and run incidents are on the rise. The Government promised to update driving offences and improve road justice back in 2014, but four years on, that process remains on the drawing board. Now it has launched a consultation singling out cycling offences instead, after one high-profile case.

In order to reduce the tragic number of road deaths, and for Mayor Khan to meet his ‘Vison Zero’ target to eliminate all road deaths and serious injuries by 2041, the Government needs to focus on more than just dangerous cycling. 

To truly improve road safety, the Government need to get their priorities in order and bring forward a comprehensive review of all road offences – cycling and driving – as a matter of urgency. 

The consultation closes on Monday 5th November - please tell the government to stop singling out dangerous cycling and crack down on dangerous driving

 

Categories: London

Lorries without blind spots start to multiply

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 15:53

 

Dennis Eagle Elite tractor unit  Lorries without blind spots start to multiply

The gold safety standard for urban construction vehicles is the lorry without blind spots – rated five stars according to Transport for London’s Direct Vision standard. Such trucks will be automatically approved for use in London when new safety restrictions on HGVs come into force in 2020.  

Mercedes and Dennis-Eagle were first off the mark when they re-purposed their low-entry, five star direct vision cabs, previously used for refuse and airport work, for construction use.

Now other manufacturers are entering the market with offerings of their own, while Mercedes and Dennis-Eagle are trying to up their game.

Come 2026 all new lorry types on European roads will have to have highly rated  direct vision because of forthcoming new European Union regulations.

We’ve taken at look at the latest that the market has to offer ahead of the Freight in the City expo on November 6th .

Scania L series tractor unit

Scania L series

“…what we have here is an incredibly competent and safe truck, built to make an urban truck driver’s life easier and safer” – high words of praise for Scania’s new L series from a Motor Transport reviewer.

The new Scania lorry range has a nine litre engine, choice of gearboxes, three roof heights and a ‘kneeling’  position that makes getting in and out a breeze. You can also walk through the cab which means the driver does not have to risk opening the driver door and getting out into traffic.

Motor Transport magazine was enthusiastic about the improved vision from the L series: “We were already big fans of Scania’s next generation driving position, which moves the driver forwards and outwards , and when you are sitting this low the visibility is really superb.” They also concluded that the L series was as comfortable on the open road as it is in urban traffic. “The lack of engine noise is surprising considering there are five cylinders working away in the cab just behind us. It feels more like a luxury coach than an HGV to drive.”

 Dennis Eagle Elite electric RCV

Dennis Eagle,  Elite tractor unit and eCollect refuse vehicle

Not content with pioneering the low entry cab in the refuse sector Dennis Eagle introduced the Elite tipper and skip/loader models back in 2016  and followed that up with a five star direct vision tractor unit ( the cab section of an artic truck). 

Dennis Eagle Elite artic

The attraction of a five star direct vision tractor unit is that it can complete the urban section of a much longer lorry journey with less stress for the driver and less road danger for vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians. Freight company Explore Transport is already using such a cab on its deliveries into the central London after making a switch of tractor units in Dagenham.

The eCollect refuse collection vehicle (RCV) is based on Dennis-Eagle’s well established, five star direct vision, Elite cab but with a 200 kW electric engine instead of the conventional diesel unit. The attraction is obvious – the much quieter electric engine (and electric bin lifts) means early hours working may be more acceptable. RCV’s usually carry out very short journeys from base making the currently limited range of electric batteries a realistic proposition even for the heavy loads carried.

Volvo FE LEC Electric

Volvo FE LEC Electric

Volvo launched a low entry cab version of its FE truck back in 2011 and displayed a tipper version in 2016. The aim of the cab is to improve comfort and safety for the users and improve visibility out of the vehicle.

The latest from Volvo is the FE Electric which addresses not only the issue of good driver vision but also exhaust emissions by equipping a waste collection vehicle with a 260         kW electric motor. According to Volvo, the vehicle can travel up to 200 km on one charge of the Lithium-ion battery which should last a full shift of waste collection.

Volvo estimates that charging time of the 200–300 kWh battery will be one and a half hours on fast charge or 10 hours on low power.

 

Mercedes Econic 

Mercedes Econic

Mercedes were the first company to adapt a low entry vehicle for construction use in urban areas and a significant proportion of five star direct vision vehicles used in London for construction are Econics. Cyclists in London have got used to easily exchanging glances with drivers of Tarmac, Cemex, Laing and Riney low-entry trucks (as recommended by the freight industry)  to ensure they have been seen.

The Econic range now includes cement mixers, tippers and a tractor unit.

Construction firm Tarmac is running 18 Econic cement mixers in London already and is expected to increase that to 20.  According to MHW magazine the vehicles are powered by 7.7-litre six-cylinder engines producing 260 kW (354 hp) and use six-speed Allison automatic gearboxes. The axle and drive configuration enables them to have an “impressively tight turning circle and makes it significantly more manoeuvrable than a standard 32-tonne construction eight-wheeler,” another advantage in the capital’s narrow streets.

