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Take action: “Safer” junctions not safe enough

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 10:43

 

A year ago, LCC held a demonstration at the deadly Holborn gyratory, following a fatal collision there to highlight the lack of action on road danger. Given that the Mayor’s Transport Strategy promises rapid action to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on our roads – of which there were 111 and 3,954 respectively in 2018 – to zero by 2041, he needs to get a move on!

To give him some impetus we are asking everyone to sign our new petition to not only deliver “safer junctions” to a higher standard, but faster too.

Please click here to sign.

In the last year, and in response to our protest, pressure from the London Assembly and our petition run at the time, signed by nearly 3,000 LCC members, we have seen some positive steps. Camden Council won funding to fix issues around Holborn (including for removing the gyratory), and Greenwich and TfL are bringing forward work on the deadly Angerstein junction too.

Both of these are very welcome steps forward. But far too many other dangerous junctions have seen no improvements, and perhaps even more worryingly, the vast majority of the junctions where alterations have been proposed under Sadiq’s Safer Junctions programme are nowhere near good enough.

We have been studying the junctions that have already seen “improvements”, and most that we have looked at have seen further serious injuries and even fatalities since the junction was changed. For instance, Ludgate Circus in 2017 alone saw both a pedestrian fatally killed and another seriously injured, both on the south side of the junction, while Hackney’s Manor Road/Stamford Hill junction saw a pedestrian hit with serious injuries, and the junction of Southwark Bridge and Queen Street has seen two serious injuries to motorbikers since changes.

Now a spate of new Safer Junctions proposals have come forward that retain “critical issues” in TfL’s own Healthy Streets Check – these are objective measures of design for safety, and represent the absolute no-nos for designing safer streets and junctions.

Safer Junctions consulted on recently include Edgware Road and Harrow Road junction. This horrific multi-lane junction is an underpass of the A40 with complex turning movements. The revised design adds pavement width, early starts for cyclists on some arms, bans a turn, but also retains 3 “critical issues”. The crossing of East India Dock Road scheme retains 2, the Kingsland Road/Balls Pond Roads scheme has 2, and Clapham Road at Union Road and Stirling Road has 1. The prize however goes to the Holloway Road Safer Junctions scheme, which retains 5 major safety “critical issues”! (At least it cuts 1 from the previous 6!)

The catch seems to be that these aren’t Safe Junctions, but Safer Junctions. They’re not “Vision Zero” but “Vision A Bit Better”.

The concerns around delays to buses, and even private motor traffic, are trumping the safety of people walking or cycling through them. This simply isn’t acceptable – people’s lives and limbs are more important than a 30 second delay to drivers or bus passengers. These junctions also represent hostile barriers that keep many more people from ever cycling in London.

That’s why we’re asking everyone to sign our new petition calling on the Mayor and his deputy to deliver better Safer Junctions, and faster too.

Please click here to sign.


Categories: London

LCC Volunteers Lead Riders to Freecycle 2019

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 12:00

After weeks of heat waves and rain storms we had some wonderful weather this Saturday 3 August for the annual Prudential Ridelondon Freecycle event, where over 1800 people were led by LCC volunteers to the day's festivities and got to enjoy traffic-free roads in central London. The day was enjoyed by parents with their children, community groups, less confident riders and avid cyclists.

We’d like to thank the volunteer marshals, ride leaders and LCC local groups who make this possible year after year. This couldn’t happen without all your help as, believe it or not, a lot of work goes into planning the led rides. From ride leaders take their marshals on rides to check the route, to those who participated in our ride leader and marshal training to strengthen their skills, it was a sound effort overall to deliver yet another day of car-free riding in central London. 

This year we had 40 separate rides with new pickup points along the way to make the event even more accessible. There was at least one ride from every borough (except the City of London), and Tower Hamlets even had four, including rides from Bromley by Bow (a first for this year!) and Poplar HARCA. One rider from Poplar HARCA says she was inspired by the ride and is looking forward to gain the skills to ride confidently on the road by herself.

After the ride, marshals gathered in Green Park where they enjoyed their lunch, had a chat and relaxed. Some enjoyed the course themselves, then met back at their arrival points to lead everyone back home.

Meanwhile the rest of the LCC staff were at St. Paul's speaking with cyclists about LCC, providing valuable information on everything from how to get more involved with cycle campaigning to top tips on using cycling infrastructure as well as taking guesses for their Tyre Lever Guessing Competition, which wins the lucky guesser a brand new Brompton!

If you missed out the fun, the next Freecycle will be on August 15th 2020. Keep the date open and stay tuned for how you can get involved next year. This is a great event that inspires people to take up cycling and we hope to see you there. 

If you had a good time and want to join more group rides, check out more LCC-organised events here.

If you’d like to help out on LCC’s family and community rides then get in touch with your local group here or get in touch with us at volunteer@lcc.org.uk.

Support cycling in London

As an LCC member you’ll help improve cycling across the whole city, in every borough, for everyone. 

Join today and support work to make cycling safer; to get more Londoners cycling, and to bring more high-quality space for cycling to London.

Join LCC today

 

Categories: London

Canary Wharf Group: time to answer questions

Fri, 08/02/2019 - 12:34

The news this morning from The Guardian is that Canary Wharf Group (CWG) appear to have paid Lynton Crosby’s firm CTF Partners to construct several fake, “astroturf” campaigns, with the ultimate aim of removing the East-West Cycle Superhighway (CSH) CS3 from the Embankment.

One of them was the mysterious Square Mile Cycling campaign, apparently in support of more and better cycling in the City, but it looks likely that instead it was setting up an alternative route to the EW CSH, not an additional one…

Questions CWG must now answer… publicly
  1. Did CWG fund Lynton Crosby’s firm CTF with the purpose of creating and running the Square Mile Cycling campaign?
  2. As CWG was also involved funding Unblock The Embankment, are there any other campaigning groups relating to cycling which have been funded by CWG but they are yet to publicly acknowledge?
  3. Has CWG privately expressed any opposition to TfL’s proposed cycle route from Hackney to Isle of Dogs? If so, why? And has CWG blocked any suggestions by TfL to extend the scheme into Canary Wharf?
  4. Beyond providing cycle parking, in what ways has CWG concretely supported more people to commute by cycle?
  5. Does CWG think it acceptable to secretly create and fund activities aimed at scrapping protected cycle lanes? 

If you work in Canary Wharf, or know anyone who does, scroll to the bottom to see how to take action on holding CWG to account on these issues…

The background to these questions

The Canary Wharf Group’s support for the Unblock The Embankment campaign is now public, listed on the Unblock website, after it was revealed by former Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan, who has had previous tussles with the CWG. Until it was revealed, CWG had not publicly associated itself with the campaign. At the time, the coordinator of the campaign, Tony Halmos, was employed by lobbying company Newington Communications, whose clients also included taxi organisation the LTDA, which has a track record of opposing new cycle safety schemes. Indeed Unblock and the LTDA are commonly found opposing cycling schemes in apparent concert.