Foodservice provider Brakes Group has recently put a Mercedes Econic into operation in London that runs on Shell’s Gas to Diesel (GTL) fuel which emits less NOx and particulates than ordinary diesel. The fuel can be blended with ordinary diesel so no modifications to the engine are required. The company told Motor Transport “The initial feedback from our drivers is that visibility appears much better, and it’s easier to access.”

 

 

 

Categories: London

Government gets behind #StayWider campaign

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 17:45

A big thanks to the thousands of you who have signed our Stay Wider of the Rider petition and placed pins on the map at hazardous locations. The results we're now seeing make the time spent well worthwhile!

Jesse Norman, the Minister for Transport has clearly heard the calls for action from LCC and Cycling UK and has announced that the forthcoming Highway Code review will look at clearer guidelines for motorists passing cyclists, as well as issues such as looking back when opening car doors by using the "Dutch reach," or using your left hand to open the driver door. There have also been reports in some media that the review will also look at "give way at turn". This would clarify rules on drivers turning giving way to cyclists and pedestrians, and could pave the way for better, simpler junctions - like those found in many European countries.

The Metropolitan Police recently met with LCC and provided information about a series of enforcement actions across the capital. Drivers who pass plain clothes officers on cycles too closely are given an on-the spot education session or charged depending on the seriousness of the danger caused. And the Met are using the pins dropped by users of our Stay Wider site as one of the ways they choose where to run operations.

As you may have noticed one of LCC’s partners in the Stay Wider of the Rider campaign, Continental Tyres, has sponsored adverts on the back of London buses to make drivers aware of the dangers of close passing and made a humorous video with the Brownlee brothers triathletes (our other sponsor is Uber Eats, who we're working with on driver and rider training).

You can still sign our petition to Jesse Norman MP to ensure the Highway Code review bears fruit and that his expressed concern over close passing results in sustained enforcement and development of awareness campaigns for motorists.

You can also put a pin in the map showing where you have been close passed. Please do not hesitate to mark locations where there already are several pins – this alerts the police to the frequent of close passes and helps with prioritising enforcement.

Categories: London

Campaigner Awards Winners 2018

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 14:46

Thank you to everyone who attended LCC’s 2018 AGM on Thursday 18th October. One of the highlights of the evening was our Campaigner Awards – an opportunity for us to recognise all the hard work put in by our brilliant campaigners over the last year.

We received a long list of wonderful nominations – testament to the passion and dedication of all the nominees – and choosing just one winner for each category was extremely difficult.

A big thank you to Amy Foster, Chair of CAMS, who helped judge this year’s awards, and Terry Patterson, Chair of LCC’s Board of Trustees, who helped present the awards on the night. 

1. Best Rides and Ride leader

Highly Commended:

Keith Jones - Tower Hamlets Wheelers

Keith has organised a range of well-attended rides, including a full-day ride to Thamesmead, the East End Suffragette history ride, and the revival of Tower Hamlets Wheelers’ summer evening Afterworker Rides. 

Oliver Bruckauf and Enfield Easy Riders – Enfield Cycling Campaign

Oliver is Enfield Cycling Campaign’s ride leader hero. He diligently organises the new and hugely popular Easy Riders programme, planning routes to interesting places which are suitable for all abilities, and leading many of the rides himself.

Arnold Ridout – Newham Cyclists

Newham Cyclists help repair donated bikes and organise rides for children as part of the Ambition, Aspire, Achieve cycle group. The rides are popular with children aged 8 to 13, who get the chance to learn bike handling skills and enjoy seeing new parts of their borough.  

Roger Mace & John Dunn – Kingston Cycling Campaign

Roger and John are a dedicated team who schedule, promote and lead Kingston Cycling Campaign’s 'Bread Pudding' rides, as well as feeder rides for FreeCycle. With 28 rides in the past year, catering for a range of abilities, they consistently attract a large and diverse group of participants.

Winner: Harry Clark – Bexley Cyclists

Harry has organised and led a programme of weekly Healthy Rides for Bexley, with an estimated 100 people taking part so far. 20 different routes have been developed for the programme, all starting in Danson Park in the centre of the borough. All the routes are designed to take in areas of local interest, taking place mainly on quiet roads and cycle paths. The rides have received lots of positive feedback, and inspired several other people to get involved with the programme.

2. Best infrastructure campaign

Highly Commended:

Boston Manor Road Cycleway - Hounslow Cycling Campaign

This is a mile length of dedicated bidirectional cycle path, running from the Hounslow boundary in the North most of the way down to the Great West Road in the South. Against fierce opposition, Hounslow Cycling Campaign were instrumental in improving the detailing of this project and making it fit for purpose.

The A105 in Enfield - Enfield Cycling Campaign

The A105 route was officially completed in March. Enfield Cycling Campaign provided a strong voice of support for the project on social media and in the local press, and also helped organise a hugely successful community ride and launch event in March.

Winner: Stratford Gyratory – Newham Cyclists

Following the London Borough of Newham's successful bid for funding to improve this notorious junction, Newham Cyclists have been involved at all stages of consultation. They have met regularly with council officers to ensure that cycling infrastructure has been a key part of the improvements, as well as working with TfL to ensure that the safety of pedestrians and cyclists was considered whilst the works took place.  The scheme is partially open as of 17th September, with full opening scheduled for 22nd October.

3. Best campaign initiative

Highly Commended:

CS9 (‘Cycle Safely’ Highway 9) – Hounslow Cycling Campaign

Hounslow Cycling Campaign have taken the initiative in calling for better cycling infrastructure in West London, pressing the council and MPs at every opportunity and also helping to campaign over the border in Hammersmith and Fulham.

‘Air Pollution in Sutton’ film – Get Sutton Cycling

John and Ben from Get Sutton Cycling researched, edited and produced a short film entitled 'Air Pollution in Sutton: How it affects you and how cycling can help' and aimed at councillors in the borough. The film received positive responses from a number of councillors, and John and Ben hope to produce a follow-up on the benefits of active travel in the borough.

Winner: Election campaign - Tower Hamlets Wheelers

For the May 2018 Mayoral and local elections, Tower Hamlets Wheelers produced a detailed cycling manifesto setting out what they would like to see achieved in the borough by 2022. This included three main asks for the council: significant new cycle routes, low traffic neighbourhoods, and bicycle parking. Copies of the manifesto were distributed to all mayoral candidates and current councillors, and the content received an overwhelmingly positive response. The culmination of Tower Hamlets Wheelers’ local election campaign was organising the Tower Hamlets Cycling and Walking Mayoral Hustings at Limehouse Town Hall in April.  Five of the six mayoral candidates, representing all the major parties, attended the event and publicly signed up to the manifesto. Since the election, the group's interaction with local councillors has increased markedly, and the positive response to the manifesto has increased the group’s focus on political lobbying.

4. Best family-friendly event

Highly Commended:

Walthamstow Family Bike Club Newcomers Ride - Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign

The Newcomers ride is a new initiative from Walthamstow Family Bike Club, designed for new riders and those who want to gain more confidence. The rides are fully-marshalled and take advantage of some of the quiet streets created by the Waltham Forest Mini-Holland. The Bike Club has also worked with the council to ensure that participants can borrow cycles from the council if they don’t have their own.

"Back in the Saddle" - Hounslow Cycling Campaign

Hounslow Cycling Campaign were approached by a resident asking if there were any courses to help parents cycling with their children to school. Realising there was a gap in the training, they worked with the council to create 'Back in the Saddle', a course designed to help parents cycle with their kids. They have already run one course, with second planned for November. 

Biking Belles - Hounslow Cycling Campaign

This is an initiative run by activist Fatima Ahmed with a little help from Hounslow Cycling Campaign and the London Bike Hub. The group meets for twice-weekly cycle training at Hounslow Civic Centre, where more than sixty people, mainly women, have been taught to cycle. Community leaders from the local mosque have also got involved in the training sessions. 

Bike from Boleyn – Newham Cyclists

This event was developed with supporters of West Ham and a Boleyn ward councillor, with the intention of maintaining links between the original home of the team and the new home at the Olympic Stadium. Newham Cyclists provide the leader and the marshals for the event, making sure everyone has a good time and arrives safely. The ride is an extremely positive community event, attracting a large and diverse group of participants. 

Winner: Try-a-Bike at Palmers Green Festival – Enfield Cycling Campaign

This is the third time that Enfield Cycling Campaign, along with Better Streets for Enfield, has run a try-a-bike event at the ever popular Palmers Green Festival, and this year was the most successful yet. The cycles on offer included an adult trike, a cargo bike, a cargo trike, Circe Helios duo and trio tandems (designed for families), e-bikes, folding bikes, and many more. The event was one of the most popular at the festival, with hundreds of people trying out cycles and lots of positive feedback. The council were highly impressed, and are keen for Enfield Cycling Campaign to run similar events around the borough, and are also open to considering running a family cycling library as a result.

5. Campaigner of the Year

Dan Kelly and Gen Ford – Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign

Dan has been one of Waltham Forest Mini-Holland's greatest cheerleaders, playing a central role in mobilising his local community to back the proposals for the Blackhorse Village scheme, and continuing to liaise with councillors and officers to ensure that Mini-Holland keeps progressing. Meanwhile, Gen has been integral to the mobilisation of local residents in Markhouse Village, which was the last “village” in Waltham Forest's Mini-Holland scheme to be consulted on, and also the area with the most organised opposition.

Nick Moffitt - Ealing Cycling Campaign

Nick has made a remarkable contribution to cycling in Ealing and Hounslow. He has played an instrumental role in the CS9 campaign, as well as leading the organisation of the David Eales Memorial Ride for the past three years and helping to fundraise for LCC.

Selena Calder and Grant Gahagan – Haringey Cycling Campaign

Since taking over as joint coordinators of Haringey Cycling Campaign in Spring 2017, Selena and Grant have built the group up into an effective advocate for active travel in the borough. As well as noticeable improvement for cycling delivered on the ground via the Quick Wins programme, they have also built up good working relationships with officers in the local council and influenced Haringey's 2018 transport strategy.   