However, it now emerges that CWG weren’t just supporting Unblock the Embankment. The Guardian article says “Sources within CTF said that Canary Wharf Group was funding” Londoners for Transport and Square Mile Cycling.

The Square Mile Cycling campaign - ostensibly calling for another Superhighway directly through the City - is perhaps the most interesting. It seemed to be formed by a city worker, Henry Dunn as a grassroots initiative. Yet the campaign had sufficient funds from the start to hire a substantial ream of professional staff to hand out its leaflets across the City. LCC was initially supportive of the campaign, as we generally would for any campaign for more protected cycle lanes. But as our suspicions grew, LCC asked Dunn repeatedly where he was getting funding from: we didn’t get a clear answer. Square Mile Cycling’s social media accounts have since been deleted.

Canary Wharf Group and Square Mile Cycling

At first look, this would seem to be a campaign in opposition to Unblock The Embankment. However, Unblock’s proposition has always been that it is just against routing the CSH along the Embankment, and that they would support another route, nearby. Curiously, their route and Dunn’s route appear closely aligned. This also is what Canary Wharf Group maintain – that they don’t oppose cycling, just where exactly and how exactly the East-West CSH has gone. So, it would seem the Square Mile Cycling campaign was there to establish a viable alternative to, and then provide cover for a campaign to rip out the current Superhighway.

Now it emerges that “Square Mile Cycling group was overseen by the same CTF staff who were also looking after two astroturfed pages named Londoners for Transport and Unblock the Embankment.” The same staff secretly worked on all three campaigns, despite them being radically different in tone and approach.

Canary Wharf Group’s Managing Director, Howard Dawber, said on twitter in 2017 “We have never lobbied against CSH or cycling” and followed that the objection from the group to the East-West CS3 CSH “was to design and route not to the principle”. Chief Executive of CWG, Sir George Iacobescu, also said in 2016 CSHs, and specifically the East-West CS3 was a “20th-century solution to a 21st-century problem”.

Such public statements however have been rare from CWG. Most of their opposition has been behind closed doors. For instance, in 2014, The Guardian said they were distributing an anti-CSH briefing document calling the proposals “extremely damaging to London” and even likely to lead to a “significant increase in traffic in the outer boroughs… such as Hounslow”, among other secretive lobbying actions.

CWG and cycling

Dawber has also said in repeated emails to us that CWG supports more cycling, including in a May 2016 email “we have been supporting the… cycle bridge proposal across the river.”

However, the reality is CWG actually are doing the opposite. While publicly maintaining a paper-thin pretence of support for cycling, CWG have over and over attacked cycling schemes and/or attempted to weaken them behind closed doors.

CWG appear to be the landowner responsible for putting in a ludicrous number of anti-cycling barriers where the National Cycle Network passes Canary Wharf.

CWG also now oppose the Canary Wharf – Rotherhithe bridge crossing, as detailed in their submission to The London Plan’s examination in public, calling it “very expensive and environmentally intrusive”.

Finally, CWG appear to be opposing TfL’s “Hackney to Isle of Dogs” route in private. Consultation responses to the scheme have yet to be made public. But the route consulted on earlier this year does not reach the Isle of Dogs – it stops short of CWG land. In addition, the current plan uses the lower roundabout at Westferry Circus – which is controlled by TfL, not CWG. And despite the route clearly being key to get workers at the Wharf from both south of the river and Hackney and beyond, the proposed scheme includes no direct improvements into CWG land, where people are actually going to be riding to and from. Of course, the roads in Canary Wharf are also infamously car-oriented – with wide lanes, sweeping turns, fast straights, and minimal enforcement.

For CWG, whose Dawber said in 2017 “we love cycling and we love Cycle SuperHighways,” this seems a very crazy kind of love.

Work in the Wharf? Take action now

We don’t think it’s acceptable that CWG can continue to day in, day out, oppose cycle schemes in secret while maintaining a paper-thin veneer of support. Obviously, we don’t think their opposition is acceptable at all, but particularly not done by using secretive lobbying firms and skulduggery.

If you agree, email your HR and building services people today. Why not add in info@canarywharf.com and George.Iacobescu@canarywharf.com?

Ask in your own words why cycling inside Canary Wharf is so difficult, why getting to and from Canary Wharf is also so difficult, and ask CWG to stop opposing cycle schemes publicly and privately.

One email today would really help!

Categories: London

Take action: Cycleways too weak

Wed, 07/31/2019 - 17:00

 

A slew of new Cycleway schemes, including two directly coming from TfL, fail to deliver the quality of cycle route needed to make London “a byword for cycling” as the Mayor promised he’d do, and point to serious flaws in TfL’s new Quality Criteria assessment of what Cycleways need. Please take action today and send a message to TfL, the Mayor and the boroughs to buck their ideas up…

If you cycle in or through Hackney or Waltham Forest…

Spend two minutes today and click here to tell TfL its Lea Bridge – Dalston Cycleway proposals will only inspire a limited number of people to cycle, and in the comments box, in your own words (this is very important!) ask for more improvements: more modal filters to block out ratrun motor traffic, more improvements at the crossings of St Mark’s Rise and Cecilia Road, and at the connection to Cycle Superhighway CS1 at Boleyn Road. Then give your details on the following pages and you’re done! Full details on proposals here.

If you cycle in or through Barking or Redbridge…

Spend two minutes today (consultation closes 5 August!) and email consultations@tfl.gov.uk to tell TfL its Ilford – Barking Riverside Cycleway proposals need more work. In your own words (very important!) please let them know there are way too many sections where nothing more than paint and signs are proposed – many of these streets feature no traffic speed calming measures, some include blind bends and are used as ratruns. Even where changes are proposed, such as under the A123 Ripple Road overpass or on Ripple Road before the “pedestrian zone”, they’re not enough. Full details on proposals here.

Cycleways to nowhere?

It’s not just TfL that’s letting cycling down. It’s also passing too many borough schemes that are too weak too. Of late we’ve seen several Cycleway schemes put forward by Kensington & Chelsea, Barnet and Hounslow, for instance, that feature wiggly routes down residential streets that are also ratruns and using shared space crossings of main roads, putting those cycling into conflict with pedestrians.

These are reinforcing LCC’s view that TfL’s Quality Criteria isn’t tough enough to ensure schemes can be ridden by a far wider range of people – and this means too many schemes coming forward will fail to fulfil the potential TfL’s own Strategic Cycling Analysis has identified or create the network of high-quality routes the Mayor has committed to and needs to fulfil his Transport Strategy and pledge to make London “a byword for cycling".

Our Infrastructure Advisory Panel is considering what improvements to the criteria are needed, but already volume of motor traffic, directness of route and use of shared space at main roads are all major concerns.