John Chamberlain – Camden Cycling Campaign

John has been a highly committed and valued member of LCC for many years, and this year, he was the main supporter at the Tavistock Place Public Inquiry, preparing and organising witnesses and skilfully representing the organisation, the result of which is that the with flow tracks are now permanent. John has also been instrumental in the upcoming two-way Midland–Judd cycle route across Euston Road. 

Matt Stephen – Kingston Cycling Campaign 

Matt has stepped into the role of council liaison for the mini-Holland projects in Kingston, effectively managing the “critical friend” relationships with the officers there. His dedication in driving for improvements on schemes are bearing fruit, with reviews and improvements seen on schemes across Kingston. 

Winner: Michael Robinson

Michael has played a key role in running the Hounslow CS9 campaign. A major scheme like this can be a trying time for a local group, requiring somebody to manage the difficult task of liaising between the borough, TfL, and activists old and new. Michael has stepped up and proven himself a tireless organiser, unflappable strategist, and friendly leader, setting a fantastic example for other campaigners.

Categories: London

Westminster’s Oxford Street area plan too weak

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 13:06

After rejecting Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street, Westminster Council pledged to present plans later this year, stating that “doing nothing to improve the area is not an option”. 

On Wednesday, they finally released their vision for the area. But their strategy amounts to little more than a collection of potential schemes that are wholly inadequate in addressing the primary issue facing Oxford Street, the west end and indeed central London – too much motor vehicle traffic.

The proposed measures to reduce or curb unnecessary motor vehicle journeys are insufficient to deliver the scale of improvements that cramped pedestrians, struggling businesses, cyclists facing road danger and residents suffering illegally poor air quality deserve. Westminster Council is proposing spending at least £150 million on a do as little as possible option.

Most tellingly, the key recommendations to reduce motor traffic include vague statements such as “encouraging use of public transport, walking and cycling” and to “improve and address existing traffic congestion issues on the surrounding road network to provide less incentive for rat-running”. Such blandishments alone will do little to actually reduce motor traffic volumes. “Encouraging” more people to walk, cycle and use public transport, without meaningful reductions in the dangers presented by an excess of motor vehicles is an approach proven to fail. And the latter recommendation, also known as “smoothing traffic flow” is actually likely to increase motor traffic volumes, given evidence around “induced demand” and “traffic evaporation”.

Westminster is only giving lip-service to measures such as traffic restrictions, modal filters, 20mph and lower speed limits. This strategy gives no commitment to actually use these tools to the extent needed to effect genuinely transformative reductions in motor traffic speeds and volumes. Contrast this with the bold and ambitious transport strategy, just published by the City. Westminster’s leadership could learn a lot from their neighbours.

Pollution, congestion and road danger threaten Oxford Street’s position as a world-class destination. These plans show a complete lack of ambition from Westminster Council to stop the rot. Residents, businesses and all of London deserve much better.

Categories: London

Don’t weaken planned vehicle safety measures – say leading academics and safety experts.

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 11:56

Don’t weaken planned vehicle safety measures – say leading academics and safety experts.

Leading road danger reduction and safety organisations and academics have written to key committees of the European Parliament and to national delegates asking them not to weaken EU Commission proposals to improve vehicle safety, including designs to remove blind spots in lorries.

See below for how you can ask your MEP (Member of European Parlaiment)  to support the safety measures and not allow them to be weakened.

The letter is a response to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA)’s attempts to weaken the European Commission’s proposals on new vehicle safety measures.

The full letter is here. It is signed by:

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director, European Transport Safety Council

David Ward, President and CEO, Towards Zero Foundation

Prof. Oliver Carsten, Professor of Transport Safety, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds

Stephen Russell, Secretary General,ANEC, the European consumer voice in standardization

Paolo Cestra, President, TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network

Bernhard Ensink, Secretary General,European Cyclists’ Federation

 William Todts, Executive Director, Transport & Environment

 Jeannot Mersch, President, FEVR, European Federation of Road Traffic Victims

 Karen Vancluysen, Secretary General,POLIS, Cities and Regions for Transport Innovation

 Geert van Waeg, President, International Federation of Pedestrians

 Prof. Pete Thomas, Loughborough University

It includes the following includes a paragraph about improving direct vision:

Direct Vision: better driver reaction times

The Commission proposal includes direct vision requirements for trucks and buses, which would mean automotive companies sell vehicles where the driver can see more of the road space around their vehicle. “Direct vision” is the term given to what drivers can see directly through the windows of their vehicle. This is different to “indirect vision”, which is what a driver sees on a monitor or in a mirror. ACEA claims that a sensor system that detects cyclists or pedestrians is more effective. Seeing something “directly” though has been proven to increase reaction speeds by 0.7 seconds. In practice, improving reaction speeds by 0.7 seconds means a reduction of 5 meters in stopping distance if a vehicle is traveling at 25 km/h. 5 meters of additional travel before stopping can be the difference between life and death.

Furthermore, surveys have shown that cyclists and pedestrians feel a greater sense of safety when they can make eye contact with truck drivers. This is a more effective safety solution than only having sensors, as sensors can be ignored or require time to identify the source of the alert. Sensors have a key role in improving truck safety, most importantly in areas of the truck where direct vision is not possible.

 

If you want to alert your MEPs (London has 8 MEPs) to the letter you can send this link https://etsc.eu/letter-aceas-attempts-to-weaken-the-european-commissions-proposals-on-new-vehicle-safety-measures/ to them.

The London MEPs are (with emails below)

Claude Moraes(Con), Syed Kamall(Con), Mary Honeyball(Lab), Gerard Batten (UKIP), Lucy Anderson (Lab), Charles Tannock (Con), Seb Dance (Lab); Jean Lambert (Green)

office@claudemoraes.com ;syed.kamall@ep.europa.eu; mary@maryhoneyball.net; gerard.batten@btinternet.com; office@lucyanderson.org; charles@charlestannock.com; seb.dance@ep.europa.eu; jeanlambert@greenmeps.org.uk

Full details of MEPs are here: 

Categories: London

Mayor launches three new Quietways, but where’s the quality?

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 12:21

(The video was shot with information that the Mayor would attend the launch, but he did not.)

Today, at the junction of Newcomen Street and Borough High Street, the Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, formally opened three new sections of Quietway on behalf of the Mayor of London.

The new sections are on the routes of Quietway 14 in Southwark, Quietway 22 in Newham and Quietway 6 in Redbridge. All three new sections have elements of high-quality cycling infrastructure to add to London’s growing list. However all three Quietways fail at key moments repeatedly and stand in stark contrast to the high-quality and continuous protected cycle tracks that are successfully increasing cycling rates in central London.

The current low quality of the Quietways programme stands in contrast to the Mayor’s commitment to make London a “byword for cycling”, in part by meeting the promise he made to LCC to triple the mileage of protected space for cycling on main roads during his first term – a commitment he is currently on track to dramatically undershoot.

We know quiet streets, and indeed Quietways, do increase the number of people cycling and will be a vital part of the cycling network – not all journeys will be on main roads. “Low traffic neighbourhoods” in Hackney, Waltham Forest and elsewhere demonstrate clearly what happens when you do it right by closing off through routes to motor traffic across an area – walking and cycling levels go up dramatically with a wider range of people doing both, the community flourishes and kids play out. And the same approach as in Hackney and Waltham Forest is now being advocated in the City of London’s amazing transport strategy, and indeed is used partially along Quietway 14.

The issue, however, is that the interventions and infrastructure that make a Quietway quiet (like the bollard stopping through motor traffic that Will Norman stood beside on Newcomen Street), aren’t along the whole of the routes. On Quietway 14, the genuinely quiet, filtered areas of the route are bookended by ratruns where taxis, mopeds, delivery vans and those cycling all mix together across complex junctions with poor sightlines. The same route, nearby, in both directions, is anything but quiet.

Until Quietways offer long, continuous sections of quiet and comfortable riding, that do not involve long and excessive detours, they will not enable a wider range of people to cycle, nor will they enable London to become a “byword for cycling”. The City of London clearly recognises what is needed to make a street “quiet” enough for cycling going forward. Does the Mayor? Not on the basis of what we have seen announced today.

Not only are Quietways often not quiet, the quality of them seems to be dependent on the borough they run through. Quietways can be excellent as they pass through one borough, only to fall apart when they cross into a neighbouring borough. And that exposes another weakness in the Mayor’s plans: while the City of London, Waltham Forest, Enfield, Hounslow and others move forward on cycling and walking, other boroughs such as Westminster are dragging their heels or fighting against schemes. And this shows in Quietways – whose quality is more often than not decided by the borough’s ambition on cycling, rather than a common quality bar or design guide. That’s not directly his fault, but the Mayor needs to start playing hardball with boroughs who don’t step up.

We want more quiet routes such as Quietways. We want more protected cycle tracks on main roads, as we were promised. We don’t want more delays, or dodgy claims of hundreds of kilometres of cycling ”infrastructure”, when most of those kilometres don’t provide the traffic reduction needed to attract more people, and a wider range of them, to cycle.

Our press release on this issue, released today, is here.

 

Categories: London

Sadiq’s new Quietways a “substandard distraction” say LCC

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 10:41

Today, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced the opening of significant sections of three Quietways schemes in Southwark, Newham and Redbridge. But, says the London Cycling Campaign, these sections all exhibit significant flaws which highlight the ongoing failure of the Quietways programme to deliver continuous, end-to-end routes that are quiet and direct enough to encourage many more people, and a far wider range, of people to cycle.