Junctions too

It’s also not just cycle routes where the Quality Criteria and TfL are letting cycling down. The “Safer Junctions” programme has also recently thrown out several utter howlers of junction design that will not reach the Mayor’s ambition of “Vision Zero”, no serious or fatal road collisions by 2041. Nor will these make cycling more comfortable in these locations – where motor traffic still seems to come first. The worst recently? Edgware Road/Harrow Road in Westminster, Balls Pond Road and Kingsland Road in Hackney and Clapham Road at Union Road and Stirling Road in Lambeth (although at least this is badged as an “interim” scheme). Our consultation responses to these (and all other schemes we respond to) are here.

We will continue to press the Mayor, TfL and the boroughs for not just more urgent action, but bolder and better schemes for safe cycling and walking, on this issue – poor cycling schemes don’t result in more people cycling. Watch this space for more soon.

Categories: London

New Cycle Parking Strategy for London identifies the problems but under-estimates future demand.

Fri, 07/12/2019 - 17:46

New Cycle Parking Strategy for London identifies the problems but under-estimates future demand.

 

Having a safe place to leave your bike can be as vital to a making a cycle journey as having a safe route. The widespread lack of sufficient cycle parking stands is a barrier to cycling, as TfL’s new cycling parking strategy makes abundantly clear. Without more parking cycling growth will be stymied.

Announcing a welcome £2.5m of funding for parking in the next year, TfL estimates that we need an additional 36,000 more on-street cycle parking spaces, on top of 145,000 existing ones, just to satisfy existing demand. But, , TfL then forecasts an additional requirement by 2025 of just 12,000 spaces even though the Mayor has a target of doubling cycle trips by 2026 from 720,000 to 1.5m. We don’t think this number of additional spaces is anywhere near sufficient to help meet the Mayor’s trip target, and LCC has asked TfL for an explanation of how the 12,000 figure was arrived. We’ll post the response here as soon as we get it.

LCC agrees with Christina Calderato, TfL's Head of Delivery Planning, when she says: 'Enabling more people to cycle is vital if we are to tackle London's air quality and inactivity crises, but many people can be put off cycling to everyday destinations such as their workplace, the shops or the station by a lack of space to park their bike.’

To achieve the Mayor’s cycling targets we need accurate assessments of where parking currently exists and where it is needed. L LCC is helping TfL to address this by contributing to its comprehensive survey of all London’s cycling infrastructure.

Stations – 30% spare capacity outside Zone One

In a welcome, and essential, commitment in the strategy TfL say they plan to have a minimum 20 cycle parking spaces within 50 metres of every underground and rail station outside zone one, and 30% spare capacity. Ten stations will be tackled in the coming year.

The key point about the promised 30% spare capacity is that it will ensure that riders to stations will have the confidence that they can park their bike near the station and catch a train rather than find all stands filled and have to search far beyond the station to secure their bikes. Large parking hubs are promised for major London termini. The potential for growth in trips to stations is enormous: in the Netherlands 40 % of trips to stations are by bike compared to just 2% in the UK.

TfL reports that out of the 516 stations audited outside Zone 1 in 2015, 339 do not meet the new benchmark for cycle parking.

Cycle hangars – 1,400 new spaces by 2020

Another commitment is the increase in so-called cycle hangars on city streets to house the bikes of residents who do not have space in their homes for bike storage.  Hackney and other boroughs have long waiting lists for hangars even though residents are charged for the facility. Currently there are 7,000 spaces in 1,200 hangars across London – that is set to increase by 1,400 spaces across London. A step in the right direction but that’s fewer than the number on the waiting list for hangar spaces in Hackney alone so delivery still needs to be stepped up.

Parking for 82 Schools and Colleges

Medical specialists constantly highlight the importance of active travel by children. In Holland half of education trips are by bike, in London it’s less than two percent. Safe routes are an obvious requirement but cycle parking is also essential. Eighty schools and two universities are to get cycle parking this year under TfL’s plan.  

Theft

In London more than 20,000 cycle thefts are reported each year and unreported thefts could be three times higher according to the police. According to the TfL cycle parking strategy:  “Twenty-five per cent of people who cycle, and 22 per cent of people who don’t, are put off cycling in London for fear of cycle theft. When theft occurred, 34 per cent of victims said they had stopped cycling altogether, or temporarily, as a result.”

Secure cycle parking at home and at destinations is the obvious answer. TfL has identified the problems and its proposed solutions reflect LCC’s longstanding advice, as well as international best practice. New developments will benefit from the improved minimum cycle parking standards in the London Plan that LCC and TfL have backed, but retrofitting existing buildings is necessary as demand grows and incentives for employers have worked before and could prove an answer again.    

 

You can find the TfL Cycle Parking Strategy here.

 

 

Categories: London

Healthy boroughs 'Scorecard' launches

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 12:50

London Cycling Campaign has been collaborating over the last year with several other active travel campaigning groups on the first ever "London Boroughs Healthy Streets Scorecard". Below is the media release on the Scorecard. And you can download the full report here and the spreadsheet here.

Postcode lottery for walking and cycling and healthy streets, claim campaigners producing first ever “London Boroughs Healthy Streets Scorecard”

New scorecard shows wide variation between London boroughs’ progress towards the Mayor’s key transport targets

A coalition of transport campaigners [1] in London (London Living Streets, London Cycling Campaign, CPRE London, RoadPeace, Sustrans and Campaign for Better Transport London) has today Monday 15 July 2019 published a scorecard [2] showing wide variation in boroughs’ progress towards the Mayor’s Transport Strategy ‘healthy streets’ targets. 

While some boroughs such as Tower Hamlets and Camden in Inner London and Waltham Forest in Outer London, are rapidly progressing schemes to cut car use and road danger, and boost air quality and walking and cycling rates, others such as Kensington & Chelsea and Havering have yet to take key measures that start to put people, not cars, first. [FULL RESULTS SEE NOTE 3]

In 2018 the Mayor of London published a bold new “Transport Strategy” committing London to a future where car use is far lower, people walk and cycle more, residents are more active, air quality is far better and road danger far lower. 

London’s boroughs control 95% of London’s roads so what they do really matters. But while some are now taking action, others are doing far too little.  

As a result, the scorecard reveals that while 93% of journeys made in some boroughs by their residents are done by walking, cycling and using public transport, that can be as low as 41% in others, with the bulk of the remainder of journeys made by car. Similarly, in some boroughs over half of residents walk or cycle more than five times a week to keep active, but in others only just over a quarter manage it. 

The scorecard also tracks some key changes to streets that boroughs can make easily and affordably, and in a short space of time which will make a big difference. While one borough has installed 84 “modal filters” (barriers to cut out rat-running, or through motor traffic) in just a few years, another has only ever installed two. And 20mph coverage of borough roads varies from nearly 100% to just 10%. Similarly, there are boroughs where every street is part of a “controlled parking zone”, but other boroughs where less than 10% of streets are covered. 

The organisations in the London Boroughs Healthy Streets Scorecard Coalition hope that the research will help the boroughs identify areas for improvement and look forward to supporting them to make the necessary changes.