LCC’s Infrastructure expert Simon Munk said:

“On current rate of progress the Mayor is already set to dramatically undershoot the promise he made to triple the mileage of segregated cycle lanes in London. Now it seems that TfL are offering a substandard Quietway programme as a distraction. A proper network of both segregated lanes and genuine Quietways are essential to meeting the Mayor’s promise to make London a ‘byword for cycling’. Unless the Mayor urgently gets a grip on this, his cycling legacy will be one of promises unfulfilled.”

Today’s opening also stands in stark contrast to the recent announcement of the City’s draft Transport Strategy, whose unambiguous commitment to international standard segregated lanes and genuinely traffic-quietened streets exposes TfL’s timidity and illustrates what the Mayor should be demanding.

The City’s Transport Strategy (full version here, our summary here) not only proposes a 15mph speed limit across the entire borough by 2024, but also aims to reduce motor traffic inside the City by 25% by 2030 and 50% by 2044. In part, the City says it will achieve this by introducing both a Zero Emissions Zone and road-user charging to replace the congestion charge, if the Mayor doesn’t do so himself. The City also proposes truly quiet cycle routes – making all roads in the borough either low traffic (less than 150 motor vehicles in the peak hour) or building 2m wide protected cycle tracks along them.

The timidity of TfL’s Quietways are also exposed by what Hackney and Waltham Forest have recently achieved - truly quiet cycle routes as part of what LCC calls “low traffic neighbourhoods”. The Mayor’s Transport Strategy talks of these approvingly; but the evidence is clear – when boroughs refuse to reduce motor traffic , TfL fund their Quietways regardless. It’s time for the Mayor to say enough is enough.

A blog with further detail on the Quietways announcment will follow shortly.

Categories: London

City Transport Strategy a major win on cycling

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 18:53

The City of London’s draft Transport Strategy, due for ratification by the Planning and Transportation Committee on 30 October, is quite a document.

You can read it in full here: http://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/documents/s102969/Draft%20TS%20Local%20Plan%20Sub%20091018%20combined.pdf

This is a visionary strategy that clearly puts walking, cycling and public transport at the top of the transport hierarchy, to both keep the City moving and also keep it globally competitive, as cities strive to attract the best talent by increasing the quality of urban spaces. It means that, like Waltham Forest and Enfield in outer London, the City is set to become a beacon of best practice on Healthy Streets, walking and cycling in London.

Hot on the heels of the bold and hugely successful Bank Junction scheme being made permanent, this document demonstrates political will and nous far in excess of its neighbours (such as Westminster Council). It also sends a strong signal to TfL and the Mayor of London who continue to roll out substandard Quietways whilst falling behind on delivering the tripling of protected space promised to LCC’s #signforcycling campaign.

The City is set to be a byword for cycling. But unless Sadiq takes urgent action, the rest of London won’t be.

The key edited highlights:

The image above is the proposed core cycle network that, when complete, will be either on streets with less than 150 motor vehicle movements in its peak hour (which is broadly in line with LCC’s policy on motor traffic volumes of less than 2,000 Passenger Car equivalent Units or PCUs daily), or with 2 metre wide protected cycle tracks (with a minimum “effective width” of 1.5m) per direction of travel.

Nearly every door in the City will be within 250m of the core network. The other streets in the City, i.e. those not on the core cycle network will by 2040 (one year before the key targets in the current Mayor’s Transport Strategy) have fewer than 150 motor vehicles per hour.

Half of all streets – the side streets mostly, not the core cycling network – will be “pedestrian priority” – these will limit access to motor vehicles, likely removing through vehicle access. Any cycle bans will be on a case by case basis, where pedestrian footfall is expected to be huge, and widths are too narrow.

By 2024, the entire City will be subject to a 15mph speed limit. And motor traffic is expected to be reduced 25% by 2030 and 50% by 2044. Motorised freight traffic will be cut by 30% by 2044, and likely facing peak-time bans – it’ll be replaced by consolidation centres and last mile walking and cycling deliveries.

The City also proposes extensive safety measures, including a hit list of its worst junctions to achieve “Vision Zero” – no fatalities or serious injuries on its roads – by 2040.

The City also intends to push government and the Mayor of London on commitments for issues beyond its control. It will support for British Cycling’s “Turning the Corner” campaign for national legislation to require all traffic to “give way at turn” on our roads. This would vastly simplify the design of most junctions to be better for walking and cycling.

Regarding the Mayor, the City expects commitments in the next election manifesto for both a central London Zero Emissions Zone and smart road-user pricing as a successor to the congestion charge. If the Mayor doesn’t deliver in the next term, the City is going to implement both without him.

Categories: London

Mayor’s timeline on junctions doesn’t add up

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 16:20

Following our hand-in of nearly 3,000 signatures to our "Fix the Junctions" petitionLondon Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon pressed Mayor Sadiq Khan on his progess on the most dangerous junctions.

The Mayor had pledged during our Sign for Cycling campaign, prior to his election, to not just triple the mileage of protected space on main roads but also fix our worst junctions. Following Pidgeon's grilling, he has produced a timetable of the junction improvements he and TfL plan to carry out. And the timetable is deeply worrying.

Liberal Democrat, Pidgeon, asked what progress had been made on London’s most dangerous junctions – in both the 77 Safer Junctions programme that the Mayor created and the 33 Better Junctions his predecessor, Boris Johnson instigated.

Our page on the junctions programmes (https://lcc.org.uk/pages/tfls-better-junctions-scheme) carries all the details. But this week, Khan’s responses on the Better Junctions programme highlighted some very worrying issues:

  1. Many of the remaining junctions on the “Better Junctions” list feature worryingly long delays before anything is proposed to be done.
    Some of these junctions are known to be lethal or very dangerous. For instance, the Woolwich Road/A1020 junction, which is known locally as the “crossing of death” has claimed two people cycling in the last ten years: Adrianna Skrzypiec in 2009 and Edgaras Cepura this year. Yet the junction isn’t even due to get construction begun until late 2021 (although that is “indicative”).
  2. Many of these junctions also won’t even be started until after this Mayoral term.
    King’s Cross, that has already been consulted on once, won’t start until 2021. Both ends of Lambeth Bridge, which are deemed some of the most dangerous bits of road in London, aren’t due until the start of 2020. Vauxhall Cross, again long past consultation stage, won’t start until May 2020. Wandsworth Town Centre, also long past consultation, won’t start until July 2021.
  3. Westminster City Council are clearly having a massive, negative effect on safe cycling inside their borough.
    As well as delaying Lambeth Bridge North, they have caused schemes at Marble Arch and Great Portland Street to get kicked into the long grass. Compare this to work in boroughs such as Camden, Newham and Waltham Forest, where major junction redesigns are being worked through rapidly, to make things far better for walking and cycling, and Westminster’s inaction and attitude is intolerable, and could well prove fatal.
  4. While the Safer Junctions programme is moving far faster than the Better Junctions programme thus far, again there are big worries that what is being done is nowhere near good enough.
    For instance, while the Fleet Street/Farringdon Street junction is now brilliant and very safe for those cycling north-south on Cycle Superhighway CS6, there’s virtually nothing to help those on Fleet Street itself or Ludgate Circus, or moving east or west from there. Worse, Manor Road/Stamford Hill in Hackney is listed as featuring “significant improvement” but that’s Advanced Stop Lines (ASLs) and little else – on a fast, dangerous multi-lane junction. The Bath Road/The Parkway roundabout in Hounslow also remains a nasty roundabout, with only minor tweaks. These junctions and more on the ticked list will not achieve the Mayor’s aim of “Vision Zero”, reducing serious and fatal road collisions to zero by 2041. They are nowhere near good enough. 
  5. The list remains far too short of junctions.
    Dr Peter Fisher was killed in the Holborn gyratory tangle – none of the Holborn junctions appear on either list, yet he was the fourth cyclist killed in five years in this gyratory.
  6. We are still seeing too weak schemes come forward at dangerous junctions off the list.
    Croydon Fiveways and Vauxhall Nine Elms schemes both featured far too weak junction treatments to achieve the Mayor’s aims.
  7. Too many of these junctions are taking far too long, with delays really not appropriate for the issue.
    Why were works at Tooley Street/London Bridge not ready for the moment Network Rail handed the roads back to TfL, following the redevelopments around the station? The junction has been on the Better Junctions list for years, the timetable for Network Rail works has been known for years, and so TfL have had years to come up with an “interim” design (not currently due in until early spring next year) and a “more transformational redesign”. Why weren’t one of these options ready to go the moment the junction was? Why is design work for Vauxhall Cross, Waterloo, Wandsworth, King’s Cross still in progress, when these schemes were all past consultation ages ago? And why is it when there high-profile collisions or fatalities do we suddenly find that these timetables can be shortened?

It should not take another death to hurry up the Mayor and TfL. They should recognise, without extensive campaigning by us, the Vision Zero action plan as one of the most pressing for road safety in London.

But until that happens, we will keep pushing the TfL and the Mayor to fix these junctions as fast as possible. That’s why it is so important nearly 3,000 of our members and supporters signed our petition on junctions. Please help us keep the pressure on the Mayor to do better on Better Junctions, to make Safer Junctions truly safer, to hurry up making London’s roads safe enough for most people to cycle on. 

Keep up-to-date with the campaign by signing up to our newsletter. 

Categories: London

Private Hire Vehicles to get congestion charged?

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 14:17

Photo credit: Simon Doggett

 

TfL has just finished consulting on proposals to change the central London’s congestion charging – primarily to remove the current exemption for private hire vehicles.

Given that TfL attributes 75% of congestion to ‘excess traffic’, and both black taxis and other PHVs contribute significantly to that as well as to air pollution, we think it’s great news – but does not go far enough. 