Jeremy Leach, Chair London Living Streets said: "Boroughs are central to the delivery of the Mayor’s healthy streets targets and there a number of measures they can bring in right now to achieve dramatic results in terms of improving health and activity, reducing danger on the roads and helping the environment. The Scorecard shows progress in implementing these measures, but boroughs have to do far more to reduce car usage, charge for parking properly and get more people walking and cycling."

Dr Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive, London Cycling Campaign said “People’s access to streets that are safe enough to take the healthy option of cycling has long been a postcode lottery. But our data shows the gulf is widening further between the most progressive boroughs, such as Waltham Forest, the City and Camden, and the rest. Every London borough should study this scorecard and take action: the best can and should improve further still, and the rest can and should rise to the challenge of guaranteeing their residents cleaner air to breathe and safer streets in which to walk and cycle.”

Alice Roberts of CPRE London said: “Road traffic has a massive impact on our physical and mental health and it is literally fueling our climate emergency. Fumes, noise and road danger affect us on a daily basis and discourage walking and cycling which can make us fitter and healthier. Our Scorecard shows that there is plenty that boroughs can do to improve the situation. We want to promote action and we need Londoners to encourage and support boroughs to make the necessary changes.”

Nick Simmons, CEO of RoadPeace, said “Our streets will not be safer or our lives healthier without greater commitment from the boroughs. This scorecard should help boroughs deliver Healthy Streets which would spare families the devastation of road death and serious injury.”

Matt Winfield, Director for Sustrans in London, said: “At a time when air pollution kills thousands of Londoners each year, congestion throttles our streets and the Mayor has declared a climate emergency, Healthy Streets are not just nice to have, they are essential. The vast majority of the streets in London are managed by Boroughs and the onus is on them to make sure our streets are designed for people. We are inspired and excited by what some boroughs have already delivered and what other boroughs are currently planning, but three years into this Mayoral term more urgency is needed to make it easier for people to walk and cycle all across London. This baseline research is an important step in helping councils and residents identify local Healthy Streets priorities, and future updates will shine a light on the achievements of those working on this agenda right across London.”

Chris Barker from the Campaign for Better Transport London said: “The Campaign for Better Transport is focussed on encouraging people to leave their cars at home and adopt a healthy lifestyle. This is why we wholeheartedly endorse the launch of the Healthy Streets Scorecard. It is an excellent way to encourage boroughs to do more to promote healthy forms of transport.”

Notes

[1] Campaigners in the Healthy Streets coalition are Living Streets London, London Cycling Campaign, CPRE London, RoadPeace, Sustrans and Campaign for Better Transport London

[2] The London Boroughs Healthy Streets Scorecard report (which contains charts for each indicator), along with a spreadsheet with full data sets, is available at https://lcc.org.uk/articles/healthy-boroughs OR http://www.cprelondon.org.uk/resources/item/2454-healthystreetsscorecard AND will be made available on the websites of all the organisations in the coalition listed above in due course.

[3] The chart below shows the London Boroughs Healthy Streets Scorecard – OVERALL SCORES FOR 2019 (YELLOW = Outer London borough, BLUE = Inner London borough). The overall scores were derived by combining scores from the eight individual indicators. See Annex 2 (see p21) for charts, data sources and methodology for individual indicators and overall Healthy Streets Scorecard.

If we exclude the City of London, the boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Camden and Hackney scored highest and the lowest scoring borough was Havering closely followed by Redbridge, Bexley, Bromley and Hillingdon.

Results for 4 output indicators

The London Mayor has targets to reduce car trips, increase walking and cycling and reduce traffic collisions but London’s boroughs control 95% of London’s roads so what they do really matters. On individual indicators:

1.       The proportion of trips made by either public transport, walking or cycling ranges from 41% in Hillingdon to 85% in Hackney. (The Mayor’s target is 75% in Outer London and 90% in Inner London by 2041.)

2.       The proportion of people walking or cycling more than five times a week varies between 27% in Barking and Dagenham and 56% in Hackney. (The Mayor’s aim is, by 2041, for all Londoners to do at least the 20 minutes of active travel they need to stay healthy each day.)

3.       The highest number of serious injuries for active travellers per million journey stages was in Hackney and was roughly three times the lowest rate in Greenwich. (In 2018, TfL launched its Vision Zero Action Plan to meet a target that, by 2041, no one would be killed or seriously injured on London’s roads.)

4.       There is a dramatic difference in reliance on cars with three and a half times more cars registered per household in Hillingdon (1.27) than in Islington (0.35). Though there is no Mayoral target for car ownership, this score reflects the extent to which people are reliant on cars.

Results for 4 input indicators

The scorecard also tracks whether boroughs are making changes to their streets. It tracks four measures which can be implemented easily and affordably, in one or two years and which evidence shows can lead to big shifts towards the targets.

5.       ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhood’ schemes are where through-traffic is blocked from residential streets using modal filters. The most are in Hackney (84) and the fewest in Kensington & Chelsea (2).

6.       20mph speed limits are widespread in some boroughs with nearly 100% of streets covered in Southwark, Hackney and Islington but only 10% of streets covered in many other boroughs including Bromley, Barnet and Kensington & Chelsea.

7.       The proportion of streets with controlled parking varies between 100% in Camden and Kensington & Chelsea to below 10% in Bromley, Enfield and Sutton.

8.       There are also wide differences in the amount of protected cycle track: Westminster, Tower Hamlets and Enfield have the longest lengths installed; Croydon, Brent and Kensington & Chelsea the shortest.

Categories: London

Peace of mind with LCC membership

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 14:10

Photo credit: Joe Dunckley 

LCC members know that they’re covered when they're cycling

Over the past couple of weeks, we've received several calls and emails about the free liability insurance that comes with LCC membership, so we're publishing this information to remind everyone exactly what's included...

Your coverage, explained Third-party liability insurance

As an LCC member, you have the peace of mind of knowing you have free third-party liability insurance. Providing your membership is current, you don't need to do anything, you are automatically covered. The insurance covers you for claims made against you for injury or damage caused by you to a third party while you are cycling – this applies anywhere in the world except in the USA and Canada.

You can find a summary of the policy here, which explains the coverage, and exclusions, in greater detail.

If you do ever need to make a claim, you can contact the insurer on 0151 494 4400, referencing London Cycling Campaign when you call.

Free legal advice

We hope you never need it, but our cycle-friendly solicitors are ready to give you advice if you do.

They're experts in cycling injury claims and recognised as leading lawyers in London – if you’re ever involved in a collision, or need legal advice on a cycling matter, you can contact them free of charge on 020 7681 8672.

Great deals on theft insurance

Cyclesure offer LCC members excellent theft and damage cover at a very competitive rates, with great benefits including 'get you home' cover.

You can get a competitive quote instantly by calling 0151 427 9529 or at www.cyclesure.uk/lcc.

We've got your back...so get theirs

At LCC we're working really hard to make cycling in London safer, easier and even more enjoyable. But to get there we need as many members as possible.

If you're a member of LCC and know a friend who cycles in London, but isn’t a member, invite them to join and they’ll get the same great coverage and peace of mind you have with LCC membership. 

To say thank you, we'll give you and your friend three months free membership each!

Simply share the link below along with your name, postcode and membership number.

Refer a friend to LCC

Not an LCC member?

If you're not an LCC member it's quick and easy to join.

You’ll be supporting our work to make sure everyone can enjoy cycling in London safely. And in return you'll receive a great package of benefits including the liability insurance and free legal advice explained above.

Join LCC as a member

Categories: London

Open letter to Kensington and Chelsea

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 14:17

 

Dear Cllrs Campbell and Thalassites,

We are writing to express our extreme disappointment at the sudden pronouncement by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to oppose the Wood Lane to Notting Hill cycle safety scheme at The Kensington Society public meeting.  

Despite inviting views and encouraging people to respond to TfL’s consultation, announcing your opposition before the public consultation had concluded has fatally undermined the process, running roughshod over the thousands of people who responded to it in good faith.

The TfL consultation was the official method of gauging the opinion of your residents, and your decision to scupper its results goes against Cllr Thalassites own comments on the need for the consultation to run its full course: “It’s in our interests to consult widely and produce popular policies, so I was happy to commit to six-week consultations.”

According to your statement, you received in the order of 450 emails from residents opposing the scheme. But, the Mayor of London has since told the London Assembly that over 5,000 responses were received overall by TfL through the widely-publicised and legally-mandated consultation.  

We do not yet know what support was expressed for the scheme, but by disregarding the formal consultation, you are in opposition of your started aim of listening to your residents.

In doing so, you have amplified the concerns of a tiny, but loud minority of residents, overriding the purpose of the consultation - to identify any resident and stakeholder concerns and address them. You have allowed the opinion of a few to prevent thousands of people living, working and visiting Kensington and Chelsea from having their say.

As TfL’s documentation accompanying the consultation shows, many of the objections being raised against the scheme were not supported by evidence. This is something that you must surely have been aware of and satisfied by before giving your assent for the scheme to go to public consultation. (LCC’s own responses to the majority of objections raised are summarised here, addressing the tree removal, the impact on businesses and journey times.)

We urge you to reflect on the fact that this cycle safety scheme would have brought many benefits for you residents, including reducing road danger on a stretch of your streets that have seen 275 collisions in the last three years. There isn’t an alternative scheme that would address this issue - especially if you plan is to route it on back streets.

The residents in your borough who supported and wanted the scheme have been side lined by your decision – this open letter to yourselves from the Better Streets from Kensington and Chelsea demonstrates that the opposition was by no means universal. Your responsibility to these residents has been completely abdicated by your decision to oppose this scheme - without assessing the views of thousands of respondents to the official consultation - on the basis of weak evidence and a small minority of residents raising concerns. 

We urge you to consider the health and well-being of your residents – particularly the poorest and most vulnerable who the evidence shows are most likely to suffer from road collisions – and to review your decision, rather than scuttle a safety scheme that will save lives and prevent serious injuries, while opening up massive opportunities for healthier, greener active travel in your borough.  

We stand ready to work collaboratively on improving road conditions and reducing road danger in Kensington and Chelsea.  

Yours sincerely,

London Cycling Campaign

Categories: London

Wood Lane – Notting Hill Gate scheme: our view

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 17:48

TfL has a current consultation to massively improve walking and cycling conditions in four linked neighbourhoods stretching from Wood Lane, through Shepherd's Bush, along Holland Park Avenue and ending beyond Notting Hill Gate at the Westminster border. We think the scheme is excellent, and it includes continuous safe cycle tracks along it's length. So please support it: you can read our brief take on it and how to respond to the consultation here and see our full response here.

Despite it being a really good scheme, there have been many concerns raised from some residents, some businesses and some local politicians. It is absolutely important that the Mayor, his team and TfL take these concerns seriously and listen to them. But it’s also very important that they move forward on the basis of evidence and policy, not hyperbole, hearsay and myth – which do seem to be at play with some of the issues raised, and in the tone and tenor of many emails we’ve been sent and tweets we’ve seen.

It’s also important that residents, businesses and politicians listen to the evidence – politics doesn’t go well when we don’t listen to each other, and when decisions are made on whom shouts loudest, rather than the actual evidence available.

Of course, the reality is only a relatively small proportion of residents, and businesses in the area are putting forward these concerns – over and over this is the case. It is important to understand the issues raised, but it is also a failing of the current system that many voices are often missed in this dialogue – the scheme passes many educational institutions and it is interesting that the voices of the young, the students and pupils, are largely silent in the debate thus far.

Change is difficult and often scary – and it is an understandable human reaction to fear it. But in a growing city, rocked by climate, inactivity, congestion, collision and pollution crises, it is no longer acceptable to make decisions based on fear of change. And it is no longer acceptable to delay needed change, based on evidence, because of fear. Or are our very real and well-evidenced fears of the climate crisis, of air quality, of a struggling NHS, really outweighed by fears based on very little evidence (or often no evidence at all)?

The concerns raised, and our view:

Below we cover in detail how and why the scheme will not increase road danger, but rather reduce it; why the felling of trees associated with the scheme, while far from ideal, is worth it; why the scheme will not create gridlock, increase pollution or delay emergency services (rather, in the latter, the opposite); why fears of displaced traffic into residential streets should not derail the scheme (but might mean further mitigation is needed after monitoring); why shops along the route are likely to thrive rather than suffer and how impacts to buses will be minor and can be best addressed.

Road danger will increase

The picture above is the Crashmap results for the last five years of collision data available for the route the scheme passes along, just for serious injuries and fatalities. The roads covered by the scheme are manifestly hostile and dangerous. In the last five years, over 150 injuries have been recorded between Shepherd’s Bush roundabout and the scheme end alone. Serious and fatal injuries come approximately one every three months on that stretch of Holland Park Avenue alone.

That’s an unacceptable toll by any standard – and anyone who raises safety concerns about the scheme, particularly anyone suggesting things are fine as they are, needs to think long and hard about how to square their opposition to the scheme with the data.

Several people have raised the issue of faster cyclists, of a gradient, of behaviour of cyclists at lights, but again, across London the data tells a very clear picture – while poor cyclist behaviour is common, it is no more common than poor driver behaviour, and poor pedestrian behaviour. But far more importantly, the overwhelming and disproportionate majority of road danger – of collisions, of injuries, of fatalities – is caused by poor driver behaviour (see the studies from Transport Research Laboratory, summarised here and work by the West Midland Police Road Harm Reduction Team among others).

This scheme is set to reduce road danger dramatically – that is clear from any clear-eyed assessment of the plans. It is likely to result in slower, calmer driving, less motor traffic-dominated environments, improved pedestrian crossings and far far safer cycling.