You can read our full response to the consultation is here. But in summary, we’ve said:

  • Taxis and any other form of private motor vehicle should not be exempt from congestion charging. 
  • Wheelchair users and other registered disabled people should be entitled to exemptions or reduced fares via a voucher or card scheme.
  • Ultimately, road-user pricing – that adapts to location, time, vehicle emissions and other factors – is vital to reducing overall car use (including private hire and taxi use) in London. By introducing this, the Mayor can free up space for protected space for cycling, and create safer and calmer road conditions, which will enable many more people to walk and cycle.
Categories: London

Mayor calls on EU to accelerate safer lorries regulations

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 17:52

Mayor calls on EU to accelerate safer lorries regulations

In a letter to EU Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska, London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, says the EU should set earlier start dates for regulations that will require manufacturers to build lorries without extensive blind spots.

The EU commission agreed earlier this year that future lorries must be required to have good direct vision (not just via six mirrors that have to be constantly monitored in town), but it set distant dates for the regulations to come into force: 2026 for new lorry models and 2029 for all new lorries.  

The Mayor wants those dates brought forward by two and three years: 2024 for all new model types and 2026 for all new lorries. While some manufacturers, like Dennis Eagle, Mercedes and Scania, already supply lorries with good direct vision the new designs are still not offered by all manufacturers and prices remain higher than for old-style lorries.

Increased production and usage of lorries without blind spots will help achieve the Mayor’s target of zero fatalities and serious injuries on the roads by 2041. Currently lorries are involved in 20% of pedestrian fatalities in London and half of cyclists fatalities. Having direct sight of other road users has been shown to helps drivers avoid collisions.   

Increased production of lorries with good direct vision will also help bring their costs down to those of conventional lorries.

The Mayor has introduced a Direct Vision Standard (rated from 0 to 5 stars) in London and set a deadline of October 2020 for lorry operators in the capital to meet a one star deadline and 2024 for a three star deadline. However, because of limited availability and slow uptake of  the new lorry types, operators of zero star lorries will, on an interim basis, be able to enter London as long as they meet ‘safe system’ mitigating measures which will include having both camera systems and electronic alert systems in place on their vehicles.

LCC has strongly championed the use of lorries with good direct vision and wants them to become the norm in London, as promised by the Mayor. The refuse sector in London has switched almost entirely to five star direct vision lorries and the same is true of airside vehicles. Forward thinking operators such as Tideway, Cemex, Explore Transport and Riney are already using five star lorries for both construction and other freight.

Categories: London

Big win: Bank junction safety scheme made permanent

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 16:36

The City of London Corporation’s Court of Common Council has voted to make the Bank on Safety scheme permanent. This trial has proved that with political will councils can gain major safety, pollution-abatement, and quality of life benefits from reducing motor traffic and encouraging walking and cycling. LCC has long campaigned for action at Bank and congratulates the City for this major step forward.

The experimental 18 month scheme had banned all through motor traffic from the previously notoriously dangerous and complex seven-armed junction 7 am – 7pm Monday to Friday, bar buses. The scheme has reduced collisions at and around the junction, improved bus journey times and has dramatically improved the junction for all users.

It was, introduced in May 2017, followed concerted campaigning over many years from London Cycling Campaign, including a protest following the death of Ying Tao at the junction in 2015. The City have acted to make the scheme permanent despite intensive lobbying against it.

“London Cycling Campaign has long campaigned for action to make Bank junction safer, and gave our support to the Bank on Safety trial from the start,” said Fran Graham, Campaigns Coordinator, LCC. “We are delighted that the City of London Corporation has now made the scheme permanent. This bold scheme has proved its worth, changing a hostile and dangerous junction into a space people can enjoy, while walking and cycling far more safely. We look forward to plans to improve the iconic space further, and to see many more such schemes to liberate the City’s streets for everyone.”

In the City’s press release, Planning and Transportation Chairman, Chris Hayward also said: “It is a dream come true to see the Bank junction monitoring area become a safer place for members of the public to enjoy. Compliance to the scheme is currently at 96%. Additional measures will be explored to further improve the scheme’s performance and reach that end goal of 100% compliance at the junction. This would inspire City workers, visitors and residents to truly enjoy the iconic surroundings such as the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange. I look forward to applying our learnings from this project and continuing to spearhead positive changes across the Square Mile after the City Corporation unveils its 25-year Transport Strategy next year.”

Now that Bank on Safety has been made permanent, the City will likely move forward with its “All Change at Bank” vision for the area. LCC hopes that this will include further radical changes to Bank, potentially including removing the buses and improving conditions further, claiming back road space, improving the crossings and more.

While Bank may finally be on track to being a place for people, not traffic, too many other junctions in London remain lethal to those walking or cycling. The changes at Bank have taken all of the campaigning clout and resources of London Cycling Campaign and the positive and progressive attitudes of City officers and politicians. But too often this is not the case elsewhere. Action to fix the worst junctions in London have seen delays, derailment and or no action at all. At best, these junctions are huge barriers to more people walking and cycling, at worst, they can prove lethal.

That’s why we are pushing the Mayor to meet his Sign for Cycling commitment and fix the 33 most dangerous junctions much faster.  https://lcc.org.uk/articles/thousands-call-for-mayor-to-save-lives-at-dangerous-junctions

Categories: London

Pages