Similar schemes across London, and internationally, again, demonstrably don’t result in increased danger, but the opposite. And again it is worrying that many residents and politicians seem keener to make claims than use evidence and data to assess the issues.

Trees are being felled for the scheme

Two mature trees and several other large trees, as well as some smaller and indeed struggling trees in the central reservation are proposed to be felled. That is far from ideal. But we have to weigh up the pros and cons of a scheme that is set to dramatically boost walking and cycling rates, enable many more people to walk and cycle in the area and will overall increase tree planting versus those mature trees lost.

It’s important to understand that many schemes that affect our roads across London involve the loss of trees. It does appear that many of those raising trees as a primary concern now weren’t raising concerns about other highways changes in the area and beyond before. And the question must then be asked – is this about trees? Or is cycling just less important than trees to some people (while HS2 is far more important, for instance)? We believe that each scheme needs to minimise tree loss, but that the amount of tree loss here is far outweighed by the potential good the scheme will do over time.

The scheme will cause gridlock

Simply put, there is no evidence it will. Indeed, TfL’s modelling shows the impact on buses and private motor vehicles is very small for schemes of this type.

On top of that, we are a growing city, with congestion increasing, where the Mayor’s Transport Strategy aims to nearly halve the proportion of private motor vehicles compared to other modes by 2041. If that is a serious aim, we need to stop opposing schemes that evidentially are likely to enable people to shift away from private motor cars because one junction gets a bit worse.

Similarly, claims the scheme will worsen air pollution don't seem to be based in any evidence or data. The same claims are routinely made about the East-West Cycle Superhighway CS3 and indeed the Tavistock Place scheme, however air quality appears to have improved along these corridors, not worsened.

Some have also raised the issue of traffic “displacement”. It does not appear that TfL believes much of this will happen. But if it does, that does not mean the scheme should be cancelled. The answer to ratrun/through motor traffic on residential streets is not solved by simply doing nothing as motor traffic congestion increases and apps such as Google Maps and Waze increasingly encourage drivers to avoid lights and congested main roads. The answer is to build what we call “low traffic neighbourhoods” (see more here). We would support residents, TfL and Kensington & Chelsea council working together on this where needed or wanted.

The scheme can be rerouted

The scheme is directly along the alignment of two of TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis top 25 highest potential for cycling routes in London. These are routes where TfL has used data to identify corridors where many current motor traffic journeys could and should easily be cycled. Any other route would have to be designed to fulfil this potential, to be high-quality and attractive for people who currently drive but might cycle here and would need to pass through key destinations along this potential route.

LCC is always open to conversations about route alignments – and is in this case. But those routes we’ve seen thus far suggested are really not in any way viable – either they don’t fulfil this key desire line and its potential, or they avoid key destinations and amenities, which are really important to fulfil the potential of the route, or they do not enable a complete route without significant diversion and loss of coherence (in other words, we have copious data and evidence to demonstrate expecting people to wiggle all round the houses doesn’t work in enabling large numbers of new people to cycle) or are far too far away from this potential corridor. You can see TfL’s SCA maps in zoomable format here.

Other commenters have suggested other approaches - even a one-way reversible cycle track - that appear primarily aimed at retaining motor traffic lanes on Holland Park Avenue. We have yet to see credible scheme diagrams or explanations. Cycle schemes and highways changes require complex modelling and careful design around junctions etc. There are good design and engineering reasons why TfL propose the schemes they do. Of course, reversible one-way schemes also would not enable the broader range of cycling and the shorter journeys, and out of peak journeys, that TfL's Strategic Cycling Analysis identifies as switchable from car journeys.

There is also another issue that must be addressed – whenever a major new cycle scheme comes forward, particularly involving cycle tracks on main roads, it’s always the "wrong alignment" or the "wrong approach". We can’t have a sensible conversation about cycling schemes if every resident assumes they have more cycle infrastructure expertise than TfL engineers and all the other cycle infrastructure planners and experts involved in this process. And while overall and general support for more cycling schemes in London has repeatedly shown to be huge (repeated surveys show an overwhelming majoprity of Londoners support cycling), when it comes to the main road at the end of your street, many residents, it would appear, suddenly get cold feet.

The scheme will delay emergency services

This is incredibly unlikely, and again there is no evidence to make this claim at all. Other schemes haven’t seen delays to emergency services increase. And indeed the main stated delays to emergency services generally, across London are poorly parked cars, motor traffic congestion, cars not moving out of the way. Existing Cycleway schemes in London regularly see emergency services vehicles using the cycle tracks to avoid congestion.

Shops will suffer

Again there is very little evidence this will come to pass, and the likelihood is trade will improve instead. Over and over across London, on just about every scheme going, traders vastly overestimate the importance of delivery spots directly outside their shopfronts, overestimate by an even greater factor the amount of money drivers spend in their shops, and underestimate the positive impact of changes to the streets their shops are on with these types of schemes. See TfL’s case studies for more information.

In Waltham Forest’s mini-Holland schemes, vacancy rates for shops have gone down markedly, despite dire predictions of the “death” of the shopping high street, and footfall is up dramatically. Similar results can be seen across London, the UK and internationally – as can similar fears voiced prior to changes.

That said, again, it is clear some businesses will need to adjust practices and some will need deliver, loading bays etc. It is important that businesses have an honest and open dialogue with TfL about their needs and that TfL listens. But that conversation doesn’t begin with doom-mongering.

The scheme will affect buses

Bus journey times aren’t set to be dramatically impacted by the scheme, and the moving of some bus stops is not in itself a reason to cancel a scheme – all bus stop movements should be carefully considered and balanced against the improvements the scheme makes by TfL, listening to residents.

Categories: London

Local Group News June 2019

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 11:41

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

Royal Parks says no to through motor traffic

Tue, 06/04/2019 - 13:57

The Royal Parks, custodians of eight of London’s most iconic green spaces has launched a public engagement exercise into its future long-term strategy on movement and transport. And the strategy contains several very exciting principles at present.

The Royal Parks manages Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park, Green Park, Regent’s Park, Greenwich Park, Richmond Park and Bushy Park. It acts independently to the boroughs the parks are in, but as the strategy discussion paper launched today points out: “parliamentary approval is required to implement changes to speed restrictions and car parking charges within our parks”.

You can comment on the draft strategy here. Its main aim, according to the discussion paper is to “protect the park environments and enhance the park visitor experience”. To do that, the strategy proposes seven “movement principles”, as below.

The most interesting one on initial read is 4 – The Royal Parks wants to discourage through motor traffic from using park roads. This could have a massive impact on the parks, and on cycling and walking in and through them. Presently, there are clear and massive through motor vehicle routes (or “ratruns”) through Regent’s Park (with the Crown Estates Paving Commission continuing to reject closing its gates around the Outer Circle as was proposed, and supported by them, during the Cycle Superhighway CS11 consultation) most obviously, but also Richmond Park and others.

Removing through motor traffic from these parks would not only make them far far better for people walking, cycling, playing, lounging in them, but also vastly improve the parks as places to cycle in, to and through potentially. Roads inside parks simply shoudn't be alternatives to main roads for thousands of drivers heading for central London daily - if the only motor traffic in these parks were visitors, the roads would be far nicer places to cycle and walk along.

So far, these are just principles in a strategy - it remains to be seen how exactly proposals would evolve. But the potential to improve these iconic parks is huge.

LCC will be formulating a response and letting people know about it asap. You can feed into our thinking at our Cyclescape thread. But most importantly, if you want to feed in to the consultation before we’ve worked up a more full response, get online and support the principles here.

The Royal Parks’ draft movement principles:
  1. We will protect and conserve our parks’ special qualities: “Any changes or developments that affect the way visitors move within our parks should be sensitive to the heritage, character, biodiversity, wildlife and listed landscapes of the parks and must result in no net loss of trees or green space.”
  2. Our parks are for people: “Our parks are places that people visit for relaxation and recreation, and to escape the busy city. To make that possible, we will prioritise walking within our parks.”
  3. We will encourage the use of more sustainable ways to access our parks: “How visitors arrive at our parks plays a significant role in how they use and experience them. We will promote and encourage visitors to use active and sustainable modes of transport for park visits whenever they can.”
  4. Our park roads are not intended to be commuter through-routes for motor vehicles: “Park roads are primarily for the use of park visitors coming to the parks, not for commuters travelling through the parks. Over time, we will discourage the through-movement of motor vehicles within our parks.”
  5. We will achieve more by delivering key projects through partnership and collaboration: “The transport and movement decisions of our visitors do not begin and end at our park boundaries. To deliver positive change we will collaborate with key partners on projects, both within and outside of the parks, to achieve the best possible outcomes for the benefit of our visitors.”
  6. We will make evidence-based decisions: “To make appropriate decisions concerning movement, we will use all available and relevant evidence and data. We will monitor and report outcomes against objectives and embed continuous improvement into our approach.”
  7. We will be proactive in our approach to future transport challenges and opportunities: “The future of transport is quickly changing, and user-expectations play an ever-increasing role in influencing decisions and solutions. We will ensure that we are prepared for these changes and opportunities, so that we can anticipate and respond to change in an informed, considered and prompt way that aligns with our charitable objectives.
Categories: London

London masters honored at Bespoked show

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 18:10

 

London newcomers and old hands both attracted the attention of judges at this year's Bespoked custom bike  builders' show in Bristol.

Saffron Frameworks, a repeat winner at Bespoked, took an award for some very exotic paintwork. Paint maestro Billy says it took severeal days to apply the complex colour scheme.

Photo above - Varonha custom seat cluster

One of London's most experienced frame builders (formerly of Holdsworth and Roberts but now with his own workshop in Hither Green) Winston Vaz of Varonha received an award from The Cyclist magazine. 

Several London-built classics were also on display notably an immacualte Hetchins (originally based in Tottenham),  a Bill Hurlow (who built for London firms Claud Butler, Condor, Holdsworth) and a giant Ken Bird (once in Crystal Palace).

 

 

 

Isla Rowntree, best known for her innovative range of bikes for children, was displaying her children's bike leasing project (currently at trial stage) that  allows parents/carers  to lease/rent a series of very high quality bikes for a child that are swapped as the child grows bigger. The high grade construction (includuing stainless tubing) ensures the bikes last for many years.

And, as you might expect, ebikes turned up in customised versions. Among them a heavy duty off-roader from London's Auguste and an all black design for a cycling exec from Weymotuh's Sven.

Auguste above, Sven below

 

 

 

 

Categories: London

Hundreds join “Climate Strike on a Bike” through central London

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 14:10

 

London Cycling Campaign and Parents for Future have been joined by hundreds of families and adults riding in solidarity with today’s school strikers to demand global action to avert catastrophic climate change.

 

In conjunction with today’s global School Strike for the Climate, campaigners from LCC and Parents for Future cycled with hundreds of others from Russell Square, down and around Aldwych, across Waterloo Bridge, past the Imperial War Museum, over Lambeth Bridge and onto Milbank.

 

The large turnout sends a powerful message that urgent action on the climate emergency is desperately needed by politicians. The climate crisis is the biggest threat facing humanity, and with 20% of London’s carbon emissions coming from road transport, massively reducing motor traffic and rapidly expanding the network of high-quality cycling infrastructure is vital and achievable.

 

There is a clear roadmap for how we decarbonise London’s road transport. Now we urgently need the Mayor and Borough Council Leaders to deliver it.

 

Doing so will create a better city for everyone - one with fewer cars, less pollution, greener streets and much, much more high-quality cycling infrastructure – while helping cut carbon emissions, protecting the future of the planet and millions of people.

 


Dr Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive of London Cycling Campaign said:

 

“I have worked on climate and the environment for decades. Never during this time have I seen a movement have so great an impact, in so short a space of time, as the school climate strikers. Young people are least responsible for the climate emergency but have most to lose; LCC is proud to be riding in solidarity with them, and Parents for the Future, to demand radical action by our political leaders to stop climate chaos and build a better, zero carbon future for all.”

 

Millie Guest, Parents for Future said:

 

Everyone wants clean air and a safe future for their children, but somehow we collectively have been unable to secure that for the young generation. This must change. We must be bold and ambitious for our children. That is what the youth strikers are asking of adults - for ambition and to build the city of our dreams and not our nightmares.”


Categories: London

Mayor doubles London’s cycle tracks

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 14:57

Speaking at the London Walking & Cycling Conference, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and his Walking & Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, have made a series of announcements regarding cycling. The key one being that they have successfully in this term doubled the mileage of protected space for cycling on main roads in London since his election in May 2016. This puts him on track to fulfil the promise he made to us all during LCC's "Sign for Cycling" election campaign.

TfL says that 116km of “protected cycle lanes” are now “complete or under construction” since the Mayor’s election in May 2016, and that 53km where in place at that point. This means the Mayor has to deliver a further 43km before the end of this term – and he is on track according to TfL to achieve that.

The Mayor used his speech at the London Walking & Cycling Conference (co-organised by City and Hackney councils) to tell a “tale of two cities” where boroughs including Enfield, Hackney, Camden, Waltham Forest and City of London were pushing forward on cycling infrastructure, while opposition and inaction from boroughs including Westminster is “harming the health of Londoners”.

The Mayor also announced the Healthy Streets TfL budget has increased to over £2.3bn despite increasing pressure on its finances, and full detail was unveiled for TfL’s quality criteria now being applied to ensure the authority won’t “build or fund new routes that aren’t up to scratch”. The Mayor said the criteria would mean new cycle routes are “for cyclists of all ages, all abilities and from all walks of life”. Also at the conference it was finally confirmed that Quietway and Cycle Superhighway branding is being replaced with a unified “Cycleway” branding – with some routes being re-numbered to create a unified numbering system.

Cycle tracks

It’s great news that Sadiq is on track to fulfil his pledge to our members and all Londoners to triple the mileage of protected space by the next election. With less than a year to go, it’s vitally important the Mayor, TfL, and particularly the boroughs, pull out all the stops to deliver the cycling network Londoners deserve and need to ensure the city can keep moving sustainably and healthily.

However, while the Mayor’s mileage claim is very welcome, it bears some scrutiny. The Mayor and his team are being somewhat coy thus far about exactly what he is and isn’t counting towards this tally – it appears that the Greenway Quietway getting lighting doesn’t count as a new scheme, but do minor works to existing A40 shared space? More worrying, nearly all of the distance delivered thus far comes from schemes well underway during Boris Johnson and Andrew Gilligan’s term – schemes that were already consulted on, have had no substantial redesign, and just required a sign-off to begin construction.

20km comes from Cycle Superhighways, 5km from Quietways, 17km from other schemes such as Stratford gyratory, Highbury Corner and Westminster Bridge south and 21km from the mini-Hollands – notably Enfield’s semi-segregated network and Waltham Forest work on Lea Bridge Road. All of these schemes were already in train under Sadiq’s predecessor as far as we can tell. Even Cycle Superhighways (or Cycleways as they are now rebranded) CS4 and CS9 had been extensively worked on before the election – and they are yet to begin construction.

The routes Sadiq can confidently claim as his own include the replacement to Boris’ proposed Westway flyover cycle track – a set of neighbourhood schemes running from Wood Lane, through Shepherd’s Bush and on to Notting Hill Gate – and the scheme from central Hackney to the edges of Canary Wharf, both currently in consultation.

Also set for consultation in 2019 are routes taken from TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis of highest potential corridoors: Camden - Tottenham Hale; Dalston - Lea Bridge Road; Rotherhithe – Peckham; Ilford - Barking Riverside; and Wembley - Willesden; as well as potentially the proposed Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf bridge, that would link Cycle Superhighway CS4 and the Rotherhithe - Peckham route to Canary Wharf and on to Hackney.

All of these routes, however, are yet to get through consultation – which can be a bumpy ride, as the Kensington & Chelsea schemes are certainly experiencing already. Unless Sadiq gets lucky, and pushes hard, he could still yet easily miss his targets. After all, he has taken three years thus far to add 63km, now he has less than a year to add 43km more. On top of that, there are worrying signs he hasn’t been made aware that what he is set to build isn’t what is required to really deliver on cycling.

TfL’s Quality Criteria

LCC has had early sight of TfL’s cycling quality criteria, and we have a major concern around it. Its launch confirms this – it simply doesn’t set the bar high enough to guarantee, as Sadiq says, that only schemes that will enable “cyclists of all ages, all abilities and from all walks of life” will be funded.

The biggest issue is of the six interlinked criteria, that the one for motor traffic volume is set far too high. As currently set, the criteria falls far from Dutch CROW manual guidance, far from LCC policy that is based on that guidance, and far from what is clearly needed to enable cyclists “of all ages, all abilities” to cycle in comfort.

The criteria gives a green light to motor traffic volumes where people cycling mix with motorised traffic “where there are fewer than 500 motor vehicles per hour (vph – two-way) at peak times, and preferably fewer than 200vph.” 500 motor vehicles in the peak hour means people of “all ages, all abilities” would be expected to mix with up to eight motor vehicles a minute passing them. Or, put another way, 500 vehicles in a peak hour generally translate to around 5,000 vehicles a day – which is lower than most main roads, but makes for a very busy and hostile ratrun.

As the criteria are currently set, TfL’s approach will remove the worst cycle schemes that previously would have been funded – blue paint Cycle Superhighways, paint and sign only Quietways down mega-ratruns. But “all ages, all abilities” cycling will remain far out of reach for many schemes that will pass the criteria with flying colours.

Already we’re seeing schemes come forward that are indirect, that go down ratruns with no interventions, and that use shared space crossings of main roads that presumably pass this criteria. If the Mayor wants to truly deliver on his promise to make cycling something for people “from all walks of life”, these criteria will need urgent revision.

Categories: London

Join the Climate Strike on a Bike

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 12:19

 

On Friday 24th May, LCC is organising a family friendly ‘Climate Strike on a Bike’ with Parents for the Future. Ride with us through the streets of London in support of School Strikers, on what’s anticipated to be London’s biggest school climate strike yet. 

Join the ride

Since beginning her ‘School Strike for the Climate’ in August 2018, Greta Thunberg has inspired millions of other school children to join her protest. Collectively, they have been demanding global action to avert catastrophic climate change. And LCC will be joining them on 24th May.

Main start point: Russell Square (south side) 10:30 for 11:00 ride start

Second start point: Waterloo Roundabout (east side, in front of St John’s Church) 11:00 for 11:20 ride start

Finish: Milbank aprox. 12:00 – people can then join the students strike in Parliament Square

Let us know you are joining the ride.

Cycling and the climate crisis

For decades, LCC has been working hard to turn London into a world class city for cycling. Given the organisation was born out of the environmental movement over 40 years ago, one of our fundamental reasons for this has been to tackle climate change.

Of course, climate change hasn’t always been front and centre of people’s minds, but recent events have changed that. From the most recent IPCC report, to Greta Thunberg’s challenge to world leaders and the Extinction Rebellion protests in spring, the message that urgent action is now necessary to respond to the climate emergency is being shouted loud and clear.

In London, the Mayor and some boroughs have already taken the positive step of declaring a climate emergency, but what will that mean in practice?

Our roads and streets are one of the key sectors that both the Mayor and borough councils have direct control over, and with 20% of all carbon emissions come from road transport in London, decarbonising our roads will be a be a vital and achievable step towards a net zero emission city.

Taking that setp will mean massively reducing motor traffic and rapidly expanding the network of high-quality cycling infrastructure so that anyone who wants to cycle can - exactly what LCC have long campaigning for.

Climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity. LCC has the road map for the rapid, achievable and necessary way to decarbonise London’s road transport. It’ll create a better city for everyone - one with fewer cars, less pollution, greener streets and much, much more high-quality cycling infrastructure – cutting carbon emissions, protecting the future for the planet and millions of people.

Want to be part of our campaign? Let us know you are interested in hearing more by signing-up here.

Categories: London

Richard Balfe completes London Marathon, raising over £2,000 for LCC!

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 13:00

Huge congratulations to Richard Balfe, the very first person to complete the London Marathon with an official LCC charity place.

Richard is a long-time LCC supporter and cycling advocate. He also owns and manages one of south London's best loved bike shops, Balfe's Bikes, which has branches in East Dulwich and in Streatham. Richard's heroic efforts meant he completed the 26.2 mile event in 4 hours 52 minutes and raised over £2,000 for LCC. As with all LCC challenge events, all money raised supports LCC campaigning efforts.

There's still time to donate to Richard here

Or, if you'd like to find out more about taking part in a running or cycling event for LCC please visit: https://lcc.org.uk/pages/teamlcc

Categories: London